Philadelphia – The Open Door
7“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.
8“‘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.
9Behold, 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.
10Because 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.
11I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
12The 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.
13He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Most of us hate to miss a good opportunity. You never know if it’s going to come around again. As Jesus addresses the church in Philadelphia He directs our attention to the fact that as Christians we are presented with opportunities to share the Gospel that may not come around again. We are encouraged to look for those golden moments and take advantage of them for the growth of His Kingdom.
The church in Philadelphia doesn’t receive a stern warning or admonition against a specific sin. Their warning is far more subtle. Jesus claims His position as the holder of the key of David and with that key He opens up specific ministry opportunities or “doors” (a reference to Isaiah 22:22) and also closes them. His complaint against the church is that they don’t seem to possess enough power to take advantage of the chances for Gospel sharing that they are given. They remain strong in the faith themselves but do not access the power of Holy Spirit that would enliven their witness. They fall down in this important aspect of the faith.
Those of us who have lived in the faith for a long time can almost certainly point to specific instances in our own lives where we have failed to share the Gospel when given those golden opportunities, those divine appointments. None of us wants to be guilty of those “I wish I would have spoken” moments. Those sins of omission are painful. But as with all sin, we must confess it, receive the forgiveness offered us in Jesus Christ and move on with the intention of grabbing that next opportunity with both hands. And the truly bold thing to do is to pray for more chances! Ask God to open up the doors of your witness and provide those divine appointments. You can also pray that His Holy Spirit would fill your mouth with the right words to speak so that His kingdom is advanced and people are blessed.