Bible Society of South Africa
Gerhard Lindeque

Seven days of inspiration from Revelation - Day 7

I stand at the door and knock

Bible text(s)

The Message to Laodicea

14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

“This is the message from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, who is the origin of all that God has created. 15I know what you have done; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! 16But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth! 17You say, ‘I am rich and well off; I have all I need.’ But you do not know how miserable and pitiful you are! You are poor, naked, and blind. 18I advise you, then, to buy gold from me, pure gold, in order to be rich. Buy also white clothing to dress yourself and cover up your shameful nakedness. Buy also some ointment to put on your eyes, so that you may see. 19I rebuke and punish all whom I love. Be in earnest, then, and turn from your sins. 20Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they will eat with me. 21To those who win the victory I will give the right to sit beside me on my throne, just as I have been victorious and now sit by my Father on his throne.

22“If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches!”

Revelation 3:14-22GNBOpen in Bible reader

Prosperity is not always a good thing. It can make people complacent and cause them to think they no longer need God. This can lead to us becoming spiritually lukewarm. Note that hot and cold are something positive in this context. It is the lukewarmness of the congregation that disgusts God. This is literally what is meant by the expression “I will spit you out of my mouth”. Sometimes, it is necessary for God to speak harshly to his church.

According to the message to the church in this passage, true spiritual wealth consists of three things. First of all, it is the comfort that suffering, like gold being refined, is part of a relationship with God. Secondly, it is the joy of the forgiveness of our sin that is as precious as wearing white clothes. Finally, it involves the insight to realise our dependence on God and, thus, be healed of our spiritual blindness.

It is important that we always depend on God and repent often. That is why God never leaves his church. As with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God always comes looking for us. Through his word and Spirit, God knocks on the door of the church, to remind us that he is always there and concerned about us. The continuous process of repentance does not begin with us, but with God who knocks and searches for us.

The disappointment is that the door is closed, that God stands on the outside and is not inside the church. However, where God is present in his church, the relationship flourishes. God’s presence in his church brings joy and intimacy. For God, it is not about punishing people, but rather about restoring people’s relationship with him.

Think about:

  1. 1.What makes people complacent today?
  2. 2.How does God knock on the door of our hearts?

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