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Does Jesus Knock?

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me." Revelation 3:20

This has to be the one Scripture I've seen taken out of context the most. It is widely used in churches, books, witnesses, tracts, etc., as a general call to salvation. Jesus is pictured and misquoted as standing at the door of a person's heart and knocking on it to come in. As if He's on the outside looking in like the smelly kid on the playground no one likes or wants to play with or He's wanting to borrow some sugar. We are His creation in His creation that He fills (Ephesians 2:10, John 1:3). He's not on the outside. We're the ones on the outside. 

When we take that verse into context there's several important things going on that often gets past over...

In that verse Christ was addressing the Laodicean "Lukewarm" Church. The modern Turkish name for Laodicea is Eskihisar. They were neither hot nor cold and because they were neither one or the other, He said, "I am about to spit you out of my mouth." (Rev 3:16) The Church of Laodicea was filled with professing Christians, but was, in fact, apostate. Not a single believer is mentioned in the letter to Laodicea. Lukewarm is not ever used in Scripture to describe any believer whose become lazy, unmotivated or depressed. It's used in regards to the unsaved who profess to be Christian. It's a metaphor of professing Christians in their lost state and self deceit.

Of all the letters sent to the seven churches, this letter is the harshest of all of them. It's the only one that comes with a serious threat. It's the last of the churches and, by far, the worst of the seven. Like John MacArthur said "Some churches make Him angry. This church made Him sick." And Laodicea was and is a picture of the end times church.

Laodicea was a very important city because of its trade routes. There was also a significant number of Jews there. The resources Laodicea had caused it to grow in population, strength and commercially. Laodicea was a banking center as people past through the trade routes. They were famous for their wool wool that was soft, glossy and highly desired and exported for clothing. Laodicea also had a medical school that later became famous for the eye salve invented there. All these things come into play in the letter.

Laodice was a half hearted church. They were settled and satisfied in their wealth and power much like many in the modern day church. They were secure in that wealth and power and delusional. This church was filled with those who believed they were Christians, but weren't. They lived and breathed selling to others and making their wealth. They were in need of they thought...

"You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see." Revelation 3:17-18

To a church full of apostates and hypocrites God was still showing grace and love to this unsaved, hypocritical church and giving them an opportunity to repent or they would be condemned. If there was even just one person in there who might turn, then the invitation went out. This wasn't an invitation to the unsaved as it's often used. These people genuinely believed they were saved. This was not a general call to salvation as it's often used. He was addressing them to discipline them, not as true followers know discipline, but as a means to convict them.

Finally, in verse 20, Jesus was not knocking on the heart of the individual. He was knocking on the door of the unsaved church...the church of Laodicea. Christ wants into the church that bears His Name. It's not an image of Him being locked out or being unwelcome. It's an image of Him having long deserted Laodicea. He left. They didn't drive Him out like an eviction. He could have kick the door down, went in and started dishing out judgment, but He chooses rather to show compassion, patience and grace to them by returning and giving an offer. "I could demolish and be just in doing so, but I'll knock first and give you an opportunity to do what's right". If there was anyone inside, even just one, then Christ would enter the church through that person and there would be hope for it before His judgment falls. 

Jesus has never professed nor has Scripture ever alluded to Christ standing outside and waiting for an invitation to come into our lives. We don't choose Him, He chooses us (John 15:16). We don't choose to come to Christ. We don't decide one day we'll check Jesus out. We don't invite Him in. We certainly don't "find" Him as if He's been lost or like we're looking for Waldo. We are sought out by God. We are drawn to Christ by the Father (John 6:44) When He calls, We follow and not the other way around. Christ isn't sitting around waiting for someone to yell "Hey Jesus! I'm ready to have you in my life now! Hurry up!" We don't have it in us to seek Christ (Romans 3:11-12). He doesn't come to us and knock on hearts. The Father draws us to Him.


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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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