What is the Meaning of Revelation 3.7-13 Part 2

“Christ’s Message to Philadelphia Part 2”

Revelation 3:7-13

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Revelation 3.7-13 Part 2

Revelation 3. Rob Sloan, 31, completed the 26.2 miles for the UK Kielder Marathon in 2:51:00, not bad; he got a medal for third place. However, there was a problem. There were some witnesses who saw him hide behind some trees until the first- and second-place runners passed him. Sloan … still claimed his medal. “I’m upset and angry that someone wants to cast these aspersions. It’s laughable, is what it is,” he said.

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The facts soon started to come out. After the marathon organizers investigated, he finally admitted to taking a bus after completing the first 20 miles. The reason why he cheated? He said, “I was tired.”[1]

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Now, the Christian life is compared to a race in Scripture… and I think … some of those who profess Christ get tired and quit the race all together. Thankfully the Christians in Philadelphia didn’t quit, they didn’t stop, even though they got tired, they kept on….

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  • They kept Jesus word
  • They did not deny His name
  • They kept the word of His patience=endurance

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trusting in Christ; they persevered and endured. And that’s the big idea, they kept on trusting Christ.

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That’s an exhortation to the Philadelphian church as well as anyone who has an ear…

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Revelation 3:7–13 7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 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. 9 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. 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. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

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TRANS: Last time we said that Christ has the right to give these promises because of who He is and because of what He possesses. Verse 7, He is: holy and true; what He possesses: key of David.

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Today, “Reward????? for those who Persevere.” You can see it in verse 8, hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name…. verse 10… Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, v.11… hold that fast which thou hast…and the many promises throughout, thus today’s is about “Reward????? for those who Persevere.” We’ll get through verse 10 today.

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NEED: Now, you need to keep on trusting Christ and demonstrate that you are a follower of Christ. It’s one thing to claim you’re a donut, but it’s quite another to prove it. Unlike what seems to be going on today, you can’t self-identify as a Christian without the life that backs it up. According to Scripture, other Christians in the church have a say in whether or not they think you’re a Christian. If you live in sin, Christians in the church have the authority from Scripture to conclude that you are not a Christian.

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One way to prove you’re a Christian is by perseverance, that is, that you keep on trusting in Christ and living for Christ to the very end and in the face of great difficulty!

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  1. Reward for Perseverance (3:8,9-10): Included in Kingdom, Vindicated before Enemies, Delivered from Trial

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Now, for those who keep on trusting Christ as a true follower of Christ, there are 3 rewards. You could think of these words as 3 hooks …included, vindicated, preserved.

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  1. Included in the Kingdom (v.8):

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Revelation 3:8 8 I know thy works: … then this next statement that’s kind of like in a parentheses …behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it:

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EXP: included in the Kingdom. If someone opens the door for you, what’s the point? You’re supposed to walk through it! You’re included! Come in!

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ILL: This reminds me of opening doors for the young ladies at Bob Jones.

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At the library, there were two sets of double doors to enter the library. I remember there was this one girl who would always wait for the guy to open both sets of library doors. I would open the outside door for her… and then she would go through the door, take two steps, and wait at the next set of doors until I got there and when I got there, I would open that door for her also.

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On the opposite extreme, there was my wife, Ruth, … this is an approved illustration btw…. she would open doors for the young men… why you may ask? “ why did you do that I asked her yesterday.” Her Answer: “To watch them squirm!” … …I’m sure that threw a bunch of guys off…And she got married anyway!

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EXP: Similar to that, the Lord Jesus has set before His people an open door. An open door to what? An open door to whatever the key of David (in the previous verse) opens. The context has a key in it; that would leads us to conclude that the key opens the door. Jesus unlocks the door and sets before His people an open door.

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Revelation 3:7 7 … These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; …

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Verse 8, “I have put before you an open door.” Clearly, Jesus took His key of David and opened the door… now to what does that door     ?

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To the kingdom of David… David’s key opens David’s kingdom … which is the everlasting kingdom, and it starts in the Millennium. Jesus has swung the door open to the Millennial kingdom and beckons His people to enter!

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As we discussed last week, in the Millennium, the 1000-year reign of Christ on this earth, the wolf will lay down with the lamb and the leopard will lay down with the young goat and a little child will lead them, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea, when somebody dies at 100 years old, they will be considered a child… So human lifespan will be greatly increased… Christ will be ruling in Jerusalem and there will be a rebuilt Temple…

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But also from Isaiah chapter 35, the physical landscape will be greatly altered. The desert will blossom and the glory of the Lord will actually be visible in some way… likely, with Christ on earth doing miracles.

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Isaiah 35:2 2 [the desert] shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.

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Blind and deaf will be healed and the scorched land will have water… And there will actually be a highway there, a roadway in it, that will be called the highway of holiness and the redeemed will come to Zion, Jerusalem, on that highway! That’s Isaiah 35.

