Faithlife Sermons

Doors of Discovery

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes & Transcripts

Doors of Discovery

A Bible message by Bayless Conley

Copyright © 2003 Answers with Bayless Conley

Introduction: There are many kinds of doors spoke of in the Bible. Some which open to rich

blessing and the Holy Spirit adventures and some that open to heartache and misery. We are

going to take a journey whereby we will identify several doors spoken of in the Bible and

discovery what lies beyond them.

Door of Sin (Gen. 4:3-7)

A. Abel gave God his first and best, Cain just gave.

1. (Heb. 11: ) Abel’s gift was "more excellent" (better quality) than Cain’s.

2. Your giving is a sure indicator of where your heart is.

o Cain’s trivial gift demonstrated what significance

he placed on his relationship with God.

A. Sin was crouching at the Door. It wasn’t in the house yet and Cain should have

mastered it. But he didn’t.

1. He didn’t want to give his best. He didn’t want to do what was right.

o So sin entered his life and the first fruit or it was

the murder of his brother Abel.

1. He was angry that God blessed Abel, but he wasn’t willing to do what

was necessary to get the blessing himself.

A. 2 Things that will open the Door to sin:

1. Being grieved at someone else’s blessing – Be it prosperity, position or


2. Not keeping God first in your life.

o Cain didn’t give God his first fruits because in his

life, God was not first.

o Abel gave the firstborn from his flock because

God was first with His life.

A. Where is God in your life?

1. Some have sin crouching at the door. Some have their hand on the

handle and others have already opened the door and find themselves

dominated by a sin that they should have the mastery over.

2. This is critical for many reasons.

o One of which is because once sin is invited in, it

leads us to another door… one that no one

wants to open…

The Door of Judgement.

A. A curse came upon Cain because of his sin. (Heb. 11:11)

1. People that willfully indulge in the pleasure of sin never want to

experience the pain of its consequences.

B. The judge is at the door. (James 5:9)

1. It reminds me of the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts. 5.

o They agreed together to live to the Holy Spirit.

He fell down dead and when she came in Peter

said to her.

o The feet of those who have buried your husband

are at the door and they will carry you out!

1. With some, the footsteps of judgement are approaching, you’re about to

reap what you’ve sown. The only remedy is to repent!

A. Isn’t God merciful? Yes. Or none of us would be here. He is rich in mercy. He is

kind and incredibly long-suffering.

1. But there is a difference between the person, who hates his/her sin and

is fighting to be holy – being quick to repent of their failures; vs. a person

that continues on in sin as if there would never be a judgment and they

never truly repent. That person is never truly disgusted by their failures.

2. To the person that continues in sin, footsteps are approaching.

B. Truly, the whole world stands guilty before God. All have sinned and come short

of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)

1. It would be hopeless if it were not for other doors that God has opened…

The Door of Faith (Acts. 14:27)

A. The church was previously almost entirely Jewish. Now God has opened a door

of faith to the Gentiles as well.

1. So they could hear the Gospel and receive!

o That door remains open today! I came through


1. Through that door we find many other doors leading to specific people

groups, cities and even individuals.

A. A door at Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:8-9)

1. A door of revival in a pagan city among an idolatrous people.

o We’ve seen this type of door opened for Lester

Summral in Manila (1952), and

o Dr. Cho in Korea community.

1. There were "many adversaries" (v. 9) in the door for the Ephesians. The

enemy will always try and stir up opposition and persecution when God

opens a door.

o But rather than breaking the spirit of the faithful

servant of God, it only rekindles his or her zeal

to carry on and harvest more fruit!

o When we started on TV a prominent man in the

area opposed us regarding public access and

went to the city council. They then viewed the

program and said it was okay. (It was the frontpage

news in the local paper.)

A. A door in Troas (2 Cor. 2:12)

1. This door did not open on Paul’s first visit to Troas – it was a later visit.

2. They left immediately. (Acts 16:8-10)

o Acts 20:6. This passage mentions him on

another occasion remaining and ministering in

Troas for seven days. God’s doors sometimes

have a timing mechanism! (Like a door on a

bank vault.)

o The first time Paul was there was not the right

time for the door to be opened.

o We must be sensitive to God’s timing! (Like

Jesus in going up to the feats or turning the

water into wine).

o It took Moses 40 years to lead Israel.

A. What about my situation? Salvation is great and most important, but I’m in

trouble! I have needs! Does God have any doors for me? Answer: Yes.

Doors of Sudden Deliverance. (Acts 16:23-26) "Suddenly and Immediately"

o Healing, miracles of material supply.

o Deliverance from the jaws of trouble.

o In your midnight hour!

