Summary: The Letter to the Church at Philadelphia.
AM Sermon preached at Central Christian Church November 5, 2006
The Letter to the Church at Philadelphia Rev. 3:7-13 The Door of Opportunity
[SERMON SERIES SLIDE---WILL AUTOMATICALLY MOVE TO TITLE SLIDE THEN TO BLANK SLIDE]
Let’s see how well you recognize the following landmarks by their entrances or doors…
[SLIDE #4] It’s just across the river. That’s right. It’s the entrance to Union Station.
Like you don’t know this one… [SLIDE #6]
[SLIDE #7] That’s right it’s the new Busch Stadium. Oops! Sorry. Left that slide in there.
[SLIDE #8] Aw come on and give a Cub fan a break, will ya?
Here’s just about everyone will recognize. [SLIDE #9]
Yes, it’s the White House. [SLIDE #10]
Here’s a landmark our old timers can readily identify. [SLIDE #11]
[SLIDE #12] The old outhouse.
From the Windy City here’s a shot of.. [SLIDE #13]
What you don’t recognize it? It’s the home of the good guys. That’s right Wrigley field! [SLIDE #14]
This one may be a little tougher. [SLIDE #15]
Can’t fool you guys---it’s this building. [SLIDE #16]
Three more and we’ll move on. This one ought to be familiar to some of our guys with wings. [SLIDE #17] That’s right. [SLIDE #18] It’s the Air Force Academy Cathedral.
Here’s another from Chicagoland. [SLIDE #19] It’s the McCormick Place Convention Center. [SLIDE #20]
Last one… Ever drive by this local landmark? [SLIDE #21]
[SLIDE #22] It’s the McCormick Place in Belleville.
Well, enough of that. Moving on to more important matters…Do you realize that there are lots of open doors spoken of in the Bible and that they almost always refer to some type of opportunity?
For example, the opportunity for a traveler to receive overnight lodging in Job’s house is spoken of as an open door. [SCRIPTURE SLIDE] "my door was always open to the traveler-" Job 31:32 The open door idea is used to describe the opportunity to speak freely about Christ. Paul writes in Colossians, [SCRIPTURE SLIDE] "And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains." Colossians 4:3 And in 2 Corinthians when Paul journeyed to Troas to preach he [SCRIPTURE SLIDE] "found that the Lord had opened a door" for him. 2 Cor. 2:12
And near the end of Revelation 3, later in this chapter that has the letter to the church at Philadelphia in it, there’s an open door imagery that speaks of entering into a meaningful intimate relationship with Jesus. In verse 20 we find Jesus saying: [SCRIPTURE SLIDE] Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” [BLANK—SLIDE #27]
So when Jesus says to the first century church at Philadelphia, "I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut." He is in essence saying “I want you to make the most of the opportunities I’m giving you.” And what Jesus wanted for them back then He wants for us today---Rather than miss out on the opportunities He places before us, He wants us to make the most of them. Let’s take a few moments and read the scripture passage in which Jesus words about the open door are found. They appear in His letter to the church at Philadelphia which is recorded for us in Revelation 3:7-12… [SCRIPTURE SLIDES]
7 "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.
8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.
10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.