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No One Can Shut It

The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago made the controversial decision to remain open on Sundays. Many Christian leaders responded by boycotting the Fair, but D. L. Moody said, “Let us open so many preaching places and present the gospel so attractively that people will want to come and hear it.” His efforts were so successful that on a single day, more than 130,000 people heard the good news at tent meetings.

In his brief letter to the church at Philadelphia (in modern Turkey), Christ promised “an open door that no one can shut” (v. 8). This image corresponds with the fact that He is the One “who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” (v. 7). In this case, the “open door” represents not only opportunity but the authority to enter God’s kingdom. In other words, this is a guaranteed promise that they will enter the kingdom, no matter what difficulties they’re facing at the present time. Though they’ve been pressured to deny the name of Christ, they’ve held firm and now receive from Christ Himself this word of hope.

Christ encouraged them with several other promises. Their opponents, false Jews characterized here as the “synagogue of Satan,” will be forced to acknowledge their wrongs (v. 9). Christ will return “soon” (v. 11). And if they continue to endure patiently, they will receive a crown or eternal reward! Thanks to Christ’s victory, those who enter the kingdom will be privileged to dwell forever with the Lord. They will be triple-marked forever as God’s people with His name, the name of the New Jerusalem, and Christ’s own “new name” (v. 12).

>> If you ever doubt your ability to reach others for Christ, consider these words by D. L. Moody: “If this world is going to be reached, I am convinced that it must be done by men and women of average talent. After all, there are comparatively few people in this world who have great talents.”

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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