I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name[Revelation 3:8]
The church at Philadelphia proved to be faithful in the face of persecution and pagan idolatry, and followers of Jesus can learn much from its example today.
Once again, proponents of the pre-tribulation rapture use Jesus’ words to the church at Philadelphia as a proof text to support their view — particularly Revelation 3:10.
Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.[Revelation 3:10]
What does this promise mean?
When we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, we learn that John recorded an identical promise from the words of Jesus in John 17. This passage provides the answer to what Jesus intends to communicate to us. Consider how John uses identical language in both passages.
I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.[John 17:14-15]
Jesus clearly prays for His devoted followers to faithfully endure suffering and persecution, not that we are taken out of this world but rather that we are kept in His loving care through promised tribulation [see also John 16:33].
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