Summary: Jesus is coming back! While we can, we need to go through the doors of opportunity the Lord opens for us.

The Church of the Open Door

Sermon 6 in the Series “You’ve Got Mail”

Chuck Sligh

August 21, 2011

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TEXT: Please turn in your Bibles to Revelation 3.


OPENER: Here’s a little two-question trivia quiz for you:

* First question: How many doors are in this sanctuary? – Now don’t turn around and count; just take a guess at how many doors are in this sanctuary?

* Second, how many doors are in this entire church?

1) Okay, let’s see how you did:

* How many doors in this sanctuary?—Answer: 3

Now how did you know that? Well, I’m told that people who are bored with the sermons will count just about anything: doors, chairs, light fixtures, tile squares—whatever.

Now that one was easy, so let’s try the second question:

* How many doors are in this entire church building? Answer: 29

Did anybody get that? All right: that was worth coming to church for, wasn’t it?

Did you know that doors are often used as a metaphor for important truths in the Bible?

For instance, one type of door mentioned in scripture is the door of SALVATION.

In John 10:9, Jesus said: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” Jesus was teaching that He is the only way to salvation and the only way to security and everything we need to find joy and satisfaction in life.

Another type of door in the Bible is the door of INTIMACY WITH CHRIST.

In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” We often we use this verse in evangelism as a metaphor of letting Jesus come into your life, but actually it was written to a church of believers to illustrate Christ’s willingness to pursue believers who have grown cold in their relationship with Him.

There’s a third type of door mentioned in scripture—the door of OPPORTUNITY. Paul speaks of such a door in Colossians 4:3: “…praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.” Throughout history, believers have found that God has a unique way of opening doors for fruitful service, and preparing hearts to accept the Gospel.

That’s what God does for the church in Philadelphia, the sixth of seven churches of Asia. Notice with me five brief points about God’s message to this church in Revelation 3:7-13:

I. FIRST, WE SEE A DESCRIPTION OF DEITY. – Verse 7 – “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.”

As we’ve pointed out before, the message to each of these churches begins with a vision of Jesus meant to emphasize something about His character. The main point of the particulars in the picture in verse 7 is to reinforce Christ’s deity:

* He is described as “He who is holy.” This term refers to God, who alone possesses absolute holiness; who alone is completely and utterly perfect and separate from sin. Calling Jesus “He who is holy” is a way of saying, “He who is God.”

* Second, He is called, “he who is true” Truth is used in combination with holiness to describe the Father in Revelation 6:10; 15:3; 16:7; and 19:2 and 11, so the link to deity here is unmistakable. By the way, the Greek word used for “true” here describes something that is genuine, authentic, and real. In the midst of all the falsehood and error that abounds in this fallen world, Jesus says in John 14:6 that “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

* Third, John describes Jesus as being the one who has “the key of David.” A key in the Bible represents authority, and “the key of David” was a messianic title from the Old Testament. So Jesus having the “key of David” is meant to tell us that He is the promised Messiah who, as God, has complete authority in the universe. If He opens a door, NO ONE can shut it and NO ONE CAN open any door the Messiah-God shuts.

II. NEXT WE SEE A NEW DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY – Verse 8 – “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”

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