Posted by Peter Thompson

Revelation 3:7-13

What Does Jesus Think? #6

INTRODUCTION:  Jesus introduces Himself to the church at Philadelphia as the one that is holy and true.  The word holy means pure, righteous always doing right.  The word true means faithful and trustworthy.  This church needed both of those assurances.  He also says that he has the keys of David, he is the Messiah, He has all authority, authority to open doors and close doors.  And nobody can close what He opens and nobody can open what he has closed.  He assures them of this, because in the next verse he is going to talk about a door that he has opened for them in ministry.  We learn from this church, further what Jesus would have His church to be.

  2. Jesus says to this church that he has opened a door in front of them
  3. This is an opportunity that God has given this church to do ministry
  4. We don’t know exactly what this open door was
  5. Maybe it was a group of people that were particularly receptive to the message of Jesus
  6. Maybe it was the opportunity to send a missionary to a certain part of the world
  7. Whatever it was, God made the opportunity
  8. And he wanted the church at Philadelphia to take it
  9. He says that no man can shut the door that He has opened
  10. You see, God controls the whole world
  11. When He presents an opportunity, no person can stop it
  12. Then he says that they have a little strength
  13. This church was not big and powerful
  14. But they had the strength to go through the door that God provided
  15. They were not helpless, because God was giving them opportunities to reach people
  16. They had kept or guarded His word, they had not denied the faith
  17. They had the truth
  18. And they were to take that truth through the door that God had opened
  19. They were to share that truth with whoever it was that God had given them the opportunity to share with
  20. God was going to use them because they were still holding on to the truth about Him
  21. God will provide the same kind of doors for our church and the people in it
  22. As you go about your day every day you need to look for God’s open doors

Illustration:  I was sitting in McDonalds the other day reading my Bible.  A lady asked me if I was a preacher or just a believer.  I told her that I was both and was able to have a spiritual conversation with her.  That was not my doing, it was God’s doing.

  1. If you will go about life, serving God and making your Christianity public
  2. God will open doors in front of you that no person can shut
  3. God will give you the opportunity to serve Him
  4. As a group we may have opportunities

Illustration:  I heard of a church that was doing back yard bible clubs at different apartments in town.  One school administrator heard about it and invited them to do one at the school during school hours.  That is a huge open door to reach kids that they had no contact with before.

  1. That is God, God makes those kinds of things possible
  2. Our job is to look out for those open doors and use the little strength that we have to walk through them, having faith in God
  4. The church at Philadelphia had obstacles to ministry like every other church
  5. Particularly Jesus mentions those that are of the synagogue of Satan
  6. Jews who were not really Jews
  7. In other words they claimed to be people of God but they were not really
  8. They persecuted Christians claiming that they were doing the work of God
  9. Paul, before he became a Christian was this kind of Jew-claiming to work for God but killing the real servants of God
  10. These people would tell lies about the Christians of that time
  11. These people would send imposters into the church to try and promote false doctrine
  12. These people would kick those who proclaimed Jesus out of the synagogue
  13. These people made it terribly difficult to do God’s work
  14. Jesus assures them that he will overcome those enemies
  15. Whatever it was that Jesus was going to do to those people
  16. He said that eventually they would bow down to the Jews
  17. Eventually, they would know that they were wrong and the Christians were loved by God
  18. God was going to deal with these enemies one way or another
  19. We are going to face obstacles as we do the work of God
  20. There will be people that will stand in the way
  21. There will be sin that will stand in the way as Satan tempts people to sin
  22. There will be various difficulties all of the time
  23. I have never seen a church that does not have a problem
  24. Satan is always fighting against God’s work
  25. You can have no doubt that God will deal with those obstacles so that we can keep serving God in our community
  26. If it is financial obstacles-God can overcome it
  27. If it is people obstacles-God can overcome it
  28. If it is temptation to sin-God can overcome it
  29. Satan is no match for God
  30. I John 4:4 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
  31. We can find rest and inspiration in knowing that God is going to take care of all obstacles and enemies to our work for Him
  1. Jesus says that this church has kept the word of His patience
  2. In other words they are enduring
  3. They are continuing in the work and spreading the word, even though things are hard
  4. And because they have done that he is going to keep them from the hour of temptation that will come on all the world
  5. This is probably speaking of the wrath of God that is going to come on the world in the end
  6. They will not have to go through that because they are Christians
  7. They will keep on working for God, and enduring the hardships
  8. Instead of the judgment that is going to come on all the world these Christians have a crown in store
  9. Because they faithfully served God enduring hardships
  10. He said He was coming quickly
  11. Do not let anybody steal your crown
  12. In other words if something or someone is able to make them stop serving God then they will lose their reward
  13. He encourages them to hold fast until He comes so that they can get their full reward when He comes
  14. II John 8 speaks of this same reward in the same way, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.”
  15. That same reward is waiting for us when Jesus comes again if we will endure
  16. No matter how hard it becomes
  17. No matter how few of us there are
  18. You and I have to keep on doing the work
  19. One day Jesus will come bringing His reward with Him it says in Rev. 22:12
  20. That is going to be a great day
  21. But you have hard and enduring work to do before that day comes
  22. Don’t lose any of your reward to sin, or discouraging people, or persecution
  23. Work hard to the end for God and receive a great reward for your faithfulness

CONCLUSION:  Jesus gives His customary promises at the end of this letter as well.  Those who overcome are those who have been saved by believing that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and rose again and have confessed Him as Lord.  They will be given a pillar in the house of God and will have the name of God and His city that will come down out of heaven written on them.  We are talking eternal life in the presence of God.  But until then, let us be a church that walks through the open doors that God opens for us.  Let each of us understand that God will take care of the obstacles and enemies that we face.  And let be a church full of people that will endure and hold on to what we are doing until Jesus comes again!