7 “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. – Rev 3:7 (ESV)
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. – Psalm 84:10 (NASB)
The psalmist proclaims that he would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than to live in the tents of wickedness. He knows, there is no sure foundation, no real home to be found outside God’s presence. Everywhere else is simply only wandering about in the wilderness.
The letters to the churches in Revelation are each introduced by an aspect of Christ, taken from John’s initial vision in chapter 1, all except for this church in Philadelphia. Here, the “keys of Death and Hades” are exchanged for the “key of David” – the key to the holy Kingdom of God. Christ reminds this church that, not only does he have the power to open the gates of death and hell, it is Jesus Himself, who is the doorkeeper for the Kingdom of Heaven, the New Jerusalem, and that none will get in to see the Father, unless they go through Him. (John 14:6) There is no other way.
How much more important is it then for us as the church to direct those we meet to Jesus Christ Himself, and not ourselves and our own good deeds! It is Christ who opens and shuts the door and it is eternally more important what the people we meet think about Him rather than what they think about us. Certainly we are called to good works, but we pass the praise and the praisers themselves on to Christ rather than hold them up pretending to be guardians of the Kingdom ourselves. Likewise, we need not take scorn for our faith personally, but instead, let us show the mocking world exactly Who it is that holds the way to life and death.