Bible Ballistics: BBs #98 Open Door or Closed???
Jesus wrote 7 letters to 7 individual churches in the Book of the Revelation. In the last 2 we see about as much of a contrast in situations as could be possible for a “church”.
Revelation 3:8, “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.”
To the church of Philadelphia (not Pennsylvania) Jesus wrote that He had provided them with an open door. While there strength was ‘little’, they were faithful, and Jesus was placing before them an open door that ‘no man’ could close. I believe for some 200 years, America has had the privilege of an ‘open door’ of missionary opportunity to the whole world; an opportunity that a relatively new and ‘little’ nation (at that time) was able to step up to and pursue. God blessed those pursuits for many years, and is still blessing those that go to do HIS work and preach HIS gospel throughout our world. But for much of America, it is now the mission field!!
To the last church to which Jesus wrote, the church of Laodicea, the message was different. Jesus said to this church:
Revelation 3:17, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”
Here we have a church that ‘thought’ they were rich, and prosperous and needed nothing. Apparently that included the Lord Jesus they claimed to serve! His message to them was much different than the Philadelphian message; Jesus revealed to them that while they thought they were so ‘strong’, they had a deceived view of themselves. Jesus description of them is very different from how they saw themselves. He said they were, “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”. What a contradiction of perceptions! His call to Laodicea was not an open door—but a closed one. And the Lord they claimed to ‘serve’ was on the outside. His plea is still the same today to those who have excluded HIM, ignored HIM, or just never given HIM any place in their lives or churches.
Revelation 3:20, “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 sup with him, and he with me.”
Without getting into the end-times debate over the church identity that applies to us today, let me simply ask a couple of questions.
Are we being faithful and pursuing the open doors that the Savior places before us? Or are you claiming something that you’ve never possessed? Are you part of a group that sees themselves as ‘A-OK’, while Jesus is standing and knocking at your hearts door to let Him in, and believe in HIM alone for Salvation? Let Him give you HIS abundant life—so that you can possess His gold, be clothed with His Righteousness, and have eyes that He has opened to see.
So??? Here’s our shot for today. Are you standing before an open door that Jesus Christ has called you to pursue and go through? Go; step out in obedient faith!! Or are you behind the closed door with the Savior knocking to get in? Only you can answer the question. If you’re unsure, ask God. He will answer if you truly ask Him to reveal where you stand with HIM!! He may have been there knocking for a long time!! (See Isaiah 55:1-6)