The sixth church in our study is the Church of Philadelphia – the faithful church.
The Church of Philadelphia is like the Church of Smyrna in the sense that Jesus doesn’t find fault with them and they’re holding on to God’s word even in the midst of trials and those that seek to do them harm, “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8). It seems that the Church of Philadelphia may have “little strength” possibly when it comes to the influence they may have in their area or what they’re able to accomplish, but still God provides for them. In verse 10, Jesus references the tribulation that will befall the earth for a period of 7 years, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”. This in itself is more than confirmation from Jesus that like the Church of Philadelphia, to those that trust in him and hold to his word and don’t deny his name, he won’t allow us to go through this trialing period as the rest of the world will.
Jesus wraps up the letter by telling them what’s to gain if they overcome, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:12). Here Jesus is referencing a time period after the millennium and great white throne judgement in which New Jerusalem will descend from heaven, unto earth, where God will reside with his people forever, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Revelation 21:2-3).