When Jesus Knocks
I have had occasions in my life where I was confronted with closed doors. I returned home one day to find that I was locked out of my house. I had mislaid my keys and was facing what one might call a closed door experience! I have experienced that in the spiritual realm as well. Then there have been other times when I have seen physical doors open for me. This is true in
the spiritual realm also.
In the Third Chapter of the Book of the Revelation, God speaks
to the Church, it is a message which we must apply to today’s Church. God tells them that He is a God that “openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; and behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: “ Rev 3:8 … but if you read on to verse 20 you’ll find God outside the door? In my sermon today entitled “When Jesus Knocks” I want to talk with you about the difference you will experience when God is in the House, when God is on board the vessel, when God is in the
Much of what we do in the Church nowadays, sadly, we do without God, and all of that fails or falls short with regard to the eternal investments we are trying to make. The Apostle Paul would warn us that in Eternity all of our works will face the fires of testing … in 1 Corinthians 3:15 he says: “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” God forbid that one day we would stand knee deep in the ashes of all of our ministry and good works. We must learn how to do things in Gods way, find how to distinguish between an open and a closed door? Some of the things I will share with you today may seem a little harsh, but say them I must, for they weigh heavily on my heart and in my Spirit.
So I want to talk with you also about the door to a better life. What are we to do when we are confronted with an open door? How do we handle a closed door? Who controls the doors of life, us or the Lord? I want to look into this matter of doors today, because they are so important in our walk with the Lord. I believe what the Bible reveals about the doors of life can help us all in our walk with Him. Best of all, the information the Bible gives us reminds us just Who is responsible for the doors of life.
Consider First of all THE MESSAGE OF THE DOOR
In the context of this text in Rev 3. – God had set an “open door” of ministry before this church. They were weak in power, but strong in the Lord. He had placed an open door before them which no man could shut. We all know what a “door” is. It is “a movable, usually solid, barrier for opening and closing an entrance-way.” A door represents either access or denial, depending on whether it is open or closed.
Doors figure heavily in the Bible. The word “door” appears in the Bible, in one form or other, 263 times. While the word “door” in the Bible is used to speak of a literal door, there are many places where “doors” are used symbolically.
· In this passage, Rev 3, the “open door” speaks of Opportunity
· In John 10:9, Jesus called Himself “the Door” – speaking there of Salvation
· Rev. 4:1 speaks of a “door” being opened in the heavens –
a picture of the Rapture of the Church
· Matt. 24:33 tells us the “door” is a picture of imminent arrival – speaking of the Lords Second Coming
· Rev. 3:20 pictures Jesus standing at the “door” and knocking – and can speak to us of Conviction
· Matt. 7:7-8 speaks of answered prayer as the opening of a “door” – a door of Blessing
· Gen. 18:1-2 speaks of the Lord meeting with Abraham in the “door” of his tent – a picture there of Fellowship
· Ex. 12:7 we see the blood of the lamb being applied to the “doorposts” and lintels – a picture of Redemption.
We are all familiar with doors and how they operate in the physical realm. It seems clear to me that doors have something to teach us in the spiritual realm as well. This is only but a small sampling of what the Bible has to say about the MESSAGE of the doors; and basically if its open it means “Go In” and if its closed it means “Stay Out”!
Consider in the Second Place, what I’m calling
THE MINISTRY OF THE DOOR
The open and shut doors of our lives may have the ability to change the course of our lives. In Acts 12:1-17 Simon Peter was in prison and scheduled to die the next morning. God sent an angel and opened the doors to freedom for him. Miraculously the doors of the prison opened, the gates of the city opened, but when he arrived at the house where the church were praying for his release, Peter found the door there – shut! These doors changed Peter’s life! Similarly in Acts 16:6-10, Paul experienced the agony of two closed doors that led him to God’s open door of ministry. These doors changed the direction of Paul’s life and the course of Church history!
Here in Revelation 3, God set an “open door” before the church at Philadelphia. They were weak, but they were given a glorious opportunity. All they had to do was to step through that open door of faith, and God was promising to use them and bless them in a mighty way. An open door is a good thing! We rejoice when the door of opportunity is opened to us. When God opens a door, we should also step through that door, by faith, without hesitation, because God is doing something special in our lives.
