Arbor Road Church Service – May 17 2020 10:00am

Good morning and welcome back to
fellowship with us at Arbor Road Church. If we haven’t met my name is Tony
Landini and I serve here as the high school pastor at ARC. Thanks for
letting us into your home today, we’re grateful to be worshipping with you and
yours this morning. The different events from
the past couple of weeks have brought out so many different emotions in each
of us. Frustration, shock, sadness to name a few.
Many are struggling to find hope because of a friend or family member that is
sick. Many are struggling to make sense of the
loss of work or finances or what have you. On top of everything, all of us are
troubled by the details that have come to light concerning
the senseless killing of a young man named Ahmad Arbury in Brunswick,
Georgia back in late February. These troubling things, and so many others
remind us of the chaos that we live in. They represent the fallenness of
humanity. They represent the frailty and the brevity of life. And they scream out
the absolute need that we all have to know God and to make him known. The fact
is, Jesus is the answer. He is the answer for the world today, and will remain the
answer for the world tomorrow. Our prayer is that he’s using you to bring His Good
News to the people in your sphere of influence. Let’s allow God to work in and
through us as we seek to stay faithful to Him. As we move into this time
together, let’s once again go before the Lord and pray for his blessing over our
scattered together church, and for His much needed leadership and wisdom for
our country and our world as they navigate these difficult times. Father, we
come before You humbly once again seeking your leadership in our lives.
God would you meet us where we’re at right now in this moment no matter what
we’re carrying, whether that be fear, frustration, anger. And God would you
remind us that you, you take it all, that we can hand it just over to You. And God
in that I pray that as we seek to be faithful to you even today that you
would remind us that you are far more faithful than we could ever be, and
because of that there is hope in Your name because you seek us out and You
love us. We thank you for that this morning. We love you and pray these
things in Jesus name, Amen. Well good morning Arbor Road! I am so
thankful that we can still worship together. So turn up your volume and
let’s sing out loud and lift these songs to our God who saves. Let’s worship
together. As we continue to worship today, in the
midst of a season of waiting, may we find rest in Jesus and abide in his love
today. Welcome! Hello! Welcome to Arbor Road! You are so
excited to be watching us? I mean that’s inferring something but I hope so. We’re
excited to be in church with you this morning!
Honestly we’re excited to see each other’s faces and we can’t wait to see
yours. Actually this is a time in our service
that I personally really love, and that’s our meet and greet time. And when we were
all together we would get out of our seats, we’d give each other hugs and
high-fives, that sort of thing. And I’m just really missing that myself this
morning. So hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you grab your cell phone? That
person, think of that person that you normally greet on a Sunday morning that
you haven’t seen in a while, pick up your phone and why don’t you
text them? Text them some words of encouragement. And while you’re doing
that I want to share this encouragement with you. It’s from Philippians 4:19. “My
God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ
Jesus.” What a great reminder that God will meet our needs not just adequately,
but abundantly! That is so encouraging to me. And just know that we may not be in
the same room, but we are together. I love that Michelle! A verse that’s been
sticking out to me comes from Matthew 11. It says, “Come to me all who are
burdensome and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” I love that about Jesus,
that we can come to him with our burdens and he gives us the rest. He has this
peace about his presence that is incredible. You know there’s so many ways
to give encouragement out there, and I need encouragement too. Something that I
got this week was from Hebrews 13:16. “Do not neglect to do good, to share what you
have, for sacrifices are pleasing to God.” And it seems like there’s just not much
that we can be doing and serving. And I sent out a little note
to our serving team, our Guest Services team and I got some great responses back.
And one of them put it really well, a little piece from Beauty and the Beast.
“Life is so unnerving for a servant who’s not serving.” I think this would be
better if you sang it. I’m just gonna throw that out there. Yeah! C’mon Jacob! Nope, not gonna happen. That’s all you get. Total non-starter. Okay, well,
speaking of rebuke, I’ve been reading in James, and in James chapter one at verse
one, right at the start it says, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus
Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations, greetings!”
We are scattered in different homes, and yet I just, also, just greet you this
morning. And I love where it goes right into that. You’re scattered, “but consider
it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” And I
believe that God is producing perseverance in His people in Arbor Road. I’m confident in that, and He is going to get glory through that. And it will
ultimately be for our good. So with so many unknowns and so many questions we
know God is on the throne. He will not waste this situation. We are scattered
but we’re facing trials, he’s producing perseverance. Let’s pray at this time in
our service. Jesus, I thank you so much that you know exactly the needs of Your
people. I thank you that our burdens can be traded. You will take them Lord. You’re
a good God. I thank you for all of the servants that are serving now in so many
different ways, and I just thank you for those that are even feeling frustrated
this morning, that they just miss the ways that they normally use their gifts
and serve. Lord would you meet them this morning.
God, thank you that you are using this time in the life of your church, in the
life of every individual. Lord, receive our offering of praise. We love you. We
can’t wait to be back together. We love You. Amen. So as we dive into some worship I’m
really hopeful that Jacobs gonna sing. You wouldn’t sing Beauty and the Beast,
but will you sing praises to Jesus? Oh I do! But it’s not going to be HERE,
Come on! Oh! C’mon Jacob! Missed opportunity. We’ll see you guys soon, hopefully face to face! “I thank my God every time I remember you.
In all of my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your
partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this,
that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the
day of Christ Jesus.” I’ve got to say on behalf of our church leadership, that’s
how we feel about you. We continue to be filled with the joy of your partnership.
Thank you for serving, praying, and financially supporting God’s kingdom
work through the Ministry of Arbor Road Church. As we continue to trust God to
sustain this ministry through these strange days, we want to encourage you to
stay faithful and motivated in giving back to the Lord a portion of what he’s
given to you. Remember as Pastor Brent often reminds us, it’s not about equal
gifts, but about equal sacrifice. These days have taught us all a bit more about
that word: sacrifice. Thank you for sacrificing and for
remembering this ministry as you do. If you would like to join us in giving
today, you can do just that in one of a few ways. You can go online to and follow the prompts to give in that way. You can text “ArborRoad” to 77977 and follow the directions to give there.
And of course you can always mail your offering check to our church address as
we collect our mail every day. As we pray God’s blessing over this time
of giving, let’s remember that no sacrifice will ever come close to the
one that He made for us. Let’s pray. God, each of us, we, we come
before you right now and acknowledge that sacrifice that
Jesus paid on our behalf on that cross, that you would deal with our sin, our
problem, so that we could have relationship with you, so that we could
go through life with you in the way that you designed us to do. So God, as we
consider that sacrifice, would you help us to see that you are working in us? And
even in the way that we deal with our finances during such crazy times. God, I
know that each of us have fear about how to be wise with our money, and yet God
you’re in control of all of it. So God I pray that every member, every person
that’s watching this right now, God, would feel your presence and that you would
lead them towards yourself, even in how they live their lives financially and,
ultimately God, with every aspect of their lives. Thank you for caring and
being with us. We love you, and pray these things your name, Amen. Dear church, we miss you. It’s hard not being together. It’s tough
to feel so far apart. But God has not abandoned us. It might not always feel
like it, but we’re still in His hands. We’re still on his mind. He’s still using
us. So hang on. He’s making a way. Never, ever forget how much He loves us. In
these days, He’s not asking us to have all the answers. He’s simply calling us
to be patient and to love along the way. So keep on loving just as you’re doing.
It’s hard to be patient. It’s tough even for the most godly. Patience can be
difficult even for the most committed. That’s the picture we get at the church
at Philadelphia. They were hitting the long ball out of the park in every
perceivable way. They were loving others in Jesus name, but that didn’t keep them
from persecution. Living well for God didn’t take them out of harm’s way. We
don’t know much about this church, but we definitely know that they were doing
things right. And even though they were in the middle of a spiritual battle
furiously raging around them, they were standing their ground, and they were
making an impact for God. Let’s do the same. Let’s learn from the church at
Philadelphia. Let’s apply what we can, and let’s pray that God leads us as we
respond to what He shows us through His message to them.
We’re in this thing together. With love. and welcome back to church thanks for
spending some time in worship and now in the word with us and as you just heard
we are looking into the church at Philadelphia so if you have your Bible
today open it to Revelation chapter 3 at verse 7 if you don’t have a Bible the
scripture will magically appear at the bottom of this screen Philadelphia is
another church that doesn’t have a large epistle written to it but this is a
letter that Jesus wrote in his letters that he wrote were a lot smaller than
the ones that that Paul would write and Peter would write but it’s an important
one let’s look at it today Revelation chapter 3 at verse 7 Jesus says and to
the angel of the church in Philadelphia write the words of the Holy One the true
one who has the key of David who opens and no one will shut who shuts and no
one opens I know your works behold I’ve 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 behold I will make those of the
synagogue of satan’ who say that they are Jews but are not but lie behold I
will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I
have loved you 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 I am coming soon hold fast to what you have
so that no one may seize your crown the one who conquers I will make him a
pillar in the temple of my god never shall he go out of it and I will write
on him the name of my god and the name of the city of my god the New Jerusalem
which comes down from my god out of heaven and my own new name he who has an
ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches let’s pray together and ask
the Lord to add his blessing to the reading of his word Heavenly Father were
grateful today for another opportunity to be in your word and to recognize that
you inhabit the praises of your people you’re with us in every home every
apartment condominium every place right now that your people are gathered you
were there you’re here with us right now and we’re
thankful for that Holy Spirit illuminate the text before us caused it to come to
life spring off the page spring off the screen and transform us and change us
and we don’t just want to merely look into a historical account God we want
your word to be living and active and we want it to pierce our hearts and our
souls and we want you to do the things that only you can do in transforming our
lives and changing us into more of the image of Christ we give you thanks for
those things today in Jesus name Amen amen
well I’m sitting here today with two of my all-time faves hailey downy who
serves as one of our student ministries pastors and rich Baker who serves as one
of our adult ministries pastors and they are two of truly two of the most joyful
people that I know just very very happy and and always up and celebrative and so
I thought that would be perfect to have the two of you come and share in the
teaching of the Church of Philadelphia which was a church that was just getting
so many things rights and as we even just got done reading we see that it’s a
church that Jesus was bragging about he was speaking so highly about them and I
I think that the things that Jesus was bragging over them in regards to were
things that we just want so desperately for him to brag over our lives about and
they’re things that you know as a parent I want to brag about over my kids and
and as pastors we want it we want to see our people being faithful in the area
specifically of standing strong under persecution and that’s what Jesus is
affirming in this church at Philadelphia they were thriving in it they were doing
it so well and I think that it’s something so pervasive in in youth
culture especially Haley we want students to stand up against persecution
in their schools in the small communities that they have a sphere of
influences we want them to stand up strong under persecution and we want to
affirm that we want them to know they’re doing things well why is affirmation let
me just ask you why is affirmation so important to kids why is it so important
in youth culture yeah it’s really important especially in youth culture
I’m also for all of us I think there’s just this overwhelming truth
we’re all longing to be affirmed and specifically in kids I mean if any of
you guys have kids you’re able to see social media is the thing that they post
on that they’re like like me follow me love me give me acceptance because when
they have acceptance and then they have joy and then they feel like there’s
something being affirmed in them but something that I’ve really seen over the
years especially as social media has just taken off and that’s becoming the
platform to get affirmation to get affection is that they’re continuing to
leave still craving more which makes me realize that the place if they’re
running to for affirmation is not filling them in a way that something
else can’t so why is it important I believe that’s important because we
especially me and my job and Tony and the way we get to lead our students is
we get to be a different voice in affirming voice that gets to affirm the
thing in them that matters the most like the unique ways that God made them or
the way that they’re spurring their friends on like it says in Scripture if
we affirm those things I believe they’ll chase after those things more and then
they’ll feel more full and so when Jesus is championing them and saying you guys
are doing awesome I can imagine that’s the kind of affirmation that’s really
fueling them to continue in confidence and what they’re doing yeah because it’s
not just the affirmation it’s who is giving them the affirmation yeah yeah no
doubt I mean think about that’s what’s cool about this with the the Church of
Philadelphia just them knowing who it is that’s affirming them affirmation is
important but affirmation means come it means a little bit different depending
on who it’s coming from my wife actually when she affirms me it’s so different
and I take it so much it means so much more to me because of the role she plays
in my life God is the one who’s affirming this church as we read in
verse 7 it says this all right the words of the Holy One and the true one the one
who has the keys of David the Holy One the set apart God there is under is none
like him at all anywhere ever created there is nothing like God this Holy One
set apart who is true he’s not saying just true things about them he is true
that’s who God is that God is affirming them
I think that it’s important who wouldn’t want to hear well done good and faithful
servant that’s what this church is hearing and I think that you have to
remember the fact is they got to be overwhelmed with who it is that’s
affirming them the holy the true one according to Scripture that’s got to
blow them away so we’re talking about a church that was
doing some really great things and they are getting massively rewarded by Word
by Jesus himself as you said rich who knows all things he knows them through
and through and he is affirming their good works let’s talk about Philadelphia
for a quick second here maybe backtrack a little bit because they were doing
great things for a long long time the church at Philadelphia actually stayed
on the map Christians in Philadelphia stayed on the map almost until 1400 AD
so think about that this this is a letter being written to them maybe about
90 AD and so they have another thirteen hundred years till about thirteen ninety
two before the Muslim control at that point over turkey kind of wiped out the
Christian Church in Philadelphia but for thirteen hundred years they were
standing strong for Christ the Church of Philadelphia we’re not really sure who
planted it the Church of Philadelphia along with Smyrna was mentioned in
Revelation as the two churches that were not given any critique the other
churches all had critique connected to them you’re doing this right you’re
doing this wrong Smyrna and Philadelphia were just doing things right
Philadelphia was about 25 miles away from Sardis which is actually just
before it in in revelation 3 so these churches were in close proximity with
each other they must have known each other surely the in fact people from
those churches probably had been a part of the other Christian churches there
were a lot of trade routes that came through Philadelphia it was on the map
as a city of Commerce and not just a lot of trade routes but the Imperial post
Road the main Imperial poster that came from Rome into Asia Minor came through
Philadelphia so this was this was squarely on the map it was on a high
plateau easily defensible it was known as the Gateway to the east
it was known as the epicenter of Greek culture and a lot of Greek culture was
being taught out of the city of Philadelphia the Greek Lane language
itself became pervasive in the area because of those who taught it out of
the city of Philadelphia there was a huge earthquake in the entire region so
not just in Philadelphia but all over the region in 1780 and that earthquake
crushed cities including Philadelphia and after seventeen AD the people who
lived in Philadelphia oftentimes chose to live outside of the city because any
tremor any aftershock and we in Southern California know what those feel like
freaked people out and they had to get out of there well Tiberius came in and
in essence funded the rebuilding of the city of Philadelphia and because of his
goodness to the city they renamed the city neo Caesarea new Caesarea in honor
of Tiberius because he helped to in essence rebound the city back to
greatness not much more is known about the Church of Philadelphia except for
what we see right here in Revelation chapter 3 but they were doing things
really well and rich like you said that affirmation of their doing things well
was coming from Jesus Christ himself true and holy he says in verse 7 that he
is the holder of the key of David that is to say that he is the true Messiah
unlike what the Judaizers were saying they were saying no he he wasn’t the
Messiah Jesus is saying I am the Messiah I’m the holder of the key of David this
is your reality and my reality is I am the living true Messiah and he says and
what I open no one can shut and what I shut no one can open yeah I actually
really love that line but it’s one of those pastors that I read and I’m like I
kind of loved it but I kind of don’t to be honest because there’s multiple times
I’ve read scripture and as I was studying for this I was reading this and
I feel like God is like waving his hands at me and it’s often times he’s in a
crowd he’s like hey Lee I’m trying to get your attention with this and what I
feel like he was trying I’m the one in control I’m the one that
sovereign I’m the one who has the power to open the door and the power to even
shut it and when I hear that for me to be honest I’ve realized I don’t know if
this is how you guys might feel is that I think I know God is in control but it
actually takes believing it to for it to actually come to be because believing it
means I’m actually surrendering my personal control I have this app on my
phone most of you maybe have it it’s called ways and it’s not Google Maps but
its ways I’m a team Waze girl and the goal of this app is you guys don’t have
it it’s to get you to your destination as quick as possible and I’ve used this
app for probably like four you’re strong now it’s like my go-to if I’m going to
LA I’m like get me there as quick as possible I don’t want to hit the traffic
and the craziest thing is when you’re using this app it’ll take you places
that just do not make sense but it always gets me there and so I’m I swear
I’ll be driving on the freeway and we’ll say alright get off on the free off the
freeway and get off for 2.5 seconds then get back on the freeway and then get off
again and go on the screen I’m cold a sack and I’m sitting here like how in
the world is this gonna get me to where I want to be that is that way but every
single time because I’ve used it so many times it’s proven itself faithful
continually and similarly I feel like God oftentimes takes us places that do
not make sense but as we continue to trust him as the sovereign God the one
who is all-powerful the one we get to know through quiet time the more we
continue to get to know him as that God the more I’ve trusted him in the places
he’s taking me that don’t make sense because I’ve said no I know my God is
faithful I know he’s gonna take me there and it
might look crazy and this pandemic might be psychotic right now and we might not
like it but I can trust that he’s doing something and that weird route that he’s
taking us doing something that’s interesting
we actually we read about that a little here in verse 8 look at it it says again
after he’s already said this is Who I am he says this I know your works again
Brent as you were talking about that God the the the true the holy one he knows
their works he sees them which is mind-blowing he says behold I have set
before you and 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 there’s a few things in there that I think just are really cool
first I just look at this idea of I have set before you an open door which no one
is able to shut right you were talking about the location I think that that’s
really important to think about where Philadelphia was strategically placed
when the city was first founded the goal of Philadelphia was to push Greek
culture that was the whole point of it let’s get a spot where there is heavy
foot traffic walking right next to our houses and we are going to push whoever
comes by here the Greek culture the Greek language the Greek religions Greek
gods we’re gonna get this in front of people because people are passing us all
the time and they were really good at it but what’s interesting about this that
we see here the Lord is telling the church I have set before you an open
door that no one can shut I believe here that God has another strategic plan for
this strategic location it’s not to push and spread the Greek culture I believe
God is using this church to push his culture to push the gospel to let
everyone know who’s coming through this path all of this foot traffic that is
coming through all of the traffic that is coming by he’s using this strategic
location to push his gospel and I think that is amazing he is opening the door
and we see that this church is actually being faithful to walk through that door
whatever that might look like before behold I have said adored an open door
for you that this word an open door throughout the New Testament it always
seems to be relating to evangelism a Claussen’s 4:3 says this pray also for
us that God may open to us a door for the word to declare the mysteries of
Christ on account of which I am a prisoner he’s providing again this open
door for evangelism and it seems like this church is being faithful to walk
through it I’ll be honest I think about in this
we’re its we’re kind of being told actually don’t open your door shut your
door and pull your shades down and just sit in a dark room and quarantine
yourself even for your own family I’ve been I’ve been really like thinking
about this what doors might God be opening in my life cuz I was even just
praying through this I was talking to my wife we live we live in a spot where
actually there’s a lot of foot traffic and I think there’s a lot of more foot
traffic in nowadays people are out walking we live next to a park and
there’s a lot more people walking by last week me my wife we’re talking we
made this sign with our kids and we actually put it right in our grass right
in front of our yard because as people are walking by I want them to stop and
think we have an amazing church we have an amazing church service that’s
happening right now we’ve foot come to church live at our
borough calm and we put the time and we hope people are walking by and it’s
really fun actually watch people walk by and they look down and they stare at it
and they walk by I’m hoping that they’re convinced and convicted to actually join
us the services we used to watch these services just on our little laptop and I
was like what are we doing we hooked it to the computer to the TV and it was
amazing where we have the sound actually valeri now and it’s awesome oh it was so
fun as a few weeks back we open up our doors and we open up our windows because
we want people to know that we’re worshiping the Lord on a Sunday and as
people are walking by we want them to stare at me my daughter who’s standing
and jumping on the couch my wife and my kid oh like my son us actually standing
at attention celebrating the Lord we wanted to be a draw so we’re opening in
that door I just think that that’s an interesting thing is what doors might
the Lord be opening and are we walking through in this situation and we can
make excuses in fact it says here in verse 8 it continues it says I know you
have little power what does that mean it says but but but you have kept my word
little power isn’t suggesting that they’re not strong it’s saying look it’s
a little Church and they could use that as an excuse well we’re a little
but what’s awesome about this is that little is a lot when God getting his
vault and gets involved and we get that that he is made strong in our weakness
let’s not give excuses of why we can’t walk through a door if God’s starting
open up the door he’s gonna give the power to us to walk through it so if God
is opening the door culture fear covin 19
nothing can stop what he is doing so I ask the question to me and my family
what door might God be opening and am I willing to actually walk through it and
am I being faithful it’s not easy we see that in here and it says you have
stayed faithful you have not denied my name
which means that there is opportunities for them to deny Jesus which means
persecution wouldn’t you suggest in this we’re seeing that there could be some
persecution in the church clearly that’s what he has in mind here verse 9
actually gets into it a little bit more in detail when he says behold I’ll make
those of the synagogue of Satan the synagogue of Satan that phrase is
actually only used twice in in the Bible in Revelation 2 and in Revelation 3 and
they’re both connected to the churches that were doing things so well the
Church of Philadelphia the church at Smyrna the synagogue of satan’ was where
the Judaizers would get together and deny that Jesus is the Christ and that’s
what he has in mind when he says they’re saying that they’re Jews but they’re not
they’re lying John is not saying Jesus is not saying Paul is not saying when he
says things like that that these are not people of Jewish descent Paul and John
Peter the other disciples would say a true Jew recognizes that Jesus is the
Messiah and Jews who do not recognize that Jesus is Messiah are actually false
Jews John says as much in 1st John chapter 2 at verse 22 he says who is the
liar but he who denies that Jesus is the christ this is the antichrist he who
denies the father and the son so not only are they false Jews but they’re any
according to John these are people who are doing the most woeful thing in
denying that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and so he says I’m gonna take those of
the synagogue of Satan behold I’m gonna take them and make them come and bow
down before your feet so reversing the order here the people who are
persecuting you are going to suddenly come to a big realization and look at
what he says they’ll come bow down before your feet and they will learn
that I have loved you Jesus says not the other way around they will not learn
that you were right to love me Jesus says they’re going to learn this
dreadful reality for them I love you I’m behind you I’ve got your back
I love you and he says because you have kept my word in verse 10 about patient
endurance and that’s either patience in the midst of suffering or enduring in a
sinful world because you’ve done that I’m going to keep you from the hour of
trial that is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell on the earth what
is this this hour of trial that he’s speaking about well you got to remember
that we’re just talking about the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 but the
whole of Revelation is giving to the end times
so revelation 6 through 19 is the judgment all the things that fall on the
earth not just on Philadelphia so he wasn’t saying man I keep you in
Philadelphia safe from this thing this is something that was coming to the
whole world he says to those who dwell on the earth and throughout the rest of
the book of Revelation that phrase those who dwell on the earth is speaking about
unbelievers not people who believe Jesus not believers unbelievers that the trial
is coming for those who dwell on the earth the judgment is coming to the
whole world to those who do not believe on me and then he says this in verse 11
I am coming soon that’s Jesus as promised I am coming soon and I have a
lot of thoughts that kind of go through my mind I guess when I think about
Jesus saying I am coming soon it kind of makes you snap to attention but Haley
what goes through your mind when you hear that phrase when Jesus says I am
coming soon when I heard of word soon to be honest if you like I’ve grown a
little apathetic to that word recently cuz I’m like okay if soon is your
timetable is like 2,000 years Jesus then I don’t think we’re on the same page
because soon for me is like I’m leaving the door soon which is in five minutes
when he says soon I’m like I don’t know if we’re on the same page as that and to
be honest I feel like in this pandemic we’ve even heard that word a ton it’s
like hey when is this gonna be lifted soon soon Friday is soon cool awesome
Fred it comes not soon great awesome and I’m feeling this like as the beach can
open soon soon soon and I feel like I’ve experienced this definition is something
that’s not actually promising it’s as soon that isn’t actually promising
because it’s not actually happening so when I hear the word soon in Scripture
from Jesus I want to think of it differently I want to have a different
perspective and I’ve realized something when I think of the word soon and our
desire just to hurry a process and to get to something really quickly because
that’s our culture is quick quick quick how can we get something as quick as
possible is I’ve realized that the problem isn’t necessarily the slowness
of something that we’re waiting for and the object of what we’re waiting for but
I think deep down and this is something I feel like God is doing in my own heart
is that this almost this inability for my soul to be able to trust and have
patience in that in-between process so when God says I’m going to do this soon
and now in between time between when he says that and when it actually happens
my soul’s inability to even rest and be at peace with Christ and who he is is
more of the issues I want to nail that down so when I see that Jesus says
behold I am coming soon and I think of what he’s been teaching me and hopefully
what he’s been teaching you in this season I’m learning that I want to hear
that as I pay God then what are you doing now because soon I don’t know what
that’s gonna be and if you’re sovereign and I believe that I’m gonna trust that
soon is in perfect timing because you’re a perfect God you have perfect timing
and so in that in between I would here soon and I want to say God I want to be
patient I want to be a person who’s following you and patient and my soul is
at rest as I’m patiently and that’s the key word
patience and he says you know it’s not necessarily an an idle patience because
he’s given them a caution at that I’m coming soon he said hold fast to what
you have and so that no one may seize your crown don’t just sit on your hands
be patient but hold fast to what you haven’t so that no one can steal your
crown yeah yeah I mean Brendo do you think there’s times where you’re like oh
let’s just unpack this one we don’t have a lot of time but would a this not that
word crown is throughout scripture we see it but we have to make sure we’re
careful long is ever thinking that we can lose our salvation that is not what
this is saying that you’ve got to be busy otherwise you’ll lose your
salvation that’s not what it’s saying Romans eight goes against that right
that nothing can separate you from the love of Christ so it’s not what it’s
saying there but it is talking about a reward of some sort and it’s a
fascinating study in fact get out a pencil and pen James one talks about it
the crown of life first Peter the crown of glory Matthew five the great reward
in heaven first Corinthians three a reward for
works revelation 20:2 a repayment for works there’s a lot going on there of
what this reward this crown is this reward this earning that eventually we
