Jesus Christ said, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10).
Many sincere prophecy teachers (and their followers) are now applying these words to the Rapture and to the sudden removal of the Church from this earth prior to Earth’s final hour of temptation. on the surface, it may appear this way, yet a closer look is needed.
Jesus spoke these words to “the church in Philadelphia” (3:7), which was #6 out of seven churches receiving messages. It is obvious that Christ’s words do not apply only to the literal church of Philadelphia which existed almost 2000 years ago in Asia minor, for if they did, then they have no relevance to any Christian today. Most scholars correctly realize that those “seven churches” (1:20) represent seven periods in the history of Christianity, yet each letter also contains practical lessons for Christians of all time.
With this in mind, we must realize again that Revelation 3:10 was given to Philadelphia, which is then followed by “lukewarm” Laodicea (3:14 – 22). Even if Revelation 3:10 does depict a secret Rapture, this would not mean the church would be gone during the Tribulation. Why? Because the Laodicean church comes after Philadelphia, and thus its Christians would still be left on earth. And lukewarm or not, Jesus still refers to them as “the Church”!
The truth is, Revelation 3:10 does not speak of a Rapture. It simply says the faithful in the church of Philadelphia, who have “kept the word,” will be kept from the hour of trial. once we understand that Philadelphia is followed by the church of Laodicea, which represents the final period of Christianity, then we can easily see that the reason why Jesus told the Philadelphians He would keep them from the hour of trial is not because they would be raptured, but because they simply would not be living on earth during the final time of trial.
We are living during the time of Laodicea, when the majority of Christians are lukewarm and half-hearted. Soon the final “hour of temptation” will burst upon us. only those who are truly faithful to Jesus Christ and to the Word of God will “stand in the evil day” (Ephesians 6:13). The Master said, “He that endures to the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13). Through
Christ’s love and the power of the cross, may we each be among those who “overcome” (Revelation 3:12, 21).