Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Coming Out/Going In

I know your deeds.  See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.  I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

Revelation 3.8

The Philadelphia Story

The biggest lie that burdens gay believers is this: when we come out of our closets of shame and self-denial, God closes the door to His mercy and acceptance. Nothing in His Word supports this, however. In Revelation we find proof that God welcomes believers whom others criticize and makes a way for them.

The Revelation was originally given to warn seven churches of coming judgment. They varied greatly in how well they followed Jesus, with the Philadelphia congregation topping the list. While it wasn’t the strongest, it did a fine job of sticking to the basics, protecting itself from outside opinions and ideas. It also apparently suffered criticism as a result. Nonetheless, its faithfulness pleased God. “Though you’re not very strong,” He said, “you stayed true to My Word and My Name.”

How many of us find our reflection in the Philadelphians?  We’ve answered the call to follow Jesus. Yet we routinely face adversity and alienation from other Christians. Battered by their rejection, exhausted by the conflict, we’re weak, often too demoralized to handle another door slammed in our faces.

God’s Solution

So what does God do for us?  He ensures access to Him through a door no man can close. Then He seals the deal with an extraordinary promise.  For those who oppose or reject us, God says, “I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.”  (Revelation 3.9b)

When someone tells us if we come out of our closets we can’t get into God’s kingdom, they’re really saying they don’t want us to enter His kingdom.  Look past them and see the open door.  God granted you full right of entry.  So what are you waiting for?  Go right in.

There's no closing this one...

1 comment:

Annette said...

Ok...I'm officially a fan. I need this reminder more often than I would like to admit. Your words are striking..."God granted you full right of entry. So what are you waiting for? Go right in."... Why do we let people stand between us and God? This not only reminds me to be ever pursuing my spirituality (it has been languishing for some years now), but to never be someone who stops others from finding Him. Imagine His anger if we keep others of His fold from him....hmmmmm....

Thank you again for delicious writing that make me reach into myself.