March 01 2022
Today, Tuesday March 01
Philadelphia, The Faithful Church Revelation 3:7-8 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”
We come now to the letter to the sixth church, the church in Philadelphia. If the church in Sardis could be called the “The Feeble Church”, this church in Philadelphia would be called, “The Faithful Church”. It was a church that “kept My Word and did not deny My name…”. It was a church that “kept His command to persevere…” (Revelation 3:10). The members of this church represent the church in history that was in the late 1600’s through the present time. It could also be called, “The Missionary Church”.
Philadelphia means, "love of the brethren" or “the city of brotherly love.” Certainly, brotherly love is an important mark of the Christian. We are "taught of God to love one another" (1 Thessalonians 4:9): But it is not enough to love God and our fellow believers; we must also love a lost world and seek to reach unbelievers with the Good News of the Cross. This church had a vision to reach a lost world, and God set before them an open door. Philadelphia was situated in a strategic place on the main route of the Imperial Post from Rome to the East, and thus was called "the gateway to the East." It was also called "little Athens" because of the many temples in the city. The church was certainly located in a place of tremendous opportunity.
“I have set before you an open door…”. In the New Testament, an "open door" speaks of opportunity for ministry (Acts 14:27; 1 Cor. 16:9; 2 Cor. 2:12; Col. 4:3). Christ is the Lord of the harvest and the Head of the church, and it is He who determines where and when His people shall serve (Acts 16:6-10). He gave the church at Philadelphia a great opportunity for ministry.
But could they take advantage of it? There were at least two obstacles to overcome, the first being their own lack of strength (Rev. 3:8). Apparently, this was not a large or a strong church; however, it was a faithful one. They were true to God's Word and unafraid to bear His name. Revelation 3:10 suggests that they had endured some special testing and had proved faithful.
It is not the size or strength of a church that determines its ministry, but faith in the call and command of the Lord. "God's commandments are God's enablements." If Jesus Christ gave them an open door, then He would see to it that they were able to walk through it!
As I said, this church could represent the missionary movement of the 1600’s to the present time. The missionary movement that started with the Moravians is one of the most amazing stories of church history. Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf, a nobleman in Saxony allowed some Moravian families fleeing persecution in Bohemia and Moravia to find refuge on his estate in 1722 and they built the community of Herrnhut. The new community became the haven for many more Moravian refugees.
Count Zinzendorf gave them the vision to take the gospel to the far corners of the globe. The Moravian Community of Herrnhut in 1727, commenced a round-the-clock “prayer watch” that continued nonstop for over a hundred years. By 1791, 65 years after commencement of that prayer vigil, the small Moravian community had sent 300 missionaries to the ends of the earth. Their stories of courage and sacrifice are amazing!
Today, in a world full of confusion and insecurity, with so many broken and hurting people, we have “open doors” of opportunities to share the love of God and the story of Jesus, and the hope that only He can give us through His cross. It is my prayer that we will take advantage of every “divine appointment” the Lord sets before us!