Twenty-eight miles south-east of Sardis lay the city of Philadelphia; so named after Attalus Philadelphus, the king of Pergamos who founded it in the second century BC. Its name means “brotherly love and is a fitting name for a Church that would later be born in that city! Its natural geography served well to illustrate the robustness of this Church in bearing up under trial. Subject to frequent earthquakes, being laid waste by one just less than a century before this epistle was written, this hardy city bounced back with a greater vibrancy than before! If there was one name that best describes the Church in Philadelphia it would be the word “faithful”. As a Church, they had remained faithful during trial and persecution and had persevered despite having little strength and had not denied Christ’s name. For this they were praised by the Saviour!
This sermon is an exhortation to Christians to bear up under trial and to do so keeping their eyes steadfast on the One who reveals Himself as holy and true! Many Christians under trial and difficulty often ask the question why? Many grow cold and bitter towards God through offence. If God is God, why does He not answer my prayers? Yet for the Christian under trial, they must never forget the goodness and trustworthiness of a sovereign God who keeps covenant with His children! Be of good cheer dear Saint and keep your eyes on Jesus. Say not I have no strength, for His strength is made perfect in your weakness!!