And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things said he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David…
Doors are of many kinds. Everything has its door leading into its own reserves, by which easy entrance is furnished, but, apart from which, they are inaccessible. Some ways of entrance are very narrow and restricted, others are relatively wide and open. We have each our door by which we are accessible, and also doors through which we have access to others. Human reason finds a wide door, but human sympathy and love a wider and deeper. What a door, then, Wisdom has, who is the maker and mother of us all.
I. But, though her children, WE MAKE OUR BEGINNING OUTSIDE THE DOOR OF ALL THINGS. We are born without the gate, laid very humbly at the door. We make our beginning in unconscious weakness. "Behold," says the Father, "I have set before thee an open door, which no man can shut." This is the birthright of our childhood. God with His universe stands at the gate of His child in the joy of expectation, waiting for the awaking of his intelligence to declare to him his blessedness of Being, and the greatness of his inheritance. "Blessed is he that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my door." But, to descend to particulars, we may ask, to what is there not, at the first, an open door set before us? Only by ignorance, folly, and abuse, the door of our physical inheritance is closed against us. God's creatures are commissioned to befriend His children. To more than a sufficiency of worldly goods there is at first an open door. "The hand of the diligent maketh rich, but he that dealeth with slack hand becometh poor." No less is there a fellowship of mind which seeks to awaken our observation and inquiry, and minister to our knowledge. And the door of communication with the fountain-sources of all light and power of mind is ever widening. Earth draws nearer to and more partakes of heaven, and heaven has more of earth as generation after generation is "taken up." But to what social inheritance is there not an open door? We are born into families. If as youths we go forth from our first homes, it is only that we may be prepared as men to enter upon our own homes. But other worlds than earth, and higher life than is possible under nature is open to us, through the door that is set before us. The earth is neither prison-house, palace, nor true home for man. It is not an end, only a way, a marvellous thoroughfare to the Spiritual, the Infinite, and the Eternal. God has not opened up to us the kingdom of nature for our culture by means of our senses, and the kingdom of mind for the culture of thought, affection, and will, by the exercise of our souls, and kept His own door closed against us as His children. He has not doomed us to perish in the earth, much less appointed us to wrath, but to "inherit all things," and "live together with Him."
II. HE WHO MADE US AND LAID US AT THE OPEN DOOR HAS ANTICIPATED OUR PRAYER, AND MADE HIMSELF THE WAY OF ACCESS AND THE DOOR OF ENTRANCE. We are too accustomed to think of Christ merely as the door of mercy for our souls, but not of health for our bodies; as the door to heaven when we are dismissed from earth, but not the door to all earthly treasures; as the door of access to God, but not the door of access to men. We forget that His kingdom is an universal kingdom, and His dominion everlasting; that He exercises no divided sovereignty; that He made all things and gave them the laws of their several existence. He is also the light of all our seeing. "If the eye be single, the whole body will be full of light." And if we follow the light, we shall be led into all the ways of that hidden wisdom by which all things have been constituted and are kept in being. Having His spirit we stand in kindred relation to all things and all being; our minds possess a fellowship of nature with all thought in its impersonal diffusion and in its personal centres; our hearts are moved by a sympathy with the attractions, affinities, instincts, and personal affections which proclaim the drawing together of all things; whilst in our deepest nature is awakened a sense of our Divine childhood, which seeks and finds access to God.
III. But He who is the door to all things, and also the way to Himself, does not leave us to ourselves to find the door, BUT OFFERS HIMSELF AS OUR GUIDE, TO LEAD US NOT ONLY INTO HIS HOUSE, BUT ALSO TO CONDUCT US TO THE FEAST HIS WISDOM AND LOVE HAVE PREPARED. He stands at the door and knocks for admission. He offers Himself for our acceptance.
IV. He who so graciously offers to be our guide that He may lead us into our inheritance, ALSO WARNS US, LEST SLIGHTING THE OPPORTUNITY OF OUR DAY we should come to reject His aid, despise our birthright, and not "knowing the time of our visitation," "the things which belong to our peace should be for ever hidden from our eyes," and the door set open before us should be for ever closed against us.
(W. Pulsford, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
WEB: "To the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia write: "He who is holy, he who is true, he who has the key of David, he who opens and no one can shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says these things: