“Vindications” – Revelation 3:7-13

Hence, the true people of God, the faithful bride of Christ, would be vindicated. The Lord symbolically describes this vindication in v. 9, “Behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.” While the monoliths of Jewish identity and religion would be utterly destroyed: Jerusalem; the Temple; the whole nation annihilated in war, leading to death and slavery of its populace … while these foundations of Judaism would be obliterated, God’s true people would be made evident by the security afforded them by the Lord’s love. Secure in Christ’s grace and peace (no matter the troubles of the world), the love of the Lord for his people would be plain to see. Perhaps it would be as Paul hoped in Rom. 11:14, that the Jews would be made “jealous,” and thus some of them would believe and be saved.

And so, Christ’s call (v. 11) is to “Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” In the strength, power, and love of Christ, his people would hold fast in the midst of persecution and the troubles of the world. They would patiently endure to the end, faithfully living according to his word, his gospel, openly confessing his name. The promise to the faithful is a victor’s crown and, as we’ve seen, so much more.

My friends, the Lord has put a door before you. Through Jesus you enter that door, into the Messianic Kingdom, receiving eternal security and an eternal identity in the Lord. Trust in Jesus and follow him on the path of faith. He’s right here before you now. Do you trust in him?

Brothers and sisters, let us not fall to the pressures of the world and suppress the name of Jesus. If you are a true believer, his name is upon you—your identity is grounded in him. Let us thus proclaim his name with our very lives, boldly professing the name of Jesus to his glory, in both word and in deed. Let us stand fast in his mighty power, holding fast to what he has given us. And may it be that the world will see his love displayed in us and be drawn to him by our faithful confession of his name.

The morning after John Cooper, of Skillet, was challenged to stop talking about Jesus in order to make it big, he discussed it with his wife, Korey. John says, “By noon that day, my decision was made. I could not stop talking about Jesus. I could not stop telling the truth.”

And while Skillet has, since then, sold more than 12 million albums and has toured the world, the band’s success is not on what John dwells.[8] As a consequence of his decision, he does not find his treasure in his success in the music industry. He says this:

“I wonder what my life would be like had I taken his advice. I may have had an even more successful music career. But what would it have cost me? Would I still be married? Would I have raised two young adults who are living for the glory of God? Would I have enjoyed the treasures of the world at the expense of having no treasure in heaven? Even worse, would I have joined the ever-increasing group of ex-Christians who have devolved so far from their faith that it can no longer be recognized as Christianity?”

He goes on to say,

“Considering my decision all those years ago, I was reminded of the words of Jesus: “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33). In that moment, I decided I would not deny Christ. Nor would I be ashamed of Him. Not then. Not ever.”[9]

I hope we can say the same my friends.

If you are a true believer, the Lord Jesus has placed his name upon you. Proclaim the name of Jesus. Live it. Rejoice in it. Never be ashamed.Keep his Word. Hold fast to his promises—safe in his Kingdom, his protection, and your identity in him. Because Jesus loves his people, we must hold fast to the Lord.

 


[1] John L. Cooper, Awake & Alive to Truth (USA: johnlcooper.com, 2021), 7-8.

[2] Cf. Colin J. Hemer, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia in Their Local Setting (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.; Livonia, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Dove Booksellers, 2001), 155. Hemer relates two incidents “of special interest” concerning the two brothers. First, a false rumor of Eumenes’ assassination in Greece once led Attalus to accept the crown, but he relinquished the crown when his brother returned from Greece quite alive (versus fighting to keep it). Second, Attalus steadily resisted Rome’s encouragement for him to overthrow his brother to become king, when suspicion came against Eumenes of corresponding with Rome’s enemy. Under repeated pressures by Rome for him to overthrow his brother, Attalus continued to resist. He was loyal. It was only after Eumenes death that Attalus succeeded him in rule. Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997), 99, explains that Philadelphia likely founded “on the site of some earlier settlement.”.