February 25, 2024

Be the Church

Revelation 3:11-13

“I will also write on them my new name.”

—  Revelation 3:12

The church in Philadelphia was going to be rebranded, receiving a new name. They had been given an open door that no one could shut; they were recognized as true citizens of the kingdom of God. People who tried to discourage and persecute them would recognize that the love of God was directed toward all who believed in Jesus as Savior and Messiah. The resurrected Jesus was now the way to full life through faith.

The Philadelphia church would also be protected by Jesus through a time of great trial. And Jesus does not say he would take them out of the trial but would protect them through it.

As they held on to Jesus’ promises, the Philadelphia church would become like “a pillar in the temple of God,” a permanent part of God’s presence in the world. On them would be written the name of God, the name of the new Jerusalem, God’s city, and Jesus’ new name (this may refer to Revelation 19:11-16). They would be rebranded to show that they belonged to God through faith in Jesus Christ.

“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says.” Childlike faith and perseverance in the name of the One “who is holy and true,” even through persecution, will result in citizenship in the eternal kingdom of God.

Loving God, may we trust in you for all things, at all times, in every way. Strengthen our resolve to be your family. Amen.

About the author — Evan Heerema

Evan Heerema is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington state and in Michigan. He was also on the teaching staff at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for ten years. He and his wife are the parents of two daughters and the grandparents of two grandsons.

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