Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 09/12/2010
The Doctrine of The Open Door. Part 2.
In relationship to our main passage in ROM 9:17, For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.”
We have been noting the kind of people and circumstances God uses as a part of the doctrine of the open door or the kind of doors that the Lord opens for our own benefit.
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; in order that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. (COL 4:2-5)
Point 1. Definition. An open door refers to the grace opportunity related to giving meaning, purpose, and definition to your life. This principle of doctrine related to the open door is that even if you go through the wrong door because of failure involving your sins or evil, the Lord will give you the opportunity to rebound and recover.
In fact, this door of rebounding and recovering is implied to in REV 3:19, where we read, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
The door refers to that part of the believer's soul where their free will or volition opens up to receiving divine conviction or divine discipline from the Lord, if necessary. If there is the response of rebound and recovering from making the wrong choices, then the believer is invited to go through the open door of forgiveness and fellowship, that’s the meaning behind REV 3:20.
We have been noting how the good or the evil decisions we make begin to determine the kind of doors that are placed in our path along the way. We also noted some of the passages about the kinds of people and methods God uses for those who produce divine good or sin and evil. This brings out the importance of thinking Bible doctrine as the divine viewpoint concerning what doors to enter into or go through and what doors not to go through. Everything depends upon our thinking when we come face to face with the open door.
From our thinking comes our motivation.
From our motivation comes our decisions.
From our decisions comes our lifestyle.
What we think depends upon our attitude toward Bible doctrine and our attitude toward the open doors put before us in the path of life. This is very important because inevitably all of us will stand before God and have our Christian life on earth evaluated. The evaluation is based upon what we did with the doors placed in our path, especially the open ones. The issue is whether or not we through divine viewpoint or human viewpoint while facing the doors placed in our path. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to see whether or not divine viewpoint was resident in our soul when facing the open doors of the spiritual life or were we controlled by human viewpoint.
Refusing to go through the open door from God = Loss of reward or blessing above and beyond the resurrection body.
This is determined by your motivation, your choice of viewpoint, divine or human, and your response to the open doors placed in your path of life. Each man’s work or production will become evident; for the day [of judgment] will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. (1CO 3:13)
Notice that it is the quality of each man’s work that will be tested. The quality will be determined by the presence of divine viewpoint or human viewpoint as your motivation when faced with the open door of opportunity from the Lord. The purpose of the judgment seat of Christ is found in 2CO 5:10, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one of us [royal family of God]may receive what is due him [rewards] for the things accomplished while in the body, whether good [from proper motivation] or worthless [evil motivation].
So, this is the evaluation of the believer's performance in the PPOG during his time on earth.
Prin - If the believer lives his life in the cosmic system, it is worthless (phaulos) or evil; he has failed to fulfill the PPOG and has lived a life of going through the wrong doors or the wrong opportunities.
Prin - If he lives in the PPOG and fulfills the plan, it is intrinsic good (agathos) and he, the winner, receives rewards above and beyond the resurrection body because he walked through the open doors of opportunity from the Lord.
Everything depends upon you not being afraid of the open doors of opportunity from the Lord. The issue is that your life for all eternity is now in the making. Your day-by-day attitude toward Bible doctrine and the open doors of opportunity from the Lord will determine completely what you will receive for all of eternity. It takes only one decision for eternal life. However, it takes many, many decisions to go through the open doors of opportunity from the Lord to receive the great decorations, honors, and rewards at the judgment seat of Christ.
In COL 3:23 we read, Whatever you do, keep on performing it from the soul, as to the Lord and not to people;
This includes the open doors of opportunity from the Lord. What better illustrations to have of the difference between the open door of opportunity from the Lord and the close doors of deception from Satan and the kingdom of darkness then the first three members of the human race that TLJC announced that He was the God of, who failed immensely.
Under these principles of the open door, we noted how the Lord used Cain, who murdered his brother as an open door for freedom and the right to live. Next we saw God using the evil sinful plans and schemes of Abraham to open the door of opportunity to reveal the sacredness of marriage and respect between the husband and the wife. Then we had the open door of opportunity for Sarah and how to handle unjust and unfair treatment from a husband that didn't seem to care and refused to protect her. The Lord opened up His door of forgiveness, power, and strength, so much so that both Abraham and Sarah finally ended up walking through the open doors and eventually made God's hall of fame in Heb 11. So why should we always be available to the doctrine of the open door? Because you never know if the Lord is calling on you as His ambassador to plant, or to water, as He ultimately is the one who brings in the increase or spiritual growth.
The point is that God can even use evil of lying, of deceit, of unjust and unfair treatment, and turn it into divine good through opening up a door for those who desire to go through it. Not only that but we also have the open door of unlimited forgiveness illustrated by Abraham repeating this same sin or form of evil again in GEN 20:2-18, as we noted on Friday night. God opened up the door to have victory over his previous sin of fear and evil but instead, Abraham repeated the same act all over again. This reveals the kind of people God uses and why we should always be available to the doors that the Lord opens for us to go through for another chance.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
Abraham went through the wrong door, the door of selfishness and fear but later on became an example of the patience and longsuffering of God. God opened up the door of integrity and truth, but Abraham refused to go through it. Here is an unbeliever, king Abimelech who operated with more integrity than two believers, Abraham and Sarah.
However, what we read in ROM 4:16-21 tells us that God forgave Abraham because he apparently understood the forgiveness of God and not only did he rebound but he also he recovered. This tells us that Abraham didn’t quit and he apparently learned the doctrine of forgiveness. But, remember our main question is what kind of people can God use and why should we always be available to the doctrine of the open door? We should always be available to the doctrine of the open door because God uses people who understand the importance of forgiveness. These are the kind of people God can use. You never know when that door will open.
