|By: Dr. Earl Radmacher; ©1996|
|Bible Prophecy Questions Answered by Leading Christian Scholars.|
Dr. Earl Radmacher: I think that there is no text that is clearer in Scripture than Revelation 3:10. Listen to these words: "Because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you out of the hour of the trial, the coming one." The text has three specific, definite articles, so it’s not talking about just keeping them out of trial or out of tribulation, it’s talking about keeping them out of a period of trial. "I will keep you out of the hour of the tribulation, the coming one." The writer couldn’t have said it more specifically than he said it in those verses.
Now, didn’t he say that simply to the church at Philadelphia? I want you to notice something about these seven little epistles in Revelation 2 and 3. Every one of them concludes with an eschatological statement. By eschatology we mean "the last things," and so every one of these little epistles goes down to the end time and every one of them is different. If you will look at the end of the epistle to Ephesus, in Revelation 2:17, you will see that it talks about the end times, "To him who overcomes, I will give to eat from the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God." Now, each one of those epistles will take you down to a prophetic event of the very end. So, you can conclude that the seven exhortations at the end of those epistles are for the totality of the Church. How do I know that? Well, if you’ll look at the beginning of that verse, it says, "He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches," not just to the church at Ephesus, but to the churches. So he takes the prophetic statement that he has given and makes that applicable to the totality of the churches, something that all of us will participate in.
Therefore, I believe that it is legitimate in Revelation 3 when he’s speaking to the church at Philadelphia and he gives this end-time statement about the Tribulation, we may all see our place in the fulfillment ultimately of that passage. So it is a specific promise with regard to exemption from that period of time.