Sermon delivered January 5, 2002 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Jesus the Door

JOHN 10:7-9

Does your house have a door on it? Of course it does you might say. We have one on the church, too. Let me ask another question: would you live in your house if it did not have a door? Doors are petty important. We wouldn't live in a house without doors because doors serve valuable purposes.

Here in John 10 we see a fresh new title for Jesus: this is a rather odd term to call the Savior of the World by, but as we will see it is very important. The Bible says that Jesus is the Door. John 10:7 (KJV) - Then said Jesus unto them again, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep."

Now, since we are sheep, this is important because here's our Door. It's vital that we understand this new term. What does this really mean? Well, what does this mean for us? What are the purposes of doors?

1. JESUS IS OUR SECURITY

Doors make our place secure don't they? Especially if you remember to lock them. They protect the occupants of the house from intrusion by robbers or criminals intent on our harm. Therefore, Jesus is our defense. Psalm 59:9 (KJV) God is my defense. Jesus, like a good door, shuts out the things that would harm us, that would destroy us, that would break us down. Every day hundreds of homes like yours are broken into. Do you realize that ninety nine percent of the time a robber comes to your house to break in, he'll break in through the door or the window? Why is that? It's because the door or the window is the weakest part of the house! What the Bible is telling us here is that with Jesus as your door the weakest point suddenly becomes the strongest of the entire structure! Now, think about that. You need a strong door, don't you.

If you allow Jesus to be the door of your life, then the devil can't sneak in to do you harm. There is no way he can. The little children's song goes like this: "With Jesus in the family, happy happy home." Do you remember that song? With Jesus as the Door you're going to have happiness inside. Things can't come in to get you like it could if Jesus wasn't the there. You need Jesus as the Door to your home. On the outside are the hungry wolves. Dangers are lurking out there from which Jesus can completely protect you.

2. JESUS WILL KEEP OUT THE ELEMENTS THAT WOLD HARM YOU.

Imagine living in your house with all the outside doors removed. No door on the outside of your house. Wouldn't that be neat? In the wintertime you would a great abundance of fresh air. It was fourteen above zero this morning. And in the summertime you would never get cold here in Collegedale. Jesus, like a good door, separates us from anything that would harm our spiritual growth and health as a growing Christian. We all do better if the temperature or climate is right. When Jesus comes into your life His very presence produces ideal conditions for your growth, your spiritual growth. Some elements today that we need special protection from are discouragement, divorce, disease, death, disaster, and financial devastation. You could add a lot to that list.

3. NOTICE THAT JESUS IS THE DOOR.

John 10:9 "I am the gate (door); whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture." (Also verse 7) The one and the only door. The door. In Palestine there were two types of sheep folds. The one in town actually had a real door. The one out in the field did not have a door. The shepherd was the door. He would sleep, not underneath his food sack, but in the doorway. Its door was the shepherd Himself. Anything that went in or our, he would know it. If you think about it, He was the one and only door. There was only one door to the sheep pen.

If you think about it, Noah's ark only had one door. How many doors were there to the Tabernacle in the wilderness? Just one. How many doors are there to heaven? One. Jesus is the only way to heaven. Jesus is the Door. He's the only way to heaven. He's the door. Buddha can't save. Mohammed can't save. According to this scripture Jesus and only Jesus is the door to heaven. Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

Acts 10:43 (NIV) All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name. It doesn't sound like there is any other way to be saved, does it.

We could read John 14:6 where it says, Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." That's pretty clear. Therefore, Jesus is the one and only door.

4. JESUS IS AN OPEN DOOR.

I like doors that are open. They are good to be closed sometimes, but they're also good to have as an open door. Look at Revelation 3 in your Bible. This is a statement that is made about Jesus, our Door. Revelation 3:8 says, "I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut." Jesus is in total control of that door. Only Jesus can open or close the door. And today the door is wide open. Someday it will close. The best time to enter a door is when it is open and unlocked. Today is the time for you to gain entrance to salvation.

5. SOMEDAY THAT DOOR WILL BE SHUT.

Matthew 25:10 talks about the five foolish virgins. "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut." How many doors were on that chamber? The door. only one was shut. This accurately describes the end of our probation. Then it will be too late to enter. Today is our chance to be saved. As we begin a brand new year, that door is still open. Jesus is the door, the access or entrance. How much longer that door will stay open I do not know.

Luke 13:25. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'" Some day that door is going to shut. But today it is open.

6. WHAT IS JESUS THE DOOR TO?

Is He the door to the bank? the door to the house? What is He the door to? Well, look at John 10:10 (KJV). "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." Do you have the abundant life today? As we enter the gate of another new year we desperately need the abundant life. Some of us face this year without one of our loved ones. Without a job. Without money. Without our family. But no one should face it without Jesus. You don't have to.

