Where Does Real Courage Come From?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Can We Hear? Reflections on Revelation 3:20 (Part 6)



Why is the Lord Jesus Christ standing outside the door of His own church?

Haven’t we experienced this? We’ve gone to churches where the gospel is not preached. Our Lord isn’t there. The music, the preacher, the people may be winsome and attractive but when Jesus doesn’t stand in the center of His church and preside, His family knows.

The church is dead without Him.

The devil is shrewd. He’s good at this. His first job is to turn a church alive in Christ into a Laodicean church pumped up with pride, compromised with the world, completely focused on self so they’ve got no idea they’ve kicked Jesus out. Then he sustains it. Keep the Christians distracted so they can’t hear the two most important sounds in the world.

His knock. His voice.

His second job: Pass the Laodicean church onto a new generation who have never experienced the Lordship of Jesus Christ presiding over His Church. They’ve never heard the saving power of the gospel. They have no testimony of Jesus in their lives. They hold to the rituals of church but don’t know the Lord of the church – His voice. His knock.

The church dies! And it would stay dead if God Himself didn’t intervene. He steps in, calls to Himself the most unexpected people -- a small band who love Him and can hear Him -- His word, His knock, His voice -- and they do what He says.

They open the door!

Often, at great personal cost. The dead church that remains dead rises up in revolt to mock and persecute the alive church in Christ. It never works. Not while Jesus presides. Not while He sits at table with His family. The devil has to wait it out for an opportune time to slowly turn us back into Laodiceans again.

This is the story of church history. It’s also a pattern in our own personal lives.

We come to saving faith in Jesus. We know what it means to hear His voice, to love the Bible, to long for the preaching of His word, the fellowship of His saints, and experience the intimacy of Him dining with us and we with Him. But somehow, over time, we lose the wonder of it all. It all dulls and we don’t know it.

We get distracted by other things. Pastors, elders, long time Christians lose that “first love” for Jesus (Rev 2:4). The hunger, the longing for Him – His presence, the preaching, His dining with us – become dull. Satan convinces us we’ve experienced it all. We know it all. We need nothing, having no idea He’s outside the door of our lives.

The knocking, can we hear it? The voice, He’s calling us. He wants to dine with us. Have we lost our zeal for Him? Why are we not running to the door to open it for Him?

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John 15:1-11, the Vine and the branches. "Is He everything to you?