A. God has some sudden and immediate doors for you!

B. He wants to deliver you. But it’s important to realize it’s not just for you.

1. It’s deliverance with a purpose!

o He loves you but He also wants to love

someone through you.

1. When God saved Peter and Silas, the jailer and his family were saved

through them. (Acts. 16:29-30)

2. God wants to prosper you, but not just for your personal benefit. It’s so

you can give.

3. God wants to heal you for you and so that you can share and pray for


4. God wants to deliver you for you and so that you can testify to others.

How do you get these doors open? Is it always a matter of divine timing and God’s

sovereign will? Must we always just wait?

A. The truth is, is that much of the time, God is waiting on you.

1. Paul and Silas praised God at midnight. Their backs were bleeding and

they were chained to the wall.

o There are some doors that will only respond to

the sound of your praises!

A. Keeping His Word. (Rev. 3:8)

o "Keep" means to keep the eye upon and hold fast.

o Hang on to the promises of God. Keep your eyes on them and

refuse to give up! (Stand on the word!)

o Don’t let go concerning your family’s salvation or your healing, or

whatever promise God has given you!

o Hold on!!!

A. Prayer. (Col. 4:2-3)

1. Ask, seek, knock (and it will be opened).

Door of Salvation = Jesus!

A. (John 10:1-2 & 7-9) Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the

sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a

robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. … Then

Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All

who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear

them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and

out and find pasture."

Discussion Questions

1. What was the difference of Abel’s gift and Cain’s gift?

2. What will open the door of sin in our lives?

3. If sin is not dealt with, what door will it lead us to?

4. If God is merciful, why does He have a door of judgment?

5. If we’ve sin, what do we do, in order to shut the door of judgment?

6. For what group of people has God extended the door of faith toward, other than the

Jewish people?

7. What are some examples of doors being opened to a specific people group?

8. When a door is opened and many adversaries are present, what does it do to faithful

servants of God?

9. Does a door always open immediately?

10. Where in the bible does God open doors suddenly and immediately?

11. What are the ways you get these doors open?

12. What kind of door is Jesus?

There are many kinds of doors spoken of in the Bible. Some open to rich blessing and others to

heartache and trouble. We looked at several last time (identifying them and exploring what lies

beyond) and today we’re going to encounter a few more.

The Door of Secret Prayer

A. Jesus deals with the motives of prayer.

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray

standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be

seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you

pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father

who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you

openly. (Matthew 6:5-6)

1. Hypocrites pray to be seen. In fact, prayers that are a pretence always

require and audience. But if you pray behind closed doors, the only one

who will see is God.

2. In you room, you’re hidden from the world. Behind a shut door, you are

even hidden from your family.

B. Alone with God.

Every one of us desperately needs to be alone with God! This is one of the first

lessons Jesus taught His disciples on prayer.

Not only does praying in secret sift out our motives, it also blocks our distractions

(television, telephone calls, people talking).

o We are with God and God alone.

1. Jesus said that God will reward those that pray in secret!

The greatest reward is God Himself. (v. 6) He is in the secret place waiting to

meet you.

1. As we meet with God, He changes us. Jacob was changed into Israel as

He wrestled alone with God.

o It’s in the place of secret prayer that God works many of the necessary changes

in our manner and our character.

Are your prayers being prayed to be heard by men so they can applaud your

ability to articulate spiritual things? Or God? Are you praying to have a lifechanging

encounter with God?

The Door of Persistent Prayer

Persistence in prayer opens many shut doors!

And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that

one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his

disciples." … And He said to them, "Which of you shall have a friend, and go to

him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; … If you then,

being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your

heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:1 & 5-13)

1. "Knock and continue knocking".

2. This parable is most specifically talking about intercessory prayer, or

coming on behalf of another. It’s not about overcoming God’s reluctance

through perseverance, but rather laying hold of His highest willingness.

o We can expect answers from God, not just based on friendship, but even more

so on relationship. (A father to a child).

o If the reluctant friend, who is abruptly awakened at midnight, can be persuaded

by persistence, how much more can we expect to get answers to our requests

from our Heavenly Father.

A. If we will be persistent in holding up the needs of others before God, we can be

assured of obtaining "as many loaves as we need."

1. Why does God sometimes delay? Mostly, because he is working things

out in us.

o It is when we pray and the answer does not quickly materialize that the trial of

faith begins.

o As we continue to seek God for answers, issues come to light in our own lives

that are hindering His work and they must be dealt with.

A. Here’s a few things from this story to consider:

1. We need to be enough of a friend to those in need around us to go to

God on their behalf.

