Study Lesson 6
A Truly Faithful Church
True Overcoming Christianity
Scripture To Consider:
“And to the angel [messenger] 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.’” Revelation 3.7
Something To Consider:
Jesus as we will see, had no correction or rebuke for the true Christian church in Philadelphia. And as in every other letter here in Revelation Jesus revealed various aspects of His character. Jesus revealed Himself as He who is holy and He who is true! You cannot be one and not the other. A person cannot be holy if he or she is not true. And a person cannot be true if he or she is not holy. As a reminder to the church in Philadelphia and every church in every generation since, Jesus declared Himself both holy and true!
Peter wrote in his first letter chapter 1 verses 15-16; “But as He [Jesus] who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I [God] am holy.’” Jesus mentioning that He is holy and that He has the key of David, might have taken the reader in Philadelphia to the gospel of Luke which is believed to have been written approx. 58-60 years after the death of Jesus.
In the introduction to the gospel of Luke we are told the angel Gabriel came to Mary the mother of Jesus and explained; “And behold, you [Mary] will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call His name JESUS.”
The angel continued by also stating, “He [Jesus] will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him [Jesus] the throne of His father David. And He [Jesus] will reign over the house of Jacob [nation of Israel] forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” According to Jesus, He rightfully possesses the key of David or the God given authority to rule and reign not only over all of Israel but over all of the earth for all eternity.
And because Jesus holds the key of David, He unlocks and opens doors no one can shut and He shuts and locks doors that no one, no man, or demon can open. And so, the question should be, have we entered the narrow gate door to eternal life that Jesus has unlocked and opened for us through His sacrificial death and resurrection? And if so, have we willingly entered in obediently to His written Word and His conditional commands?
Are we enduring to the end and thereby being saved? Have we refused to enter on His terms or have we departed from the faith because of His terms? If so, we ourselves have caused Christ to close the door to eternal life. And if so, how sad of a situation we have created!
More Scripture To Consider:
“I [Jesus] 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. Indeed, I will make those of the synagogue [place of worship] of Satan, who say they are Jews [or lovers of God] and are not, but lie; I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I [Jesus] have loved you.” Revelation 3.8-9
Something Else To Consider:
Jesus reiterates His knowing their works. James, the stepbrother of Jesus explained in his letter; “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” In other words, true Christian faith without works is dead according to the Word of God!
Therefore, Jesus knows our works or our lack of works. Jesus also stated to the leader of the faithful church in Philadelphia, “I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it.” I firmly believe we are the final generation and that Jesus is holding open the door of opportunity that will soon be closed forever! Are we taking full advantage of this soon to be closed but open for now door?
I am personally glad that Jesus revealed to these true Christians that they possessed a little strength and have kept the words of Christ and have not denied the name of Jesus. Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane just prior to His arrest declared to His little strength filled disciples, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” But according to Jesus, it only takes a little strength knitted together with our keeping or observing all that Jesus has taught and commanded to become overcomers!
Jesus promised judgment upon the pretending Jews who were hypocrites and also according to Jesus, they were of the synagogue or church of Satan. To all hypocritical pretenders of the faith whether Jewish or Christian faith, Jesus proclaimed in Matthew 7.21-23; “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he [or she] who does the will of My Father in heaven.” And what is the will of Jesus’ Father in heaven? It is that we observe all that Jesus taught. For Jesus has come to reveal the Father.
Jesus continued, by predicting; “Many will say to Me in that day [the day of judgment], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied [preached] in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I [Jesus] will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness [iniquity]!’” Though many will claim to have been much involved in so-called Christian works, Jesus will declare He never knew them as true Christians. Will we be among the many apparently taken by surprise at the end of the age? If we thought that to be the case, why would we not repent now?
More Scripture To Consider:
“Because you have kept My command to persevere [endure to the end], I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I [Jesus] am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
“He [or she] who overcomes, I will make him [or her] a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him [or her] My new name.” Revelation 3.10-12
Something More To Consider:
To every church and to every true Christian in every generation, Jesus promises to keep us from the hour of trial if we keep His Word and persevere or endure to the end. Many ask, what will the keeping of those who endure to the end actually look like? What does the keeping of the Word of Jesus mean to those who endeavor to do so? I must confess that I cannot say with absolute certainty what this future keeping of Jesus will be when revealed by God. But I am praying that all who are observing that which Jesus taught, may partake of it!
What I can emphatically say or repeat is what Jesus has already declared in Luke’s gospel chapter 21 concerning the calamities and end time events that are described in Revelation and spoken of in Matthew 24 as great tribulation. After describing many of the end time events, Jesus declared in Luke 21.36; “Watch therefore, and pray always that you [end time true Christian] may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” What therefore are we praying for?
A Few Final Words:
“He [or she] who has an ear, let him [or her] hear what the Spirit says [is saying] to the churches.” Revelation 3.13
Can we hear what the Spirit of God is saying to this end time generation of true Christian believers? Can we hear Jesus warning us to keep His Word, to persevere to the end, and to overcome whatever opposition confronts us? Can we hear Jesus by way of the Holy Spirit admonishing us to hold fast to Christ’s words of warning and caution? Can we hear Jesus declaring above all the deceptive false voices and false messages of the influx of end time false prophets when He predicts, “Behold, I [Jesus] am coming quickly?”
Will we have enough little strength to walk through the open for now door of opportunity to spread the truth of the gospel? Will we be among the true overcoming Christians who may be called upon to be living epistles martyred for our faith in Jesus? And if so, would just the thought cause us to hesitate or delay our total allegiance to Jesus?
And yet if we choose Jesus no matter what, Jesus, our excellent living example awaits us and will welcome us into eternity with open arms! Trust me when I say, we will not regret our decision to observe all that Jesus taught, but have all of eternity to be thankful for doing the right thing!