Read Revelation 3:7-10
7 To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
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. 8 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. 9 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. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. (NIV)
So often it seems the church is on the losing side, retreating everywhere in the face of those who don’t want God to be involved in their lives and in the face of those governments who only pay lip service to the supremacy of God. That rather difficult last book of the Bible, Revelation, offers some consolation. In amongst all its complex apocalyptic imagery one message comes across: God will triumph over evil.
We get some idea of this in the message God gives to the church at Philadelphia. There is no great rebuke here, only an encouragement to keep going in the face of adversity. Interestingly, the opposition here is from ‘religious’ sources not pagan sources. Certain Jews were attacking these Christians.
God assures them that even if they are excluded from the synagogue, he offers them an open door to his own kingdom and family. No amount of opposition can prevent that. They may appear and feel weak, but they are in a strong position given God’s love for them. Those who oppose them will come to see the truth of this. And whatever hardships they may experience, God’s purposes for them will not be thwarted.
This is how it is in God’s scheme of things. The weak are really strong; the suffering are really loved; the losers are winners.