2. We need to be serious enough to sacrifice some things if we truly expect

to obtain answers.

o Before this man went to his friend at midnight to get bread, someone came to

him at midnight!

o Give up his rest, sacrifice his comfort, make the journey to get the bread. (2

people lost their sleep)

1. We must be willing to admit our own inadequacy and inability and come

to rely totally on God’s provision and goodness.

o We have to be able to say, "I have nothing to set before Him."

o It takes some awhile to come to grips that:

1. Our dependence is on Him

2. Our sufficiency is in Him

3. Without Him we are bankrupt

A. When we learn those lessons and others like them, we can always come with

confidence, fully expecting to obtain what we’ve come for.

B. Story: George Muller knew the power of prayer and said after praying for 50

years, "I’ve never failed to get an answer to prayer. Now I’ve been praying for a

friend’s salvation for 52 years and though he is not saved yet, he will be." (The

friend got saved at George’s funeral).

The Door of Wisdom

A. Wisdom calls to all and comes to everyone’s door.

Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice? She takes her

stand on the top of the high hill, beside the way, where the paths meet. She cries

out by the gates, ant the entry of the city, at the entrance of the doors: "To you, O

men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men…." (Prov. 8;1-4)

B. She brings with her many benefits:

1. The ability to rule, manage or administrate a home, a business, a church

or any kind of team. (v. 15-16)

2. Riches (that endure) (v. 18)

3. Honor (v. 18)

a. Declares that when you exalt wisdom, she will promote you and

bring you to honor when you embrace her. (Prov. 4:8)

4. Righteousness (v. 18)

5. Wealth (mentioned again) (v. 21)

6. Life (v. 35)

7. Favor (v. 35)

C. Wisdom comes to our door (Prov. 8:3), but in order to get wisdom, we must go to

her door.

D. For her doors to open, we must do three things: (all in v. 34). We must deal with

attitude, action and accountability.

1. Attitude – "Listen to wisdom". (v. 34)

a. You must be willing to listen to God’s Word and God’s Spirit (in


b. "Listen" (lit.) means: "To hear with the intention of obeying as

soon as you understand."

o Hearing, just to gain knowledge because it will make things

easier for you, is not necessarily having the intention to obey. .

o Some of the things that wisdom tells you will "rub the cat’s fur the

wrong way" so we need to hear with the intention of obeying.

o Listening won’t necessarily be pleasant and it will be hard on

your flesh., but don’t refuse it. (v. 33)

1. Action "Watching daily at my gates". (v. 34)

a. Watching means to be on the lookout. Be alert "daily", not just

when you’re in a crisis.

2. Accountability v. 34 "waiting"

o To guard or protect something that has been entrusted to you.

o We must retain and hold fast what we have already received.

o We are responsible for the knowledge we receive.

o Jesus said that Satan comes to steal the Word. It is our responsibility to hold fast

to what we have!

o God will not give you more if you do not retain what he has already entrusted to


o We are held accountable!

A. If we will hear with a view to obey and daily be alert and endeavor to walk in the

light he has already given us, we can expect to be blessed with all the benefits of


The Door of Sexual Temptation

A. For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.

(Prov. 5:3-5 & 8-9)

1. The way to avoid going through this door is to avoid going near it!

o The Amplified writes it as …. "Avoid the very scenes of temptation."

1. "Avoid It" Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way

of evil. Avoid it,do not travel on it turn away from it and pass on. (Prov.


a. Avoid it, whether it’s:

1. The Internet

2. The street your old boyfriend lives or

3. The secretary down the hall that has been making

flattering remards.

b. Steer clear!

2. For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat by the highest places of

the city, to call to those who pass by, who go straight on their way:

"…stolen waters are sweet…"

a. … But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests

are in the depths of hell. (Prov. 9:18)

A. The surest way to keep this door of temptation closed is to avoid it!

1. Many of godly men and women have fallen prey to sexual temptation.

Not because the fiber of their spiritual makeup was more flawed than

others, but simply because they got too close to the fire.

B. Avoid it and put your trust in the one that defeated the power of sin. Our door of

hope and Jesus Christ.

1. Before a person comes to Christ, their inward nature is corrupt, but when

a man or woman accepts Jesus, that inward nature changes. The person

on the inside, the real you, comes into a relationship with God that the

Bible calls salvation.

2. Still I a body of flesh, which is why temptation can be so powerful.

a. But one day even that will change, because when Christ returns,

our bodies will be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an

eye, corruption will put on incorruption and our earthly house

(that we call our body) will be changed and made like His

glorious body!

b. Are you ready?

o We talked about the door of wisdom… the wisest thing you could

do, would be to repent and ask Christ into your life.

