Lake Eufaula Christian Church
The Bible’s book of Revelation quotes letters that Jesus dictated to seven early churches, and most contained counsel for changes the church needed to make. One needing no change was Philadelphia, a Greek outpost city that was the center of pagan worship. Maybe because the city owed much of its prosperity to grape vineyards, Dionysius, the god of wine, was the main heathen god worshiped.
Although Philadelphia’s fertile, volcanic landscape brought prosperity, it also brought incredible danger. A 17 AD massive earthquake flattened the city, and tremors and aftershocks continued to cause uncertainty among residents. Christians, persevering both through weather unpredictability and among a pagan majority, received fine praise from Christ Himself. “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.”(Rev. 3:8). The open door Jesus referred to is the door of evangelism for their mission to spread the Lord’s truth through pagan Philadelphia.
The open door still applies to us today in Eufaula. God still opens our hearts to His Word and every one of us has an evangelistic opportunity. We don’t have to be a missionaries in Africa or on a distant island. Our mission field starts with the people we see and spend time with every day! He wants us to take advantage of that open door, and share His saving grace.
Jesus pointed out that the open door could never be shut—a reference to the Jewish custom of shutting the synagogue’s doors to Jews who converted from Judaism to Christianity. Surely, many of Philadelphia’s Christians had been Jews, then excommunicated, for whom Jesus opened the eternity door which no one can slam in their faces.
His message continued, “I know that you have little strength, but you have kept my word and not denied my name.” (Rev. 3:8). He knew that the church in Philadelphia was small in number and had little influence—especially political clout—in the city. But, evidently when church members were pressed in public to renounce Christ, they stood rock-solid and never denied their faith. He promised them they’d receive their reward. for their powerful testimony and witness.
Because they were operating as a spiritually healthy congregation, Jesus named nothing they needed to correct. Instead, He said, “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” (Rev. 3:11). The significance of a victor’s crown was powerful to this church that was undergoing persecution. He called them to persevere through persecution, abiding faithfully in His love and grace.
This very day millions of Christians are suffering and dying at the hands of godless tyrants across the globe. At LECC we pray for them to persevere as we too defend and demonstrate our faith by holding firmly to morality in a society that outwardly glorifies depravity more than virtue.
We welcome all to our 10 a.m. small group Bible study, 11 a.m. worship and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night classes for all ages. Please join us in holding on to what we have, persevering for the ultimate victory.
God Bless You!
Jeremy Little, Minister