“Its Time for Elevation-Elevate Your Preparation”
I. The Church of Philadelphia- Example of Preparation
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, 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 from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Revelation 3:7-13)
A. The ancient city of Philadelphia (from the Greek word meaning “one who loves his brother”) was called Philadelphia until the Ottomon Turkish empire overran the city. It is now called Alaşehir. However, the city still has active church streams within it since the time of the Revelation.
B. When Jesus reveals himself to each one of the churches in Revelation; He relates to them through an aspect of His person given to John in chapter one of the book.
C. To the church of Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love), He identifies Himself as the Holy One, True One, and the One who has the Key of David. In chapter one we see that He has the Keys to hell and death, but He reveals Himself as the One with the Key of David… And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house. And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father’s house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. (Isaiah 22:22-24) To each church he identifies himself in such a way that it reflects aspects of their own unique challenges or states of being.
D. Because the Philadelphians had kept His word and had not denied His name, but kept His word about patiently enduring, Jesus said He was going to keep them through great trouble coming on the earth. The promise He gives those that hold fast (just like the One with the Key of David fastened in the house of God) He would make them a pillar in the house of God. As a matter of fact Jesus says that He will fasten the name of God, the name of the New Jerusalem, and His own new name on them.
II. Characteristics of Effective Preparation
A. Obeying His Word
Doing what Jesus says and commands must be the foremost focus of our hearts. Jesus gave His disciples only one new command. John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” The name of Philadelphia suggests this reality.
i. If we take time to consider the implications of such a commandment; it will effect and transform how we see God, ourselves, and others, and in that order.
ii. It enlarges our understanding of God’s nature and character in that He would love us and how he demonstrated that Love. It reveals the importance He places on us and our value to Him.
iii. The iniquity and brokenness we have experienced that has defined us through our lives finds its remedy and healing in this love. This new creation enables us to see others as God sees them and to love them as He has loved us, perpetuating this incarnational Gospel.
B. Not Denying His Name
His Nature and Character have been identified in His name. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
i. Jesus means Jehovah is Salvation. Not denying the fact of salvation is not accomplished by our own works or through some other means or mechanics, but only through Jesus is paramount to walking in truth.
ii. Many today try to find justification in some other means such as good works, humanitarian aid, thinking rightly, etc…just as in the day the message was delivered to the Church of the Philadelphians; the Judaizers were adding the need to be circumcised and observing many things for justification.
iii. Real salvation is wrought through the Name of Jesus and Obeying His Word.
Two different Greek words with similar meanings and origins.
i. Patience -hupomonē Thayer Definition:1) steadfastness, constancy, endurance1a) in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings1b) patiently, and steadfastly 2) a patient, steadfast waiting for 3) a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance
ii. Endurance –hupomenō Thayer Definition:1) to remain 1a) to tarry behind 2) to remain, i.e. abide, not recede or flee 2a) to preserve: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ 2b) to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments
iii. When we hold onto His word patiently (in others words we are not going to be disloyal to His promise and subsequently disobedient because we have not seen the fulfillment of what was promised), and with endurance (remain under the compulsion of the promise or abide in a reality that may not be discernable with human senses) we can conquer in this life and be prepared for great trouble.
III. Luke 18- Ilustration of Preparation
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)
A. The activity of prayer is and should be an activity of faith. To communicate with one you cannot see is an action of faith. Hebrewss 11:6 tells us without faith it is impossible to please God.
B. Prayer is at the core of preparation and within it we should not lose heart, grow faint or become cowardly. Albert Barnes says “Not to faint – Not to grow weary or give over. The parable is designed to teach us that, though our prayers should long appear to be unanswered, we should persevere, and not grow weary in supplication to God.”
C. When Jesus shows up will he find faith on the earth? In You?