CHRIST THE ROCK CONGREGATION
SUNDAY OCTOBER 17 2021
Sermon by Pastor Jean Claude Jean Baptiste
PHILADELPHIA: A FAITHFUL CHURCH
Lecture : Apoc 3:7-13
7 ¶ Écris à l’ange de l’Église de Philadelphie: Voici ce que dit le Saint, le Véritable, celui qui a la clef de David, celui qui ouvre, et personne ne fermera, celui qui ferme, et personne n’ouvrira:
8 Je connais tes ouvres. Voici, parce que tu as peu de puissance, et que tu as gardé ma parole, et que tu n’as pas renié mon nom, j’ai mis devant toi une porte ouverte, que personne ne peut fermer.
9 Voici, je te donne de ceux de la synagogue de Satan, qui se disent Juifs et ne le sont pas, mais qui mentent; voici, je les ferai venir, se prosterner à tes pieds, et connaître que je t’ai aimé.
10 Parce que tu as gardé la parole de la persévérance en moi, je te garderai aussi à l’heure de la tentation qui va venir sur le monde entier, pour éprouver les habitants de la terre.
11 Je viens bientôt. Retiens ce que tu as, afin que personne ne prenne ta couronne.
12 Celui qui vaincra, je ferai de lui une colonne dans le temple de mon Dieu, et il n’en sortira plus; j’écrirai sur lui le nom de mon Dieu, et le nom de la ville de mon Dieu, de la nouvelle Jérusalem qui descend du ciel d’auprès de mon Dieu, et mon nom nouveau.
13 Que celui qui a des oreilles entende ce que l’Esprit dit aux Églises!
7 ¶ “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:
8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
9 “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie–indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
10 “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
11 “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
12 “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. 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 I will write on him My new name.
13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘
Title : Philadelphia, a faithful church.
- When you know that the eyes of the Lord are on you, and that he knows you pretty well, you don’t play hide and seek with God, but you apply every opportunity that he gave you to go into battle and hold your ground.
- The privileges of the believer are various and multiple; in many ways, we possess more than we are aware of.
- In effect what the Lord reserves for us is beyond anything we can dream about or ever comprehend.
- This is what ears never heard, eyes never seen and mouth never confessed.
- The promise of the Lord is: “In my Father’s house are many mansions ; if it were not so , I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
- And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; That where I am, there you may be also “John 14:2-3.
- If our lasting goal is to be reunited one day with Jesus, then we have many, many reasons to keep on running and win the race because the Holly One that cannot fail says: “I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown.” Apoc 3:11
I — The Importance of the letter addressed to the church of Philadelphia.
- In this portion of the Scripture I just read to you is the matter of a letter addressed to a church.
- Let’s say to the Angel of the church (the physical leader of the congregation) .
- As you all may know a letter is an exchange of communication between the sender and the receiver.
- A letter always convey a message: it could be one of encouragement and love, or menace and blame and also of commendation.
- For our case the letter to the church of Philadelphia was a letter to praise the church for good conduct.
- The church of Philadelphia was in fact a church where kindness and love unified the congregation, as a matter fact, no fault was found with the church!
- What a good example for today’s church!
- The author of the letter to the church of Philadelphia is Jesus himself identified as “ The holly, the true, who hold the key of David, who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one shall open “Apoc 3:7
- In Eph 1: 22 about Jesus we read : “ God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be the head over everything for the church, with is His body, the fullness of him, who fills everything, in every way “
- To be a disciple of Jesus is not a light thing.
- As Christians, we are engaged in a celestial marathon and Jesus the arbitrator is taking note.
- For Him we walk in day light.
- As a radar, his eyes penetrate all our actions, and intentions.
- No one can hide from Him. He knows you and I pretty well.
- He cannot fail nor err.
- His judgment is right, correct and true, He is God.
- Hence if you are attached to the true vine, then bear fruits for eternal life; produce fruits in keeping whit repentance.
- “The axe is already at the roots of trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruits will be cut down and thrown into fire. “ John3: 8- 10
- I have a short question for you this morning.
- What kind of tree are you in the garden of God ?
- What kind of fruits are you bearing?
- Do not be content simply because you met Jesus at a crossing path of your life but rather be a good disciple and get ready for the kingdom to come.
- No fault was found with the church of Philadelphia, what a great a great performance it would be!
- What a great honor it would be to be blameless before the Master!
III _ The objectives of the letter.
