And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie— indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. 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 out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3. 7-13
The church we all want to be. On this Good Friday, we remember the handful of faithful followers who continued with Jesus even to the foot of the cross. Oh, how we like to imagine that would be us. For those who haven’t concluded that everyone who came before us was a reprobate unworthy of our awesomeness, that’s how it is with studying history. We like to think we would take the bullet, hide the Jews, transport escaped slaves, stand up to the Hammer and Sickle in Poland, climb up onto our own cross next to Jesus. Sad fact is, however, that most are like the other disciples who either run for their lives or betray Jesus. That’s how evil triumphs. Not because good men do nothing. But because good men invariably do the wrong thing.
Nonetheless, here we have a church that has received one long chorus of praise and adoration. Two thousand years later it seems His promise to come quickly is a bit overstated, but this is from an eternal perspective after all. It still stands today. It could be tomorrow, today, or before I finish this post. As the great trials are coming, and have already arrived, remember the constant theme: stand fast and know of God’s grace, love and protection. Compromise, and that’s when you get the wrath side of the Eternal.