Jesus is Knocking. Did You Hear Him? A Call to Revival from Brian Mark Weller

This morning I woke suddenly out of a deep sleep. In my dream, I heard one loud knock on the door. The visitor didn’t knock twice or in series. Just once—loud and clear. Then I awoke.

The knock came from someone expecting to be heard. I knew it was the Lord waking me up, so I got up immediately and began to pray and seek Him. I sensed He had something specific to say about that knock. Was it a message to me? Was it a message to His people? Was it a message to unbelievers? Was it a message to everyone?

Suddenly the light came on, unlocking the mystery. The Holy Spirit reminded me of Revelation 3:20: “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” (Revelation 3:20 NKJV). I knew that God is sending a wake-up call to the church.

When Jesus Knocks Your Door

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 3:20 NKJV). Evangelists have used this verse in crusades for years. But to be honest, they’re misusing it. In context, Jesus sent this message to Christians.

The Laodicean church had lost its way. Their hearts were far removed from God’s will and plan, and they were about to get a wake-up call. That wake-up call came with a heart-pounding knock and a message that could alter their destiny. They found themselves on the receiving end of Jesus’ loving, direct disdain and correction.

Less than a century had passed since Jesus’ resurrection. Yet this church had already forgotten Jesus’ promise: “I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). In a few short decades, they had already become far less than what Jesus intended.

Unfortunately, Laodicea wasn’t alone! Five other churches received a strong message from the Lord. Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, and Sardis also needed correction. In reality, only one of the seven churches received unqualified praise from Jesus—the Church at Philadelphia. Jesus said to them, “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” (Revelation 3:8 NKJV)

Unlike the Philadelphian church, the Laodiceans had lazily drifted from their first love. Jesus Christ no longer held first priority. According to Jesus, they had become lukewarm. Not cold; lukewarm. Cambridge Dictionary defines it this way: “Only slightly warm . . . not enthusiastic or interested.”

“At Least We’re Not Cold!”

Unfortunately, many in the 21st-century church feel at home in lukewarm waters, just like the Laodiceans. Many even see lukewarm living as an acceptable form of Christianity. Some might even say, “Well, at least we’re not cold!” If that’s what you’re thinking, listen closely to Jesus words: 

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16 (NKJV)


Ouch! That hurts! How could Jesus speak so harshly? How could meek and mild Jesus speak to a church and its leaders in such demeaning tone? How could the God of love ever speak so directly? I’ll tell you why! He was talking to His church—a group that claimed to represent Him. God wasn’t happy about the image they conveyed. (He’s not happy when the 21st-century Church misrepresents Him, either). I believe the Laodicean church manipulated Jesus’ words to benefit themselves more than God.

There was too much at stake to comfort them in their callous-hearted compromise. Think about it. Jesus didn’t only deliver these piercing words—He commissioned John to send them in a letter. He wanted it etched in the annals of history—“If you are lukewarm, I will spit you from my mouth.” He wanted to warn future Christians not to follow the Laodicean pattern. 

The Anatomy of Apostasy

Then let’s consider their example. How had the Laodicean Church become so lamentably lukewarm? Their problem wasn’t mere spiritual distraction. They had fallen prey to spiritual pride and materialism. As Jesus said, “You say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

Realize—Jesus had heard them say, “We have need of nothing.” Consider how those words sounded to Jesus as He sat on His heavenly throne of grace. Perhaps He thought, “Is this what the gospel means to this church?” In reality, they desperately needed honesty and holy humility (just like many of us). They desperately needed a fresh dose of divine purpose beyond mere material blessing. How quickly they had forgotten Jesus’ famous instruction:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV)

Yes, the Laodicean Christians had become spiritually blind during a time of economic prosperity, and fell into a false gospel of wealth and self-indulgence. They likely proclaimed, “Look at how God is blessing us!” In reality, they’d moved from “the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6 NKJV) to “friend of the world . . . enemy with God” (James 4:4 NKJV). Over a short time, they’d become more interested in God’s “blessings” than the God of the blessings!

AHistory tells us that Laodicea was a businessman’s paradise. The city had three booming enterprises to distract the church from its calling:

  • It acted as the banking center and gold exchange for Asia Minor.
  • It had a major textile center and a world-renown medical school.
  • They exported an eyesalve called Phyrigian powder that people around the known world wanted and were willing to pay for.

Business boomed, Christians prospered, and spirituality declined. Church donations soared high, and perhaps the church leaders got distracted. “What can we do with all this money?” They lived in a very prosperous society, and money had become more important to them than God’s call. Their desire for riches far outweighed their desire for spiritual growth. They had transitioned from hot to lukewarm, and Jesus came knocking to bring order to His church. You know, the church that the gates of hell are not supposed to prevail against!

Now, in their palatial prosperity, they didn’t even notice their spiritual health had sunk to an all-time low. The Laodicean Christians still saw themselves as seated in heavenly places! Perhaps they had fooled themselves by their own high-mindedness. In actuality, they’d already slipped far below their original calling, and instead resided in the spiritual slums of sloth. They’d sunk so low that Jesus was ready to spit them out. Think about that for a moment. How could they have fallen so far so fast? How could we ever do that? Have we? Have I?


Perhaps they believed they’d climbed to the top. Perhaps they thought their material possessions proved God’s affirmation; that God’s financial blessings proved God’s favor. Perhaps, believing this, they concluded they’d attained a spirituality far higher than the other churches. We know they were backslidden; but did they know? Could it be that the Laodiceans had founded the first charter of the Church of Name it and Claim It? Could they have fallen for a first century prosperity gospel?


