Letters to the Churches continued…
Description of Jesus:
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this:
8 ‘I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.
And More Good:
10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Wow! Can I just say that again? Wow!
Jesus had NOTHING bad to say about those in Philadelphia. This church got it. They get it. They understand and are on the right track.
So what did they do?
- They kept His word (His teachings)
- They have not denied His name (rejected Him)
- They have kept the word of His perseverance (kept the account of His trials, the accounts of His loyalty to faith and piety, His patience and unswerving dedication to His purpose.)
The believers described in Philadelphia (which means “brotherly love”) are true to Christ. Their faith is being manifest in such a way that Jesus had nothing to say against them.
He did give them a warning though…hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. The “crown” here is symbolic of eternal blessedness or reward of the righteousness. “Hold fast” means not to discard or let go of. I talked about this in other posts, but this warning is a pretty clear example of what I said previously.
We cannot “lose” salvation; it is not a thing to misplace like car keys. “No other created thing” can separate us from the love of God. It does NOT say that WE can’t choose to turn away from the grace of God and our salvation. It stands to reason that if WE can gain eternal life by a choice of faith, that we could also LOSE eternal life by a choice to turn away from faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus is warning the believers whom He has nothing against in Philadelphia to hold fast (don’t let go or discard) “what you have”… what they have on this earth is faith in Jesus Christ…so that no one will take your crown or eternal blessedness/reward.
No one can take their crown from them UNLESS they CHOOSE to turn away from faith in Jesus Christ.
I know this view is not popular and many people disagree with it because they want to believe that once they come to faith and are saved that they can never lose that salvation. But from what I am reading, Jesus warns over and over again to hold fast to Him, to stay vigilant in the faith, with all diligence…I can only ask myself why does He repeat these warnings over and over if there weren’t consequences to be had for NOT being diligent and holding fast to Him, why why why?
I know there is nothing we can do on our own to get salvation. We cannot buy it with money or work for it with deeds. Salvation is based on God’s grace alone.
But with everyone saying that, they tend to leave out the part where, having accepted this enormous free gift of eternal life, we are inspired to be thankful and WANT to do things that will help others find the love and grace which we now have. In the big rush to explain how it’s about God’s grace alone, we overlook the fact that having salvation and Christ in us, changes will occur. Big changes.
No, you can’t work your way to heaven but to go overboard and say that once you come to faith, you don’t have to do anything else or change at all the rest of your days in an effort to prove this point is ridiculous. That is not what Jesus taught either. His example to us was teaching and helping people, brotherly love and love of God. He showed compassion for everyone, even strangers.
If you’ve accepted the free gift of salvation, the love within you should be growing. You’re passion for Christ should be growing. Changes should be happening and love for others and God should be growing.
If none of these things are happening, please talk with your Pastor or other believer’s and figure out what’s holding you back.
I wish this letter had been more in-depth about what these believer’s were like, how they acted etc.
Do you get it? Are you a Philadelphia type believer? Do you love the brethren and Jesus and God?
I hope so. Take a look at “And More Good” again. If you believe in the Rapture, this part will sound really familiar to you….