Revelation 3:7 KJV 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; 8 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.
9 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. 10 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.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 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.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown. 12 He who overcomes (is victorious), I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of My God; he shall never be put out of it or go out of it, and I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which descends from My God out of heaven, and My own new name. 13 He who can hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches).
Out of the seven churches there are two that Jesus held nothing against. The church in Smyrna and this church. These two churches had similarities. Both churches were being persecuted by the Jews. In Smyrna and here in Philadelphia Jesus refers to the “synagogue of Satan.” He says they call themselves Jews but they are not.
The church in Smyrna was enduring death for their faith, and Jesus told them they will be given the crown of everlasting life.
The church in Philadelphia was to hold tight to their faith and stay strong enduring persecution, so “no one will take your crown,“.
In these two churches we see being an overcomer is being strong in the face of persecution and death. Satan uses suffering and death as a weapon. Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave but Satan doesn’t want you and I to know or believe that. Jesus tells His faithful ones then and now what it takes to receive the crown of everlasting life, having victory, and keeping it. It gives love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind a whole new meaning. A Christians reward does not come from this world.
How does Jesus describe this church?
They have little strength, they keep the word of Christ, and they do not deny His name. This description is not long or complicated. However, how do we have enough strength to endure what they went through with little strength?
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
It is acknowledging we are weak in our flesh and that through Christ we are made strong. We may have physical strength, power, and/or position but those fleshly strengths are of no use in the spiritual battle of the believer. It is through our humility and surrendered will toward God that we are made strong and strengthened to endure during these times. When we are weak then we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Why do we need to be strengthened?
We need to be strengthened to remain faithful to Christ and not allow fear to cause us to deny His name. It is through the sufficiency of God’s grace and our humility that we are able to live out our faith in Jesus Christ and all His name represents.
What is the purpose of leaning on God for strength to stay faithful?
To see the open door of opportunity to witness Jesus Christ to others, even under persecution. At this moment there are no Smyrna or Philadelphia churches in America yet. But God promises that day is coming. There are great and eternal rewards for those who endure and overcome. “He who overcomes (is victorious), I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of My God“.
Jesus is telling all believers that His God is the only true Living God. Though it is becoming more popular to create your own god, your own path, and your own Jesus, this will not give you the crown of everlasting life. The beginning of this letter Jesus states, I Am the Holy One and the True One. Jesus is God in flesh. Do not give into the false teaching there will be many paths and God is whoever He is to you. Surrender your strength in humility for God’s strength.
The overcomer will be marked with the name of Jesus’s God, the name of the New Jerusalem, and Jesus own new name. Everyone will know you belong to Jesus Christ and His God. Are you hearing a very small piece of the great promises given to those who choose to persevere, lean on God for strength, and see open doors of opportunity? We pray that you will act upon this and begin to follow Jesus with your whole heart and mind. God Bless!