We read in Revelation 3:10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience.” We can also translate “My command to persevere” or “My word about patient endurance or steadfastness.” In other words, the church in Philadelphia had followed Christ’s example and had kept His word. In doing so, they showed faithfulness. There is perseverance among them after the example of Christ. We know from verse 8 that they had little strength in themselves and were vulnerable. But by following Christ and keeping His word, they had not denied Christ’s Name. Here, we see the secret of perseverance in faith. It is abiding in Christ and in His word (John 15). Christ is the one who overcomes; therefore, let us abide in Him and His word. Let us handle God’s word and the precious gospel promises.
One of these promises is that Christ will keep all that persevere in the impending worldwide tribulation (verse 10). This is the gospel of the cross, a message of hope and endurance!
The preceding words are followed by a brief exhortation: “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (verse 11) What a promise this is! The Lord promises to come again. He calls our full attention to this promise, “Behold.” Our lives must be in the light of this coming. And therefore, in the light of His presence in His Spirit. We must stand by His word because He is coming again. “Hold that fast which thou hast.” There is the risk that they will not persevere and will not hold fast to Christ and His word. There is a risk that they will lose the crown of glory. That's why it says here: “Hold on to what you have.”
Yes, salvation is God’s work. Victory is God’s. But we are obligated to abide in Christ and His word. We are obligated to endure and persevere. But the very secret of perseverance is Christ Himself who promised to abide in us.