Abraham chose the door of fear, presumption, and self-justification rather than the open door of fearlessness, courage, and believing the best about others. However, what we read in ROM 4:16-21 tells us that God forgave Abraham because he apparently understood the forgiveness of God and not only did he rebound but he also he recovered. We should always be available to the doctrine of the open door or the doors that the Lord opens up for us? So, what kind of people can God use? Well even Sarah, Abraham's wife, forced her Egyptian maid Hagar to have a male child through Abraham because of her lack of faith. That’s why it says in HEB 11:11, By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised;
Even a woman that went through all of the unjust and unfair treatment like Sarah who became bitter, jealous and angry against Abraham and Hagar could be used by God and glorify God. She could be used by God and glorify God if she is willing to follow TLJC through the open door of God's love, grace and mercy. This is more proof of what kind of people can God use and why should we always be available to the doctrine of the open door, a female who over came bitterness and jealousy. This is another illustration of what kind of people the Lord can use to accomplish His will. After human plans were finished, and God finally took over there's room for another illustration of the open door of opportunity from the Lord.
Sarah in Gen 16 literally forced Abraham to send Hagar away when she became pregnant at 90 years old, beyond her menopause, and Isaac was born as the promise seed. What kind of people can God use and why should we always be available to the doctrine of the open door, He can even use those who use operation blame game as their patsy.
In GEN 16:1, after Sarah said to Abraham that God has not seen fit to let her have a child. Sleep with my maid. Maybe I can get a family from her. Abram agreed to do what Sarah said. In GEN 16:4 Abraham slept with Hagar and she got pregnant. When she learned she was pregnant, she looked down on Sarah. In GEN 16:5 Sarah told Abraham, It’s all your fault that I’m suffering this abuse. I put my maid in bed with you and the minute she knows she’s pregnant, she treats me like I’m nothing. May God decide which of us is right.
But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence. (GEN 16:6)
Prin - God will even use an individual who is jealous, angry, and bitter like Sarah was. This is another reason why we should always be available to the doctrine of the open, for verses 7-13 insinuate that Hagar became a believer.
Now the angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” Then the angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.” Moreover, the angel of the Lord said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they shall be too many to count.” The angel of the Lord said to her further, “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the Lord has given heed to your affliction. And he will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone’s hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers.” Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “Thou art a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him? (GEN 16:7-13)
So, an open door was provided for Hagar and notice what she did even though the open door didn’t seem to be a door of opportunity but of revenge, she said in effect, LUK 22:42, “yet not My will, but Thine be done.” So, even though the open door didn’t seem to be a door of opportunity but of revenge, Hagar went through it (GEN 16:15).
The doctrine of the open door also is also revealed through Abraham’s son Isaac, who committed the same sin as his father Abraham, he lived in fear of losing his life and therefore he willfully lied and told the men of Gerar that Rebekah was not his wife but his sister. Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. (GEN 26:1)
The doctrine of the open door also refers to the doors God closes in times of historical disaster. This time, however, we see God closing certain doors to protect His people. “Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham” (GEN 26:3). The Lord says stay here in this land and I’ll be with you and bless you. I’m giving you and your children all these lands, fulfilling the oath that I swore to your father Abraham.
“And I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.” (GEN 26:4-5)
Isn’t that interesting that God still blessed Abraham even when he went through the doors that God was shutting.
So Isaac lived in Gerar. When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful. And it came about, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out through a window, and saw, and behold, Isaac was caressing his wife Rebekah. Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Behold, certainly she is your wife! How then did you say, ‘She is my sister’”? And Isaac said to him, “Because I said, 'Lest I die on account of her.” And Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” So Abimelech charged all the people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.” (GEN 26:6-11)
Isaac had the opportunity to learn from his father’s mistake but he didn’t. What kind of people can God use and why should we always be available to the doctrine of the open door, because God can use those who even learn the hard way. Young people learn from your elders. Learn from your parents if you see that they have lived for God. Learn from your parents even if they haven’t lived for God. Learn from their PVTD and their success as well as their failures.
So, what kind of people can God use and why should we always be available to the doctrine of the open door? Well, individuals like Isaac, God used a man filled with the fear of self-preservation. It’s interesting that this was all found in the book of Genesis, the first book in the Bible, perhaps to give every single one of us the hope and confidence from the forgiveness of our Creator, Jehovah Elohim, the Lord God. Then we have Jacob, naturally crafty and sly, who stole the birthright from his brother Esau as he lied deceived his father Isaac.
Now it came about, when Isaac was old, and his eyes were too dim to see, that he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” And Isaac said, “Behold now, I am old and I do not know the day of my death.” (GEN 27:2-3)
Actually, he is going to live about 43 more years. Isaac is 137 years old according to GEN 47:9; GEN 41:46; GEN 31:38; GEN 25:26.
“Now then, please take your gear, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me; and prepare a delicious dish for me such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die.” (GEN 27:3-4)
GEN 27:5, And Rebekah was listening, notice that Rebekah was listening. I told you before, remember Sarah?
Females just love to listen and be very nosey which is why the Lord said to Sarah, you laughed when you were listening at the closed door of the tent, Sarah....
So therefore as a reminder to you of that laughter and you standing at the door of the tent, when the child is born, you shall call him Yitschaaq meaning laughter.
And Sarah apparently was either to arrogant or to dumb to admit that she said it according to GEN 18:15, Sarah denied it however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
Abraham laughed as well according to GEN 17:17, Sarah laughed according to GEN 18:12, however, the Lord had the last laugh in GEN 21:3 Sarah bore to him, Isaac.
GEN 18:14, “Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”