Vol.4, No.36 – September 8, 2019,
Countdown to the end . . . Here I am
Behold, 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. –Revelation 3:20
The church is not simply an organization; it is a body. Christendom is not Christianity. The true church of Jesus Christ is not a denomination or a group of denominations; the true church is an organism consisting of all born-again believers.
The previous blogs should have perked you interest of the Seven Churches (Revelation 2-3). One thing for sure, these are seven literal assemblies of churches existing in John’s day; in the area called Asia Minor. In Revelation, the first chapter, these churches are identified as “candlesticks.” As we live in the early 2000s, we can look back to see that these seven churches are a progressive picture of the history of the professing church. We can also see that these seven churches also represent a picture of the typical organized church of John’s day.
It is also a picture of the church today, and a picture of the church in the end time.
All this is so, because humankind has their fingers in God’s church, remaking it to suit their pleasure. Think about the pictures.
In Revelation 3:1-6, is the picture of the Church at Sardis; boasting of its orthodoxy, but doing nothing about it. It failed to live up to its name. While it seemed to protest and react against the rigid ecclesiastical hierarchy of the churches in chapter two, she went to the other extreme and was split by the abuse of its own liberty and freedom.
In Revelation 3:7-13, we find the narrative of the Church at Philadelphia. This church had an open door, but what did it really possess? They were few in number; however, they had power, they kept His Word, and did not deny His Name. The Church of the Open Door; grabbing up every opportunity to share the good news of the Gospel.
In Revelation 3:14-19, we are introduced to the Church at Laodicea. This picture is quite sad – a sad picture of Christendom at the end of the church age. There is zeal and fervor for organization, programs, and use of fad culture. However, there is a coldness and indifference to the Gospel. This is a church of spiritual pride that reveals itself in lukewarmness, neutrality, self-satisfaction, and self-righteousness.
Do you know churches such as these?
Matthew writes, As in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:37
What is the point? Our eternal God has His program running on time.
In St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, is Homan Hunt’s painting of Christ Knocking at the Door. One cannot stand before this painting without becoming spellbound. Almost everyone comes to speak the same remark: “There is a mistake; there is no handle on the door.”
No, there is not. The artist did not make a mistake. For the artist captured the truth that the handle belongs on the inside. Christ will knock; He will call. We are tasked with answering.
I thought of 1 Peter 3:15 – what Christ expects of us. Do you remember the passage?
Honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
Interesting, that Jesus models exactly, in Revelation 3:20, what He desires for our approach to others – gentleness and respect.
The invitation of Jesus is not marked by aggression. He stops in reverence before us, personally. He does not violate our moral freedom, nor does He crush our volitional choice. He stops at the door. If we have chosen to open our heart’s door, He will come right in, and sit down with us. Wow!
He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches! Revelation 2:7
Behold, Jesus is coming soon to take you home to Heaven; His words are faithful and true Revelation 22:6
How are we doing in our connections with those who need (desperately need) to invite Christ into their life? Or, are we too busy playing church?