On the other hand, a closed door usually fills us with feelings of disappointment. We want to do what we want to do and we do not want to hear God say, “No”. Yet, I have discovered that the closed doors of life are just as precious as the open doors! In my case, I am here today because God closed several doors in my life. He opened this door, but He closed far more to bring me here. The same could be said of your spiritual experience as well. You are where you are today because of closed doors of life. When God closes a door, walk away from it. Do not try to force it to open.
We should pay close attention to the open and closed doors in ministry too! Step through every door He opens and stay away from those He closes.
Thirdly, let us reflect for a moment on
THE MASTER OF THE DOOR
The words in verses 7 & 8 make it crystal clear that Jesus is the Doorkeeper. He is the Master of the doors of life. He opens the doors and He closes the doors as it pleases Him. He holds the keys and He determines which doors are opened and which remain closed. This ministry of the Master is a perpetual, a continuing ministry. Notice the words “I” and “thee”… the picture of the Lord’s personal and perpetual involvement in the lives of His people and His church. I once heard a preacher say that God does not have a specific will for our lives. He does not care where we go to church; where we minister; where we live; where we work; where we go, etc. I reject all that! I believe the Lord is intimately involved in the everyday business of our lives. This is the testimony of the Bible, … Jeremiah 29:11 reads;
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end“.
God cares for you and He cares about everything that affects you. The personal ministry of God in the lives of His people is clear throughout the Bible – he made provision for his prophet Elijah, through the Widow of Zarephath. He delivered and saved the Three Hebrew Slaves and Daniel the Prophet from certain death. He protected the Disciples in the stormy waters of the Galilee, and rescued young David from the Jaws of a Lion and the Paws of the Bear and the Sword of Goliath, … don’t suggest to me that our God doesn’t care? Every open door is an expression of His love and of His activity in our lives: And so is every closed door!
So whatever kind of doors are you looking at today? Understand that the Lord is behind the doors of your life. Step through them or walk away from them as the case me be. I am glad I know the Doorkeeper, and that He is in control!
So much then for the Doors, but our true focus in the time remaining today must be …
THE MAN AT THE DOOR
I am in no doubt whatever that at this hour in the history of the Church, which is about to be its finest hour, that Jesus is waiting at the Door wanting into the House. Can I ask you to be honest with your answer this question for me today, –
IS JESUS IN THE HOUSE?
That’s extremely important, for if He is not in the house, if he is not present in your Church Service, in your Prayer Meetings, in your Evangelistic Outreach, then you are simply “playing an old game” – “let’s pretend Church”.
I used to play that game with my twin Sister and my late Paternal Grandmother on a Sunday evening when my Parents and Elder Siblings had gone to Church. I would turn one of the large living room Chairs backwards, stand up on it and Preach to Granny and my sister Dorothy, and we would have Ribena and Shortbread for the Holy Communion. It was a great Game and we did all enjoy it, especially the “fiery young preacher”
but none of it, NONE of it I say, will count in Heaven.
My heart is breaking today as I look in on many of the Church Services and meetings that continue week by week across this Island masquerading as “the Church” when God is not honoured and acknowledged in any of it, and His presence is conspicuous by His absence? We must know that God will not play our games. While we were “children” God winked at our immaturity, Acts 17:30 – but now is the time for us to grow up, to mature and to take on the Fathers and the Families Business.
Much of this “error” in which we walk is largely due to the fact that we have gone into some places in the Church that God did not call us to. We have opened doors which we were not supposed to open, gone into some practices and procedures of our own invention and imagination and ignored or abandoned the will and ways of God. The Theological Traditions of Men have become the Code of our practice and prayers, and we have regularly closed the Bible and especially the New Testament as our daily rule for life! Make sure that the Bible is not a closed Book in your Pulpit!
