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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Revelation 3:10

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.

For further study - Revelation 3:7-13

The passage for today's devotional is actually the letter to the church in Philadelphia, a church in full operation in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, during the life of John the Apostle who recorded Revelation.

The book of Revelation came from God to Jesus to an angel who gave it to John to write it down, Revelation 1:1. In Revelation 2 and 3 we have the letters to the Seven Churches in Asia Minor, churches that John had ministered in and had a relationship with over the years.

The church at Philadelphia was one of the two churches of the Seven Churches that received no condemnation from the Lord. The other was the church in Smyrna. It was hard to pick the church letter for our devotionals for today, however, this letter has such great promises to those of us who are Christians and are awaiting the coming of the Lord.

The Rapture of the Church is an event that happens before the terrible time of judgment in the future, the seven-year Tribulation Period. Notice our key verse, verse 10. The Lord promises to those of us who are saved that He will take us up to be with Him before the judgment starts.

The promise is, "I will keep you from, the judgment." He did not say that He would take us out of that time of judgment but He would "keep us from that time". This means that the Rapture of the Church comes before the Tribulation. That promise is worth the entire letter.

However, there is more in this letter to praise the Lord for. Notice verse 8. The Lord tells us that He has set an "open door" before us that no man can shut. He then reminds us that we are of "little strength". 

At the same time, He commends those in the church at Philadelphia and each of us, as well today, who have kept His word and have not denied His word.

I love the thought in verse 8, that we the "minority," those of little strength; as we stand on the "authority," the Word of God; we can reach the "majority," those people we come in contact with as we go through open doors that only He can shut.

Notice just one more great thought, verse 11. John exhorts us by quoting Jesus who says, He is coming "quickly." When the Rapture starts, it will be quick and therefore, we should live so that no one can take away the "crown" that the Lord will give us.

These are the crowns that we receive at the "Judgment Seat of Christ" for works we have done in His power and for His glory. We must not allow our relationship with any man to take away those crowns.

By the way, the text says "He is coming quickly." I know that it means, it goes quickly when it begins.

However, I do believe that His coming is closer than it has ever been and I live and believe that it will happen in my lifetime, and yours. Even so come Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you, Lord, for the open doors you give us to serve You and also for the promise to call us up to be with You before the terrible judgment comes to the earth.