October 16: Patient Endurance (Revelation 3:7-13)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
This Sunday we will continue a series on personal evangelism at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament).
 “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.’
Our next stop on the Asia Minor church tour brings us to the 6th of the 7th church, the church of Philadelphia. Along with Smyrna, Philadelphia is one of two churches to receive no rebuke from Christ, only praise and encouragement. As you read through this letter, notice that we are given another stunning picture of its author, Jesus, “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.” Throughout the personalized letter, we see why Philadelphia receives only praise from its Head as they “have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Because of these characteristics, Christ not only honors them (even in their weakness), but also He promises His personal care and love for this church. When a church in this lineup of 7 receives only positive print, it calls us as a church to pay close attention to our Lord’s clear and careful approval and to seek to follow suit by His grace.
Review and Apply
1) In each of the 7 letters, one should notice the connection between the description of the author (Christ) and the body of the letter. What connection do you see in the Philadelphian letter (when comparing the description of the author in verse 7 and the letter’s main content)?
2) What do you think is indicated by the truth that Jesus “possesses the key of David?”
3) Note specifically what it is that Jesus positively “calls-out” about this church. What must be true of Christ Covenant Church if we are to receive that same recognition?
4) How might you as a member of CCC contribute to receiving this same praise from Jesus? What must change for you personally in order to be described in the way that Philadelphia is described?
5) Note the various promises that Jesus gives to this church. Which promise is most encouraging to you and why?