Hope for the Lukewarm (Rev 3:20)
WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” is not only the title of one of the most popular gospel songs of the past 80 years, it is also the cry of many of our hearts. It’s also the cry of our Lord’s heart. That’s why he was so grieved with the church at Laodicea when he found their love for him “lukewarm” (Rev. 3:16).
For them and for those of us who long to be closer to him than we are, Jesus paints one of the most beautiful word pictures in the New Testament describing our predicament and its cure:
“See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20).
We find ourselves shut away from his presence, and he is standing outside the door, knocking and yearning to join us inside.
WONDERFUL THING IN OUR LIVES – Our ability to envision this scene is so important to Christ and so essential to us that he prefaces the picture with an exclamation, “See!” Here are some of the things Jesus wants us to see:
- He is taking the initiative – He is not satisfied to stay in heaven while we are lukewarm toward him. He comes right up to the door of our apathy and positions himself at the most accessible location for our response. He is “at the door.”
- He will not give up – He remains standing there. We may have ignored him a hundred times, but his knocking proves he still longs for our company. He has not given up on a closer walk with us.
- He’s knocking in hopes of an answer – He’s not just hanging around to see if we call him. He is rapping at the door and waiting for the knob to turn. We may be sitting and resting, but he is standing and knocking.
- As he knocks, he calls out that we may hear his voice – He knows that his sheep recognize his voice, so he keeps calling out to them – to you and to me – by name (John 10:3-4).
- His wants our company – His aim is not to teach us at the doorway, but to enter the depths of our hearts. As he says in John 14, “We will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23).
Jesus is doing almost all the doing in this wonderful scene. He asks only two things of us whose passion for him has cooled and whose sense of his presence has faded.
He asks us to listen – If you want to be closer to him, that desire is his knock and his voice. Don’t ignore it.
He requires that we open the door – We have closed the door that keeps us more distant from Christ than we want. Maybe we did it all at once; maybe little by little. He can knock on it, but only we can open it.
One more thing: You don’t have to wait – Jesus’ invitation is not a general one to the Laodicean church but a personal one to each of its members and to us: “If anyone hears my voice…” You don’t have to wait for others to hear and respond. Open the door and invite Christ in, not as a guest, but as owner of the house. He’s at the door.