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Philadelphia: The Enduring Church

July 27, 2021 Speaker: Noah Hartmetz Series: Revelation

Scripture: Revelation 3:7–13

1A. (7) Authority

1B. The Holy One (see Isa 6:3)

2B. The Genuine One

“Christ is true to His word and can be trusted to keep His promises. His reliability derives from His being the genuine Messiah who can be relied upon.” – Robert Thomas

3B. The Davidic One (see Isa 22:22)

2A. (8) Security

1B. Access to God secured

“Christ’s own divine authority guarantees that their access will never be taken away.” – Buist Fanning

2B. Reasons: Overall, God’s strength must supply what they lack in their own spiritual resources (see 1 Cor 1:26-29; 2 Cor 12:9-10; Phil 4:13)

1C. Little power

2C. Faithful to Jesus’ word

3C. Faithful to Jesus’ name

“Consistent Christian obedience and loyalty despite human weakness” – Buist Fanning

3A. (9) Vindication

1B. Their enemies (see Rev 2:9; Rom 2:28-29)

“In their opposition to the gospel they were actually allied with God’s enemy, Satan.” – Buist Fanning

2B. The future reversal (see Isa 43:4; 45:14; 49:23; 60:14)

4A. (10) Protection

1B. Reason for protection: They kept Jesus’ word about endurance (see Luke 8:15; 21:19; 1 Tim 6:11; Titus 2:2; Heb 10:36; 12:1; 2 Pet 1:6; James 1:3-4)

2B. Assurance of protection: Jesus will keep them from the hour of testing

  • General trials and testing (see Acts 14:22; 1 Pet 4:12-18; John 17:15)

  • Intense trials of final period (see Matt 24:21, 29; Mark 13:19; Rev 7:14; Jer 30:7; Dan 12:1)

    • “Clearly some followers of Christ will suffer terribly in the judgments of this final intense period. E.g., the great multitude before God’s throne in Rev 7:14 are the blessed dead who have come “from the great tribulation,” and they seem to be identified with… the martyrs slain because of their witness for Christ who cry out for vindication in 6:9-11. These seem to have suffered earth during the outpouring of divine wrath signified by the six seals (cf. 6:16-17). So it is difficult to argue… that 3:10 promises preservation “in the midst of” or “through” the cataclysmic judgments rather than exemption from them. At best this would mean “protecting” them so that they die faithfully in these trials rather than denying their Lord.” – Buist Fanning

  • Exemption from the hour (see 2 Pet 2:6-9; 1 Thess 4:16-17)

3B. Specifics about protection from the hour

  • “the hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” → not merely general trials and tests, but specific tests that are yet future to the time of writing

  • “Earth-dwellers” see Rev 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14; 14:6; 17:2, 8

5A. (11) Exhortation

1B. Promise: “I come quickly”

2B. Hold fast (see v. 8c; continue to be faithful to Christ; Matt 10:22; 24:13; Col 1:22-23)

3B. Purpose: “so that no one takes your crown” (see 2 Tim 4:8; 2 John 8)

6A. (12) To the Overcomer

1B. Pillar in the temple

2B. Always present with God (see Rev 22:15)

3B. “Write on him” → Ownership (God’s name), Relationship (City’s name), Vindication (Jesus’ new name)

7A. (13) Listen all you churches

“Here it is significant to note that what is promised to the Christians in Philadelphia (3:10) is addressed more broadly to the other churches in Asia Minor as well as those in other places and times down to the present day.” – Buist Fanning


  • Verse 8—Develop a theology of getting fired

  • Verse 9—Trust that Jesus will vindicate

  • Verses 10-11—Eternal security set side-by-side with perseverance (Col 1:22-23; 1 John 2:19)