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Behold, I Have Set Before Thee an Open Door

Larry Kirkpatrick. 3 September 1999. Daystar Academy, UT

Revelation 3:7-8
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia, write; These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth; 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.

The one who says that He has set before us an open door, describes Himself as holy, true, having the key of David, one who shuts and opens, and keeps what's He's opened, open, and what He's shut, shut. We know from Revelation chapter one that this is Christ. But those qualities are especially emphasized, of One who has ultimate moral authority and power to act. And He tells the church of Philadelphia that He has set before her an open door.

Our text is a prophecy directly to the church of the Philadelphia time era, but we will apply it to ourselves. Because to each one of us, God has set right in front of us an open door, a gateway, a portal, an opportunity to build our lives with Him.

This is really what God has done for each of us. Before each one of us, He has set an open door. To each of us is given that ultimate faculty: choice. And no one can close the door that God has opened for you or for me. No one except ourselves.

And we must use that door. It is there to go thru. And if we put the "little strength" given us by God into living for Him, if we use it to keep His word, and we refuse, no matter how much the world attempts to get us to deny Him, we can go thru it to our bright future.

Does anyone doubt that Jesus has set in front of you an open door? In front of you? Turn to Luke 4:16-22 and let's read:

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?
I want you to notice some stuff here.

Number one, Jesus knew what He was doing. When He stood up to read, He knew exactly which text applied to His mission, and He presented it. "And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because..." He knew what He was doing exactly. This ought to appeal to us, because some of us have been lacking a mission or a vision for our lives. We have not always been too sure about why we are here, or what God wants us to do. How are we going to fill up our very short time here in this life? Don't blink, because you'll open your eyes and suddenly realize that many years have gone by--just like that--if time lasts long enough.

But just being decisive and having a mission isn't enough. You know, the devil knows exactly what his business is, and he is decisively going about his mission. So you could have those things, and even be a devil. But look again at Jesus' next words.

Because He hath annointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
See, Jesus was annointed to preach, sent to heal, commissioned to set at liberty the bruised. And so are you and I. "Oh, but I am not a pastor," you say. But wait up. No, you are not a pastor in the narrow sense that I am, of holding a specific position under employment of the church, or being assigned a district and so on. But what is a pastor. The word "pastor" comes from a latin word meaning "one who is a shepherd." And a shepherd is someone who guards, leads, and takes care of." Now turn with me to Matthew 5:14. What does it say there? "Ye are the light of the world." Verse 16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

So. You are the light of the world. You. And you are to "Let your light so shine before men." Friends, you are to guard the world from getting a wrong picture about what God is like. Satan is out there defaming, slandering, and libeling God every day and every hour. You are shepherds to the world against that. If you let your light so shine, then they, the world, might be persuaded to glorify our Father which is in heaven. Is that a neat thought, or what? You are to lead the world to better understand who God is. So you are taking care of them, aren't you? We are the salt of the earth--the preservative. So don't tell me that you are not a pastor. There is a sense in which every Christian is a pastor; you are a guide sent to a confused world, a lost world.

Now I know some of the ideas that you have entertained from time to time. "Christianity is awfully restrictive;" you've probably thought that or at least heard it. But did you notice in Luke 4 what Jesus' mission is? To heal, to preach deliverance to captives, to help those who do not see to recover their sight, to set at liberty the bruised. See, Christianity is about freedom, release from prison, release from bondage. It is about escape from the restrictions of sin and misery. Christians are supposed to be heroes, escape-agents, the actual good-guys, not the fly-by-night bubble-headed cartoon-cut-out TV and movie heroes. See, we don't exist only on film! We are real. God's reality is what's real; Hollywood's is all fakery. God doesn't need to hire out for special effects, because He can create and recreate. And We are to be His front-line agents in this work. See, Christianity is an adventure. It is not just a set of mindless restrictions. It is a privilege that in His mercy God has given to us.

Never forget this. You and I have embarked on a Christian adventure. And when you are tempted to think otherwise, know that Satan is trying to hit you with his propaganda and his bitter sweets that are hollow inside.

He wants to destroy you.

God wants to create you.

And the decision, the pathway, the choice, is yours whether you will choose life and creation. God has set before you an open door. Tonight, its open here at Daystar. Seize the future, leap through the doorway, and go forward. God wants to create you. Let this experience be for you a Genesis 1:1 experience. "In the beginning, God recreated me. And now is the beginning." Because God has set before you an open door!

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