Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Monday, August 23, 2010

Proper Interpretation of Jesus 'knocking'




I have repeatedly heard the wrong interpretation of Jesus 'knocking on the door of sinner's hearts'. This wrong interpretation leads to a wrong understanding of the Gospel. I found this piece from 'founder and perfecter' helpful...
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.
The Wrong Application: If you have never accepted Jesus into your heart to be your personal Lord and Savior, know this: Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart, asking you, begging you to let him in. If you have never done that before in your life, I want you to pray this prayer with me. Just repeat after me. “Lord Jesus…”
The Problem: In chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation, Jesus is dictating letters that are to be sent to the churches of Asia. This particular portion is written to the church in Laodicea, a church with a reputation for well-being. By all appearances Laodicea would be a church where Jesus had been invited in a long time ago. Jesus is not knocking on the door of anyone’s heart, but knocking on the door of the church.
The Right Application: The reason that Jesus is at the door knocking is because the church has effectively removed Jesus. He is no longer present at the church and they are only keeping up appearances. Jesus is highlighting the irony that a church with a reputation of spirituality is a church where he needs to knock on the door and wait for it to be answered. Therefore, today we must recognize that outward growth and spiritual reputation can be present when Jesus is not. We need to bring Jesus back into our church by preaching the gospel and performing works that are worthy of the gospel of God.

11 comments:

Ma ~ said...

That is so true. Jesus is standing outside of the Church! I enjoyed the other out of context verses on the blog you referenced.

One of my favorites:

Psalm 105:15

Touch not the Lord's annointed

lyn said...

I've heard that one too Ma.

I work in a nursing home, and I find 'tracts' with an image supposing to be that of Jesus knocking on a door, with that passage from Rev. 3 on it in many of the resident's rooms, I just want to scream!!!

Jo said...

Poor, weak, begging Jesus..yea, I don' think so!! ( held that view for many years and but as pointed out Wrong interpretation=Wrong gospel)Thanks for this and enjoyed the other applications as well from 'founder and perfecter'.

lyn said...

You are welcome Jo. I cannot fathom those who think Jesus is knocking on the door of their hearts; this stems from the lack of proper biblical teaching on the doctrine of total depravity.

Blessings to you

lyn

RON said...

I believe that Jesus is knocking on the door of their hearts.Why do I say this?The church had become apostate.
Jesus says that they are only fit to be vomited out of his mouth.Now I ask you,can a true christian be treated as vomit,ie unfit to be in the body of Christ.
So,Jesus,is asking them to repent.
The text goes on to say that if he gets that invitation,then he will dine with the individual not dine with the church.
In summation,the invitation is both to the church and to the individual.
I am aware of the viewpoint of preachers like John MacArthur,who I regard as my spiritual mentor,
but I must still stick to what I see as a literal interpretation of the text.

lyn said...

Hi Ron,

You may be interested in John Gill's commentary on Rev. 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock,.... The phrase of standing at the door may be expressive of the near approach, or sudden coming of Christ to judgment, see Jam_5:9; and his knocking may signify the notice that will be given of it, by some of the immediate forerunners and signs of his coming; which yet will be observed but by a few, such a general sleepiness will have seized all professors of religion; and particularly may intend the midnight cry, which will, in its issue, rouse them all:

if any man hear my voice; in the appearances of things and providences in the world:

and open the door; or show a readiness for the coming of Christ, look and wait for it, and be like such that will receive him with a welcome:

I will come unto him, and sup with him, and he with me; to and among these will Christ appear when he comes in person; and these being like wise virgins, ready, having his grace in their hearts, and his righteousness upon them, he will take them at once into the marriage chamber, and shut the door upon the rest; when they shall enjoy a thousand years communion with him in person here on earth; when the Lamb on the throne will feed them with the fruit of the tree of life, and lead them to fountains of living water, and his tabernacle shall be among them."

Thanks for your comment

Bill Kochman said...

I think we all need to be very careful that we don't become overly legalistic in our interpretation of the Scriptures.

In my view, to suggest that it has to be one or the other -- that is, the Church or each individual member -- may be wrong.

Being as the true Church consists of its actual members, and not the building itself, and being as God calls us on an individual basis, I believe that both interpretations can be appropriate.

