I Have Loved You

Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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This is one where there are things we need to know so the text makes more sense. Positioned on a geological fault… Earthquake in AD17… “I will make him a pillar”. Burnt Land between Lydia and Phrygia was volcanic fertile, great for growing grapes. Roman govt wanted to protect Italy’s wine production so had half of the vines here destroyed and made illegal to replant. Times were tough.
This city no longer exists, another sits on top of the location. No archaeological excavations have been done there because there is a city sitting on the site where the dig would be. Just FYI
Revelation 3:7–13 ESV
“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.’
There are no wasted words in scripture. If it is written it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. If it was inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is meaningful. Useful. Worth our attention. GK Chesterton: When men stop believing the Bible, its not that they believe nothing, but they’ll believe anything!
One of the things about the Holiness of the Lord is it distinguishes Him from any/all of the rest of creation. It is the quality everything else hinges on.
He holds the key (Isaiah 22) and unlocks the door IN to salvation, OUT to service opening the door for the believer to reach our world for the kingdom
In His holiness, He recognized this about the church at Philadelphia:
They kept His word.
God keeps them by the power of His word, according to John 17, but they kept His word. They built their lives on it. They staked their future on it. It was EVERYTHING. The Word must be central to everything we do. If it’s not...
Their patient endurance.
Once again, patient endurance is a praise-worthy characteristic of the believer and of the church. Jesus sees it as worthy work! Remember though, its not one of those things that grows much when things are good. When life is easy. The need for patient endurance shows when things aren't smooth. When we aren't getting our way. When disappointment, even tragedy fills our heart. Patient endurance grows where life is hard
So He promised to:
Hold the door
Come soon
He has loved them.
Again we are looking into a letter written to a specific church. So we read this letter as it is written to them in their time, their struggles, their political and historical climate. BUT we also understand they are meant for us to read, digest and be blessed by (Rev 1:3). And then we have to ask the question
Why? Oh why did He love them? Why does He love us? Because He made us. That was enough for Him. But do we love Him back? How?
Chariots of Fire: Eric Liddel’s sister rebukes him for not being about the thing she thought were important. God made you for Himself. He says ‘you’re right, He did make me for Himself, but for China. I know that. But He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure!’
We can love Him back by being faithful. He who is faithful in little… Luke
We’ll work Till Jesus comes. Hold fast so that no one seizes your crown. So that no one takes from you what you might offer to the King. We looked at those crowns a few weeks ago: a crown of joy, of righteousness, blessing. Of spendor and beauty. Those things we guard so as not to allow the enemy to come in and steal, kill and destroy. Take hold of that for which Christ took hold of you. Let Him do the holding of your salvation. You hold on to all He is growing in you. It will yield a great harvest and reward if we will!
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