See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it…. (Revelation 3:8b)
These words were addressed to the first century church of Philadelphia. Since they are eternal truth inspired by God they have an application for the church today. Studying the entire letter to the Philadelphian saints recorded in Rev.3:7-13 will yield rich spiritual insights, but for the purpose of this devotional we will concentrate on verse eight. The verse expresses the door of opportunity God presents to His church anytime, anywhere, if only they will submit to Him in faith and obedience.
Consider the PERSON SPEAKING. These words were uttered by Jesus Himself. The letter to each of these churches was dictated to John. The Apostle was the secretary, but Jesus was the Author. How our Lord described Himself is important. In verse seven, He says, “These things says He who is holy, He who is true, ‘He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens….’” This speaks of His authority. Christ has the keys. This tells us that while the door is open for sharing the Gospel and making disciples that His church must respond with urgency for there will come a time when the door of opportunity closes.
Too often, we limit the impact we might have because in our thinking we lower God to the level of our experience, when we ought to raise the level of our experience to the greatness of our God! Don’t you think that a God who could speak the universe into existence by the sheer word of His power is mighty enough to keep His promises to His people? He will equip us to get the job done.
Hear this as a PERSONAL SUMMONS. The response made by the church is dependent on the individual member. Consider verse 13, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The church where we belong will never progress beyond the level of commitment of its members. The work cannot be done by a handful, though it can start there. If enough are willing to hear the call and walk through the door of opportunity the church will flourish. The outward growth of the church in reaching the world demands the inward growth of the Christian in the teaching of the Word. A tree can only grow up and branch out in fruitfulness as it puts roots down for nourishment and stability. An open Bible for daily meditation and an open heart for prayerful submission becomes the open door for spiritual development. Also, when the church doors are open for Bible study and worship, we bring our Bibles, listen and learn.
This leads to the PRIVILEGED SERVICE. The open door God sets before such a church does not lead to meadows where we laze in the sun, but to fields white for harvest. Tens of thousands of unreached people dwell in a five-mile radius of our church—many of them without Christ—lost in their sins. It is a privilege to serve Christ by sharing the Gospel. I am so glad someone told me about Jesus—now I need to tell others.
The door is open—for now. Someday that door will close. Our culture is becoming increasingly resistant to the Gospel. Today is the day to share Christ for tomorrow may be too late. That family member or friend may soon have the lid on their casket closed on them. Tell them about Jesus now!