Summary: A sermon on the church at Philadelphia. What does a open door mean ?
THE CHURCH WITH AN OPEN DOOR
Letter written to Church at Philadelphia(brotherly love) Written by Christ who has the keys to unlock doors that are locked..and lock doors that are open. This shows his sovereignty, and superiority over the church.
If Jesus desires for something to happen, no person, power or principality will prevent it from happening...point incase...Communists vowed to wipe out Christianity....Chinese Church though under severe persecution strives.
On the other hand, If it is not the will of God for something to happen, no one or thing can bring it to pass. All powerin heaven and on earth belongs to him.
Notice Jesus set before this Church a open door. He didn’t force them to go through it...he just put it before them.
Why did Jesus give them this open door ?
1. They were strong. The word little probably denotes the size of the church. Philadelphia was located in what is modern Turkey, and was constantly hit by tremors, and earthquakes....many people because of fear would not live within the walls of the city, but chose to stay out in the open. Thus the actual population of Philadephia, and the church was relatively small. Though they may have been small numerically, they were strong spiritually. Remember that God is in the habit of using small things..things insignificant.....Not the size of the man in the fight but the size of the fight in the man.
2. They were sound. They believed in the word of God...they preached the word of God, they practiced the word of God. Twice Jesus referred to the fact that they had KEPT the word of God. They were obedient.
3. They were stedfast. They had not denied his name. These are words that could be used to describe this church. Faithful, Determined, Persistent, Committed. Are those the kind of words that describe your life ? Do those words describe your Church ? Illust.
Sen. Mark Hatfield tells of touring Calcutta, and meeting Mother Teresa. Watching her minister to the dying children at the so called “house of dying”, he asked Mother Teresa how could she survive with so little success ? Her reply was this..
dear senator, I am not called to be sucessful, I am called to be faithful.
Illust. Mark Geisler picked up by a bus over 400 times before he came to Christ. Don’t despair in well doing, we shall reap if we faint not.
What does this open door represent ?
1. Change. Who knows what lies on the other side of the door....who is for certain where it will lead....this door of opportunity ? Only God himself. But, it most certainly will involve change. To take on a new task or a new occupation or to go into a different field involves change. What kind of changes need to take place in your life...what kind of changes need to take place in this church in order for us to be more effective for the sake of the gospel ? Story. If God were alive today, he would be horrified at the changes that have taken place in this church.
2. Challenge. On the other side of the door are challenges....opportunites, responsibilities. God has given us a open door in this community. Will we take hold of the challenge or will we miss the opportunity ? Illust. Problem with opportunity is that when it knocks, we’re often too busy.
Illust. Billy Graham & JFK....D.L. Moody didn’t give a invitation.....
3. Choice. This open door represents choice. We can walk through it or not... it is set before us. Will we take advantage of the open door ?
Note: Door to the church needs to be a swinging door.