Summary: Adapted in part from Warren Wiersbe (and others)...a look at the letters Jesus dictated to specific churches...with the ensuing question, "what would He write to us?"
GETTING BACK ON TRACK
* When I was young, I loved playing with electric train sets. Man it was good. If you remember, these types of trains got their power from the tracks. The electricity ran through the tracks and as long as the train was on the track it possessed the power it needed to go.
* In this matter of being the church, it seems to me that as long as the church remains on the track, she possesses the power to overcome the gates of Hell, to bind and loose in Heaven and on Earth, and to make disciples of men. However, what happens when she derails or gets off track. Let’s see what the Bible says.
* Please turn with me to Revelation 3:19-22.
* The last verse of this text is an overlook command of the Bible. In plain language it says, “It you have ears which work, you best LISTEN to what the Holy Spirit has to tell the churches.” The question is, “are we listening?” This coming Sunday is the last Sunday of this emphasis called “Thirty Days of Praise.” The truth for us to learn the final week is “Hearing God’s voice.” God desires for us to not just to hear His voice, but to actually listen to what He says.
* In our text, John has just completed writing the letter to the Complacent Church at Laodicea giving them the message that they made Him sick. They were not what they “thought” they were. Christ says, “You make me sick at my stomach” and then He concludes with the truth that “you best listen to what the Spirit says.”
* It is after the message to the church and before giving that sobering command that He shows us “how to GET BACK ON TRACK.”
* Getting back on track centers around “Christ.”
1) The Position of Christ – “I am standing at the door.”
* Jesus Himself is standing at the door. He doesn’t send someone else. When I think of Jesus standing at the door, several things come to my mind. First, I think of the number of doors where I have stood.
* I think of the fear that comes to me when I am unsure of what is on the other side. You know what I’m talking about, what kind of reception will I have, will they be friendly, will they be receptive, or will they even open the door.
* Now we can make a case that Jesus is standing outside our “heart’s door”, wanting to come in and make a difference. Certainly, this application is valid as Christ wants to come into every heart & life. He wants to come in & make a difference.
* However, in the context of this passage it is very much the case that Jesus feels locked out of His church. Think about that, the church at Laodicea founds her beginnings, her life, and her direction, in Him and now has locked Him out. He wants to come back in. Why is that? e is the power, life, and source.
2) The Persistence of Christ – He says, “I stand at the door and knock”. This is not a light “rap”, but a heavy knock.
* Have you ever gone to a door where you knew the family was home, knocked, and no one answered? Did you stop? Only if you didn’t really want to see them. Conversely, you knocked louder every time you knocked. Why? So they would be sure and hear you.
* When Jesus knocks, He knocks loud enough for us to hear. And He knocks long enough for us to hear. He doesn’t give up; He wants to make sure you hear Him and know that He is there. He keeps on knocking when things are good, bad, up, down, & in between.
3) The Premise of Christ – “if” constitutes one of the conditions; we must listen and respond. Sometimes people and churches refuse to listen and want to plead ignorance in their response.
* Be sure of this; ignorance is not an excuse. The Bible tells us that man has seen enough in creation that he is without excuse. Also be sure of this; we must hear and we MUST respond. We must open the door.
* On many occasions I have said that were I God, I probably would not have done so much to redeem and reclaim mankind and then give mankind a choice. But God did just that. He refuses to pry the door open or break down the door or divinely make Himself a master key. He says, “IF you hear and open – I will, and if not – I won’t”
* Once again, “if we don’t, he won’t”. And if He is not allowed to come in through the door and right our ship, then we will remain off track. However, the best part: