Jesus Christ announces here that He is coming
quickly. But for what
purpose? Our context is for the removal
of the Church so that they (we) will not be made to endure the ‘time of
testing,’ which is to come.
Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth on two different
occasions. One is the Rapture, which
does not bring judgment, but the removal of the Church, and the second time He
returns, will be the Second Advent which will occur at the end of the
The Rapture marks the removal of the Church and the
beginning of the time of testing, which we call the Tribulation. And it is this first return, ‘I am coming
quickly,’ that Christ is referring to here.
Quickly, means that His coming is imminent. It could happen at any time since the writing
of this book. Obviously it has not yet
occurred in history, for once it does occur, then the
world will have only seven more years remaining of human ruled history. See the chart on the Dispensation five phases.
However, that does not mean that it could not occur
right now, a year from now, or a century from now. We simply do not know when Christ will return
to sweep all Christians away from this world, in the Rapture.
But regardless of when it will occur, the issue for
each one of us, is not that expected date, but
retaining the spiritual growth and advancing our spiritual growth to the
maximum possible extent, that we possibly can.
We are to not lose our spiritual growth.
Once you have been saved, your salvation is
permanent and cannot be lost. However,
once you have been saved, or often times it is called ‘born again,’ then we are
spiritual babies. And babies need to
grow up. And that is what Christ is referring
to here. Grow up and do not lose your
For in spiritual growth we produce good in our spiritual life, and the production of spiritual
good, means spiritual rewards. Those
rewards are many, but Christ uses the example of crowns, to identify your
Not everyone will receive extra rewards for
eternity. Rewards are dependent on your
spiritual growth. No growth, no reward.
And it is that future reward that you can or could lose, if you faded
away from your daily study of the Bible.
In the letters to the churches, we have already
studied several of the reward categories. In the Bible, crowns are used as examples of
The Bible identifies five crowns – the Everlasting
Crown (Victory) in 1 Cor 9:25, Crown of the Soul
Winner in Phil 4:1 and 1 Thes 2:19, Crown of
Righteousness in 2 Tim 4:8, Crown of Life in Jas 1:12 and Rev 2:10, and the
Crown of Glory in 1 Peter 5:4.
Each of these crowns has a special meaning. The
study of crowns is in the Special Studies Library on the web site.
Anyway, the Church of Philadelphia,
has not been on the good or bad side of God.
But they are warned to stay the course, retain what they have and not
lose it, because He is coming, sure as the sun will rise in the morning.
All Church Age believers have received the promise
that they will not be present for the Tribulation, but will be spared its
horrible atrocities. But even though we will not see that worst time in
history, we still need to continue our advancement to maturity and keep it. Don’t become lax, don’t become indifferent, don’t become disinterested in doctrine, just because you will
not ever be forced to live through the worst time in human history.
There are still plenty of personal times of testing
for each one of us, and we all still have a destiny with eternity. We need to make the most of our time here and
now, to insure the greatest eternity possible for ourselves.