For example, concerning the spiritual nature of Christ's Church, consider these verses:

http://www.endtimeprophecy.net/Bible-Study-Tools/VerseLists/verse056.html

At the same time, considering the preponderance of Scriptural evidence where the wickedness, blindness and hardness of the human heart -- particularly the unbelieving Jewish heart -- is discussed in both the Old and the New Testaments, clearly, to view the door as the human heart is not wrong. Again, consider these verses:

Spiritual Blindness:

http://www.endtimeprophecy.net/Bible-Study-Tools/VerseLists/verse064.html

Wicked Heart:

http://www.endtimeprophecy.net/Bible-Study-Tools/VerseLists/verse075.html

Lastly, whether it is an invitation to Salvation, or an admonishement to be prepared for His Return, they are both right.

lyn said...

I agree, we should not view scripture through legalistic eyes, but that is not what this post does. Context is the key to understanding the verse mentioned, as the post clearly points to. Who was Christ addressing? The Laodicean church, a group of professing believers who were steeped in all kinds of sin. Again, context is the key to understanding this verse, as well as every word of God.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock"...commentary from John Gill describes this part of the verse in this way, 'The phrase of standing at the door may be expressive of the near approach, or sudden coming of Christ to judgment, see Jam_5:9; and his knocking may signify the notice that will be given of it, by some of the immediate forerunners and signs of his coming; which yet will be observed but by a few, such a general sleepiness will have seized all professors of religion; and particularly may intend the midnight cry, which will, in its issue, rouse them all'.


I think John MacArthur comments correctly on this verse as well in saying 'Rather than allowing for the common interpretation of Christ's knocking on a person's heart, the context demands that Christ was seeking to enter this church that bore His name, but lacked a single true believer. This poignant letter was His knocking. If one member would recognize his spiritual bankruptcy and respond in saving faith, He would enter the church.' - J. MacArthur

The laodicean church was an apostate church, much like the visible church we see in America today. Judgment was looming for the Laodicean church, as it is even at this hour.

Bill Kochman said...

I was willing to demonstrate flexibility in my comments. It appears that you are not.

Having said that, I offer this:

". . . Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."
Romans 14:5b, KJV

It is not my policy to argue or debate doctrines or different interpretations of the Scriptures, as per this article:

http://www.endtimeprophecy.net/Articles/Doctrinal-Debate-01.html

I will be unsubscribing from this message thread.

Thank you.

lyn said...

I understand your willingness to demonstrate flexibility, but that is not how we should approach Holy Writ. God's word is not something we can take and bend to fit our views, it is to be read and studied in context.
I do not have any desire to be flexible when it comes to handling His truth, it is too serious a matter to take lightly. I do not wish to debate or argue, I let the Scriptures speak for themselves. The verse in this post and the verses prior and following all point, in context, to Christ addressing the church of Laodicea and its lukewarm state. It is this church that He knocks on the door of, not dead in sin hearts that are not able to respond.

I hold to the doctrines of grace concerning soteriology because that is what the word of the Lord teaches, not some man-made method of sinners doing something to be saved like inviting Jesus into their heart, or making a decision. I vehemently oppose the doctrine of free will because it is not found in the Bible.

If you leave this blog and un-suscribe, it was by Divine authority.
May the God of heaven and earth take His own deeper into understanding, knowledge, insight and depth of His word. May we commune with Him and desire to walk worthy, denying self, being in total submission to Him as Lord over every area of our lives. May we understand we are not of this world, we are on a journey towards home. May we use our time, talent, treasure, gifts; all that He has lent us to bring Him glory and honor.

lyn said...

Bill,
I feel the need to clarify this statement I made, "It is this church that He knocks on the door of, not dead in sin hearts that are not able to respond." That isn't to say this church wasn't filled with unregenerates, it was. I was referring to the church as a collective body, not on an individual basis.

I also wanted to address your comment that seems to be a threat rather than a defense of your beliefs- 'I will be unsubscribing from this message thread.' Although I have addressed this in my previous comment, I want to say this comment reeks of immaturity and selfish pride. It is sad to see professing Christians carry on like children who do not get their way and pout when the truth of God's word is addressed. I differ in the understanding and content of soteriology than you do, and do so because of what the word of God teaches. I addressed your view with scripture, urging you to read the word of God in the context to which is was written. You respond with a threat, you have a right to do what you please. I would encourage you to follow Christ, and not other bloggers. I do not desire to be popular or have lots of followers, I would rather the Lord be glorified and the saints be edified by what is posted here.