Much of the New Testament Theology of Grace has been shrouded by the Old Testament Laws of works, because Religion just cannot accept that Salvation has nothing to do with us,
but everything to do with Jesus. Religion says “we must do something”- Jesus said “it is finished”! We have devalued His redemptive work on the Cross and added to it – self effort and self righteousness. We have introduced the methodology of the world into how we manage and maintain our congregations. We have fired the Elders and Deacons and installed Business managers – and now board rooms replace the prayer rooms.
I’ve been to Church meetings were no one ever thought it wise to begin or end that meeting with a Prayer, somehow they seemed to think that Gods input was not relevant? Is that your Church?
Nowadays we speak of “the Church Manager” and “the Church Executive” and the Clergy have become the CEO’s and prefer to be called Bill or Mike, instead of Pastor. Churches have offices that open 9-5, and are closed on week-ends, and people run after the Vicar instead of the vicar serving the people. Most of these men have abandoned the wearing of the “Servants ring” the Collar, the symbol and sign of servant-hood, and instead come to the Pulpit on Sunday in just the same way that they might go to Football on Saturday. Most don’t regard the Pulpit as a “holy or sacred place”?- and the real tragedy is that many
of you listening me today consider this to be all OK.
But it’s not OK, it is far from OK, and Jesus is knocking at the door and wants in, to clean up this mess which we have created and are calling “Church”. One of the reasons why the Early Church were so impactful in their time, was because they were so different from the world and everything in it. Nowadays the Church is just like the world, indeed copying the world – and one might almost mistake it for a new week-end club house to which people flock for their Sunday fix? This must change.
We must learn how to function and flow in the power of God the Holy Spirit. We must learn how to identify the open doors and avoid the closed doors. God has given us an open door to heaven, (what a thought) and we are supposed to be bringing HEAVEN to this Town, this City, this Country … every day. Again I will ask you to honestly answer this question – IS YOUR CHURCH DISPENSING HEAVEN week by week?
What did you see in your Church this week that made you think, “this is off Heaven, this is off God”- “This is the lords doing and it is marvellous in our eyes” Psalm 118:23 When was the last time you really did see a “miracle” or have you been praying and pleading for years with little or no visible results? Could God have withdrawn from being inside your door, to being outside of your door?
My dear friends, we must face facts, we must face the future, Hell is real, and souls are lost and dying, and Jesus is coming back and God is depending on you and me. We cannot, we dare not wait another day. “Now is the day of Salvation“.
(2 Corinthians 6:2)
It is time to get up, dress up, show up, and speak up. Time for Truth, time for Honesty, time for Reality and time for Change.
God has put this message in my Heart and in my Mouth for such a time as this. I may sound harsh, and I may have crossed the line with some, but I am not here to please you, I am here to prompt you, to prepare you, and to plead with you to open the door to Jesus. Let Him into your life, first of all, and then let him into your Church – into your activities, into your plans, into your ministry, into your outreach, into your youth clubs, into your praise groups and prayer groups, into your mission support, into your wallets and cheque books, into your funds and finances and into your future. Jesus stands at the door and knocks. Will you open up to him today? Is Jesus in the House? What a difference He will make if only you’ll
allow him in.
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
A Church without the presence of Jesus is like a Tour Bus without a Battery! It may look good, sleek, modern, comfortable and have lots of people on board, but it is simply going NOWHERE!
I cannot imagine why some think they can leave God out and make progress – it simply is not possible. God has given us His person and His presence and His power in the Holy Spirit because God knows we cannot move forward without him.
Now we need to understand that the Holy Spirit is not a Dove, not a bird that comes and goes and that can fly away if it is grieved or hurt. I heard a TV Preacher recently say such confusing things. (nice thoughts, but it’s heresy) The Holy Spirit is a PERSON, and his name is JESUS, he answers to that name. He desires and delights to dwell with us forever, and shall be in us, – Jesus said so in Johns Gospel Chapter 14, verse 17… “the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you”.
Likewise Jesus dwells with the Church and shall be IN her, unless of course we prevent it, and purposely keep him out –
as some do.
Today He stands at the Door and Knocks, he is not leaving the door, he will never go away, he will continue to knock, unless and until we get up and open the door, – then he will come in and mark my words, “when Jesus shows up – EVERYTHING CHANGES”
So please allow Jesus in the House, and do it now.
God Bless You