- In this great epistle to the church of Philadelphia, God wants to remind them what he has done for them : “I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.”
- No one can stop God’s plan for us.
- One of the master goal of the devil is to try to shut down the windows of opportunities that God has opened up for us.
- Sometimes we feel persecuted tired and abandoned but we should never forget in the hours of trials and sufferings that God has an open doors for us.
“We may be pressed on every side, but not crushed; Perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed “ 2 Cor4: 8-9
- As God’s people we will always prevail.
The church of Philadelphia is complimented for her resistance in front of the enemy.
- “You have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name “.
- The book of Revelation was written when Christians were entering a time of persecution.
- The Roman authorities at the time were beginning to enforce the cult of Emperor worship.
- Christians who held that Christ not Cesar was Lord were facing increasing hostilities, strong political persecution.
- Believers at Smyrna are warned against coming persecution, the church of Philadelphia is told about of an hour of trial coming on the world .
- Antipas had already given his life, along with others.
- John as been exiled to the Island of Patmos for his activities as an active missionary.
- Some within the church were advocating a policy of compromise that needed to be corrected before its subtle influence can undermine the determination of believers to stand fast in the perilous days that lie ahead.
- True grace though weak will enable the Christians to keep the word of Christ. “Whoever acknowledges me before men I will also acknowledge him before my father in heaven. But whoever disown me before men i will disown him before my father in heaven “ Matt 10:32
- Although in prison John writes to the church to encourage the faithful to resist the Emperor worship and to let them know that a show down before God and Satan is imminent, that persecution will increase but they must resist to death if necessary.
- He reminds them that they are sealed against any spiritual harm and will be soon vindicated when Christ return, when the wicked are forever destroyed and God’s people enter an eternity of glory and blessedness.
- Because the church of Philadelphia has kept the word, as a result the great power of the Lord will subdue all the enemies.
- All of the church of Philadelphia enemies will be subjected to her because the church has obeyed the Lord’s command to endure patiently
- Patience and hope are the best tools needed in time of persecution. Through patience and hope we may achieve victory
IV _ Hold fast what you have
- Hold on to what you have I am coming to relieve under your trials and persecutions, to reward your fidelity and punish those who fall away.
- The persevering Christians shall win the prize.
- 2 Cor 6:9 “ Do you know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God , do not be deceived, neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterer, no male prostitutes, nor homosexuals offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanders will inherit the kingdom of God”
- As child of God if we want to serve the Lord honorably, we have to persevere in season and out of season .
- We are the church of the last days.
- In the last days there will be terrible times ahead.
2Tim 3: 1-5
1 ¶ But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
- As Christian we are engaged in a battle.
- If we are walking in obedience to God, we will certainly be persecuted but his promise remains our beacon of hope in uncertain times.
- God will be our anchor when comes the storms of life.
- “I am coming soon, hold on to what you have so that no one will take your crown”
- We will be crowned after the battle.
- Every Christian in this life will be fully tested.
- Will you win the contest then?
- Will you resist till the war is over?
- Will you cross the victory line?
- Are you determined to be winner?
- Those who persevere till the end will be saved.
V – Our savior promises a glorious reward to the victorious believer.
- He shall be a monumental pillar in the temple of God, a kind of monument that shall never be defaced nor removed .
- On this pillar an inscription will be written: ‘’ the name of God and the name of the city of God. The New Jerusalem which came down from heaven.
- In this present world we are fighting against all the forces of darkness; we have to keep on fighting.
- We have to keep strong in the Lord and his mighty power and put on the full armor of God so that we can take stand and hold our ground.
- In Christ our victory is certain and well assured, we will extinguish all the flaming arrows of the devil.
- I know sometimes you may feel tired, overwhelmed, on the verge of abandoning everything, tempted to raise your hand and surrender.
- At this very moment of the fight when we seem pushed to the edge, Jesus will intervene his strong voice raising in the melee.
- “Do not give up , hold on tight , I am with you .
- The goal of the enemy is to take you to the corner of despair, to crush you, to wear you thin.
- Do not surrender. Keep up the good fight. We are never alone.
- Do not allow the devil to turn you to a discouraged and grumpy person.
- Smile when confronted with danger. Be composed in front of persecution.
- Resist when temptation comes.
- Hold on fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
- There is hope at the end of the tunnel. Help is on our way.
- God is alive and behold Christ will come back to earth again !
May God bless you all!