March 14 2022
Today, Monday March 14
Jesus is Knocking and Calling Revelation 3:19-22 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." ' "
Today we will finish up our study on the letters to the seven churches in Asia that the Apostle John was told to write to from his exile on the Isle of Patmos. Each of these churches represent some of the characteristics of most churches throughout the two millenniums of church history. Of the seven churches only two were not told to repent. The Church at Smyrna which was the persecuted church and the Church at Philadelphia which was the missionary church with the open doors. When you are facing persecution or when you are on mission with God, focused on sharing His Gospel to a lost world, you generally will be in close fellowship and communion with the Lord!
This last church at Laodicea had become lukewarm and was neither cold nor hot, and in this condition, it was making the Lord sick. This church and its condition could very well represent many of our churches today just before the Lord comes back! Interestingly, the Lord never gives up on His church, just like He never gave up on His disciples despite their many failures. And thank the Lord, He never gives up on us! But He rebukes and chastens us and calls us to repentance!
As we conclude this study we notice it ends with one of the great invitations of the Bible! “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” We often use this verse to invite lost sinners to open the doors of their hearts and let Jesus come in and save them. But in context, this verse is actually for the Christian who has become lukewarm and has shut Jesus out of their life!
The Lord was outside the Laodicean church! But here Jesus is speaking to the individual—"if anyone"—and not to the whole congregation. He appealed to a small remnant in Sardis (Rev. 3:4-5), and now He appeals to the individual. It’s wonderful if the whole church experiences revival and gets on fire for the Lord, but it all starts with one individual!
Christ was not impatient. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”. "I have taken My stand", is the sense of the verb. He "knocks" through circumstances and He calls through His Word. What is the Lord appealing for? He is asking us to come back to fellowship and communion with Him. Remember the Laodiceans were working and serving, but they had become independent of the Lord and thought that they “needed nothing because they were rich and had become wealthy.” But they were not abiding in Christ and drawing their power from Him. They had a "successful program" but it was not fruit that comes from abiding in Christ (John 15:1-8). They had lost the presence and power of the Lord and didn’t even know it!
Note that when we open the door and invite Him in, the supper room becomes a throne room! It is through communion with Christ that we find victory and become overcomers indeed.
The letters to the seven churches are God's X rays, given to us so that we might examine our own lives and ministries. Judgment is going to come to this world, but it first begins at God's house (1 Peter 4:17). In these letters we find encouragement as well as rebuke.
May the Lord help us to hear what the Spirit is saying today to the church, and to the individuals in the churches!