“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 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.”
Although personal workers often use these verses as an invitation to receive Christ as Savior, in its context, Jesus is speaking to the church of the Laodiceans. He is pictured on the outside of the church, knocking at the door, seeking to gain entrance. In itself, this is a somber image. Jesus loved the church and gave Himself for it. Of all places, He should not be on the outside looking in. Be that as it may, one has to wonder how many congregations are in the same situation. How do churches get that way? What would the Lord have them to do?
The answers are found in this familiar passage of Scripture. The location of Jesus on the outside of the Laodicean church was the result of their sin, particularly their sin of being lukewarm. Their complacency and self-satisfaction was nauseating to the Lord. This would certainly describe many churches and Christians today. The passion for God is absent. Lethargy has replaced spiritual hunger. Zeal has given way to slumber. Where there was once sincere worship, ritual now reigns. The thing that makes this condition so serious is the blindness of those infected. They see nothing wrong with where they are, and are therefore comfortable.
However, the Word of God helps us to see the need for revival. Jesus comes to this dying church, initiates dialogue, and offers intervention. In doing so, He gives them clear and nonnegotiable responsibilities. Out of love, He rebukes them and calls them to repentance. This is the response that God is looking for. When we have disobeyed God, there is no acceptable alternative. The Lord requires confession and repentance. They were to hear His knock, repent, and OPEN THE DOOR. He wants those who claim to know Him to listen to His warning, honestly recognizing the spiritual needs in their lives, and turn in a godly direction. He insists that we admit our woeful condition. We must admit the sin of seeking to live without His vibrant presence in our lives. We are to invite Him back into the place of prominence He deserves. Jesus wants renewed fellowship with His saints. He wants to “sup with” us. It is up to us to OPEN THE DOOR.