“Let your loins be girded about and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord when He will return from the wedding; that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto Him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching; verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.”
(Luke 12 v 35-37)
Out of all the restrictions placed upon us throughout the Corona Virus ‘pandemic’, the most worrying – and which sets alarm bells ringing in my mind – is that of all our churches being shut down! Hopefully, by the time you read this article they will be open again, although my personal opinion is that they should never have been shut down in the first place. If the preacher prefers not to preach in such conditions, then that is between him and God, but if someone wishes to enter what is considered a ‘House of God’ to pray, then it is not for anyone else to deny them entry. In fact, back in medieval times, the church was sacrosanct and if someone sought refuge within, their pursuers could not – and would not – enter to take them.
I believe that the case of our church doors being shut are very indicative of the state of God’s people today. We, as a nation, and as a people, have literally shut the Lord God – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – out of our life. At a time when we need Him more than anything, we have publicly and pointedly turned our backs on the ONLY BEING who can save us!
We have shut Him out of our lives – but perhaps we should also consider if this is equally a warning to us that the time is fast corning when the door could be shut against us! “And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein there is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in…” (Gen 7 v 15 & 16).
The Book of Jasher, Chapter 6:17-19 has this to say: “And the sons of men assembled together, about seven hundred thousand men and women, and they came unto Noah to the ark. And they called to Noah, saying, Open for us that we may come to thee in the ark – and wherefore shall we die? And Noah, with a loud voice, answered them from the ark, saying, Have you not all rebelled against the Lord, and said that He does not exist? And therefore the Lord brought upon you this evil, to destroy and cut you off from the face of the earth.”
Whilst the above took place back at the time of the flood of Noah, we are told in the Bible of a future event that takes place at our Lord’s return. It is explained in the parable of the ten virgins. Five were wise and five were foolish. All ten took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. However whilst the wise took oil in their lamps, the foolish didn’t: “While the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 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.” (Matt 25:5-10).
Doorways are both entrances and exits – portals between one place and another. In the Israelite history, if we look through our Bibles, we will see that they play an important part in the connection between God and man. Right at the start of things, though not a doorway as such, Adam and Eve having disobeyed God’s instruction, were cast out of Eden, with the entrance back blocked. Their son Cain, was warned that “…sin lieth at the door.” Failing to heed this he then murders his brother Abel – and his pathway takes him away from God.
Many years later, Abraham, sitting at the doorway of his tent has a visitation from the Lord in the form of three angelic beings. His wife Sarah was standing in the door of their tent when she laughed as she overheard their prophecy that she would bring forth a child in her old age. These were important moments in time.
When these same angelic beings went to bring forth Lot and his family from Sodom, a group of Sodomites banged at Lot’s door, asking for him to give them the ‘men’ they had seen enter (to use them for their own perverted desires). Lot tried to bargain with them, offering his daughters instead, but the Divine trio pulled him inside and shut the door – and then smote those wicked ones with blindness.
We are well aware of the role of the door in the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt – with the blood of the Passover lamb smeared on the side posts and upper doorpost, with God’s instruction for His people not to go out of their door until morning, so as to escape the ‘destroyer’ entering into their homes.
The ‘door’ – albeit a hanging door, for they lived in tents over many years – played an important part in the sanctifying of Aaron and his sons as Priests of God. Likewise, the killing of the sacrifice; “And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water. And thou shalt kill the bullock before the Lord, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord: where I will meet you to speak there unto thee.” (see Exodus 29 v 4, 11, 32 & 42).
Coming now into the New Testament, we remember that after the Crucifixion, our Lord’s body was laid in the Sepulchre by Joseph of Arimathea, (whose Sepulchre it was), he rolled a great stone to the door of the Sepulchre. However the chief priests and Pharisees sought Pilates permission to seal the stone tightly in the entrance, and also to set a watch – fearing that the disciples would come and remove His body and claim He had risen from the dead as He had said. So, the entrance was firmly shut – sealed….
In the event, Matthew 28:12 tells us “And behold, there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.”
The earth could not contain the Glory of the Risen Lord!
The church doors may have been closed – which symbolizes the state of our church leaders today. But we can open the door ourselves – and let the Lord into our own homes – and our own hearts; 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.” (Rev 3:20).