(May 14, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, encourages us to enter every fruitful door of gospel opportunity…
In Revelation 3:8 (MKJV) Jesus declared: ’I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it. For you have a little strength and have kept my word and have not denied my name.’
He know our works too!
Jesus knew the situation of the local church in Philadelphia, their faithfulness, their testimony to people where they worshipped and where they lived.
And he told them that he had set before them an open door that no one could shut. A door of opportunity, witness and fruitfulness. He did this because he knew their works; he had watched and seen their faith at work and knew they could achieve even more.
I feel it is appropriate to apply this challenging word of encouragement given by the Lord to that early church to every Christian today, to every church because…
- He knows the works of every one of today’s churches.
- He knows the works of every servant of God.
- He rewards faith, hope and love.
- He trusts those who trust him.
There are doors and there are doors
Some are basic, providing simple access to a room or place. Others are designed to be beautiful and even, magnificent. Others to secure valuables, treasures, money, gold ingots crown jewels and the like.
When I was younger and a country pastor I hung doors by the tens and twenties in many new houses under construction. Some were stronger than others because they were the exterior doors. Occasionally there was an ornate door with leadlight in multi-colours. All these doors required handles and hinges. They all required the ability to be opened and shut.
Sometimes our lives are affected by doors that are not physical as the doors I have mentioned but are doors of a spiritual nature. There are doors, different doors of…
- Opportunity in the purpose of God.
- Fellowship in our walk with God.
- Diversion from our planned spiritual commitment.
- Difficulty that test our faith.
- Temptation that can lead to sin.
Doors that are…
Reality: Each door has its purpose
God’s open doors are the best doors for us to identify and step through as we seek to walk in the Spirit, be fruitful in every good work and glorify the name of the Lord in all things.
Doors (including tent doors) are mentioned in some 240 verses of the Bible. The door of the tabernacle is mentioned 51 times. Every door has its purpose and its value. We should seek those doors that God is guiding us to walk through in his service.
I learned many years ago to never try to kick doors open that were locked. This applies as much in the day by day world as it does in the spiritual world of doors. Prayer, before stepping up to a door of spiritual commitment is a wise and valuable thing.
1. A door of opportunity
Jesus told that Revelation 3 church in Asia Minor (Today it is Turkey) that he had set before them an open door.
I see this door firstly as one of opportunity. They had kept his word and had not denied his name in a time and place of strong opposition. They had patiently endured persecution without giving in to the enemies of Christ. Jesus called on them to hold fast, so that no one might seize their crown.
They had the grace and power to conquer in his name and be made pillars in the temple of God in the New Jerusalem.
2. A door of witness
This door of opportunity became a door of witness for these faithful believers. Wherever God opens doors he opens hearts too.
The kingdom of God comes with power, as the Holy Spirit works, anointing, empowering and overcoming all darkness.
- The victory is the Lord’s because of Calvary and the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:19-20).
- Jesus’ name is above every name because his Father has given it to him (Ephesians 1:21, Philippians 2:9).
- Every knee will bow to his name and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10).
3. A door of fruitfulness
Ultimately, the door set before them would be one of great fruitfulness as they faithfully preached the gospel of Christ and lived out their faith in a world of spiritual darkness and opposition.
Next month – Pentecost Sunday – we celebrate the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church of Jesus Christ (Acts 2).
Jesus, in Matthew 28:18-20, gave every Christian, every church the Great Commission to reap fruitfulness. The reality is that without Jesus we can do nothing, except by the indwelling power of the Spirit of God… which is also given to us (Luke 24: 49, Acts 1:8, 2:4).
With his indwelling strength followers of Christ can walk through doors that God alone can open, as well as keeping open any door he wants to remain open.
Fruit that remains in this context is surely people won to Christ. It is the fruit of witnessing to lost souls, declared the gospel which is the power of God for the salvation of all who will believe (Romans 1:16).
I boldly challenge every church, every church, to dare to go through every open door God gives us! May we not deny Jesus’ name but share the gospel in our time, our world of spiritual darkness and opposition! Let’s trust our God.
Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary spokesperson with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ Link: firstname.lastname@example.org