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The church at Laodicea was in danger of judgment.  What offended the Lord was not their intense sin but their moderate Christianity: “You are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were either cold or hot!  You are lukewarm” (Revelation 3:15-16).

They weren’t heretical or wacko.  They were somewhere in the mushy middle.  They neither promoted the gospel nor opposed it.  They thought the Bible had some good ideas, but they didn’t relish it.  They wanted their kids to grow up moral, but not missional.  They found some space in their busy weekend schedule for going to church, but they didn’t redesign their whole lives around the cause of the gospel.  Jesus would not put up with it: “I will spit you out of my mouth” (verse 16).  There is a kind of Christianity that Jesus finds distasteful.

But still, Jesus lovingly reached out to them: “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” (verse 20).  He didn’t force himself on them.  He offered himself with a humble knock on their door.

Notice the word “anyone.”  He didn’t say “If the pastor hears” or “If the elders hear” but “If anyone hears my voice.”  Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his book on revival, observes a striking pattern in Christian history.  A new movement of blessing never begins by a majority vote.  It begins when one person, or a small group of people, “begin to feel this burden, and they feel the burden so much that they are led to do something about it. . . . It may be anybody.”

Don’t think you can’t do anything.  Don’t wait for someone else.  Jesus offers himself to anyone: “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door . . . .”

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6 thoughts on “At the door”

  1. Holy Spirit says:

    I only open up the heart’s whom I have chosen before the foundation of the world, given by my Father in perfect election!

    1. MarieP says:

      First, it’s blasphemous to say you are the Holy Spirit, and especially as if what you said contradicts what our brother quoted from Scripture. Second, v.22 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The Spirit apparently was content to address his hearers with, “he who has an ear to hear” and leave it at that. Not every text is about personal salvation (how the Arminians take this text). But not every text is about sovereign election either. This is one of those “human responsibility” texts. As Augustine said, “Lord, command what You will, and will what You command!”

  2. MarieP says:

    I’m looking forward to praying tonight at church for our nation and the churches in it! May God grant true revival, and may Christ be named as Lord in those churches that currently have left Him outside her doors and hearts!

  3. anonymous says:

    love the picture

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Ray Ortlund

Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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