[Rev. 3:7] ¶ “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write the following: ¶ “This is the solemn pronouncement of the Holy One, the True One, who holds the key of David, who opens doors no one can shut, and shuts doors no one can open: [Rev. 3:8] ‘I know your deeds. (Look! I have put in front of you an open door that no one can shut.) I know that you have little strength, but you have obeyed my word and have not denied my name. [Rev. 3:9] Listen! I am going to make those people from the synagogue of Satan—who say they are Jews yet are not, but are lying—Look, I will make them come and bow down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. [Rev. 3:10] Because you have kept my admonition to endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth. [Rev. 3:11] I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one can take away your crown. [Rev. 3:12] The one who conquers I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never depart from it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from my God), and my new name as well. [Rev. 3:13] The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Philadelphia means brotherly love. This is the only church not rebuked by Jesus. It seems there is something about this church which is close to the heart of Christ. He relates to this church by identifying Himself to them as the one “who has the key of David”. It was David who won the hearts of those around him. David, more than any other Old Testament figure, understood brotherly love. His loyalty to those around him was famous. He taught his son Solomon that ‘he who wins souls is wise’ (Prov. 11:30). This was David’s Key. It opened doors for him.
In life generally being nice to others and treating them like ‘brothers’ will open doors for you. The adage goes, “It’s not what you know – but who you know that counts.” Christ commends the Philadelphian church for their care and kindness toward each other. And if kindness and care is to be found anywhere, it should at least be found in a church.
Yet, even warm and kind people are subject to attacks from others. The Philadelphians were. We too should not be surprised that we will attract the rancour of people who despise Christ and His claims to be Lord over their time, bodies, and treasure. There will be times when we too will have to patiently endure in our devotion to Christ and brotherly love for each other (Rev. 3:10). But it will be worth it for there is a crown awaiting us that we will wear in the Temple of God where we will experience the fullness of God’s all-satisfying love.
Are you being a brother to others? Are there those in your church who you have not been caring or kind towards? Are you experiencing mocking or ridicule from those who despise your commitment to the Jesus of the Bible? Hear what the Spirit is saying to you today and make a commitment to be like the Philadelphian believers whom Christ commended.