Weekly Bulletin Story 10-13-13 ...
"THE OPENING OF CLOSED DOORS”
"But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me" (I Corinthians 16:8, 9, NIV).
Who would have thought that today the doors in Eastern Europe, Russia, China, and many other countries would be open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? What was once closed God, by His Holy Spirit, has opened. For all of this we should praise His holy name.
Let’s personalize this thought. What about those open doors that God has given to each one of us - where we live, where we work, and where we go to church? Have we entered them to serve the church and evangelize the lost? Surely God will hold us accountable if we don't. This is what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote to these same Corinthians: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10).
This first-century Christian keenly understood God's own involvement in the opening of doors and his responsibility to pass through such doors to preach the Gospel. Here Paul was at Ephesus nearing the close of three years of ministry. In Acts chapter 20 verse 31 he describes his work in Ephesus in these words: "Therefore, watch, and remember, that for the space of three years I ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears."
According to verse 5 of the chapter before us it was Paul's passionate desire to go into Macedonia, the main province of northern Greece, and then visit the church at Corinth in the southern part of Greece. But he explains to them that he could not leave immediately because God had opened a door for him to preach and teach to Gospel to the people of Ephesus. He felt a sense of urgency and a burden of duty to stay at Ephesus until his work was done. Listen again to his words for not departing: "because a great door for effective work has opened to me" (v. 9).
I wonder: Do we look upon the area where we live and the place where we work as open doors ready to be entered and ripe for reaping non-believers into the Kingdom of God? I hope we do!
Would you like to receive Jesus as your personal Savior?
If you had a sudden heart attack or the Rapture came in the next five minutes...
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