We are continuing our series entitled: “What Would Jesus Say?” It is a study of Jesus’ words to the seven churches in Asia in the first 3 chapters of Revelation. The last time we spoke about the church of Sardis; the church where the lamp of their witness had grown dim. Jesus is telling this church of Sardis, wake up and get ready because I'm coming like a thief in the night. You don't know at what hour I'm going to come but it's going to be soon and if you're not watchful you are not going to be ready.
This Sunday we are moving on to the church in Philadelphia. Jesus says this to the people in Revelation 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
Jesus says to them, “I have seen your works.” In other words, I have seen the things you do in your Christian life, your witness of me and I'm opening a door. And Jesus gives three specific things that make up their works and He describes them in a specific way. I'm going to use three adverbs that sum up the works of these Philadelphians that led to an open door. They were “unrelenting,” they were “unequivocal” and they were “undenying”.
And I have written a poem which sums up the actions of the Philadelphia's which leads to Christ opening a door for them and I have entitled it “IF”. If you can live your Christian life in a certain way and “if” you can be like the Philadelphians with regards to their relationship with Christ then you too can receive an open door. This poem is modeled after Rudyard Kipling's poem “If”….If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run— Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! My poem goes like this:
“IF” you press on unrelentingly though others have dropped from the race and “IF” you can bear with each trouble and circumstance, trusting Me in the trial you face…
“IF” you keep on relying on my Word while others search for better proof and “IF” you place your trust unequivocally upon my Word as the only truth…
“IF” you will be people who belong to Me while others are falling away and “IF” you place your faith undenying on the Name above all names.
Then yours will be the kingdom My child and in it a pillar you shall be and before you I will place an open door that leads to Eternity.
Join us in person on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. or via livestream by going to https://www.firstbaptistsudbury.com and clicking on livestream for “An Open Door.”