“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
This is a verse that is often used in “alter calls” and evangelism tracts. However, this morning was the first time that I realized its context. The verse comes from the letter to the church in Laodicea, which is best known as the place where Christ, speaking through John, calls the church neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. So, the meaning of the verse has nothing to do with non-Christians; it is instead a plea to lukewarm Christians. The verse that comes before Rev. 3:20, gets even more to the heart of why Christ is knocking at the door of their heart.
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” Revelation 3:19
Christ is using strong cautionary language to Christians who are becoming irrelevant, stale, and useless. He is at the door of their heart to use a loving rebuke and firm discipline to shake them up and bring them to repentance. What sins did these Laodicean Christians have stored up in their heart that they were keeping locked away? This morning as I realized the true meaning of this passage, I asked myself the same question. Then I told Jesus that I am opening the door of my heart to allow him to root out any sins that I had tucked away in the deepest places. I told him to extend his lordship into every part of my being. I invited him to come in and eat with me, returning to the table of his body and blood, the feast of the Bread of Life, the Living water.
“Lukewarm” has been used a weapon to deride many different styles of worship. All throughout the history of the church, people on various ends of the stylistic spectrum of worship have lobbed the “lukewarm” hand grenade at each other. But, It has most often been used to accuse people who attend worship like it was TV, staring glazy-eyed like a coach potato making no effort to engage their heart. However, even the most active and enthusiastic worshiper might have a lukewarm heart if they are squirreling away some secret sin or idol for which they have not yet relinquished lordship to Christ.
I encourage you to stop sometime this weekend and meditate on the letter to the church in Laodicea found in Revelation 3:14-22.