In Revelation 3 John records a letter from Christ to the church in Philadelphia. In this letter the Lord says to the church:
I know your works. Because you have limited strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name, look, I have placed before you an open door that no one is able to close.
The church in Philadelphia wasn’t a big church and had undergone a lot of persecution. They didn’t have much influence and it might seem they were insignificant. But the Lord had plans for them. He had placed before them an open door that no one would be able to close. I believe this describes an opportunity for obedience and effectiveness that would be beyond anything they might have imagined for themselves. I believe God continues to place open doors in front of the church and even individual believers.
The question I have is: Why do some churches not walk through the open doors and others do? Here is an answer, perhaps you have your own ideas.
– Why do churches pass up open doors?
- No vision – don’t see the open door, aren’t looking for it
- No obedience – don’t want to be anything but what they are
- No leadership – leaders won’t lead, followers won’t follow
- No love – don’t care about the lost – selfish/self-centered
- No faith – a small view of God – He can’t use me/us to do that!
- Fear – Afraid of change, losing influence/power, failure, success
– Why do churches go through the open door?
- Clear Vision – have heard from the Lord and are committed to His leadership
- Radical Obedience – committed to go anywhere, do anything, and sacrifice everything in His service
- Trust their Leadership – believe those leading are selfless God lovers
- Love the World – passionately evangelistic because they love their neighbors
- Full of Faith – know it isn’t the size of the church but faith in the call and command of the Lord
- Courageous – will walk forward because staying put is death