Leaders Development (September 22, 2020)
THE EXEMPLARY CHURCH WITH AN EVANGELISTIC OPEN DOOR
The church in Philadelphia was a good one. It was a saved, sanctified, Spirit-filled, soul-winning, supplicating and Second Coming church. They were waiting for the coming of the Lord. Christ’s message to the church shows that they were exemplary. Every global, continental, national or local church should be an exemplary church with an evangelistic open door. As the Lord opens these doors, we must resolve to go through them and do His will without looking back.
Point 1: THE SUPREME AUTHORITY OF THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH
Christ introduced Himself as the Head of the Church. He is holy, truthful and has the key and authority to open and shut. “…He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” This introduction is also for us who are present-day members, ministers and pastors of His Church.
(i). The Divine Attribute of Christ
“These things saith He that is holy…” Christ is the holy Son of God. Heaven, the Father, angels, the disciples and even demons declared that He is holy. He is holy in heart, life, thought, word, demonstration, interaction and nature. In everything He did in the midst of His disciples, before the angels, the Pharisees, the Sadducees or the Sanhedrin, He manifested holy character.
(ii). The Deserved Affirmation of Christ
“These things saith… He that is True…” Jesus is the truth of God – the Truth personified, the truth proclaimed and the truth that penetrates every heart. He is the final Truth that God has given to humanity. “For… grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”. He has all the truth for our salvation, existence here on earth and eternal life. He has the whole truth in the message of the Kingdom. By it, we know, understand, believe and are convinced and convicted. In nature and attributes, Christ is “Faithful and True”. Therefore, we should trust all that He has promised because there is no falsehood, error or deception in Him.
(iii). The Destined Authority of Christ
“These things saith… he that hath the key of David…” Christ has the key of royalty and authority. The final authority resides in Him. His word carries authority and His declaration is a decree. He has the key that opens the door of salvation, holiness, the Spirit’s power, healing, deliverance and riches of the Kingdom to the whole of humanity. He opened the door of faith to the Gentiles to come into the Kingdom and the Jews could not close it. He also has “the keys of hell and of death”. When He closes the door of death, the grave and eternal punishment, none can open it. As He closes the door of death, He can open the door of eternal life and heaven. As believers, He has given us the key in our identification with Him. By His authorisation, we can use the key of His name and power to open the door of salvation for people to come in and lock the door against evil, the devil, disease, affliction and the power of darkness.
(iv). The Decreed Announcement by Christ
“These things saith… He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth”. When Christ opened the door for people like Saul of Tarsus to come into the Kingdom and service of the Lord, the apostles, Pharisees, Sadducees, the people in Damascus and Satan would have liked to shut the door against him. But no man can shut the door which the Lord has opened. Also, no man can open the door He shuts. When Christ sent an angel to get Peter out of the prison, the iron door, which none could open except those with the keys “opened to them of his own accord”. He has the key and He has passed it to us.
Point 2: THE SANCTIFIED AMBASSADORS AT THE HEIGHT OF CONSECRATION
The church in Philadelphia was at the height of consecration. They were committed and obedient to the word of God, and the grace of God was evident in their lives. Therefore, the Lord commended them. The pastor, ministers and members of the church were all ambassadors of Christ who possessed the sanctification experience.
(i). The Privilege of Open Door for Sacrificial Service
“I know thy works (activities, passion, pursuit, performance, sacrifice and decision to serve): behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it”. Our Lord Jesus Christ has opened to us doors of ministrations, service, evangelistic outreach and edifying ministry. He assures us that when He opens a door, none can shut it. He has given us (believers and ministers alike) this privilege to enable us offer sacrificial service to Him.
(ii). The Prevention of Offensive Denial despite Small Strength
Although the leaders and members of the church at Philadelphia had “little strength”, they “kept [His] word”, and had not offensively “denied [His] name”. Despite our small strength, Christ still expects us to keep His word. We can accomplish everything the Lord has ordained for us because “[We] can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us]”.
(iii). The Power for Overall Dominion over Satan’s Synagogue
As sanctified ambassadors, Christ promises to give us power for overall dominion over Satan’s synagogue. He pledges to humiliate our oppressors and make them fall before us. As we stand on the authority of the word of God, He will help us overpower, overturn and overthrow the enemy.
(iv). The Perception of Observable Delight in Sanctified Saints
As we give our lives to the Lord, become His loving and dutiful servants, and serve Him sacrificially, He promises to love us such that even the world will observe that He delights in us. Christ’s love for us is so deep, broad, high and unending. Thus, we should also reciprocate and continue in His love.
(v). The Perseverance with Obedient Dedication to Sacred Scriptures
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience…” The Lord testified about the patience of the saints in Philadelphia. They were patient in keeping the word of God despite the trial of their faith. In the same way, the Lord wants us to be committed to keeping His Word so that He will testify about us before the heavenly Father and angels in heaven.
(vi). The Protection from the Overwhelming Destruction of the Sinful Society
“…I ALSO WILL KEEP THEE from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”. This verse is eschatological. It assures us of Christ’s protection during the overwhelming destruction of the sinful society at the tribulation. The Lord knows how to keep the righteous and shield us from all the trial, trouble and tribulation that will come at the end of time. He shielded Noah and his family in the ark before the flood began. He also made Lot and his family to escape before the fire of His wrath fell on Sodom and Gomorrah. In the same way, the Lord will catch away the righteous saints in the rapture before the fire of His wrath falls on the earth. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”.
(vii). The Pursuit of the Overcomer’s Destiny by Steadfast Soldiers
“Behold, I come quickly: HOLD THAT FAST which thou hast, that no man take thy crown”. Christ reassures us repeatedly of His soon and sudden return. He wants us to hold on to our salvation, sanctification and hope of heaven as we expect His coming. By so doing, no one will take our crown.
Point 3: THE STEADFAST ANCHOR OF HOPE FOR THE CONQUEROR
Christ wanted the church in Philadelphia to have a steadfast anchor. His desire was for them to be stable, solid and trustworthy so they would continue to overcome.
(i). The Promise for Conquerors
Believers have access to all the promises of God. Saints and servants of God who overcome the flesh, devil, world and temptation will “eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God”.
(ii). Their Perpetual Presence with Omnipotence
Believers who make it to the final rest will live and abide forever in the presence of the Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient God. He will “honour” us with His presence, a place in heaven and a crown if we serve and follow Him to the end.
(iii). Our Perseverance in Obedience
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”. The Lord wants us to set aside all other voices and listen, obey and follow Him When we “hear” His voice. When we listen to His warnings and perform our duties and assignments the way they ought to be done, it is proof that we have an ear to hear.