Summary: A message for believers & seekers alike, regarding how Jesus stands at the door and knocks. The seeker should feel drawn towards Jesus, and the beliver might feel a little ashamed at how we treat Jesus.
Please turn to REVELATION 3:14-22. This is our main text for this message.
‘To the angel of the church in Laodicea, write:
‘These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of My mouth.
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.
Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 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 him , and he with Me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I 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.’
Many people believe God’s Word is passé and out-of-date. I disagree. I believe God’s Word is as up-to-date as tomorrow morning’s headlines. I also believe that God has a message for His people. The Lord Jesus dictated messages to John for the seven churches of Asia Minor. In these letters, Jesus both commends and condemnsl He exhorts and corrects; and He deals specifically with the needs of each congregation.
In our passage, He speaks to the Laodiceans. Most conservative scholars believe that these letters have significant value to the church today, too. The message found in this passage also deals with the same attitudes and situations found in today’s church.
The most glaring problem for the Laodiceans was that they were lukewarm. Christ says, "I wish that you were either cold or hot." when a person is lukewarm, they feel no passion. They feel no excitement. They feel no Jesus.
Another problem was they thought of themselves as already having everything they needed. They equated everything, including their spiritual well-being on their wealth and possessions. But God saw them as "...wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Spiritual wealth only comes after a person realizes they don’t have anything without Jesus. And, what you really have need for more than anything is only found in Jesus. Jesus give the lukewarm a choice between God’s judgment and God’s blessing.
I see that …
1. ONE HAS THE DESIRE – THE OTHER ONE DOESN’T
In VERSE 20 we come to the main message in today’s sermon.
‘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 him and he with Me.’
Notice the exclamation point at the first sentence. ‘Here I am!’ Jesus is trying to get our attention, but we seem to be preoccupied with other things. Jesus is knocking but we cannot hear Him because we have been distracted. He says if anyone will hear Him and open the door, he will come in. That is a promise from our Savior, but … do we hear? Are we even listening?
Theologians believe that this invitation is meant for sinners who have never received Christ, and for believers who have relaxed their walk with Christ to the point that it is all but nonexistent. I agree with them. But today, I want to concentrate more on the believers who sit in church every Sunday but don’t really feel the presence of Christ in their hearts. Today, I want to talk about today’s lukewarm churches and the lukewarm members sitting in those churches.
Is this not where the church is today? Look at the majority of churches and the majority of Christians today. We have everything - except a close walk of fellowship with our God. We live the Christian life without feeling any passion. We have relegated Jesus to an unused closet in our lives. And He is standing and knocking, seeking entrance into our hearts. We had better start listening to Him, as we are coming into the midnight hour in the age of the church, and we need to pay attention to His fellowship more now than ever before!
Christ wants to be the very center of attention in our hearts. He desires personal fellowship and communion with us on a minute-to-minute basis. Because of our sin, we were supposed to be nailed to the cross, but He went to the cross in our place. And now, He wants for us to love Him for that, but we are too distracted to listen and we are making Him stand outside the back door, ignored and in some cases denied.