The letter to the church in Philadelphia contains no rebuke. Jesus commended them for their deeds, for having a little power, for keeping His word, and for not denying His name. He told them He had put before them an open door which no one can shut. And then He gave the most wonderful promise, to the believers in Philadelphia, and to believers today! 🙂
“‘Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.'” ~Revelation 3:10
I will keep you from. The Greek word used here for keep is “tereo”, which means to guard. I will keep you from. The Greek word used here for from is “ek”, which means out of, away from. Jesus is going to guard us and take us out of and away from the trials and temptations that are coming upon the whole world.
I know this is a touchy debate among Christians, but I believe we will be raptured before the Tribulation. Jesus already paid the price for our sins, and we have accepted this gift of salvation, so there is no need for us to be tested and tried and to endure the wrath of God being poured upon the earth. We have been granted grace and mercy and forgiveness. The Bible clearly states that the Church age will be over and believers safely in the presence of God before the Tribulation begins (see the above passage and Revelation 4). Jesus refers to it as testing, because it will be a test to see if anyone on the earth yet desires to choose Jesus before the final judgment. God’s heart’s desire is that every man would choose His forgiveness and grace and mercy. He will continue to give opportunity for this until Jesus’ second coming, at the end of the Tribulation.
“‘to test those who dwell upon the earth.'” The Greek word used here for dwell is “katoikeo”, which means to settle, inhabit. Another clue that believers will not be here for the Tribulation. We are not to settle down and get comfortable here. We know this is not our home, it is a temporary place. We were created to live with God. And our desire should be to be in the world, but not of it.
“‘I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon 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 My new name.'” ~Revelation 3:11-12
“‘I am coming quickly.'” Let’s be expecting Jesus at any time! “‘Hold fast what you have'”- keep having faith and serving Him, so that He will be well-pleased with our deeds. We are promised a permanent place in heaven with God, with His name upon us, and we will not ever leave His presence. 🙂
I am so excited to see Jesus and to join Him in heaven, forever singing His praises and experiencing His love and joy and peace! Who’s with me? 🙂