His message to churches at Sardis and Philadelphia; rebuke of the church of Laodicea; the sealed book; the Lion and the Lamb.
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; 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 has not denied My name (Rev. 3:7-8).
The Church in Sardis could boast that there were no false doctrines being taught; but there was an equally serious sin. Unto . . . the Church in Sardis write . . . I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die . . . . repent (3:1-3). Many churches fall into this category. They have a reputation for being alive and vibrant. However, the truth is far from that. I would like to give a message to pastors, deacons and other church members. Full pews every Sunday is not a sure sign of a healthy church.
The Church in Philadelphia probably seemed weak and insignificant as far as the world was concerned; their numbers were small and they had only a little strength (3:8). But notice! That small group of Christians in Philadelphia was not dependent upon their little strength; their faith was in Christ, who had opened a door that no one, not even those of the synagogue of Satan (3:9) were able to close. Jesus commended the church, saying: Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou . . . hast kept My Word . . . I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation (testing), which shall come upon all the world (3:8,10). We may look at our circumstances in our church and they may seem overwhelming. Philadelphia should be an inspiration to all of us to persevere.
The majority of Church members in Laodicea probably congratulated themselves on being broad-minded. They probably pitied the narrow-minded Christians in Philadelphia. The Laodicean believers prided themselves on their ability to compromise. But Jesus severely condemned Laodicea: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue (vomit) thee out of My mouth (3:16). Still, He appealed to them.
Today God has opened a door to evangelize the world. It is an open door which God in His grace has entrusted to us. Jesus is still saying: I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne (Rev. 3:20-21).
Thought for the Day: A Christian can lay up treasures in Heaven which no earthly power can destroy.
For Rev. 3:5: See Ex. 32:32. Rev. 3:12: See Is. 62:2. Rev. 4:2-3: See Ezek. 1:28. Rev. 4:5: See Zech. 4:2. Rev. 4:6: See Ezek. 1:22. Rev. 4:7: See Ezek. 1:10. Rev. 4:8: See Is. 6:2-3.
3:20 sup, feast, share spiritual food and fellowship; 4:6 beasts, living ones.
Pray for Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) • Country: Lebanon (4.3 million) in the Middle East • Major languages: Arabic and French • Limited religious freedom • 55% Muslim (Shi'a, Sunni); 41% Christian (Maronite, Orthodox, Melchite, Protestant, Chaldean, Assyrian, Syriac); 3% Druze; 1% Others (Jewish, Baha'i, Alawi, Jehovah's Witness) • Prayer Suggestion: Don't try to impress others with your prayers; pray about whatever is on your heart (Matt. 6:7-8).
Memory Verse for the Week: Luke 2:11