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“For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” (1 Cor 16:9)
The media hub bub about “Islam” and Gays has literally caught fire with “Christians” all over the world joining the fever, and then having the nerve to call whatever the secular media prints, “Bible truth.” Or the “warning message.” I have been criticised and berated by many people who are angry that I do not accept what we are being told. But when we have societies telling us who to hate, who to fear, or who to like or not like; then we do have a serious problem. As Isaiah would have put it:
“Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter.” (Isa 59:14).
It is essential for all followers of Jesus Christ to recognize the open doors that are presented to us; especially if they are opened by Jesus Christ. Muslim migrations around the world are presenting open doors, and Jesus is the One who is leaving them open. The current problems with “Islam” , as with other peoples in times past, still follows the general, historical trend of events, all under the control of God. (see Daniel 2:21). All of these historical events can be seen to fulfill their various roles in Bible prophecy; and this is why we can call current events, with Gays, Muslims, and others: “Open Doors.”
Open Doors are not always going to be some sort of entrance to a smoother path. There is nothing in the Bible to suggest otherwise. Its not always an easy road when we choose to walk into an Open Door of opportunity that Jesus presents to us. The Apostle Paul’s “open and effectual” door (2 Cor 2:12-13) was rife with adversaries and enemies who attacked Paul brutally and openly the minute that he stepped through it. And some of these may very well have barred some people who were “weaker in the faith” (Rom 14:1)than was Paul at the time.
Paul records for us in Scripture that when he had reached Troas, and had received the call from Macedonia, another “door” was opened for him. (2 Cor 2:12-13). The Scripture is very clear and specific about the use of the word “door” here. There can be no mistake or alternative interpretations on this point. For Paul stated how that “a door was opened unto me of The Lord.” (2 Cor 2:12). Now, that door that Paul had entered, into, as we know from reading that passage, led to some very brutal persecution, beatings and hardships. Today such things would make any of our current hardships or trials seem like a walk in the park. Still though, it was an open door of opportunity; and Paul did indeed recognize it as “of The Lord.” (2 Cor 2:12).
If a person truly believes in God, and knows Jesus as it is our privilege to do, most doors in their life will seem like the kinds that are “of The Lord.” People tend to feel “blessed” when “a door is opened.” People want to see said open doors as “of the Lord.” But an open door in the Biblical sense is always “a door of opportunity.”
As a contractor, I sometimes get calls to fix people’s doors. There are so many ways that a door in someone’s house can need fixing. Sometimes I need to clean it, paint it, trim it, put new lock sets in, and all kinds of other things. Sometimes, I have to replace the whole door and make sure the replacement is a better quality one. None of these repairs are easy options. Most contractors don’t like working on doors. They can be a little tricky. For some reason, I have been able to figure them out well and I can fix almost any door. But these were all “open doors” for me because I would sometimes feed my family by fixing doors. Doors of opportunity. Feeding my family, and providing customers with a new sense of security, because now their door is fixed properly.
What about these “open Doors of The Lord?” Some Christians need to just shut their beaks when they yap about “Muslims,” “Gays,” etc, and stop being like secular media and spreading a message of fear and hatred towards Muslims and Gays, and many others. Stop reacting like cowards and getting all puffed up behind their keyboards, and learn to recognize “the threat” as an open door of opportunity. An open door “of The Lord.” For Jesus, our “crises” is always an opportunity; but as a Church we refuse to acknowledge it. How much different would our world be, even now, if churches would accept these historical, and unprecedented “open doors” presented to them by Jesus, right now? We are not stopping to think now for ourselves because we prefer to follow whatever is “trending” on “Social” Media.
As always, history repeats itself, and reflects the “open door of opportunity,” but so many look at those doors as burdens and chains especially if it comes from “Muslims.” “Gays,” or others we deem as “not being good.” It is essential to realize that for every “right” we think we have, there is a corresponding responsibility, every opportunity being an obligation, every possession, a duty. Let us pray that God opens our eyes to the opportunities and responsibility being given us today. And that He gives us the mind and soul to “both will, and to do,” (Phil 2:13, 1 Thes 3:4), and to take hold of this open door with both hands and let these people into our churches!
Why are not our arms out-stretched, like the arms of Jesus were for us when we came to the cross? When people come to our places of worship, why do they not come back after just a few weeks of attendance? Why do they feel so unwelcome after the service? Why are people walking out of the church doors all the time, feeling worthless, and never to be good enough for God or His church? If you want to question these statements, how do your church numbers stack up? Do you attend one of our shrinking churches? And what kind of “revival” is it when very few people even want to come? And even fewer will stay after their “baptism. Our track record here is abominable, yet we keep doing the same things, knowing that the same results are coming. And costing us MORE each year “per soul.” More cost, less results. Many churches are losing their new members and young people as fast as they get dunked into the baptismal tank. When will we start to think about a personal revival for us, instead of other people? The gospel by which we are truly saved, must be the same one we share with others.
“When they arrived [opened the door] they called The Church together and told them everything that God had done with them; and how He had opened the door so that Gentiles [Muslims, Gays, etc] would believe.” (Acts 14:27, ISV).
How many of us could ever go over to their countries and preach the gospel there? How much easier is it for us to speak the truth in love to them here? We could say the same question about gays, Catholics, divorced, all kinds of people that we typically “disapprove” of. But who gave us the command to judge people like this?
“A door”; or the phrase ἀνοίγω θύραν (anoigō thuran, “to open a door”) is an idiom meaning “to make possible some opportunity.” But our doors are often closed to people who are not “being good.”
God, by His providence and grace is making a way for preaching “Christ and Him crucified” amongst our Muslim friends and indeed many other culture or faith groups that are “not one of us” and right now; history is telling us that THAT door is wide open. But for how long? I can think of even just one time where a good 25,000 Muslims moved to Canada. And thats just Canada. But sadly, most of us won’t enter that “open door” of opportunity. Because its not always an easy door to go into for some of us. Because we want to join the secular media hordes, and stand in line for the next newspaper article or the next internet doctrinal carrots.
There is need today of such a revival of true heart-religion as was experienced by ancient Israel. We need, like them, to bring forth fruit meet for repentance,—to put away our sins, cleansing the defiled temple of the heart that Jesus may reign within. There is need of prayer—earnest, prevailing prayer. Our Saviour has left precious promises for the truly penitent petitioner. Such shall not seek His face in vain. He has also by His own example taught us the necessity of prayer. Himself the Majesty of Heaven, He often spent all night in communion with His Father. If the world’s Redeemer was not too pure, too wise, or too holy to seek help from God, surely weak, erring mortals have every need of that divine assistance. With penitence and faith, every true Christian will often seek “the throne of grace, that he may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
The baptism of the Holy Spirit as on the day of Pentecost will lead to a revival of true religion, and to the performance of many wonderful works. Heavenly intelligences will come among us, and men and women will speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Spirit of God. But should the Lord work upon people as He did on and after the day of Pentecost, many who now claim to believe the truth would know so very little of the operation of the Holy Spirit that they would cry, “Beware of fanaticism.” They would say of those who were filled with the Spirit, “They are filled with new wine” [Acts 2:13, NRSV].
A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.
The time has come for a thorough reformation to take place. When this reformation begins, the spirit of prayer will actuate every believer, and will banish from the church the spirit of discord, strife, alienation, and shunning.
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