Summary: This is on the Letter to Philadelphia
Some places have locked doors where you can’t go. Many businesses have “security doors” to control who can and can’t get in or out. Stores have “open doors” at the front, but closed doors in the back. We are to use the “open” door, not the closed one.
Read Revelation 3:7-13.
There are some things we learn here about open and closed doors. Christ tells this church, “I have set before you an open door.”
This tells us some things about open doors.
I. If the door is open, we must WORK.
The open door is symbolic of opportunities to evangelize and do what the church is meant to do. Acts 14:27 says, “And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.” Paul writes, “for a wide door for effective work has opened to me” (1 Corinthians 16:9). Again he writes, “When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord” (2 Corinthians 2:12). And again he writes, “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison” (Colossians 4:3).
Our door is open. Greenville is growing. It is speculated that in the next ten years the population will nearly double to 100,000. If this isn’t an open door, I don’t know what is.
The doors are open with people we know. We must walk through that door. Jesus told his disciples, “Do you not say, ’There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” The same is true for us today. The fields are ready for the harvest. The door is open. What will we do?
II. If the door is closed, we must WAIT.
Closed doors mean we have to wait for God to open another. Read Acts 16:6-10. Paul faced some serious closed doors. He was following his normal tactic of missionary work, but he waited. God opened the door.
Our prayer must never be, “Lord, bless what we are doing.” It should be, “Lord, help us do what you are blessing.”
To often we keep jiggling the handle of the locked door, when there is a wide open door two feet away.
That is why we are refocusing. That is why we are relocating our worship service.
III. We must always be FAITHFUL.
There is again a call here to remain faithful. Again, faithfulness must be 100% to the end.
A. See the OPPORTUNITIES.
This church had “but little power,” and yet they were told to look at the opportunities that lay ahead of them. Again as Christ said to his disciples, “The fields are white for harvest.” The opportunities are many, and the time is now.
The unbelievable growth in this area is an incredible opportunity for this church. Even if there were no growth; the opportunity would still be there.
B. Not the OBSTACLES.
While, looking at a large field, we may be tempted to say that the task is too big.
What do we tell our kids when they say, “It’s too hard. I can’t do it”? We tell them to do it anyway.
Where would we be if all we saw were obstacles? We would never have gone to the moon. The pioneers would never have “headed west, young man.” The great explorers would never have braved the waters of the Atlantic.
Small time thinking cannot deter us. Limitations cannot limit us.
Gideon’s army was only 300 men and they defeated an army of 135,000.
If we fail to see the opportunities, we will focus on the obstacles and hunker down in the bunker.
IV. If we succeed, there will be REWARDS.
Again, the faithful are promised rewards. The rewards are for the permanently faithful.
We are told here to “hold fast to what [we] have.” We are to keep our mission and priorities.
The church has to be the church. Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." He also said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."