Perhaps one of the most used scriptures by evangelists and preachers for decades to declare that Jesus is standing at your hearts door and knocking, seeking a place within your heart and life. The paintings, pictures and stained glass representations of this bring it to life, quite possibly the most recognizable artwork of Christ, next to da Vinci’s Last Supper.
The sermon may go a little something like this:
“Oh lost sinner, Jesus is standing at the door of your heart and knocking. Won’t you open the door and let Him in? Won’t you let Him fill the hole in your heart that only He can fill?”
How many times have you heard that referencing Revelation 3:20? Countless I am sure. My former church home just posted the latest sermon entitled “Grace Matters” here.
If you skip to about the 28:30 mark, or thereabouts, you will hear Pastor Jimmy Franks use this analogy and use of this most important text of Christ’s Revelation as presented to the Apostle John. (I check back sometimes to see if they have changed their message from a man centered message to a Christ centered message that no longer promotes the declaration of salvation to people, or that freely accepts people as born again that are blatantly living a life of sin which would mean that God is not powerful enough to change someone)
“So, Jeff, what’s the deal? Why are you writing a blog entry on this?”
I am glad that you asked.
Using this passage of scripture in this manner is….. well, not scriptural and a gross contextual misuse. Here is the entire passage:
Revelation 3:14-20 14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 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.
You see, this passage of scripture is not about an individual’s heart or salvation; this passage is written to the church that has turned their back on Jesus. Look again at the picture. Jesus is on the outside of the church door, knocking, seeking to be within the church. The church has turned their back on Him, maybe over run with “seeker sensitive” programs, maybe everyone is to caught up in their religion, maybe no one even knows Jesus to let Him into their church and are instead having fellowship with the other “jesus” they have created that allows for them to live a life of sin and still consider themselves saved or born-again. Something is wrong and for whatever reason Jesus is not part of their church. And by power of deduction and a little Kentucky slang "If Jesus ain't in your church, then Jesus ani't your focal point of Worship".
This passage is evangelistic in nature. Just understand that it is evangelistic to the church, not an individual. The church age we are living in now parallels this church that Jesus speaks of. This is the last church age before Jesus’ return. Are you ready? Are you in a church that professes Christ in words only and actually turns it’s collective back on Him? Does your pastor boldly and biblically proclaim God’s Truth as revealed in His Word? Have you had an encounter with Christ? A life changing, Damascus road event that turned your sin loving life into a God loving, Word proclaiming, truly Born Again child of the True and Living God? Or are you content at believing a walk down the isle, a 10 second prayer or a pastor declaring you saved is all you need for your ticket to heaven?
My dear friend, Christ is not a ticket to anything. He is Everything. If Christ is not your everything, then you will probably be one that is referred to in Matt 7:21-23. You will profess Him as He rebukes you and tells you that He never knew you. What a fearful thought that people that even people that preached, cast out demons and other miracles will be cast into the bottomless pit of hell. How many times have you preached? How many demons have you cast out of someone? How many miracles have you performed? Speaking for myself only, zero. But by the Grace of God He chose me to save, He extended Grace to me, He pulled me out of sins grip into His bosom.
What about you? No prayer will save you. No profession of faith. No decision. No walk down an isle. No manipulation by an evangelist or preacher to evoke an emotional response while the choir sings “Just As I Am” 7 times. Nothing can save you less the Father draws you to Him. Nothing you can do can save you, which would be salvation by works. Cry out that God will be merciful and save you and don’t stop until He allows His Grace and compassion to rebirth you into His true Church for His Glory.