The Church in Philadelphia: 3 Important Examples to Follow

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There are different churches in the Bible. Comparing churches is unwise since not all have the same circumstances. We can learn valuable lessons from a model church like the Philadelphia church.

Not all churches have the same circumstances, but all churches have the same purpose. To exalt the Savior, evangelize sinners, and equip the saints. Even though the church in Philadelphia was small, it fulfilled its purpose.

Therefore, not because it’s a big church does not mean it’s good. And not because it’s a small church does not mean that it’s a lousy church because there are big churches that are not fulfilling their purpose. On the other hand, small churches are fulfilling their purpose.

It is wise to have a model church that we can strive to imitate. Of course, we don’t like to be the church in Thyatira wherein a woman has taken control of the congregation, the church in Sardis, or even the Laodicean church.

We need to be like the church in Philadelphia, that although it was a small church, it’s only one of the two churches aside from the church in Smyrna whom the Lord Jesus Christ did not rebuke to repent.

The church in Philadelphia followed the will of God.

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

Our service to God must still depend on His will, just like when Paul wanted to preach the gospel in Asia, which was the right thing to do. However, the Holy Spirit forbade them because God had a better plan for Paul (Acts 16:6.) Therefore, our service to God must always depend on the will of God.

The opportunity was dependent on Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ opened the door of opportunity for the church in Philadelphia to minister. So when we see an open door or a chance to serve God, we must take that opportunity. Also, we must not be fearful since Christ opens a door, and He’s the only one who can shut it.

And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

Acts 14:27

Notice how God opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. The early church took this opportunity to spread the gospel to the Gentiles. Though there were many oppositions to spreading the gospel, the church overcame them because what God had opened, no man can shut.

Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

1 Thessalonians 2:18

The devil cannot shut the doors God has opened. But he can hinder us from taking the opportunity that God gave us. The devil always uses other people to oppose the work of the Lord, just like what Paul and his companions had experienced. And indeed, the church in Philadelphia experienced it as well. But Christ also promised that He would be the one to conquer the enemies of the gospel.

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Revelation 3:9

The church in Philadelphia was faithful to the Word of God.

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

For a church to be on the right track, it must be faithful to the Word of God. Many churches in our generation are no longer applying this truth. And this is why there’s apostasy and a collapse of morality within the church nowadays.

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

Acts 20:27

Therefore, pastors and preachers need to teach the whole counsel of God to the people of God, just like what Paul had done to the church at Ephesus. Notice it is the preacher’s choice whether he will declare the whole gospel of God or not. Paul said that he did not avoid (shun) the responsibility to declare the whole counsel of God.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:20

Christ gave the Great Commission to the church. Therefore, the church’s responsible for evangelizing sinners and edifying the saints. The church can only accomplish those responsibilities by staying faithful to the Word of God.

The church in Philadelphia fulfilled the work of God.

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

Although it has a little strength, the church in Philadelphia has not denied the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It means they were out spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We deny the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by keeping the gospel hidden. And when we declare the gospel, it means we do not deny the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, doing the Work of God does not depend on the number of members or the resources of a church. As we have read, the church in Philadelphia had little strength. Doing the work of God depends on our willingness to do it. Because even if a church has a significant number of members and a lot of resources, if they don’t want to do the work of God, then they won’t do it.

The church in Philadelphia had the willingness to do the work of God. They might have a few members and a limited amount of resources. Some people persecuted them. But these things did not stop the Philadelphia church from fulfilling God’s work.

The church in Philadelphia is a model for every church, whether small or big.

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