Discussion Questions

1. What is the greatest reward in secret prayer?

2. Why is the secret place in prayer so important?

3. How do you get in the secret place?

4. True or False. If we pray earnestly with persistent prayer, God will change his mind and

give us what we ask for?

5. What is the purpose of persistent prayer?

6. What kind of attitude should we have in opening the door of wisdom?

7. What is the #1 thing to do, that proverbs talks about, with the door of sexual temptation?

8. True or False. If we are super spiritual, we will never have any problems with sexual


Review Part One:

Many doors are spoken of in the Bible. Some are good and some are bad. Some lead to triumph

and some to trouble. We're going to identify and take a journey beyond a few more, discovering

where they lead.

1. The Door of Your Lips Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the

door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3)

A. Also, Micah 7:5 - "Guard the Doors of your mouth."

• The reason that this doorway is so important and needs to be guarded is because

words march out of it. Words that can bless, encourage and heal or words that can curse

and destroy.

B. Look at the context: Lord, I cry out to You; Make haste to me! Give ear to my voice

when I cry out to You. Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my

hands as the evening sacrifice. (Psalms 141:1,2) We see that David was in trouble and

began praying, and crying out in a pressure situation.

• This is a critical time to guard the door of your lips.

• It is at those times that you may be tempted to question God's fairness or to complain

against God.

• If you don't guard your mouth and you begin to talk in a negative or disrespectful

fashion towards God or His ways, it leads to worse things.

• It is especially tempting if you see wicked men prospering around you. (v.4)

C. Do not incline my heart to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity! (v. 4)

• Don't join the ranks of those who work iniquity.

• Why David said in Psalm 39:1, "I will guard my ways lest I sin with my tongue; I will

restrain my mouth with a muzzle, (while the wicked are before me).

• James 1:26 says that the one who does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own

heart, his religion is useless.

• An unbridled tongue or an unguarded mouth leads to deception and to worse sins!

D. Pressure and an unguarded mouth brings serpents. … the soul of the people became

very discouraged … and the people spoke against God and against Moses… So the Lord

sent fiery serpents among the people… (Numbers 21:4-6)

• How did the serpents get in? It was through the door of their lips.

• Example: My cousin had a water moccasin in his bedroom. How did it get in? He left his

sliding door open.

E. Here are some thoughts on this doorway of your lips.

• It has a great potential for good or evil.

• Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21

• James 3 talks about the tongue. The tongue is as significant as a rudder on a ship or a

steering wheel on a car.

• Example: I was using mine to come back from the Inland Empire to my family and

another guy charged off the center divider. (I witnessed it.)

• Through your words you invite God or the devil to work in your life!

• Whose thoughts are you speaking and agreeing with?

• The door of your lips is so profoundly important that Jesus said (Matthew 12:30-37) "But

I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day

of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be

condemned. (v. 35,37)

• Our words will either positively or negatively affect others.

• The scriptures talk of negatively:

• Stirring up people's anger with words.

• Discovering people's hearts with words.

• Wounding peoples spirits with words.

• Troubling people's faith with words.

• They also speak of positively:

• Comforting people's hearts with words.

• Encouraging people's faith with words.

• Healing people's bodies with words.

• Strengthening people's walk with God with words.

• Salvation comes to us through the doorway of your lips. (Romans 10:9-10)

2. The Door of Divine Fellowship

A. Jesus gives an invitation for renewed fellowship and a lot more. "Behold, I stand at the

door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and

dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20) This is written to believers that were not

walking close to the Lord.

• This door is in your heart and it only opens from the inside. Jesus is knocking and


B. Who was is invited and what was their state? And to the angels of the church of the

Laodiceans written. These things says the Amen, the Faithful and the True Witness, the

Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I

could wish you were cold or hot. (Rev. 3:14-22)

• The state they were in was lukewarm, self-sufficient, deluded, ignorant, spiritually

bankrupt, spiritually blind, spiritually uncovered, in short, wretched and miserable.

• But in most people's eyes, the above was the most successful church and the most

envied Christians in the country.

• God sees different than man sees.

• They needed to repent and get back in close fellowship with the Son of God, if they

were to overcome, and sit with Him on His throne.

• Story: Doc Horton, a friend, pastoring one of His denominations largest churches,

started with a fire reaching Native Americans in remote, forgotten areas. He preached his

heart out and built small churches, while sacrificing and trusting God. But in the process

of time, he grew popular, pastoring bigger and bigger churches, until he finally arrived.

People were shaking his hands and patting him on the back after he delivered another

powerless, palsied, saccharin sweet sermonette to his very complacent and smug

congregation. Suddenly, a voice said, "Even the devil likes your sermons." He ended up

in the basement all afternoon, repenting. The next time the congregation came together,

they found that their pussycat pastor was no longer tame. He had been having supper

with the lion of the tribe of Judah and he had been transformed.

