7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true,who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan,who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3:7-13
In Revelation chapter 2 and 3 there are seven messages given to seven churches that existed at that time. All of these churches existed in Asia minor and the Lord had a specific message for each individual church. Five of the seven received messages of rebuke in which the Lord was calling them to repent. If they refused to repent and continued in their wicked ways the Lord would come and remove their lampstand.
Two of the churches received a message from the Lord and it was without rebuke. The church in Smyrna which is found in Revelation chapter 2 was a church that was heavily persecuted and they remained faithful to the Lord. The other church that did not receive a rebuke was the church of Philadelphia. They held fast to the word of God and were found faithful by the Lord.
These seven messages also reveal seven different spiritual conditions. Seven in the bible is a number of completion or perfection. These seven spiritual conditions reveal the complete picture of spiritual conditions that exist in the body of Christ. These seven spiritual conditions can be found in any church and in any believer. The Lord has given us these seven messages to study and be warned if our spiritual lives reflect the five churches that received a rebuke.
Many argue against the rapture of the church and state it doesn’t exist. But the promise to the church in Philadelphia that they would be kept from the hour of trial coming on the earth. The hour of trial the Lord speaks of is the seven year tribulation coming upon the earth. The reason the Lord refers to it as an hour is because it designates a period of time and is very short compared to the whole of time in the history of humanity.
As believers there is a real reward in remaining faithful to the Lord and His word. Following Jesus is a lifelong journey. There are some who begin with Christ, but throughout their life they allow the desires of the flesh or the worries of this life to fill their heart and they choose to walk away from Jesus. But for those who remain faithful on a daily basis, they shall be prepared when the trumpet sounds and the bride of Christ is called home.
There is a distinction between the bride of Christ and tribulation saints. The bride of Christ are those who have existed throughout church history and who have given their hearts to Christ. They are saved by the grace of God and have remained faithful to the Lord, seeking Him on a daily basis.
The tribulation saints are those who shall be saved during the tribulation and will give their hearts to Christ, but will go through the tribulation. God’s desire is that all would come to salvation and during the seven year tribulation there will be angels who will fly back and forth proclaiming the eternal gospel and also the 144,000 Jewish evangelist who will be sent forth to proclaim the gospel. They will be martyred because the anti-Christ will put them to death, but there is a distinction between the bride of Christ and the tribulation saints.
Let us draw near and abide daily in the Lord. Let us seek Him with our whole heart and remove any idol or hindrance. He has called us to be a bride without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. We must prepare our hearts daily for our coming King. He is returning soon.