Salvation title
©Douglas Beyer 2000

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INVITATION TO SALVATION
Revelation 3:20

"Knock, knock."
"Who's there?"
"Spinach"
"Spinach, who?"
"Spinaching me so long I have to scratch."

Of all the dumb jokes that have been told, the "knock, knock" jokes take the prize for silliness. But now that I have your attention, I want to take a running broad jump from the ridiculous to the sublime. I have something important to say. The doors of life offer many surprises. And the most important question we ever ask is "Who's there?"

Jesus said to the church at Laodicea, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). Commit that verse to memory. You never know when you might need it.

This brief passage tells us five things about Jesus' invitation to salvation: the person, his position, his patience, his plea and his provision.

The Person: "Here I Am!"

Knocking at the door…Jesus himself is knocking at the door. Remember Jesus was crucified fifty years before this was written. How then can he be knocking at someone's door? Having been raised from the dead Jesus was able to knock on their door and on yours.

To be visited by royalty is an honor that few people have. Prince Andrew and Fergie visited Arcadia, California, fifteen years ago. They didn't stay at our house, but if they had knocked at our door, they would have been welcome. My wife and I would have used our good china and silver and real cloth napkins. We would not have used those we recycled from Burger King. We would have given them the best we had. To be visited by royalty is a privilege few people have, but to be visited by the risen Son of God is a possibility that everyone has.

The guest knocking at your door is not a prince or princess, not a king or queen, but the great Creator and Judge of the Universe! Suppose he knocked on your door? Ah, but there is no supposing — he is knocking. If you only had the eyes to see it and ears to hear it, you would discover that the Supreme Guest is always at your door knocking for admission.

Incredible as it may seem, embryonic incomplete persons like ourselves can have personal contact with the utterly concrete Person, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, second person of the Holy Trinity. "I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how he could save me, a sinner, condemned, unclean!" Revelation identifies Jesus as "the faithful witness, the first born Son, who was raised from the dead, and who is the ruler of the kings of the earth… He holds the seven stars in his right hand" (Revelation 1:5,20). And with that hand he knocks on your door. You dare not ignore him nor turn him away!

His Position: "Stand At The Door."

Where is Jesus nowadays? Scriptures give us three different pictures of his position. Hebrews 1:3 and 10:12 tells us he is seated at the right hand of God — a position of rest. Revelation 2:1 tells us he is walking in the midst of his churches — a position of action. Revelation 3:20 tells us he is standing at the door — a position of readiness.

Jesus is ready to meet you. There will be no time lost between the opening of the door and his entering. But are you ready to meet him? Psychiatrist Paul Tournier wrote, "A person can chat endlessly, argue, read, travel, and react to situations without ever really encountering another person or ever responding to him." From the glib greeting, "Hi, how are ya?" to the flip farewell, "Nice to talk to ya," we deal with each other on the surface.

We often treat Jesus in the same superficial way. He is more a distant acquaintance than a close friend. Paul, on the other hand, said, "All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection and to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death" (Philippians 3:10). Jesus is standing at your door waiting for your response.

His Patience: "And Knock"

No other religion has a vision of a seeking God. The Old Testament invites you to seek God: "Seek ye the Lord while he now may be found, call ye upon him while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6 KJV). "Ye shall seek me and ye shall find me when ye search for me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13 KJV). The New Testament, however, reveals for the first time that God is seeking you. He seeks you like a shepherd seeks a lost sheep, like a woman seeks a lost coin, like a father seeks a lost son (Luke 15:1-32). Indeed, if God had not sought you, you would never have found him.

Jesus patiently knocks by his word. Every time you read your Bible, every time you hear a gospel sermon or remember a scripture verse, Jesus is knocking at your door. His word is heard but not heeded. It is honored and respected, but not listened to. Poet T. S. Eliot said, "Those who talk of the Bible as a 'monument of English prose,' are merely admiring it as a monument over the grave of Christianity… The Bible has had literary influence not because it has been considered as literature, but because it has been considered as a report of the Word of God." The Bible is a special delivery love letter from God.

Jesus patiently knocks by his Spirit. Every time the Holy Spirit awakens your conscience or enlightens your mind, Jesus is knocking at your door (John 15:26; 16:8-11).

A pediatric nurse found a good way to quiet the fears of little children. Before she listened to their heart beat, she plugged the stethoscope in their ears first and let them listen. "What do you hear?" she asked. One little boy's eyes grew big. He asked, "Is that Jesus knocking?"

When Jesus came to Bethlehem the innkeeper hung out the "no vacancy" sign. Don't make the same mistake. Don't let your heart become a "busy inn" and turn him away.

Jesus patiently knocks by his providence. He may do extraordinary things to get your attention. Some of you not only hear Jesus knocking, you have been knocked around. The present circumstance that presses so hard against you, if surrendered to Jesus, is the best shaped tool in the Father's hand to chisel you for eternity. Trust him. Do not push away the instrument lest you mar the work. The great auto maker, Walter P. Chrysler, said, "The reason many people never get anywhere in life is because when opportunity knocks, they are out in the backyard looking for four-leaf clovers." The greatest opportunity to ever knock at your door is Jesus.

His Plea: "If anyone hears my voice and opens the door"

Notice who must open the door: you! The latch is on the inside. Christ speaks and knocks, but will never kick the door in. He gave you the awesome freedom to say, "No! Get out of my life. Leave me alone." Oh, it is rarely said in those words, but actions speak louder than words. Your behavior may be saying to God right now, "Get lost."

The horrible truth is that someday God will take you at your word, and abandon you to your self-destructive ways forever. Today, though, he is knocking at your door. The day will come when you will knock at his door saying, "Open to me." And Jesus will say, "Depart from me. I never knew you" (Matthew 25:11). He will open the door only to those who open the door to him. Your eternal destiny is in your hands right now, while Jesus knocks.

His Provision: "I will eat with him, and he with me"

Too many think of Christianity in terms of sacrifice and are always talking about what they must give up if they come to Jesus. They think in terms of "smoking and drinking and fornicating."

What they don't know is that Jesus is knocking not to get something from you but to give something to you. You are poor, but he offers you the true riches of his kingdom. You are naked, but he offers you the spotless white clothes of his righteousness. You are blind, but he offers you the healing balm that enables you to see things in the clear light of his wisdom (3:17-19). You must turn loose of the worthless, dangerous toys of this world only in order to grasp more firmly the priceless gifts of God.

"Knock, knock."
"Who's there?"
"Jesus!" And that's no joke!

 

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