I Have Set Before You an Open Door

Revelation 3:7-13 ESV

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.

“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

This is Jesus Christ speaking. And although this was written to a very specific group of people at a very specific time in history, I believe all seven letters, the number seven meaning complete, represent the body of Christ in various locations and at various times all throughout biblical history. And since all Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, and for training (or instruction) in righteousness, we can learn from this.

There is a remnant or a group of believers in Jesus Christ today who have not bowed the knee to the world’s system. They have stood fast to the truth of the Scriptures and to the truth of the gospel, the whole counsel of God, and they have not caved to the pressure to adopt the popular half-truth (false) gospel which is permeating the church (and/or the institutional church) here in America today, and perhaps in other nations, too.

But they are under attack by those who are of the “synagogue of Satan,” which would be those who make a pretext of being of God and of having faith in Jesus Christ, but who are really serving Satan and his purposes. And the way that we recognize them is by what they are teaching. For they are teaching that altered gospel which has turned light for darkness and darkness for light, and which turns God’s grace into sensuality. And they deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4).

So, how do they do this? Well, first of all they are teaching that we can just pray a prayer after someone else and afterwards be asked if we meant what we just said, and if we did, then they congratulate us that we have just become part of the family of God, and they guarantee us heaven as our eternal destiny, and they tell us that nothing can take that away from us. But they don’t include repentance, obedience, or submission to Christ.

So, unless the individual praying the prayer has a genuine encounter with God and, on his own, repents of (turns from) his sins, and dies with Christ to sin, and is delivered from his slavery to sin, and now is walking in holiness and righteousness in the power of God, genuine salvation didn’t happen. For the faith that it takes to believe in Jesus is authored by Jesus Christ and it is gifted to us by God, and therefore it will submit to God’s will for our lives.

If we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given and biblical faith, our old self is put to death with Christ so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin, but so we will now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. For, if we obey sin, it leads to death, not life. Thus, if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness is not what we practice, and if we do not walk in obedience to our Lord, and if we do not love our fellow humans, we will not inherit eternal life with God.

But they don’t teach that. They teach if you “believe” (not defined) in Jesus that your sins are forgiven (past, present, and future), heaven is secured for you for when you die, and nothing can take that away from you, including no amount of sinning on your part. And many are teaching that you don’t have to repent of your sins and you don’t have to obey the Lord, and so they give their adherents free license to continue living in deliberate habitual sin.

An Open Door

It is not certain here what that open door is, and commentators have differing opinions on this subject, so all we can do is pray the Lord will give us understanding here. And then we need to look at the context. I believe the point is that our God is absolutely sovereign over all that he has made and whatever doors he opens no humans can shut them. So, we don’t ever have to fear those who are opposing us, for God trumps over all!

So, even though we have enemies who are coming against us to harm us, we do not need to fear what they might do to us, for God is in control over all things and what he opens no man can shut and what he shuts no man can open. In other words, Satan’s messengers cannot thwart God’s plans and purposes, for they are only able to do what they do because God allows it for a time. So we need to just keep following the Lord no matter what.

And one day God is going to humble our enemies before us and they will be forced to admit that we were loved by God and that we were indeed his servants and those who were doing his will. But how this will happen and when this will happen exactly, I do not know. And it may not even happen until after we are gone from the earth. But I also don’t think our focus should be on that, but it should be on continuing in following the Lord.

Now, with regard to the Lord keeping us from the hour of trial that is coming on those who dwell on the earth, the meaning appears to be more that he will keep us during or through the time of trial so that we don’t sink under the pressure of the trials. For, the Scriptures are quite pointed in teaching us that the Christian life is a life of suffering, and that we will be persecuted for Jesus’ sake, and that we will go through hardships in this life.

The One Who Conquers

Jesus is going to come back one day to take his bride to be with him for eternity. But not everyone who professes the name of Jesus is going to go with him. Only those who are doing the will of God will inherit the kingdom of heaven. For, if we are living for the flesh and in habitual sin, we don’t have the promise of heaven but of judgment, no matter what we profess with our lips. So, Jesus is going to tell some people to depart from him.

So, if we are those who are conquerors, we are those who have remained faithful to the Lord, and who have held fast to the truth of the gospel as is taught in the Scriptures, in context. We are those who have died with Christ to sin, who are daily by the Spirit putting the deeds of the flesh to death, and we are those who are walking in obedience to our Lord, in submission to Christ as Lord, in the strength and power of God’s Spirit living within us.

So, don’t be left behind. Don’t embrace the half-truth gospel which tells you that your sins no longer matter to God or that you can sin as much as you want and still have heaven guaranteed you. Don’t believe those of the synagogue of Satan who are twisting the Scriptures to say that you don’t have to obey the Lord, and that you don’t have to submit to him as Lord. Study the Scriptures in context and follow Jesus in obedience.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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