GOD OPENED THE DOOR
When the fulness of time was come God sent forth His Son, to be the Redeemer. Galatians 4:4 and 5. “We testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” I John 4:14. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. “Christ Jesus was made for the suffering of death”. “Christ Jesus came down from heaven.” “Christ Jesus appeared once in the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” “This man after He had made one sacrifice for sins forever sat down at the right hand of God.” Christ Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He abolished death and hath brought life and incorruptibility to light in the gospel. Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day. So we see it is all Christ. It was by the grace of God that He tasted death for every man. Hebrews 2:8, Hebrews 9:26, Hebrews 10:10 to 14, Hebrews 12:2. God raised Him from the dead and gave Him the highest place in the highest heavenlies. There today, in glory, sits, the omnipotent, eternal Christ, able to, save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him, because He ever liveth to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25.
The world waited 4000 years for God’s fulness of time; for the Second Man to come from heaven to die, according to the Scriptures, and to be raised the third day, according to the Scriptures. By that coming, by that death and resurrection God opened the door of salvation, the door of grace wide open.
Hear these words:
“Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Revelation 3:8. Who opened the door? God. Good news, sinner, believe it and enter in. Hear this word of Christ: “I am the door by me if any man enter in he shall be saved.” John 10:9. Nothing here to be reasoned out. It cannot be. This is Divine truth; good news for sinners of all kinds. You are just the right kind of a sinner for this message of salvation. It is eternal life. Christ said: “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” John 10:28.
THE CLOSED DOOR
“When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are.” Luke 13:25. Who opened the door? God. Who is going to close the door? God. When? It may be soon. For you it may be sooner than soon; for you may put off this earthly tabernacle any moment. Then this door will be forever shut. “After death the judgment.” When Noah went into the ark God shut him in and shut the others out. God longs to shut you in with Christ. He willeth not the death of any man. “If any man enter in, he shall be saved.”
THE OPEN SEPULCHRE—DOOR
“Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?” Mark 16:4.
What would have happened had that door of the sepulchre failed to open? Hear the answer: “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain.” I Corinthians 15:14 and 17, Without the bodily resurrection of Christ who died for our sins, there would be no door of salvation. Christians down through the ages have been false witnesses, and Christianity is a fraud or a superstition, if there is not a man, the Man Christ Jesus, alive at God’s right hand in heaven.
That stone was a very great stone. Mark 16:4. Christ called Himself a Stone. He was a very great Stone. In the beginning He made the stones, yea, all the great stones. A very great stone could not keep the door of His sepulchre closed. Before the Mary’s had finished their question, they had their answer: “They saw the stone was rolled away.” Mark 16:4. Within a short time they saw the Stone which the builders had rejected. They saw the resurrected Christ. The Jews had endeavored to thwart the report of His resurrection. They said to Pilate: “Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure.” To them Pilate replied, “Make it as sure as ye can.” Matthew 27:64 to 66. They did. But God loosed the pains of death; “because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” Acts 2:24.
If the door of the sepulchre had not been opened, the Messenger of God could never have said, “Behold a door was opened in heaven.” Revelation 4:1. If you will read the fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation, you may look through the open door of heaven and get a vision of the glorified Christ worshipped as Creator and Redeemer; and perhaps, you can see yourself in that picture, singing with other redeemed ones; “Thou art worthy . . . for Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God.” Revelation 5:9.
GOD OPENED OUR DOOR ABOUT 45 A.D.
“And when they were come, and had gathered the Church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.” Acts 14:27.
When Jesus was here among men, He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 15:24. Certain Greeks wanted to see Him. But He refused to see them. Because they were to be blessed by receiving Him as the corn of wheat dying and coming forth; that is, by His death and resurrection. John 12:20 to 31. Even some years after His death and resurrection His disciples preached the Word to none but Jews only. Acts 11:19. It was not lawful for them to associate with Gentiles. Acts 10:28. Peter was directed by the Lord to preach to the Household of Cornelius; and did. Then the apostles rejoiced that repentance unto life was granted unto the Gentiles. Acts 11:18. Cornelius, a most respectable, God-fearing, religious, Jew-loving, benevolent, praying Gentile was unlike many of the Gentiles to whom Paul afterward preached. Paul was debtor even to the Barbarians; and heathen were turned to God from idols.
Now any Jew or any Gentile may enter through the Door, which is Christ, and be declared righteous without a cause, without the deeds of the law, without religion, character or reputation. Romans 3:24 to 28. Salvation is just as free as the air we breathe and will be so long as this day of grace continues; that is, until the last member of the Body of Christ has been baptized into Christ. Some day—and it may be very soon—the door of salvation will be closed. Then it will be too late to enter in. But now, “if any man”, or “whosoever”, or as many as”. You are included. Have you entered in? If not, why not? Don’t be foolish, come on in.
ANOTHER DOOR—IS IT OPEN?
“Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.” Colossians 4:3.
In this Scripture, the Apostle to the Gentiles is asking every Christian to join with him in prayer that God would open a door of utterance. Undoubtedly at that time a multitude of the disciples of Christ were propagating Christianity all over the known world. But here, the Apostle Paul is concerned about a door of utterance for the special phase of Christianity, that specific message which he calls “the mystery of Christ.” He adds that he is in bonds because of that message. We quote also Ephesians 6:19 and 20 touching on the same thought. “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds; that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
In Ephesians 5:20 the correct translation is “in chains.” Paul was an ambassador in jail. The jail door had been opened for him but he was concerned about open doors to proclaim the mystery. This message differed from the message that had been proclaimed by the twelve apostles. A few years before Paul’s imprisonment he wrote to the Galatians and said, “I certify that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man . . . but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11 and 12. From this statement it is apparent that Paul was not perpetuating the message that had been proclaimed by the Twelve. The gospel which Paul preached was revealed to him from the risen Christ in heaven. And later on the same Christ added by revelation the glorious truth concerning the heavenly position, citizenship and hope of the members of His Body, and the pure message of grace wholly separated from religion or Judaism. Paul was the recipient and custodian of the special dispensation of grace and that revelation which he designated, the mystery. Ephesians 3:1 and 3; Ephesians 3:8 and 9. Undoubtedly, Satan was unceasingly active in his opposition to that glorious truth, and religious doors were closed against it. In II Timothy 1:12 Paul called it, “my deposit” (original text).
That opposition has not ceased to this day. There are many open doors for the preaching of the Christian religion. But when the servant of the Lord gives forth a message of pure Christianity, without religion, and sounds forth the truth of God concerning Christ’s revelation through Paul, he will find the same opposition, persecution and closed doors. There is an urgent need today for the prayers of God’s people that a door of utterance will be open for the mystery of Christ, which is no longer a mystery, but a revealed truth, although unknown to the great majority of the members of the Body of Christ, because withheld from them by their religious leaders and instructors.
Satan will do all possible to keep the sinner from hearing the unmixed gospel of grace. If not successful, he will keep him from believing it, if possible. Then he will do everything possible to keep the believer from obeying Ephesians 3:9. See what astir has been recently created in the camp of the Fundamentalists because some of God’s children have given themselves to the study of the blessed truth of the mystery.
Christ is now in the heavenlies Head over all things to the Church. which is His Body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all. Ephesians 1:19 to 22.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.