Faithfulness to the Lord has its rewards in this life and in the life to come. We see this principle demonstrated in the letter to the church in Philadelphia. The church did not seem to be a large, influential church with lots of resources, as can be deduced from the words of our Savior: “ I know that you have but little power”; but this church seemed to have been strong in faith. They lived a life of obedience and trust, even under persecution. As a result of their faithfulness, the Lord gives them these 4 wonderful promises:
- He sets before them an open door for the gospel that no one can shut (v.8).
- He will humble their persecutors, and cause them to see His love for His church (v.9).
- He will keep them from the hour of trial that was to come on the whole earth (v.10).
- He will give them permanence in the new heavens and new earth (v.12).
The Lord holds these promises to every faithful church throughout the centuries, as he ends the letter with these familiar words: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” This is a most encouraging letter to any small church. We may feel weak and insignificant at times, but we serve a mighty Savior, who can open doors for the gospel that no one can shut, sustain us in our time of affliction, and give us a name and a place in glory. Hallelujah!
The Lord leaves the church with this exhortation in verse 11: “I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” May the Lord help us to remain faithful until He comes. Amen!