Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

    by Jeannette Haley

      Once upon a time, long ago in the distant past of American culture, the people enjoyed passing around clever little “riddle” jokes that always began with “knock knock.” The other person would then ask, “Who’s there?” To which the person “knocking” would give a silly answer such as this example: “Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” “Dozen.” “Dozen who?” “Dozen anyone want to let me in?” Those were the days when most people had a good imagination, and enjoyed the simple pleasures of life—days before computers, ipods, ipads, cell phones, computer games, and all the technological stuff that kids just “have to have” today or else they will surely whither up and die.

      There is another type of “knock knock” but, this knocking is of another dimension entirely for it has to do with the door to a person’s heart. Jesus talked about this door when He said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” Revelation 3:20. Even though this verse is oft quoted to unbelievers, Jesus was actually talking to the Laodicean church—a church that undoubtedly was filled with people who had mentally “accepted” Christ, but then left Him standing on the doorstep having never fully opened the door of their hearts to receive Him in as LORD, be converted to the ways of righteousness, and commune with Him. Instead of opening the door to Christ, they opened the door to “Luke;” that is, “luke-warm” and they were about to pay the price for it. Jesus warned, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” Revelation 3:15, 16.

      The attitude of this church reveals the reason for being lukewarm. Jesus told them, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” Revelation 3:17. Undoubtedly, somewhere along the line they opened the door to Phil. Phil who? Phil-osophy. Christians, both then and now, love to open the door to philosophy. Philosophy usually brings along his friends called pride, independence, and delusion. Once the door is opened to philosophy, he will spread like a cancer throughout the entire establishment, setting himself up as the final authority on all matters, especially anything that pertains to God’s Word, and the issues of life. Of course even the highest form of prideful human philosophy is nothing but a bunch of hot air (delusion) when viewed from God’s perspective, but it gives a person the heady feeling of independence. However, the Lord sets the record straight, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8, 9.

     Based on Jesus’ assessment, no doubt the worldly philosophy of the Laodicean church (and her modern counterparts), is fueled by pride, and fortified by delusion. To declare “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” demonstrates the attitude of the philosophically delusional, independent spirit. We see this dangerous philosophy all around us today. From the top down the governments, and nations of the world, as well as post-modern churches, are steeped in humanistic philosophy, pride, and delusion, all of which will end in destruction.

     To declare that riches and goods ensure there is a need for nothing is idolatry, and is a declaration that riches and goods are all that is necessary for security, success, and salvation. Trusting in riches and goods only serves to empower those who are deluded into believing that they are self-sufficient, and infallible. Is it any wonder that Jesus told His disciples, “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” Matthew 19:23, 24. The question then is, is it a sin to be rich? The answer is an emphatic no! Abraham, Job, King David, and other men of God were blessed with great wealth, while maintaining their lives before the Lord in faith, uprightness, and fellowship with Him. Psalm 62 holds the key to this question and makes it clear that it is only God, and God alone who is our salvation (deliverance), rock (security), defense (protection), strength (power), and refuge (safe hiding place). Verse 10b says, “if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” It all goes back to where your heart is.

      The self-sufficient attitude of the Laodicean church is reminiscent of Jesus’ parable of the rich man whose ground brought forth plentifully. “And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” Luke 12:16-21.

      The vain philosophy that the Laodicean church clung to brought such a strong delusion that they had no idea of how spiritually wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked they were. Jesus told them, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” Revelation 3:18. “Gold tried in the fire” points to paying the price through tribulation, persecution, and suffering that results in great spiritual riches. The Apostle Peter wrote, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” 1 Peter 4:12, 13. White raiment points to being cleansed from the shame of sin, and clothed in righteousness, and holiness without which no man shall see God. Anointing with eyesalve points to the anointing of the Holy Spirit who reveals Jesus to us. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come” John 16:13.

      Oh vain philosophy! Ever the product of man’s self-reliance, pride, and evil imaginations. Oh vain philosophy! The babbling impartation of demons to the undiscerning, and the so-called “wisdom” (psychology) of the god of this world. We are warned: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” Colossians 2:8. Think of all the vain philosophy that has knocked on the door of the post-modern churches in our time with “doctrines of devils.” The Apostle Paul warned, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” 1 Timothy 4:1, 2.

      Satan comes as an “angel of light,” knocking on the door of the heart, luring with experiences of a spiritual or “other worldly” nature, which can appear, or feel, “real.” If given space to enter, he tempts the mind with unholy, perverted thoughts, and false promises; toys with pride and the intellect; causes confusion; mockingly stirs up unbelief towards God, His Word, and His ways. Satan is anything but the perfect house guest.

      To the lukewarm Laodicean churches of today, Jesus declares, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” Revelation 3:19. To be rebuked and chastened by God is an assurance of His love. The only proper response is to be quick to repent for Jesus is standing at the door, knocking, and calling our name. He will not beat down the door, and barge in, nor will He force Himself upon us. It is up to us to open the door, and invite Him in when we hear Him calling. When He comes in, and sits in sweet fellowship and communion with us, we will hear Him promise, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” vs. 21. Can you think of anything more wonderful?

      The question is, who or what is knocking on the door of your heart today?