The common misunderstanding of Revelation 3:20
by Hadley Robinson
Along with John 3:16, Rev 3:20 is used out of context most of the time.
“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.”
It sounds great to the mass marketers of the Gospel but it has nothing to do with the lost. The proper context are those within the Church herself.
Correctly understood, it is stark
demonstration of Christ’s love of the church in Laodicea. They were half-hearted Christians who were described by the Spirit as “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Yet, He says, they
were loved by Him and, as God’s children, would be disciplined.
Then comes the appeal in verse 20: If the church wakes up and repents, He will be right there for them – and
intimately. But if the church remains stubborn and disobedient, He will abandon them – as He eventually had to do. This should be a warning to us not to be stubborn and disobedient.
According to Bill Bright and his clones, Jesus stands at the “door” of the unbeliever’s heart knocking away, ready to come in if the man says “yes.” This is just another of Bright’s false
teachings. On the contrary, those who are dead in sin – all men – are no more ready to say “yes” to Jesus than a corpse can rise by itself at the funeral home. The Spirit must do His work on
the stony, dead hearts of the sinner before anything can happen.
Rather than men who are dead in sin contemplating offers by Christ, evangelism results in men being saved because the
Holy Spirit is already in there working away – raising the sinner from death to life. The man dead in sin is as dead as dead can be (Rom 8:10) and is like bones scattered in the desert (Ezek.
37). This is the miracle of Christ’s work here on earth.
The Bereans, if Bright had visited them, would not have let him get away with this (Acts 17:11).
The Gospel is not
about clever sales gimmicks, rousing musical entertainment, charismatic speakers and writers but about the righteousness given to forgiven sinners who have been transformed into new creations
by God Himself. “We love him because he first loved us.”