To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write
These are the words of the one who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no-one can shut and what he shuts no-one can open. I know your deeds. See I have placed before you an open door…..
As mentioned previously, this church along with that in Smyrna is the only other for which the Lord has no word of rebuke. Rather he sets before them great opportunities in the open door set which would seem to indicate great opportunities for evangelism and outreach. Compare 1 Corinthians 16.9 where Paul writes about his work in Ephesus in these words:
A great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.
Interestingly the Lord says of the Philadelphian Church ‘ I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.’
And as a result they would see great things even among the Synagogue of Satan. Exactly what the Synagogue of Satan was we do not know but the Church here, by the grace of God was impacting their community – a great example of the truth expressed by Paul in 2 Corinthians 12.10
‘When I am weak, then I am strong’.
Do you feel weak and ill equipped for the task before you as an individual and within your church? Then take heart from Jesus’ gracious words to the Philadelphian Church that the doors of opportunity are under his control and when they are open step boldly through them.
The rewards for such service are great indeed v.11-12
A crown, a pillar in the temple of God for eternity, the name of the God written on them with the name of the new Jerusalem and my new name.
The exact meaning of some of these is obscure but they all ring with promise and hope and glory for such is the reward of those who weak as they may be devote themselves to the work of the gospel.
Hear what the Spirit says to the churches and take courage.