Ancient Words: Walk to Emmaus—The Open Door
An open door and a shut door have two very contrasting images. The open door is inviting, receiving as you will, and welcoming. On the other hand, the shut door is closed (of course), a barrier preventing entry. In Noah’s day the door to the Ark was shut by God with righteousness on the inside and unrighteousness on the outside. The eight deemed “right” were inside for safety and salvation. The 500,000,000 or more of earth’s population were on the outside doomed for death and destruction with a flood. Unrighteousness was actually the real barrier to an open door. When Lot and family were inside Lot’s house, they, as righteous ones, were on the inside of a shut door. On the outside of the shut door were Sodom’s unrighteousness ones—-demanding the door be opened so that their unrighteousness acts could continue. Unrighteousness, again was the real barrier to an open door with 4 on the side of “right” and an entire plain of cities condemned to destruction with fire and ash outside the shut door.
A glimmer of hope is seen with the door being opened to Israel after 430 years of slavery in Egypt. On Passover night, every door painted with sacrificed lamb’s blood was spared the angel of death. Righteousness was declared by the blood of the lamb for 2 million as they all waited on the right side of a shut door. Unrighteousness was on the outside of the shut door and every house in Egypt land wailed as the death angel struck. A nation was released that Passover night regardless of the life of each person. The lamb’s blood on the doorpost was sufficient to lead every household out of bondage and into freedom.
This glimpse of grace by Almighty God was the forerunner to Amazing Grace that would be offered at just the right time for all men, for all people from every tribe, nation, race and language: Joh 10:7-11 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep…..Joh 10:25-30 Jesus answered them… My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.
Jesus is the door today and the Grace he offers is amazing because He stands at the door and knocks! If it is shut, never to open, it is not God’s fault or choice. Unrighteousness has made the choice and refuses to open the door: Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Righteousness stands on one side by the Lamb’s blood; unrighteousness never enters due to it’s own choice!
Scott Johnson is pastor at East Faulkner Church of Christ and author of the BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to email@example.com.
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I am currently serving this week at The Salvation Army’s summer camp Heart O’ Hills in Oklahoma. Each week
during the summer approximately 200 children get the opportunity to come to a safe paradise where they enjoy swimming, high ropes, archery, fishing, sports/dance electives, Bible Classes and fun evening programs. Growing up in The Salvation Army, camp was always special as a camper and eventually as staff. I was reminded again this joy on Monday by watching the excitement and expressions of the children. Whether first timers or old pros, they all had the same same look of joy!
During the week, they learn to adapt to nature, the elements, problem solving, making new friends and learning to follow instructions and counselors.
As I participate and teach I am taken back to my childhood days and memories of Camp! The life lessons that I learned, the lifetime friendships/relationships made (including Elyshia), and my lifetime commitment to Jesus.
I am reminded in Luke chapter 18: 16-17 when people were bringing babies and children to Jesus for Him to touch Some disciples felt Jesus may be too busy to receive such an audience but He quickly rebuked them reminding them to bring the children to Him because the kingdom belongs to them! In fact verse 17 says “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall in no wise enter therein.”
I am so thankful for this experience and reminder this week. May we always look upon Jesus and His kingdom with that same wonderment and excitement! Regardless of age, when we accept him with a childlike faith and not childish faith, then we become His child! The kingdom belongs to His children! Are you a child of the King?
Captain Jason Perdieu is corps officer of the Salvation Army of El Dorado.