Church with an Open Door (27)
God is the God of Doors. John on Patmos would later write that no man can shut the door that God opens and no one can open the door that God shuts. That should be good enough for us who follow the One who called himself the “door.” We are simply to go through the open doors of God. Should one close, we are permitted to “knock,” but we are not to “knock it down.”
Paul and Barnabas are greeted with great enthusiasm by people who thought them to be something they were not. Having witnessed the power these apostles had is healing a lame man, they thought they were being visited by the gods of their imagination. When these servants of God prevented them from making offerings and sacrifices to them, the fickle congregation turned on them. Paul was stoned and left for dead.
Many think this was the occasion when Paul was lifted up into the third heaven and saw visions and wonders that were indescribable. If it was, it is a good example to us of how our most painful experiences may be the very portals of greater vision and grace.
It is also a comfort to any who have been counted out by others as “supposing to be dead.” Even Lazarus was not done until Jesus said he was done. When Paul got up, he “encouraged the disciples to continue.” Then with fasting and prayer he ordained elders in every church.
The chapter concludes with a gathering of the church where the believers “rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”
When God shuts one door, He opens another.