And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
What is the difference between this and the other letters we have read so far? Look at it again and see if you notice the difference. It is that God did not make a negative statement about this church. They were surely astonished to hear that God approved of what they were doing and had no criticisms of them. He said that He had given them an open door that no one would be able to shut. Although they had little strength, they still keep His Word and stayed true to His Name. It must have thrilled them to hear God say that those who opposed and criticized the church would one day publicly admit that God did love them. They had not only endured, but they had done so patiently. God’s response was to keep them from the hour of trial – to take them away so they wouldn’t have to face it. How would God evaluate you and your church? This passage should encourage us to see that it is possible to have a church about which God only makes positive statements. Could He describe your church this same way? Could He describe your life like this? What changes can you make in order for this to be said of you? What role can you play to begin the process?
Observation: What do I see?
Interpretation: What does it mean?
Application: How does it apply to me?
Implementation: What do I do?