Doing What Jesus Wants
"I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name."
-Revelation 3:8, emphasis added
What did Jesus approve of in the church at Philadelphia? In Revelation 3:8 Christ shows us what He commends.
Holiness: "He who is holy" said to them, "I am intimately acquainted with your deeds, and they are pleasing to Me." How can God be pleased with what we do? By our being holy, as He is holy. That means agreeing with God, being clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and responding to the Holy Spirit by saying YES to Jesus Christ. It is a wonderful thing to walk in holiness, in the power and energy of His Spirit, accomplishing the life of Jesus Christ here on earth.
Disciple-Making and Evangelism: Jesus commended the Philadelphians, "I have given you great opportunities that you have taken and fulfilled. I have put before you an open door, and no one can shut it." This is disciple-making and evangelism. All of us are supposed to be doing that. Like my friend, Andy Meakin, we are on a plane that is crashing, so it is time to undo our seat belts and share the gospel with as many as we can.
Do you know what today's church does? The captain has announced over His intercom that our plane is crashing! Instead of undoing our seat belts, and jumping up to rescue people for eternity, we are pulling out our iPads and playing a movie because "we are going to heaven." Everybody else can go to hell. Do you get the metaphor? It is very dangerous to think that if we send our money for someone else to evangelize, we are all right because we did our part. No, God says that we are all to be disciple-makers. We need to get out of our seats and start walking the aisles of life urgently telling people about Jesus. Jesus praised the Philadelphians for going through that open door.
When I was a student at Michigan State University, a professor walked into the class of about 500, looked us over, and smiled as he said: "This semester we are going to talk about the mythology of the Bible. Some of you have been taught to believe that thing. I am going to teach you it is not true. You don't have to be bound by that weakness." He was very effective, and then he asked if we had any questions about the mythology of the Bible. Since I did not know any better, I raised my hand and stated: "I believe the Bible is true--and it is not mythology." He just pointed at me, and everyone started laughing and snickering. He made his point silently: "There! Look at the dinosaur. A relic from the past sits among you!"
That professor never did answer me; he only said, "We will talk about the mythology of the Bible this semester." Afterward, fifty students who said they were Christians came up to me and asked if I would help them start a campus Bible study that semester. Be committed! Raise your flag at work, at home, at school. Even if you are scared to death, speak out! When you are weak, the Lord promises to make you strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
If speaking out for Christ is what He likes in someone, shouldn't we be seeking those pursuits in place of others that crowd Him out? God gives the same promises to us as He did the Philadelphian assembly.
In Luke 18:8, Jesus says, "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" He wonders: "There are so many people caught up with chasing after stuff that I am not sure they are really in My kingdom!" Are you chasing after the pleasures that this world brings--or after Christ, who is to be your greatest joy?
Do you feel uncomfortable sharing your faith? Click here to read about dependence on Christ.
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