lay at the feet of Jesus in Revelation four that we see – because in light of
him what are our deeds but it’s it’s fascinating it’s talking about a reward
first Corinthians 9:24 says this do you not know that in a race all all the
runners run we read it again it’s so simple
do you not know that in a race all runners run but not only or but but only
one receives the prize so run that you may obtain it what is this talking about
it’s saying stay focused on him in the midst of this stuff don’t get idle don’t
get lazy stay focused on him our prize don’t let fear complacency Kovan 19
excuses don’t let those stop us from being faithful to him we’re all in this
together so let’s run this race together and let’s run to win the race while
we’re landing this plane this morning in verse 12 we see that that their rewards
are kind of put out there in it it’s kind of confusing the one who conquers
he says I’ll make him a pillar in the temple of my god there was certainly a
custom of precedence for having a pillar either erected in a temple or having a
pillar already in a temple have the name of a faithful citizen retched into it
and as we look into antiquities and ruins of old cities most of the times
that things still stand are the huge pillars as we know in Philadelphia from
the Byzantine church that was once there are two huge pillars still standing
there today whatever Jesus is talking about there we can get that it is
eternal that it never comes to an end since I will write on them the name of
my god the name of the city of my god the New Jerusalem which comes down from
God out of heaven and my own new name so lots of names connected to it changing
of names and you got to remember how special that would have been to the
people in in Philadelphia because of their city had actually gone under a
name change and they became something different so will be different than we
are now whatever that looks like when we come back out of heaven and reign with
Christ and we see the bride coming with him in Revelation chapter 21 whatever
those rewards are they’re going to be special and the best part about it is
who is going to be presenting them Jesus Christ the faithful the true the holy
one how about a couple of points of application as were as we’re spinning
out of our time of teaching together today rich or something you take from
the Church of Philadelphia uh I’d say look for open doors be aware what is God
doing and be available to maybe walk through them he’s opening him walk
through he’s got you he’s got his power working
through you so he available and be obedient just to walk through him so
look for open doors is what I would say great one Haley what about you what do
you take I would say be patient and patience can be really hard but if you
trust in God and you know the God that you’re trusting the one that is
all-powerful the one that is sovereign the one who has all authority of
everything happening I think patience is a lot easier if we
get to know that God so my challenge for us is just get to know the God who is
those things and then I think being patient actually can be a lot easier to
be honest come you know Brent what about you well I was going to say look for
open doors but rich took that one nailed it no no I would add to those two I
think those are awesome looking for open doors being patient and it’s that last
part really you know strikes a chord in my heart of staying focused on eternity
yeah stay focused on eternity that things were walking through right now
will be short-lived let’s keep our eyes on Christ
let’s keep our attention on heaven someday we’re gonna be there together
let’s not let that get lost in all of this let’s look for open doors let’s be
patient let’s keep our eyes fixed on heaven let’s pray together
Heavenly Father we give you thanks for this great Church in Philadelphia thank
you for the time that we’ve had to look into its history and the impact it made
in its day and Lord God I pray that you would make us influential help us to be
a church that is patiently enduring like this one help us Lord to hold fast to
you god I pray that you would present to our borough Church to every single
person listening to this today open doors and help us to walk through them
faithfully Lord give us that patient endurance help us to know that you’re
always with us that you’re empowering us and walking with us along the way and as
we fix our eyes on you the author and perfecter of our faith Lord Jesus give
us everything that we need to be beneficial ambassadors to you in this
world as we look forward to the day where we are with you face to face and
we’ll give you thanks in advance in Jesus name What a privilege it’s been to give
God praise today for who He is, for what He’s done. If you’re new to
Arbor Road Church and want to connect with us, we would love that! If
you go to and fill in some basic info, we will be in
touch with you. We’re excited to get to know you. Arbor Road, stay the course!
Keep loving people well. You are an amazing people.
We love you and we’ll see you soon!

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