Tuesday, August 9, 2011
THE CHURCH AT PHILADELPHIA: THE PERSEVERING CHURCH
Reverend Kenny came back from a meeting exhausted. He had been the director for “Pastors Fellowship” for many years, planning and coordinating spiritual direction for hundreds of members all across the province. Hailed as the “leader of leaders”, yet he often humbled himself and carefully gave all glory to God. Never once did he boast about his own ability as he knew that everything was from God’s grace!
Lately, there were squabbles in the Fellowship in regards to moral issues. Some leaders had argued away some major principles of the Bible and became bitter towards him. They claimed to stand together with him and his biblical principles but acted very differently outside. He stood firm and endured bitter attacks both from within and without.
Famous for his no nonsense preaching, he implored all his members to suffer like Jesus if need be. His church grew in greater numbers as people saw the presence of God and the power of the Holy Spirit in his ministry. Many doors were open for him and his church to influence VIPs in government circle, even foreign ones. Due to envy from leaders of other faiths and also opposition groups, the pressure to bring him and the church down was immense. Many times Kenny wondered how he could survive such an onslaught if it wasn’t for God!
Kenny bowed before God knowing that whatever he did didn’t belong to him in the first place. It was all about his ultimate BOSS, God Himself! As tiredness began to bear a heavy burden upon him, he saw a bright light shining into his room.
A strong voice spoke….
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.*
He felt like his body being ‘electrocuted’ with strength from on high! Crying unashamedly, he sang softly and slowly, “I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back.”
*These verses are taken from Revelation 3:7-13.
Next: THE CHURCH AT LAODICEA: THE DECAYING CHURCH