God's Plan for the Local Church Series Message 3
The Church with an Open Door
Rev. 3:7-13

Introduction:    It is a very important to determine what is the foundation for one's beliefs about the church? We need to establish what we believe and why we believe it. For most of us what we know about the church came from the churches we attended and what they taught influenced what we believe. Some have looked to their denominational leaders and others to pastors to tell them about the church. Philadelphia: Word means brotherly love.

We each have the responsibility to know what God's will is and what He wants His "ekklesia" meaning local congregation to believe and practice. He wants to bless the local church He gave His life for at Ephesians 5:25 says, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:25-27)

Christ's will is that His assembly be a glorious church, without spot, wrinkle or any such things and that it be holy and without blemish.

    l. The church at Philadelphia was the church exists just before the rapture and the following Tribulation. The name means "fellowship" and most times the name typifies a church. I am sure the Philadelphia church was a church that had a strong fellowship, but that is not emphasis here in the Lord's message to them.

    2. This was a mission church - located at the junction of three ancient countries.

      a. Built by Greeks to spread Hellenism, and Greek philosophy into the East.

      b. Stood at base of Mt. T-mol-us, beside a main road that went thru the area.

      c. It was built on an earthquake fault, and experienced many great earthquakes. Several times it was almost destroyed.

      d. It was the center of worship of the idol, called Di-on-y-sus, the God of wine.

      e. At the time of the writing of Rev. it was a Roman city. For centuries the Turks tried to take the city. They were remembered for their persistence defense against the enemy and they lasted until 1379 when the city finally fell.

      d. Its name today is Al-as-e-hir (al-as-e-air), in Turkish, means the City of God.

      f. Even to this day remains a Christian witness there that survived through the Muslim invasions and pressure.


    A. It was a church of Great potential.

      l. It wasn't a "super church." Probably wasn't well organized yet.

      2. "Strength is word "dynamic" - They were a little bit dynamic.

    B. They were a church governed by the word of God. V8

      l. They loved the Bible - built their church on it.
      2. They were obedient to the Bible and lived by it. They kept the Word of God.
      3. They had not denied the name of Christ.

      How Do You Deny the Name of Christ? You deny God's word by not living it! Jesus said it well. "But why do you call Me `Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say? (Luke 6:46)

      You Deny the Name of Jesus when you do no live as He has said. You deny the name of the Lord Jesus, when you sin. Christ died that we might be free from sin. Sinning bring shame on the name of Jesus. When the professing Christ sins, he mocked Christ on the Cross.

    C. They were well known - as being faithful.

III. They Had Before Them an Open Door.

    A. Paul in Acts 14:27 reported back to the church at Antioch, which had sent him out, that "God had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles".

      1. 2 Cor. 2:12, "Furthermore, when I came to Troas to {preach} Christ's gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord"

      2. Col. 4:3 "... meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains"

    B. An "open door" simply means there is an opportunity to preach, to witness for Christ.

    When there was a door open, Paul was ready to go in and go thru it. That is how we ought to be.

    C. Some folks mistakenly are picky about the doors the will enter!

      1. One popular preacher said, "Many naively expect to find a perfect church... Meanwhile, there is an open door at a church with all kinds of problems, but they don't pursue it because it doesn't exactly fit their expectations"

      Some people want a perfect church, a perfect preacher, a perfect Sunday School, Bible Study, perfect teachers, and perfect everything. They are very critical and are experts on how everything should be done.

      Do you know who they criticize? People who are doing things. Folks God has never been part of opening a door for someone to criticize. 2. Some want only to witness to the rich, nice looking, those that would fit in, have a nice car, are educated and so on and on.

      Yet, James warned the church not to show ANY favoritism to people because they had money, position good clothes. Jesus is the Head of the Church: He is our founder. Yet, he was also rejected. He was the chief corner stone, the Jew threw away.

      Jesus ministered to the most hated of people in Palestine. The Publicans, Jews who served the Romans, Tax collectors of the Romans, Sick people, lame, blind, even insane. Prostitutes, drunkards and the cast offs of Society.

      There is not no person in this room that is not a sinner! Everyone here was born is sin! There is not one person here, or outside this church that is in the eyes of God, better or worst than you are.

      It is evil to show favoritism to some, and reject others. Folks an open door of God is that the Gospel be freely carried to all men everywhere. That includes everyone. It includes children and our young people also. Jesus placed great store in seeing children come to Him. A church better be careful that it does not hinder children and see them as a burden.

      Church near here built a new building and several families left the church over the issue of children. The pastor and some members were bringing in too many and the were not well behaved!


    ILLUS: I remember many who came our church and are not now. Some were children who were rowdy, yet in fact, their coming here was the only opportunity to be saved! They do not come any more. Some children are rowdy...sure...but for some it is there only hope for salvation. We in love seek to help them. Sure we have discipline, but discipline in love. Children know when you really love them.

    E. An open door to mission fields, which mean lost souls that Christ died for who need the to be saved.

      1. Souls in our town and area and all over the county.

      2. Soul in other parts of the West, and outward to the ends of the earth.

    F. The business of the church is twofold:

      1. To Glory the Lord Jesus our Savior by our lives. To live from Him, to serve Him completely.

      2. Missions: To "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (Matthew 28:20)

      "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

      3. Our attitude should be one of looking diligently for every open door the Lord gives this church to minister.

V. Promise of Protection and blessing. Rev. 3:9-13

    A. No condemnation is given to this church which was seeking opportunities and in faith taking them on.

    B. Your enemies will be humiliated. v9

      l. Symbolism: Those who claim to know Christ but do not.

      2. They will know I loved you.

    C. I will keep you from strong persecution. About to come on the whole world. v10

    D. I will make you strong and secure. v12 You will become a pillar of the temple of God!

    E. Given a new name! Not just a face lift, but a sweeping new change.


A. Church at Phil. was given an open door to carry the Gospel into all Turkey and outwards to the world.

We have the same opportunity. Next week I will preach on financing the work of the Lord.

B. Sardis & Laodicea two other churches which existed at the same time as Philadelphia. Sardis was a church that Jesus said was known as "dead". Although there were some in the church that still served the Lord Jesus, most of the church was in sin, not walking with the Lord.

Laodicea, was the "luke warm" church. They were not cold or hot. Jesus say because they were not hot or cold, he would spue them out of His mouth.

    1. We have the means to do all God wants us to do.

    2. We are not persecuted, we at this time are not hindered. There is nothing we can not do no open door, or opportunity we can not take advantage of if we will just be willing to be used.

    3. Holding the truth is not the same as living by it.

C. But are we willing?

    l. In our town people are going to hell.
    2. Are we friendly and do we honestly care about them.
    3. Many rob God in tithes and offerings, use God's money for our personal use.
    4. Only a few give faithfully to church and faith promise.
    5. It is really hard to get anyone out for our visitation program.

D. As Sardis - We are hindered by tradition and pride.

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