Revelation is all about Jesus. Revelation unveils the unseen spiritual world in which the church is engaged (Ephesians 6:10, remember our fight is not with flesh and blood).
This spiritual conflict is between God and the Christ versus Satan and his alliances both demonic and human.
In this war, Jesus has already won with his devastating blow to the evil one on the cross.
However, the church continues to be assaulted by Satan and his henchmen through death, persecution, false teaching, material affluence, compromise, spiritual complacency (the sin of Rome, GA) and cultural approval.
The church is called to be faithful to Jesus and his mission while engaged in this titanic spiritual conflict as we wait for the Lord Jesus to return.
No doubt, Jesus is coming, and when he does the war will be over, (1) the Kingdom will be established fully (heaven), (2) the evil one will be cast into hell along with all his followers who chose hell over Jesus by remaining in their sin and (3) Jesus will reign over his kingdom and all things forever.
When we dial this struggle down to a specific church, we see the church at Philadelphia.
The Lord has no correction for the church at Philadelphia, only encouragement to stay the course.
1. Jesus is the sovereign Messiah v. 7
A. Jesus has the key of David (Isaiah 22:22)
“And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.”
B. Jesus gives opportunity and he removes opportunity for the Gospel
2. Jesus knows our works, so be faithful v. 8
A. Be faithful
1. Even if no one else knows of your faithfulness, it is written down.
B. Unrecognized faithfulness is counted as much as recognized faithfulness by men
1. George Muller’s 10 day discipleship encounter with a faithful reformed brother
a. 10 days to recover in Teinmouth, UK
C. There is never a promise of notoriety, Jesus that Jesus knows and he gives reward
3. Jesus gives opportunity for ministry when one is dependent on him v. 8
“I have set before you an open door…”
For Paul, open doors were opportunities for ministry (1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3)
A. Ministry opportunity is not dependent on personal or corporate strength, but faithfulness
to the Gospel v. 8b
4. The Gospel is for all nations and Jesus shames any who will not take it to the nations v. 9
A. Isaiah 45:14; 49:23 In these passages, Isaiah foresaw that the Gentiles would come and
bow down to the Israelites and acknowledge that there is but one God, the God of Israel.
1. In Revelation 3:9 the tables are turned. The synagogue of Satan, obviously Jews
who have not received the Messiah, Jesus, will come to the Gentiles who have and
acknowledge that Jesus loves Gentiles too.
5. Jesus will be faithful to and sustain his people from the trial coming on the world even if they die
A. “keep from” does not mean removal of
B. “keep from” does mean to “sustain through” “be faithful to”
6. Jesus coming is sooner now than ever, be ready by being a participant v. 11
Jesus always speaks from the perspective of eternity, so from the vantage point of eternity all of time, from beginning to end, is “soon”.
We don’t feel, physically, mentally, emotionally etc., the reality that the Lord’s coming is soon because we are time and space junkies.
But know this: Jesus day approaches with ever-increasing speed. The Great Commission is speeding ahead, and when it is complete he is coming (Matthew 24:14).
A. The faithful get the full presence of the King v. 12
1. 1 Peter 2:1-12 We are being built up as a spiritual house, we are priests to God as