Four Arguments for Obeying God
Updated: Mar 5
I felt tired during the first two weeks I started a regular exercise program. I didn’t quit. Over time, exercise vastly increased my energy stores. Obedience is similar. It’s often inconvenient. It’s sometimes painful. For me, following Jesus meant giving up my job with the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. At the time, it seemed like a high price. But the Lord has paid me back 100 times what I gave up. Persevering obedience bestows outstanding benefits.
The obedient Christian is secure (verses 7–8). The quality small church in Philadelphia received the Lord’s unqualified praise because it increasingly trusted, obeyed, and loved Him and served others.
Christ alone can open the door for that church and us into His eternal kingdom. When He does, no one can shut it. When He closes it, no one can open it. To enter that kingdom He requires of us repentance and faith. There’s great security for us who know the doorkeeper! No one can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38–39). Have you entered His kingdom through repentance and faith?
The obedient Christian is loved (verse 9). Many people think that no one cares about them. Jesus both loves us and enables us to love others. The Jews in Philadelphia slandered and persecuted the Christians there. Unknowingly, they were Satan’s instruments. They were sure they were right. They weren’t. Let’s remember that when we’re tempted to criticize others.
The obedient Christian is protected (verse 10). Christ made a promise to Christians who endure the opposition of a sinful world. It relates to 3.5 years of the Antichrist’s rule that will precede the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom. Some think Christ promised to deliver believers from those difficult days. Others believe He promised deliverance through them. We’d all vote to be kept from them, but we must prepare to go through them if necessary.
The obedient Christian is rewarded (verses 11–12). Let’s hold fast to the exclusive loyalty to Jesus that the Philadelphian Christians possessed so we won’t forfeit our victor’s crown. What seductive influences in your life compete for that exclusive loyalty? The fear of rejection? The deceitfulness of wealth? The desire for other things? Making a name for yourself in this world?
Overcomers will be pillars in God’s temple, permanently in His presence. Christ’s three-fold inscription shows the faithful belong to God, hold citizenship in the New Jerusalem, and are in a special way related to Him.
The obedient Christian is secure, loved, protected, and rewarded. It’s often costly to obey the Lord, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. They are both in and out of this world!
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