“… 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 …”Revelation 3:7
The seven churches of Revelation are real, physical congregations when the Apostle John wrote this bewildering last book of the Bible around 95 AD.
The seven letters to the seven churches were laid out in chapters two and three in the Book of Revelation, containing prophecies of the last days, before the impending arrival of the New Heaven and the New Earth, going on into eternity. Much of this prophecy is shrouded in confusing description, and many theologians debate the extent of what is symbolic and what is literal in the visions described by John the Apostle.
Out of the seven churches, the church in Philadelphia is touted to have been the faithful church, and the group that appears to have experienced the least amount of wrath compared to the other six churches. Before I talk about the lesser fortunate churches, let me do this according to the trends of modern preachers; let me speak first what itching ears like to hear, what is good and what is favorable. Today, let’s talk about the characteristics of the faithful church.
The letter opens by clearly defining the faithful church as the one who possess the “key” of David. They are the ones having set before them “an opened door”. In Luke 11:52, Christ said, “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.” The faithful church is given the authority to preach the true Gospel of Christ and their given possession empower others to gain access to knowledge and truth. Because of these virtues, they themselves will enter and the faithful church will lead many into the kingdom of heaven. In their deeds, the faithful church does not the things that hinders people from true salvation.
The rest of the false churches, inspired by Satan’s works of lies and those who claim they are the brethren of Christ but is not, they shall in the last days leave their party of falsity, to come before the faithful church. They will join the faithful church because the people sees that the faithful church is loved by God, and they too wish to experience what it is like to be loved by God.
The most evidential characteristic of the faithful church is that they are the ones being kept from the hour of trial during the last days. When God surrenders the entire world to be tested before the final days of judgment, the faithful church are the people whom shall likely suffer no harm, no temptation nor are they being surrendered into the hands of evil.
The faithful church is further encouraged to hold fast and tight to their convictions, their rightful beliefs that leads them to the kingdom of heaven, and they are cautioned not to allow anyone take away the crown that is given them. They are known as the overcomers of the last days, the ones that will survive the tribulation not shattered.
The faithful church shall be made a pillar of God’s temple. They shall provide much needed support to the rest of God’s believers. They are a delight to God because they demonstrate true faithfulness, thus they are known as the faithful church.
Lastly, Christ hinted that He will write the name of God, the name of the kingdom of heaven and His new name into the hearts of the people of the faithful church. This is the covenant God will make with them. He will put His laws in their hearts and He will write them on their minds (Hebrews 10:16).
In Revelations 15, John saw the future of the faithful church. They are victorious over the beast, over his image, his mark and the number of his name. The faithful church sings the song of Moses as they declare justice and truth are God’s ways (Revelation 15:3). They also made known that they fear God (Revelation 15:4) and all nations shall come and worship God as the ultimate faithful church, like them.
The faithful church is one type of church that is difficult to find today.