VII #8: Message to the Church in Philadelphia
Sermon 8: Message to the Church in Philadelphia
Key Verse: Revelation 3:7-13
Jesus has a way of using small and weak things to accomplish His will. Paul knew this firsthand when he proclaimed that Jesus’ strength was made perfect in his weakness. The reason God prefers working through our weaknesses is that when success arrives, God can be clearly seen as the hero. Here at the church in Philadelphia, their weakness created room for Jesus to work. And if you have a weakness (and you most likely do) then this is a perfect place for Jesus to operate. Let’s see how this happened in the life of this congregation
- Philadelphia had a large Jewish population
- The Christian congregation was relatively small
- Some of these Jews converted to Christianity
- This created a conflict with the more powerful and well established Jews
- Once again, Jesus clarifies the power of the Gospel to save over and above the Law.
- Jesus is holy and true (3:7-8)
- Jesus holds the key of David (3:7) [meaning, you are not only citizens inside the land, but you are also allowed into the kings residence, cf 4:14-16]
- An allusion to Isaiah 22:22 in which Eliakim, a steward over King Hezekiah’s house, had the power to admit or deny persons into the King’s house. Jesus, not the Old Testament system, holds the key.
- Some in the Jewish community wanted to teach that Christ-followers did not have entrance into the Kings house- Jesus saw it otherwise (vs. 8).
- Which means- it is your connection with Jesus that grants you entrance into eternal life.
- We can honor Jesus even when we have little power (3:8)
- Jesus promises to not remove us from the trial, but to protect us through it.
- The verse has been used as a proof text for the rapture
- But most likely refers to Jesus preserving them through trial
- John 17:15
- I John 5:18
- “Also bear in mind that no description of Jesus’ return precedes 19:11-16 and no clear mention of any corporate resurrection precedes the “first” resurrection in 20:4-6, at the beginning of the thousand years. Although saints are slaughtered throughout Revelation, they are also protected from God’s anger (as in 7:1-8). The effect of this pretribulation rapture is to dissociate Christian readers from any persecution and suffering at the hands of the Beast and to deny the church’s identity as a martyr church. And those who, for whatever reason dissociate Christians from the suffering of saints in Revelation miss much of the relevance of the book’s primary warning” (Craig Keener, NIV Application Commentary)
- Jesus promises to make us a part of His new community if we remain faithful
- Jesus will make you a pillar in the temple (a leader in God’s new work)
- Jesus will identify you with God the Father
- Jesus will identify you with God’s new city
- You have access to God’s home
- No one can close that door for you
- Your future is that of an important leader in this new community
Identify your weakness. How can God work through this to bring glory to Himself?
Identify your trial. Do you trust God is able to sustain you through this ordeal?
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