From a lukewarm leaking faucet into a Hole Ghost ignited lava flow, burning up

everything in his path. Discussion Questions1. Why is the door of your lips so important?

Discussion Questions

1. Why is the door of your lips so important?

2. Why did David want God to guard the door of his lips?

3. When is it most important for us to guard the door of our lips?

4. What are some of the things we could do with our lips negatively?

5. What are some of the things we could do with our lips positively?

6. How does Jesus beckon us for divine fellowship?

7. Who does he want to come in and dine with Him?

8. How do we dine with Jesus in fellowship?

Review Part Two:

Many doors are spoken of in the Bible. Some are good and some are bad. Some lead to triumph

and some to trouble. We're going to identify and take a journey beyond a few more, discovering

where they lead.

Last time we looked at The Door of Your Lips and The Door of Divine Fellowship. Now lets look at

two other doors. Another door, tied very closely to the Door of Divine Fellowship, is….

1. The Door of the Lord's Return

A. Turn in your Bibles to the story of the ten virgins. (Matthew 25:1-13)

• The also Bible refers to the lamp and the oil in Proverbs. "The spirit of man is the lamp

of the Lord…" (Proverbs 20:27)

• Oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit and His working in our lives; His anointing, power and


• Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. (V.7) All trimmed their lamps.

They had an outward appearance of readiness.

• So often we see people go to church, say the right things and go through the motions.

• As we see with the ten virgins, inwardly, many people are not ready for the Lord's

return. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going

out.' (V.8)

• but the wise took it in their vessels with their lamps. (v.4) The wise were full and

overflowing, with both vessels and lamps.

• No one else can fill your lamp for you! You have to do it. "Buy for yourself" (v.9)

B. "And the door was shut" (v.10) What was that door? It was the Door of opportunity.

Some will be ready and some will not be ready.

• You can't get any closer, any more spiritual, any more filled than you are when He


• The door of opportunity is closed forever.

• If not now when? (Prayer is needed - serious, bona-fide walk of holiness).

C. Why did the foolish virgins delay to fill their lamps?

• They did not take the word of His return seriously.

• They were lazy.

• They were depending upon the others.

• They did not think about the consequences of not being ready. (Eternal things)

D. Here's a thought. Both the wise and the foolish were without warning, other than the

original warning of "He's coming."

• The wise had no specific revelations to spur them on.

• Jesus is coming quickly!

• How full is your lamp? Are you an empty or nearly empty vessel with a neatly trimmed


• How long will you put off filling your lamp?

2. The Door of Salvation

A. A Narrow Door (gate). Then one said to him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?"

And He said to them, "strive to enter though the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will

seek to enter and will not be able." When once the Master of the house has risen up and

shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door saying, "Lord, Lord,

open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,'

(Luke 13:23-25)

• "Strive" means to agonize, strain every nerve, do whatever it takes to get in.

• "Narrow" paints the picture of having to squeeze your way through

• Other religious beliefs and philosophies can't fit through the door with you.

• This is like the monkey with his hand around the nut in the gourd. (He won't let go of it

and they capture him.)

• You must turn loose of eastern philosophy, idols, and other religions with reliance on

your good works and squeeze through!!

B. Many of my friends rejected the gospel, but some squeezed through after me.

• Luke 13:23-30 (Living Bible)

• Someone asked him, "Will only a few be saved?" And he replied, The door to heaven is

narrow. Work hard to get in, for the truth is that many will try to enter but when the head

of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. Then if you stand outside knocking,

and pleading, 'Lord, open the door for us,' he will reply; I do not know you.'

• "But we ate with you, and you taught in our streets,' you will say.

• "And he will reply, 'I tell you, I don't know you. You can't come in here, guilty as you are.

Go away.'

• "And there will be great weeping and gnashing of teeth as you stand outside and see

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets within the Kingdom of God- for people will

come from all over the world to take their places there.

• And note this: some who are despised now will be greatly honored then; and some who

are highly thought of now will be least important then."

Discussion Questions

1. If we are one of the ten virgins in Matthew 25, what is the oil a symbol of?

2. How do we keep our lamps full?

3. Who must buy our oil for us?

4. Why were not 5 of the 10 virgins ready?

5. Who knew the arrival of the groom? How do we know when Jesus will return?

6. What is the narrow door?

7. Who can enter the narrow door?

8. What does it take to enter through the narrow door?

Copyright © 2003 Answers with Bayless Conley

Related Media
Related Sermons