Revelation 1-3: The First Facet
Week 3, Sunday: The Faithful Church
The churches in Philadelphia had been faithful. Even though they had but “little strength” and were beset by outsiders, claiming to be true believers but teaching falsehood, still, they stayed true. But they would need to hold and fast and persevere in their faithfulness. In the Christian life, there’s no resting on our laurels. We must always be read to stay the course, come what may.
Read Revelation 3
Meditate on Revelation 3.7-13
1. Again Jesus identifies Himself as the one who opens the Kingdom of David to people. He says He has opened a “wide door” for the Philadelphians. Since they were already obviously believers, what does Jesus seem to have been saying about their participation in the Kingdom?
2. Jesus said the Philadelphians were being troubled by those who were of the “synagogue of Satan.” Compare this with Matthew 16.23. What makes a church a “synagogue of Satan” even though it claims to be a true church (here referred to as “Jews”)?
3. Jesus said that a time of testing was coming upon the world. Meditate on Romans 1.18-32. What might that time of testing look like? He promised to keep the Philadelphians through this time. How should we understand that promise?
4. Summarize Jesus’ promise to the overcomers of this church. In what ways might this apply to the here and now? What about to the hereafter?
5. Jesus mentions a “crown” which is yet to be received by all the faithful (v. 11). What does the image of a crown signify? Paul mentioned a crown awaiting him in glory (2 Tim. 4.8), and we will see next week that the saints in heaven wear crowns (Rev. 4.10). For now, how should we think about this promise of a crown?
Of what does faithfulness consist? How can you know when you’re being faithful to the Lord? What might be some cues to suggest you were beginning to stray from faithfulness?
The Glory of God
Jesus is powerful to test the world. Does He test His people? Meditate on Hebrews 12.3-11. What are some ways Jesus might test us? How should we respond to such tests?
Glory to Glory
Jesus holds open a wide door of Kingdom opportunity for those who are faithful. Among other things, this seems to imply greater access to and experience of the glory of God. Write a brief prayer expressing your desire for Jesus to open that door wider for you, and declaring your intention to be found faithful by Him in all things.
Recite Revelation 2.29. Pray through this verse in the light of everything we’ve seen in Revelation 2 and 3. Plan to share your memory verse with someone today.
Use your memory verse to write a prayer of your own about hearing the Lord Jesus and being an overcomer for His Kingdom and glory. Carry that prayer with you and pray it frequently today.
T. M. Moore
The book of Revelation is the culminating episode in the story of God’s covenant. To learn more about that covenant, and to discover the way it integrates all of Scripture into the Gospel of Jesus Christ, order a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, by clicking here.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.