REVELATION 3:7-13 / The Rewards of Faithfulness

Posted on February 28, 2015

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This is the eleventh in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of March 1, 2015. This message highlights the benefits of being faithful and committed to the Lord and His word. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

SERMON AUDIO:

Rev. 3:7-13

SERMON NOTES:

v.7:

Philadelphia was located on a hillside about 30 miles southeast of Sardis. The city was founded around 190 b.c. by Attalus II, king of Pergamos. His incredible devotion to his brother earned the city its name, “brotherly love.” The city was an important commercial stop on a major trade route called the Imperial Post Road, a first-century mail route. This church is not mentioned anywhere else in Scripture.

Jesus identifies Himself differently than He does in any of the other letters. Elsewhere, Jesus identifies Himself in ways that would denote judgment, not so here. Here He refers to Himself as both holy and true. Indeed, Christ shares the holy, sinless, pure nature of his Father.

Isaiah 43:15

Mark 1:24

Acts 3:13-14

Jesus is absolutely pure and separate from sin.

“True” can refer both to one who speaks truth, and who is genuine or authentic as opposed to fake. Jesus, of course, is the truth.

John 1:17

John 14:6

Jesus has the key of David. The kingdom belongs to Him. The throne is His forever.

Romans 15:12

2 Samuel 7:16-17

Here, instead of being seen as the judge, Jesus is the one who opens doors. When Jesus opens a door, no one can shut it.

Isaiah 22:22

v.8:

As in the messages to the other churches, Christ stated, I know your works, but unlike the others, there is no condemnation for this church.

“I have set before you an open door.” The faithful believer will always have an open door set before them. God will never leave His faithful without a ministry to carry out. The question becomes not IF God has opened a door, but have you seen it, and have you walked through it? The simple truth is that we are not called to idleness, God warns against it. It is a dangerous thing.

Proverbs 19:15

1 Timothy 5:11-13

This is why He will always provide us with opportunities to do His work. 

As previously noted, this open door He sets before you is un-shuttable. However, nobody is forced to walk though it, and sadly, many people don’t.

Next, If we are to be useful servants in God’s work, then we need to realize where our strength comes from. Our own strength is lacking, and won’t get us far. The faithful believer will only triumph by realizing that they have no more than a little strength. In fact, it is from our weakness that we draw Christ’s strength.

2 Corinthians 12:9

The believers in this church truly understood and practiced this.  They had kept His word and not denied His name. Not because they were strong, but because they relied on the one who is strong.

v.9:

Jesus promises judgment for their enemies, and He calls them the synagogue of Satan. This is the second time we’ve seen this phrase. They are those Jews who actively opposed the Christians. Those who mock, ridicule, oppose, torture and kill God’s faithful servants will one day stand before the Lord themselves. At that point, they will have no choice but to acknowledge and confess the one they have actively worked against.

Isaiah 45:23

Romans 14:11

Philippians 2:10-11

They will know that God loves His faithful, and they will understand the sad truth of His wrath.

Revelation 20:11-15

v.10:

This reference to a trial that will test those who dwell upon the earth. This is an explicit promise that the Philadelphian church would not enter into the great tribulation, as God pours out His wrath on the earth. This also holds true for all of the faithful who are alive until the time of the rapture.

1 Thessalonians 5:9

2 Peter 2:9

v.11:

This wasn’t meant to convey that Christ would necessarily return soon. It means that His return will be sudden and swift.

Luke 17:24

1 Thessalonians 5:2

His return will be sudden and without warning, but the rewards of the faithful, no one can take away.

v.12:

A pillar, unshakable. Philadelphia was constantly threatened with earthquakes. Often the only parts of a city left standing after a severe quake were the huge stone temple columns. Believers will enjoy an unshakable, eternal, secure place in the presence of God.

The new Jerusalem will be the ultimate temple of God, for it will be His dwelling place. From this holy city, believers “shall go out no more”. Their position and place with God are permanent.

To emphasize the permanency even more, we will wear His name, and that of the city. There will be no doubt as to who we (believers) belong to. Believers will bear the mark of God. What a contrast from the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast brings death and destruction, the mark of God signifies eternal life.

v.13:

Once again, God speaks and we need to listen. Indeed, those who faithfully listen will have great rewards.

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