The Church at Philadelphia
November 13, 1994
Today, we will examine the sixth church in our Lord's letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor.
The church at Philadelphia has a name that is familiar to us. Philadelphia actually means the "City of Brotherly Love." Out of all seven churches, this is the church I would want to be a part of. The Lord Jesus had nothing but praise for this congregation. They had their doctrine straight, ministry activated, and lifestyle in order.
If you have only doctrine, it is legalism. If you have only love, it is humanism. If you have doctrine and love present, it is ministry.
In this passage, Christ promises "an open door" of opportunity!
The city of Philadelphia was geographically located where three great countries joined together--Mysia, Lydia and Phrygia. It was for this reason that Attalus II founded the city to be a missionary city, hellenizing the culture. Hellenizing is spreading the Greek way of life through language, culture, literature and the traditional Greek way of life.
Keep in mind these churches represent the periods of Christian history:
1. The Ephesian Church equates to the Apostolic Age, the churches of Peter, Paul, James and John.
2. The Smyrna Church -- martyrdom, trial and persecution.
3. The Pergamum Church -- when the church married the Roman government.
4. Thyratira Church represents Roman Catholism.
5. Sardis represents the Reformation Period of Martin Luther.
The Philadelphian Church represents the great "Faith Missionary Movement" from 1750 to the Rapture, which spawned David Livingston, Hudson Taylor, John Wesley,George Whitfield, Charles Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, Adoniram Judson, Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong, Jonathan Go Forth and William Carey. This was and is a time of great spiritual awakenin ...
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