Wednesday, September 13, 2017


“…for you have a little strength, have kept My Word, and have not denied my Name.” Revelation 3:8 (b)

Dear Congregation,
      Just this morning my attention was brought once again to the seven churches of the Book of the Revelation. These churches often serve as a warning to us as believers and a guide to us as a church. Some background study is required to grasp the entirety of what is being said by the Lord to these churches but it is clear that of the seven only two are commended. Both of those commended churches are small, poor, and oppressed. Smyrna was a heavily persecuted church and it was commended for being rich in its faith and truth. Philadelphia was also persecuted. It faced temptation on every side and yet it is commended for the three things you see above.

            Philadelphia had a little strength. Not much money, not too many people, not many things of which to boast in this world. When one does not have much strength it is natural to covet it and pursue it. No one really wants to be left behind or find themselves an outsider. Yet both the Scripture and history teach that this is exactly where Philadelphia found itself. They had nothing to attract Greco-Roman culture in themselves; yet their little strength is what kept them great in Christ as II Corinthians 12 also reminds us. Though Grace Community Church sometimes seems to have little strength, lets not allow that to dampen us for that is not something God condemns or avoids.

            Philadelphia kept God’s Word. It was preached, it was taught, it was sung, it was memorized, it was discussed, it was loved, and it was obeyed. Say what you will about Philadelphia, it may not have been an Ephesus or a Laodicea in appearance, but it centered completely on the Word of God. That is what the church is there for. For social networking, for fun and games, for charity work, you may want to look elsewhere, but for learning God’s Word, applying it to your life and growing in sanctification and holiness, Philadelphia was your church. Can this be said about Grace Community Church? May it be said all the more!

            Philadelphia did not deny the name of Christ. When the world worships itself and all that is in it, the true church proclaims Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no other name, there is no other way. This will not be a welcome message nor will it be appreciated, but it is the message. There was no compromise in Philadelphia, no sweetening, no soft peddling. The Gospel was its banner and its purpose. They persevered.  Is salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone the central point of Grace Community Church? May it increase and continue.

            There is great joy and excitement in a Church where God is big and people are small. I see that at Grace and I believe we need to continue to look to God’s Word for direction and encouragement with our ministry. If Philadelphia was commended for these three things lets continue to pursue them ourselves. That we may please God and not people.

In Christ,
Pastor Basile