11 “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
Behold, I am coming quickly!
When Jesus says that that He is “coming quickly,’ does this mean that He must come shortly within the lifetime of the Philadelphia church? John wrote the book of Revelation 2000 years ago. How can 2000 years be “quickly?” In context, He is speaking of the tribulation. He will come quickly in relation to the seven-year tribulation.
The word “quickly” means swift, speedy. When He comes, the event will unfold rapidly. It will happen with one fell swoop. His coming will take place in a short time. It will be sudden and unexpected but not inevitably in a short time. When Jesus comes, He will come suddenly.
The coming of Christ is an incentive for perseverance under pressure. The constant expectation of the immanent coming of Christ keeps us on the tiptoe of expectancy for His coming. He will not announce His coming. It will come when we least expect it.
Hold fast what you have
Christ calls the church to continue to persevere. Because the coming of Christ is imminent, He charges us to “hold fast.” This is a warning against caving to pressures that violate integrity. Jesus says in effect, “Hang in there with Me. Don’t cave in toward the end of the race. We will do this together.”
He 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
that no one may take your crown
When Jesus comes, He will dispense rewards. He will examine the quality of our lives and reward us accordingly. It is possible to lose our “crown.” If we do lose our crown, Jesus will forfeit us of a certain kind of honor in heaven.
Re 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”
We need to keep an eternal perspective when times get difficult.
As times get difficult, it becomes more arduous to serve Christ faithfully. Jesus will make no announcement about His coming. His coming will be unexpected and sudden. As hostility to Christianity becomes more aggressive, it will be more forbidding to take a stand for Jesus. We will have to choose between our business and Jesus. Pressures of society will force us to choose between status and Scripture. We will have to choose between our possessions and fidelity to Christ.
We will have to “hold on” to our crown. Our crown is not our salvation; it is our reward for faithfully serving Him.
1 Co 3:10 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”