7. WHENEVER YOU SEE AN OPEN DOOR, GO ALL THE WAY INSIDE THE DOOR.

Do not stop and stand in the doorway. Just to stand in the doorway is not enough. Don't just stop. Have you ever noticed how some people go and stop right in the doorway and start talking? Does that bother you? Go on in! or our or whichever way you are going. When you go into Jesus, get all the way in. Don't just go part way. Don't just stand in the door. Don't just stand still. Enter fully into the new life of Jesus Christ.

The door leads somewhere. It is not a revolving door. I remember the very I ever saw a revolving door. I was scared to death of that thing. I was with a group of kids who were going into a big building. They got that door whirling. "Come on in!" I finally got up my courage and jumped in. The next thing I knew, I was back out on the sidewalk. Jesus is not a revolving door. I suppose some people live a revolving-door type of religion. They have little direction in their life. The Bible talks about them in Jude 12,13: These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. Ephesians 4 speaks about being carried through life by revolving doors. Every wind of doctrine controls their life. You don't have any direction in your life. We need to enter in through the Door which lead up, which leads to heaven, which leads to life.

Paul refers to a great door opening to him. 1 Corinthians 16:9. ...a great door for effective work has opened to me... And I think the year, 2002, is a great door of opportunity for you. Never before have we been closer to the coming of the Lord than we are this year. And never have the signs of the times been more clear that we're living in the last days than they are right now. Every Door is actually an opportunity. You may say that the door to the jail is not an opportunity. Well, I've seen people converted in a jail. Every door is an opportunity. Pray that you can see the opportunity. Pray that you can see the opportunity of Jesus Christ and enter in through that Door. Go into it and it will lead you to an abundance.

Have you ever been to one of these all-you-can-eat restaurants for four dollars or whatever? They have them. All you can eat. Do you think you could eat it all? If you look in there at the overabundance of all that food, there's no way you could eat all of that. Don't even try. It represent the great abundance found in Jesus Christ. As Christians we can make many trips to the overflowing bounty of God's grace and never diminish its supply. It's there. There is just as much quantity as there was before. There is more than enough and more than we can obtain.

Come and partake freely and fully. Stay close to Jesus. Hang around the Door. Enter that Door. Spend time getting acquainted with Jesus. How do you enter the Door?

  1. I spend time everyday with my Bible.
  2. Reading it.
  3. Believing it.
  4. Memorizing it.
  5. Sharing it.
  6. Underlining it.
  7. Your Bible will acquaint you with Jesus.
  8. Every day I spend meaningful time in prayer.
  9. This is where I talk to Jesus.
  10. Here is where you can connect with real power.
Could you use a miracle in your life? Then talk to Jesus every day this year.

Let me suggest something for this year, 2002. I would suggest that here at the beginning of 2002, that for the next ten days from January 5 to January 14, that you spend ten days fasting from noise that would distract you from Jesus. In other words, you remember Pentecost, they spent ten days, didn't they. And after ten days the Holy Spirit descended upon them.

For the next 10 days, I would like to suggest that you

  1. Replace the television noise with prayer. Turn it off. Hide the remote control.
  2. Replace your car radio or tape player in your car with memorizing scripture as you are driving along instead of listening to the box.
  3. Sing while you are in the car.
  4. Replace the World Wide Web with Bible study. Turn off the computer for a week. Email everybody that you are not going to answer your mail for ten days. And that you will answer the phone if they call. You'll be fasting fro that which has inhibited your connection with the door to life with Jesus Christ.
  5. Experience ten intentional days to liberate Jesus to do His thing through His Holy Spirit in your life.
  6. Prepare Yourself for a miracle. Jesus will open doors to you of things you have not imagined.

After you do those things, prepare yourself for a miracle. It happened to the disciples. It can happen to you. Our greatest need here at McDonald Road is not for more powerful sermons, but for the power of the Holy Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit in our lives. And, this year can be different. If you end this year like you have every other year, maybe you'll have the same result you've had every other year. We need to do something different this year. We need to put Jesus first this year. Jesus is the Door, and the Door is knocking on your door. Revelation 3:20 (KJV) says, "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."

You have each seen that famous picture painted by Holman of Christ standing on that great wooden door. The door is shut. And a little boy stood there looking at that picture one day and he said, "Daddy, why don't they open the door?" And their daddy said, "Well, I don't know. Maybe they don't want to open the door." And the little boy said, Well, that can't be it, because I know they'd like to let Jesus in." "Maybe they don't hear Him knocking." And the little boys said, "Yes! That's it because they're living in the cellar."

And I will tell you that if you're living in the cellar of your life, you need to get upstairs so you can hear the knock on the door of your heart. And you need to put aside anything that keeps you from hearing that knock. Put aside anything that keeps you from opening the door to Jesus. Let Jesus into your life in a way you have never done before. And Jesus can help you.

You can have a different year this year. You really can. You can have a new beginning.