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There are numerous details of the millennium with which we’re unfamiliar. For example, Ezekiel 47 says that in Jerusalem there will be a Temple. And from that Temple will flow a river. And in the river there will be fish. And there will be fishermen by that river fishing that river!

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And the Lord Jesus is saying that He has given His people an open door into the Millennial Kingdom. He’s taken the key of David and He’s swung the door wide open in front of us and we are to enter into it!

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Revelation 3:8 8 …behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it…

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Glory to God! What does it matter what I have upon this earth for the few years that I live … houses, lands, wealth, riches, honor or a lack thereof… for in that land I’ll be greatly blessed of God for a thousand years and beyond!

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APP: If you’re trusting Christ this morning, this promise is for you. If you’ve taken up your cross and have died to self and are following the Lord Jesus, truly following him, you are included in the millennial kingdom. He has set before you an open door and one day by his grace you will enter into it. You will either walk the veil with him or you will meet him in the air!

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TRANS: The reward for perseverance, continuing to trust Christ as all Christians will… the reward is to be included in the eternal kingdom. And the second reward for the believer is vindication…

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  1. Vindicated Before Enemies: Praise from enemies (3:9)

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Revelation 3:9 9 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.

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We saw this language before in Christ’s letter to Smyrna, in Revelation 2:9.

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Revelation 2:9 9 … [toward the end…] I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

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False Jews Described

And our passage also says that they are Jews but are not. They were biological Jews, that was not at issue. But the fact is they weren’t truly “Jews” … Spiritual Jews in their heart of hearts.

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As Paul says in…

Galatians 3:7 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

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True children of Abraham, true Jews are of faith… Faith in Jesus Christ.

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And so Jesus could say of the Gentile Zacchaeus…

Luke 19:9 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

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A Gentile is a son of Abraham? How? Spiritually!

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So a Jew in our passage is one who is a Jew inwardly, from the heart. Since they rejected Jesus as the Messiah, they are not true Jews, they are a synagogue of Satan.

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And so Jesus can say of Jews who were discrediting his ministry while He was on earth…

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John 8:44 44 Ye are of your father the devil, ….

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TRANS: Now, Jesus promises something to His followers concerning these false Jews…

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False Jews Will Worship Jesus at the Christians’ Feet

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Look at it, end of verse 9… “I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”

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Jesus promises that these false Jews will come and worship before the Christians feet. They will not worship Christians, but will worship before their feet. They will worship Christ at the foot of the very people that they have persecuted. In other words, Christ will vindicate his people and will bring justice on those persecutors. He will show that the Christians are in the right and that Christians worship truly, not like those false Jews who are of a synagogue of Satan.

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Now, how will Christ work it so that these false Jews will come to worship Christ? One of two ways: either by constraint or by conversion.

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Conversion

It could be that they come to Christ willingly, when they recognize from their Old Testaments that Jesus truly is the Messiah. And they see with Spirit-empowered eyes how Christ fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies. Then they cry out like the sinful tax collector, “God, be merciful to me the sinner.”

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TRANS: So they could worship Jesus before the Christians feet because they are truly converted to Christ.

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Constraint

Some, at least, though, will worship Christ out of constraint.

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Philippians 2:9–11 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him [Jesus], and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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There is coming a day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Some willingly, but some unwillingly, by constraint.

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The Lord promises in…
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Zechariah 12:10 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

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They will bitterly bow the knee to Christ, weeping and wailing for having missed their opportunity to willingly pay homage to the Son.

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Ev’ry eye shall now behold Him
Robed in dreadful majesty and Those who set at naught and sold Him,
Pierced and nailed Him to the tree,
Deeply wailing, Deeply wailing,
Shall the true Messiah see.

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APP: Don’t let your opportunity pass by either! If you claim to be a Christian, but you love what the world loves and there is really no difference between you and those who are on their way to hell [except you say you’re a Christian but other than that… ], don’t be deceived. Don’t let him pass by…

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Cry to him… “While on others thou art calling, do not pass me by.”

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TRANS: The third promise is delivered. So we have been included in the kingdom, vindicated before enemies, and now delivered. Delivered from the hour of trial.

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  1. Delivered from Hour of Trial: Kept from hour (3:10)

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Revelation 3:10 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.

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The reward fits the deed. You keep his word of patience, he will keep you from a certain hour. The reward fits the deed. What deed did they do?

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The Deed

And the Christians in Philadelphia have kept the word of Jesus’ patience. Patience has the idea of perseverance or endurance. They have kept the word of Jesus’ perseverance. That is, they have persevered. They have kept on trusting in Jesus in the face of opposition. And that’s really not even a deed or a good work; it’s a characteristic of true believers.

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ILL: it is not a good work for an apple tree to produce apples. It is the characteristic of that tree. If the tree never produced apples, you would wonder if it is truly an apple tree.

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Christians persevere; that is the characteristic of Christians. They keep on trusting in Christ to the end.

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And we need to persevere in our faith in Jesus and live for Him because there is coming a time when…

Matthew 24:12–13 12 … iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

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APP: And that could very well describe our age, although it describes a future time. Church attendance all over Western culture is dramatically decreasing. Bible reading is down, prayer meeting attendance is down, the love of many has grown cold! The things of this life have take priority over Christ and His church. And you wonder, as Christ did, “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

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Trust Christ each day; do His will, not yours.

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TRANS: Now, the reward fits the deed done. So what’s the reward for that deed of keeping on trusting in Jesus?

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Revelation 3:10 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.

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If you’ve kept His word and kept on trusting in Jesus, Jesus also will… “keep thee from the hour of temptation”

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  1. The hour of temptation described 4 ways

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Now, what is this hour of temptation? Well notice, it is described in four ways.

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So this is kind of like a puzzle … what is this verse talking about…let’s get the puzzle pieces together…

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The first description is… that it is a time period.

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The Hour of Trial is a Time Period

Notice, it is the hour of temptation. It has reference to a period of time in which there will be “temptation.” The word hour refers here to an indeterminate period of time. But it is a time period.

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It is a time of temptation

Notice secondly that it is the hour of temptation. The word temptation has reference to a trial or a test. It is a time of great pressure and testing.

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Spatially, it is universal

Notice thirdly that it will come upon the whole world. Spatially, it is universal.

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Purpose: It will test earth dwellers

Fourthly, note the purpose: this hour of trial will test those who dwell on the earth. Now the phrase “to dwell on the earth” may seem like it includes everybody who’s living on earth. But the book of Revelation specifically uses that phrase for those on earth at this time who have rebelled against him.

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ARG: Those who dwell on the earth are those who killed Christians (Revelation 6:10) they are they who will celebrate over having killed the two witnesses in Revelation 11. “Those who dwell on the earth” are they who worship the beast and whose names are not written in the book of the life of the Lamb (Revelation 13:8).

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Now, what is this referring to? What is this talking about… There is a time period coming and it will be a test and this time of testing will come upon the whole world to test lost people who have rejected Christ and worshiped the beast.

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Clearly, this is talking about the seven-year tribulation period that is discussed in Revelation chapters 6-19. And this is a promise, not just to those in the Philadelphian church but even to every Christian in this age… Even to us and to any Christian who would live just before the tribulation. As every letter has said “he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

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TRANS: So what is the promise exactly to Christians with reference to this time of testing that will come on all the world?

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  1. The promise described
    1. Jesus will keep them

Look at it again…

Revelation 3:10 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.

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Jesus promises to keep his believers from that hour. And a debate rages on over the meaning of to “keep from.”

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  1. Jesus will keep them from the time of testing

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We are not going to get into the technicalities of the debate, but suffice it to say that all translations agree that this is the proper translation. He will keep us from that hour.

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And that the only way to keep something from an hour, from the time period is to be removed from time itself.

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It is a worldwide trial, it is universal. It hasn’t happened yet. There has not yet been a worldwide trial of this sort. Jesus’ promise is that Christians will be kept from a time period. The only other way to be kept from the time period is to be removed from time itself before the trial begins.

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How will Christians then be removed from the time period of the trial before the trial begins?

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The Philadelpian Christians were kept from that time period through death. The only other answer to that is through the pre-tribulation rapture, when Christ comes back in the clouds and resurrects His people and raptures, or catches up those who are alive at that time just before the tribulation begins. The next prophetic event is described in 1 Thessalonians 4… And it is a comfort to anyone who has lost a Christian loved one.

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1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

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Anyone who has lost a Christian loved one should meditate long on and pray over this passage to develop in the heart the Christian hope, the confidence of seeing their Christian loved one again.

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APP: Could it be that when Christ returns to rapture His church, that there will be people who self-identified as Christians, that they thought they were persevering in the faith, but actually no … it’s clear, their life does not back up their claim … they are left behind to experience the wrath of God upon the earth? Of course, it could happen.

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Follow Christ, listen to His words, plan your life around what He says, and do His will.

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TRANS: Christ is coming again! And when He comes, He will come quickly! And that’s what he says next in verse 11… which we’ll get to next time.

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Revelation 3.7-13 Part 2

But let us ponder our own spiritual condition before Him. Would you jump off a cliff into the arms of Jesus? Would you gladly leave the shadow of this world and all its empty lusts in order to find the true substance, the true treasure in Christ’s kingdom? Do you know what it is to feel within yourself that you have died to this world and to sin and do you believe that to truly live is to live for Christ? By the grace of God, could anything persuade to leave Christ for the emptiness of this world… the broken and faulty relationships, the rust eaten riches, the ill health… what is there, really, that is worth living for on this earth when it is so subjected to the curse? Plus, you can never take any of it with you!

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Persevere in faith in Christ… lose your life for the Christ’s sake and the gospel’s…serve the Lord with all your heart all your days until death or until he takes you up to be with himself forever.

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  1. https://newsfeed.time.com/2011/10/12/marathon-runner-admits-to-taking-a-bus-to-the-finish-line/

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