Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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“I have set before you an open door that no one can shut.”
Jesus, in Revelation 3:8
Suggested by a sermon by Preacher Clark, in about 1972.
During his sermon in an afternoon prayer meeting at Grandma’s farmhouse, my father pointed out that Noah did not lock anyone out of the ark. God is the one who shut that door, to save Noah and his family and to condemn the wicked world outside. Then my father went on to quote a prophecy of Christ from Isaiah 22:22: “He shall open [the door] and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.”
Later in that same sermon, and dealing with another subject, he quoted a famous portion of scripture from John 10:7–9: “Then again, Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I tell you that I’m the gate for the sheep. All who have ever come are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t hear them. I’m the gate; if anyone enters through me, he’ll be saved, and he’ll come in, and go out, and find pasture.”
When I heard that scripture, the Lord reminded me of the previous one from Isaiah, and putting the two together, I understood what Jesus opens and closes — himself! He either opens his heart to a person, or he does not. If he does open his heart to a person and convicts him of sin, no man can make that conviction go away. And if Jesus closes himself to a person, no one can make that individual feel the call of the Spirit of God.
That thought reminds me of what Paul said in Romans 9: “For He said to Moses, ‘I will show mercy to whomever I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’ So then, it is not of him who wants it, nor of him who strives for it, but of God, who shows mercy. . . . So then, to whom He will, He shows mercy, and whom He will, He hardens.”
If you have any interest in, or feel any sincere curiosity about the things of God, it is only because Jesus is opening his heart to you now, and is inviting you to come in. Take advantage of the golden opportunity of that open door. There is not another one like it.