Please read 1 Corinthians 16:1-9, verses 8-9 text.
So, why did Paul stay in Ephesus?
- The opportunity for reaching and growing people was great: there was a ‘great door’ opened to Paul. He knew that this door was of the Lord: II Cor. 2:12, “Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto of the Lord.”
And in Acts 14:27 he knew he had to walk through that door by faith, “God…had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”
God also said to the church of Philadelphia, “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou has a little strength, and has kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
- The adversaries of the gospel weremany (Study Acts 19 for a picture of the adversaries). Therefore this young church needed Paul to walk through the trial of opposition.
Jesus said, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved”Matthew 10:22.
2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”.
The good news is that Paul was able to carry out his plans in Acts 20:2-3.
So, how does all this relate to us in our lives?
I. WE TOO HAVE BEEN GIVEN A GREAT OPPORTUNITY RIGHT HERE IN SAN DIEGO AREA.
Opportunity means: chance, opening, occasion, break, and prospect.
IIL WE HAVE A GREAT OBLIGATION.
Just like Paul, we must reach our Macedonia, Ephesus for Jesus Christ.
Because we have an obligation: Romans 1:14, “I am a debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.”
III. REALIZE ALSO THAT THERE WILL BE GREAT OPPOSITION.
Verse 9 is really a wonderful verse: It is true that there are many adversaries.
Any man who takes a stand for God and the Word of God will have many enemies. This is especially true in our society today.
That was the experience of Paul and it has certainly been my experience here for the past 21 years. HOWEVER; when the Lord opens he door, no man can shut it.
Thank the Lord for that. So, we see Paul gloriously happy, rejoicing in the will of God, and if the Lord wants him to go to Corinth he will go.
If God wants us to go through the open door, we should go.