THE LORD IS KNOCKING
August 9, 2016
I have always loved Revelation 3:20 – 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. I have been taught that this verse is not talking about salvation. In studying it in the context of the third chapter of Revelation, you see that it is referring to fellowship with the Lord and having an inviting spirit toward Him. However, I think it is a beautiful picture of God’s offer of salvation. He is waiting for us to ask Him into our lives as our Savior. There is no handle on the outside – the sovereign Savior will not barge in like an unwanted intruder. As the song goes, “time after time He has waited before. Oh, how He wants to come in.” He is waiting as the father of the prodigal son was waiting with a celebration planned for that happy occasion. Afterall, Jesus died on the cross for the salvation of every individual. There is no logical reason to deny Him entrance. The results are nothing but good – His residence in your life, and heaven on top of that.
Let’s look at the verse in its context now. Revelation 3 is about the Laodicean church. The judgment Christ made on this church is that they were lukewarm. Many Bible scholars believe we are living in the Laodicean age of the church. All you have to do is to look at our modern day churches. I will not deny that there are some great churches out there honoring Christ, obediently and willingly serving and accomplishing God’s will to the best of their ability. Also, there are many godly, humble pastors serving the Lord with their hearts for His glory. On the other hand there are some churches, some of them huge, busy doing everything under the sun in the name of ministry, and yet lukewarm in their love and zeal for the Lord.
Revelation 3:17, Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, describes many congregations today. Just because a church is big or in great financial condition does not mean that God’s blessing is on it. Look at the Lord’s description of the Laodicean church – wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Now, we are in bad shape if we are naked and don’t even know it. It is hard to read this Scripture without thinking of the fable “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
Some “weavers” came through town and offered to make the emperor an outfit finer than any he had ever had. The one catch about the cloth was that fools and people not worthy of their office would not be able to see it. The “weavers” weaved away on the mystical cloth while being brought the finest silk cloth and pure gold thread, as well as being rewarded with great earnings for their work. As weeks wore on, and more cloth, thread, and money went to the “weavers,” (which went straight into their travel bags), the king became curious about the garb. He sent different officers of the land to view it and to report back to him. Knowing the cloth’s mysterious quality of exposing those too foolish for their office, they, seeing nothing on the loom, reported back to the emperor that it was the most exquisite cloth ever known to mankind. Finally the day came for the emperor to be fitted with his royal suit. He entered the loom room, seeing nothing on the loom. While thinking, “I don’t see anything, but I don’t want to be perceived as a fool,” he actually said, “such fabric has never been seen before.” The “weavers” carefully took the material off the loom, and began to tailor the outfit for a precise fit. Looking in the mirror, the emperor, seeing nothing, exclaimed his excitement at the “weavers’” success. A parade was to given in honor of the emperor’s finery. As the emperor rode through town “in his new outfit,” the people who knew about the cloth’s ability to discern, called out thrilling words of approval. One young boy in the crowd whispered in his father’s ear, “but he has nothing on.” His father, afraid of being deemed a fool, ignored his son and joined the crowd’s proclamation of grandeur. The lad repeated his claim, and as others began to catch on to what he said, the hushed words became known throughout the throng until finally the emperor got wind of it himself. He, realizing the truth of the boy’s observation felt like the celebration must continue, lifted his head a little higher and proudly continued walking down the street – completely naked.
Funny story! However, it is not funny when we are wretched and naked and completely unaware of it. The Lord does not paint a complimentary, make ‘em feel good about themselves picture of the Laodicean church. But I love that Revelation 3:20 is in the middle of this passage. What a dear, gracious Savior we have. He is knocking at the door of this church, wanting in. He can fix their wretchedness and cover their nakedness, but He has to be asked to do so.
I read in a sermon about this verse something that really touched my heart. He is standing their knocking, and He is not walking way! That’s a glory hallelujah thought! He keeps knocking even when our lives are too noisy with wretchedness to hear Him.
Some of us have opened our hearts for salvation – He’s in our lives; we invited Him and accepted His free gift of salvation. But He doesn’t just want a one-time invitation and then put Him back outside to never be spoken to again. He may be back on the outside wanting to come in and be a real influence in your life – to fellowship with you on a regular basis.
I want to take this one step further. We may have opened the front door, but there may be some rooms we don’t want Him to come into. He is there knocking too. He wants all our hearts, not just the front porch. He is not as the obnoxious salesman who won’t go away until we buy His goods. He is the almighty God with free pardon for sin, and hidden treasures to pour into our lives.
There is hymn written that perfectly describes this verse, Who at My Door Is Standing? (written by Mary Slade).
Who at my door is standing patiently drawing near,
Entrance within demanding? Whose is the voice I hear?
All through the dark hours dreary, knocking again is He;
Jesus, art Thou not weary, waiting so long for me?
Sweetly the tones are falling; open the door for Me?
If thou wilt heed My calling, I will abide with thee.
One last thought – the Lord is sweetly, patiently waiting for us to open the door, but one day we will no longer be able to bid Him come in. We only have a brief while on earth, then it will all be over. Listen – is the Lord knocking? Have you asked Him for salvation? Have you invited your Savior to be close through prayer and His Word? He is not walking away. He cares too much!