The "Open Door"
John D. Telgren

"I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door…(Rev 3:8a)"

When read in Greek, a subtle nuance, rich with meaning comes through.

The word, "put" usually means, "to give." The noun form of the word means "gift." You could render this, "I have given before you an open door…" However, that would not be good English. So the idea behind the open door is more than that is has been placed there, but that it is a gift offered by Christ.

The word, "open" is passive in Greek, which means that the action is done to the door. It literally says, "I have given in front of you a door opened." So it is not that the door just happened to be open. Christ opened it.

In addition to "open" being a passive, it is also what is called "perfect tense." This means that the door, which had been previously shut, has been opened by Christ in the past, and remains open.

That is why the passage says, "I have given before you a door opened which no one is able to shut."

This puts a powerful twist on these words, which do not come through as clearly in English. For the Philadelphian Christians, it meant that Jesus had given the gift of opportunity to come through the door that he had opened for them. Even though "those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not (v.9)" did not accept Christians, whether Jew or Gentile, Christ has accepted them. No amount of persecution, slander, or disowning will change that fact. When Christ opens the door, it is open regardless of what anyone does.

The door remains open to this day for all who will accept Christ. He himself is the door, and it is through him that we have access to the Father and all the blessings of participation in the kingdom and rule of God.

We need to recognize the opened doors that God places before us. Sometimes it may be an opportunity to share the Gospel with a friend or co-worker. At other times, it may be an opportunity to help a needy person and fulfill the law of Christ. Some have taken note of the opened doors and have brought family and friends to Christ. Others have gone to foreign countries. Recently, an opened door was placed before us to help the people of Sudan, which can also lead to an opened door to share the Gospel.

Maybe the opened door might be the opportunity to help with VBS, be a camp counselor, or mow the grass. It could be an open door to simply call and encourage someone, or send a card of appreciation. Maybe it is an open door to visit someone who is sick, dying, or grieving.

The only one that can cause you to miss an open door is you. So take note when he opens a door, whether it be the opportunity to obey the Gospel, or the opportunity to serve him.