Honor your heroes with 24 Memorial Day Quotes for Preaching.
Sermons

Summary: Encouragement to walk through every "open door" of opportunity that God gives us for ministry.

WHEN WE ARE FACED WITH NEW AND EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES FOR MINISTRY AND WE TELL OURSELVES "I CAN NEVER CHANGE, THAT’S NOT MY STYLE" OR SAY "THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN," WE PRESUME TOO MUCH AND BELIEVE TOO LITTLE.

IN JESUS CHRIST, GOD RENDERS ALL OF OUR FINAL CONCLUSIONS PREMATURE AND ALL OF OUR TALK OF DETERMINISM AS SIMPLY BAD FAITH.

IN CHRIST, GOD OPENS CLOSED DOORS, BRINGS RESURRECTION TO WHAT IS DEAD, AND REVEALS POSSIBILITIES IN WHAT OTHERS CALL IMPOSSIBLE.

IN CHRIST, GOD RECLAIMS THOSE WHO ARE LOST, LIBERATES THE CURSED AND POSSESSED, AND CHANGES WHAT SOME WOULD ASSUME IS UNCHANGEABLE.

WHILE JOHN WAS A PRISONER OF ROME ON THE ISLAND OF PATMOS JESUS COMMISSIONED HIM TO WRITE WHAT WE NOW CALL THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST.

PART OF JOHN’S COMMISSION WAS TO RECORD OUR LORD’S WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT, CORRECTION, EXHORTATION, AND PROMISE; AND THEN MAKE SURE THE LETTERS WERE DELIVERED TO HIS BRIDE, THE SEVEN CHURCHES WHICH IS NOW WESTERN TURKEY.

JESUS CHOSE THOSE SEVEN CHURCHES AS A SYMBOL OF COMPLETENESS. THAT IS, HIS SPIRITUAL EVALUATION OF THEM IS WHAT HE WANTED TO SAY TO EVERY CHURCH THEN AND TO EVERY CHURCH NOW.

SO FAR IN OUR STUDY WE HAVE SEEN THAT JESUS, THE LORD OF THE CHURCH, WARNED THE CHURCH OF EPHESUS TO GUARD THEIR FIRST LOVE FOR HIM.

CHRIST ENCOURAGED THE CHURCH OF SMYRNA TO REMAIN FAITHFUL TO HIM IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING. PERGAMUM WAS ENCOURAGED TO REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL.

THE CHURCH OF THYATIRA WAS WARNED TO DEAL WITH THE JEZEBEL IN THEIR MIDST AND REMAIN HOLY. SARDIS WAS EXHORTED THAT THEY NEEDED TO WAKE UP SPIRITUALLY.

NOW WE ARE LOOKING AT THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA, FOR WHOM THE LORD HAD NOTHING BUT WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT, EXHORTATION, AND PROMISE AS HE PRESENTED TO THEM OPEN DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE HIM IN THE MIDST OF THEIR TRIALS.

PHILADELPHIA WAS SITUATED ON THE EDGE OF A GREAT VOLCANIC PLAIN THAT WAS VERY FERTILE. IT BECAME FAMOUS FOR THE GRAPES IT GREW AND THE WINE THEY MADE. AS MIGHT BE EXPECTED, THE CHIEF DEITY OF PHILADELPHIA WAS DIONYSIUS, THE GOD OF WINE.

PHILADELPHIA WHICH MEANS "CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE" WAS LOCATED ABOUT SIXTY MILES EAST OF SARDIS. THE CITY WAS A BORDER TOWN FOUNDED BY GREEK COLONISTS FROM PERGAMUM IN 160 BC.

THE GOVERNMENT OF PERGAMUM HAD GIVEN THOSE COLONISTS AN "OPEN DOOR" TO TEACH THE SURROUNDING POPULATION ABOUT THE GREEK CULTURE AND LANGUAGE.

THEY HAD BECOME SO SUCCESSFUL IN THEIR TEACHING THAT THE WHOLE REGION WAS PEACEFULLY CONVERTED TO A GREEK COLONY BY THE YEAR 19 A.D.

OPEN DOORS FOR OPEN OPPORTUNITIES SEEMED TO BE THE THEME OF PHILADELPHIA. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT JESUS IS SAYING TO THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA. "I HAVE PLACED BEFORE YOU AN OPEN DOOR...WALK THROUGH IT WITH MY GOSPEL AND THE GOODS WORKS THAT I HAVE PREPARED FOR YOU TO WALK IN."

OUR LORD JESUS CONTINUES TO OPEN DOORS FOR HIS CHURCH IN EVERY GENERATION. TOO MANY INADVERTENTLY CLOSE THOSE DOORS WITH THEIR PESSIMISM. FOR SOME THE GLASS WILL ALWAYS BE HALF EMPTY INSTEAD OF HALF FULL. THE DOOR IS NOT HALF-WAY OPEN, BUT IS HALF CLOSED.


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