Jesus told the church that He would keep them from the hour of temptation

Jesus continued His letter of encouragement to the church of Ephesus with the words:

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will 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)

What is the hour of temptation?

Peirasmos   is the Greek word used in the text  for temptation. It is found only 20 times in the KJV of the Greek New Testament and Lord Jesus used the word temptation 9 times (45%) in those references. The hour of temptation is the time in which Satan comes to tempt one to sin. For example:

  • Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness
  • Jesus’ struggle to evade the cross

Jesus promised the church of Philadelphia that He would keep them from the hour of temptation that would come upon the world. The current world economic crisis is one such example. World Wars and the war against terror are two other examples. In the era in which the church lived, “the hour of temptation”  could have been a new emergence of persecution against the Church of the Lord.

Scriptures reveal that temptation is:

A. Evil

Jesus used temptation and evil synonymously when He said that we should pray, “and lead us not into temptation/Peirasmos , but deliver us from evil” (Mt 6: 13; Lk 11: 4).   In so doing, Lord Jesus also showed us that  temptation is sin and wrong doing.

Satan is the source of temptation. Jesus Himself was tempted in the wilderness to sin against God.  The Lord revealed that God does not want His people to fall prey to the temptation by the devil, but to be delivered from evil.  In fact Jesus Himself

  • and lead us not into temptation/Peirasmos , but deliver us from evil – Mt 6: 13; Lk 11: 4
  • And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season – Luke 4: 13
  • They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away – Lk 8: 13.

B. Persecutions from enemies

Lord Jesus referred to His persecutions and sufferings at the hand of His enemies as temptations.  As He prepared to face the cross, He promised His disciples that they would reign with Him in heaven because they had  continued with Him in His temptations (Lk 22: 28).

Apostle Paul spoke about the treachery of the Jews as a temptation:

Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews (Acts 20: 19)

It is not easy to forgive enemies, especially those who try to put you to death. Jesus overcame by  forgiving them even as He hung on the cross.


Jesus revealed that prayer keeps us from the hour of temptation

Prayer keeps the believer on full alert to the schemes of the devil. Jesus said that we must pray to be delivered from temptation.  Satan tempted the Lord in the wilderness by mixing scripture with lies, just as he did in the hour of temptation in the Garden of Eden.

It is important to pray because the flesh can fall prey to the pictures and fake tasty morsels presented by Satan. Sometimes the believer really wants to do good, but Jesus warned that we must  “watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak” (Mt 26: 41; Mk 14: 38).

  • And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation – Lk 22: 40
  • And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. – Lk 22: 46

Be encouraged, just as the Lord encouraged His church.  Apostle Paul promised that:

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it] – 1 Cor 10: 13.