We have all of our new calendars up. I wish that the folks who made them would have had a thirteenth month...inserted between December and January. It would be a whole month of quiet reflection to remember things you forgot, to tidy up your life and pray that God would show you the changes you should make this year.

We don't have that month. But we do have 365 brand new days. Each new day brings a new chance and opportunity. Those days will pass so fast. Before you know it 2003 will arrive unless Jesus comes this year. I surely hope He does.

Unless you enter fully through that door labeled Jesus then you are going to go through this year the same old unsuccessful way you went through 2001. Poor grades, little ambition? No time for Jesus Christ or meaningful Bible study? Very little time for your family? No time for family worship? No time for Exercise? No time for furthering your skills or education?

Are you going to go through 2002 clinging to the old familiar ways that are not working for you? Or are you going to choose Jesus THE WAY to the abundant life? Too many folk look forward to the new year for a new start on the same old habits.

John Henry Newman said: "Fear not that your life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall never have a beginning." That's pretty good. You need to begin and the beginning point and that is to enter the Door of Jesus Christ. Maybe you've been without Christ. Maybe you've drifted away from Jesus. And Jesus is calling you back. He wants you to come back to Him. If that's the case, then, come, and allow Jesus to make Your life, this year, what He would have it to be. And He can do that. Your sins can be forgiven. Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." He has given us the gift of a brand new year. An Open Door. Don't be afraid to enter this new experience with Christ.

One day someone tapped me on the shoulder and said: The boss wants to see you right away! I was working in the College Wood Products factory in Berrien Springs, MI in the assembly room. I had worked there for two years making beds. I left the bed clamp and started to walk to his office. What had I done? Why the urgency? Something must be wrong. As I approached his door, I was nervous. The door was shut. I must have waited outside that door for 4-5 minutes. Finally I got up the courage and knocked. He said: "Don you have been doing such good work we are going to give you a raise." I was so relieved! My pay went up from 85 cents per hour to 88 Cents! All that worry about entering the door was for nothing.

Isaiah 61:3- In this new year, God offers:

God's door is open. It waits for you to come up and look at what He has to offer you, and then to enter in. This entrance into new beginnings is not a physical door on hinges, but it is a person. The door is Jesus. The most important thing you can do this year is give your life to Jesus. II Corinthians 5:17 if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.

The secret of a new life is the free gift that Jesus offers to us. Our door is not a toll gate. There are no coin slots to make the door open. Its abundant life is totally free to everybody.

"We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of god. But Christ Has made a way of escape for us....he lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give yourself to him, and accept him as your savior, then sinful as your life may have been, for his sake you are accounted righteous. Christ's character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before god just as if you had not sinned." Steps to Christ, p. 62 by EG White.

Isaiah 1:18 though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow.

Romans 8:1 there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.

Paul discovered that Christ is the real Door to a new beginning. Jesus will forgive your mistakes and will make all things new. God will cast our sins in the depths of the sea. We stand before Him clad not in the filthy garments of our own righteousness, but in the spotless robe of the perfect righteousness of Jesus.

Instead of struggling along in 2002, fighting evil desires, trying harder to bear your own burdens, you can have an easy year. Turn it all over to Him. Jesus says: Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." He died on the cross. He does not request you to do what He already did. Too many of us are trying to build our own door to heaven. When all we really have to do is just come to Jesus and accept His free salvation that He already paid for.

A poor young man was on a sailing vessel going from New Orleans to New York, looking for work. It had taken almost his last dollar to purchase the ticket. Before the day came for him to sail, he thought of what he would take so he would have something to eat on the voyage. Finally he decided to take cheese and crackers. They would last as well as anything. True, the cheese might get hard and the crackers stale, but he could survive on them.

A few hours after leaving New Orleans he heard a bell ring and a voice say: DINNER IS SERVED, PLEASE MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE DINING ROOM. He had only a few dollars and could not afford such a luxury. He was so happy he had thought ahead and had something to eat. The trip was wonderful. Every day he had crackers and cheese. Finally he became tired of dry crackers and hard cheese. He could smell the aroma coming from the dining room.

He lasted until the last day of the trip. The final meal was about to be served and he gave in. He made sure the small collection of coins was in his pocket and slowly entered the good smelling dining room. A staff member came up to him and he asked the man what one meal would cost. "COST? It does not cost anything, the meals are included in the price of the ticket!"

Far too many of us today subsist on a diet of guilt and worry, and insecurity and self condemnation, when freedom and full assurance are available to us free of charge. They are included in the fare. And for Christians it is so wonderful, because Someone else has already paid the price!

Jesus paid it all! Every bit. Totally paid in full! If any of us are saved we will go first class or not go. Forget the crackers. Everything is included. All we have to do is come to Jesus and get on board. Enter the door of salvation now. Inside you will find a warm friend waiting to give you a raise!

Bulletin

Hymn of Praise: #477, Come, Ye Disconsolate
Scripture: John 10:7-10
Hymn of Response: #495, Near to the Heart of God

020105Gettys#303



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