Revelation 3:20 is an oft quoted passage to those people that are not Christians.
“Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me.”
Though this sounds like Jesus knocking on the door of a lost heart….it couldn’t be further from the truth. This is a letter to His church, Laodicea. It’s not to non Christians but to Christians. He is knocking on the door of His church. My question is WHY IS JESUS ON THE OUTSIDE AND THEY ARE STILL DOING CHURCH THINGS ON THE INSIDE?
This is eery.
Jesus is knocking on the believers heart asking to come in.
Truth has no expiration date. When true truth is preached , it will ring true even decades later for later generations.
Sometimes there will be something I will read that will speak with such power and conviction as it did when it came from the pulpit it was meant for. It can have the same value and the same authority for us today if truth has no expiration date.
The question that is addressed below is basically “who is leading the church”? Are we preaching what God wants us to preach or are we preaching what people want to hear?
Is the form the church is practicing today been dictated by sinners or by Scriptures?
This is amazing from the great Westminster preacher Bible expositor Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones. It’s over 4 decades old and it speaks with power and conviction today of what was happening to the church then. But it sounds just like what is happening today.
“A worse approach is one that , it seems to me , is creeping in very rapidly, and that is to take a kind of Gallup poll to find out what the people want. This has become quite prominent in recent years. The church asks what do people actually want? What do they like? What do they think? And we pander to them. We say that people do not like much preaching so we will preach shorter sermons. But they do like more of something else , so we give them more of that. The church allows the world and the pew to determine what is to be the truth.”
“Every institution tends to produce it’s opposite” (over time. What it started out to be , tends to move towards the opposite)
If you analyze the life and the history of the great denominations you will find that this is true of practically all of them. They have become something that is almost the exact opposite of what their founders believed in and did. So it is our duty to go back to the NT itself.
We must find ourself immersed in the NT (not bylaws and constitutions to see who we are and what we are to be.)”
“This is what the church has always become in periods of reformation and revival. It is common place to say that every period of true revival and awakening is nothing but a return to the condition of the book of Acts.”
Finally, Dr Lloyd-Jones says this about the church in the 60’s but how much of this is true of the church 50 years later….
“Men and women no longer seem to have this taste for the Word of God. I am told that services must only be about an hour and that if the sermon is more than twenty minutes the minister is in trouble…..”
It sounds like he is talking to us now.
Let the Doctor finish his thought now….
“…..My dear friend, you are condemning yourself. Are you tired of the preaching of the Word? Do you want it to be over as quickly as possible? Do you want more entertainment and less preaching? If so, you are just proclaiming that you are not like the members of the early church. You are not like the members of the church in any period of reformation or revival…..”
My friend and mentor, the late Leonard Ravenhill said this….
“the church today is so SUB NORMAL, that if anyone comes along and starts acting like a NORMAL New Testament Christian, he would be considered ABNORMAL.” Ain’t that the truth.
This is God’s church. It doesn’t belong to the inmates.
God must and will run His church.
Lord forgive us for asking what the heathens want and what fits their schedule and tastes and forgetting what pleases you.
From the sermon by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
WHAT IS THE CHURCH?
Book: “Setting Our Affections Upon Glory” by Martyn Lloyd-Jones