Regardless of my speculation, the truth is, the demons of deception used Laodicea’s shallow, self-centered devotion to trap them in casual Christianity. They embraced the deadening doctrine of me, myself, and I. Now self had become their highest priority.

Jesus Disrupts the Laodicean Lifestyle

Then, suddenly, the Laodicean church received a knock that could turn everything around. Would they hear it and wake from their slumber? Jesus loved them and longed for their repentance. He knocked with high expectations for His church and His people. The question is, would they open the door and welcome His loving criticism and correction? Or would they disavow the knock, reject Him and listen instead to the anti-Christian voices of the world around them? Were they more interested in God’s embrace, or that of the world system? Did they want to hear the ungodly world say, “Well done, good and faithful conformist,” or hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant?” What do we want? What would today’s liberal, lukewarm, Laodicean “churches” want?


Jesus’ appeal was real and authoritative. Looking from heaven, Jesus gave His clear perspective of Laodicea: “[You] do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17 NKJV). That’s a sad state— I know because I’ve been there before. If they wouldn’t repent, Jesus promised a sure judgment: “Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:16 NKJV) Jesus announced, “The day of reckoning has arrived! Repent now, or I’ll spit you out and remove your lampstand!”

The Offer of a Lifetime

Then Jesus turned the corner on this much-needed rebuke, and offered Laodicea the opportunity of a lifetime. He incorporated their three greatest economic distractions into his offer of restoration:

“I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” (Revelation 3:18 NKJV)

When Jesus invites us to buy gold refined in the fire, He calls us to count the cost and pay the price to pursue God and fulfill His plan. God calls us to walk with Him through life’s fiery trials, including rejection and persecution. He calls us to grow an eagerness for purification so we can reflect His light and send His glorious gospel to the world. 

By inviting us to buy white garments, Jesus calls us to recover our identity in Jesus Christ and His righteousness. He calls us to return to the pure reality that our identity comes from Him, not our possessions or appearance. Our outer appearance has no heavenly value to God—without Jesus’ righteousness, we’re found naked before Him. “For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.” (Isaiah 61:10 NKJV)

Last but not least, Jesus called, “anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see.” I love how Jesus calls using illustrations we recognize. The Laodiceans knew the value of eye salve—specifically Phyrigian powder. People around the world paid good money for it. They exported it everywhere.

  • Were they now willing to sacrifice non-essentials to gain back their spiritual fire, so they could see again like when they first believed?
  • Were they willing to export their faith to the rest of the world and make that their priority?
  • Were they ready to use their wealth for God’s purposes and not just for their own satisfaction? 

History tells us they were. Are we? Are we willing to lay aside our greatest idols to recover our spiritual vision and receive the Holy Spirit’s blazing fire once again? Are we ready to get back to seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness? 

Jesus’ Call to Restoration

Jesus ends this short letter to the Church at Laodicea with a call to restoration:

“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. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:21-23 NKJV) 

There are three stages to this invitation. First, hear Jesus knock. Second, don’t just sit there. Get up, open the door, and listen carefully to His voice! Welcome Jesus back to His rightful place in your life as Lord and King. Lastly, receive the place Jesus promised you at His side: “I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21 NKJV).

Jesus Has Knocked. Will We Open the Door?

I can’t rail on the Church at Laodicea from some lofty position of spirituality. When I read this passage, I take it to heart too. I confess that I’ve lived like Laodicea more times than I’d like to admit in my 45-year relationship with the Lord. How about you? Thankfully, Jesus came knocking at my door, got my attention, and delivered the conviction that plunged me into the river of God’s redeeming restoration.

The truth is, many of us have lived much like the Laodicean church. Maybe you’re in that category. God is asking, did you hear the knock? Jesus’ knock—the knock that calls us to repentance and restoration? If so, what will you do? Will you have an ear to hear what Jesus is saying? Could this be your last opportunity to respond? Maybe, maybe not! Only God knows what our future holds, and what lies ahead for each of us.

We do know one thing for sure: Jesus loves us enough to send a loud knock to the doors of our hearts. Then, Jesus leaves us to decide whether we will respond or not. He knows what’s ahead for us if we respond or if we don’t. I want God’s will for my life. Don’t you? 

After reading this article, have you decided to remain distant from God and continue in sin? If so, I want you to contemplate Jesus’ warning:  

“When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from” (Luke 13:25 NKJV). Please think seriously about Jesus’ warning.

But if you’re ready to answer the knock, let’s pray.

A Prayer of Repentance and Restoration

Heavenly Father, I come to you in Jesus’ name and grace alone. I confess that I have no righteousness of my own. The only righteousness I have is what you have given me through your Son Jesus—my Lord, Master, and King. Father, forgive me of my selfishness, self-centeredness, and lack of spiritual discernment. Like the Christians at Laodicea, I have lost my way and have become distracted. Father, I need your forgiveness, strength, divine mercy, and grace. 

Jesus, I confess that I have misrepresented you and your Kingdom, and I am genuinely sorry. Please forgive me! I have heard your knock, and am opening the door wide. Please come in and teach me your new and living way. I come to be reconciled with you. I come to be washed clean. I’ve come to buy the gold you spoke about—the gold of your Kingdom; the riches of your grace! I want to wear your robes of righteousness. I want your heavenly eye salve so I can see spiritual things clearly and vividly. I want my relationship with you to come alive once again. I want to seek you with my whole heart. I want to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I want to serve you with everything within me through the power of the Holy Spirit. I want to humbly, boldly, and accurately proclaim the good news. I want to dedicate myself to getting this message to every person on this planet. Thank you for hearing my prayer! Thank you for your cleansing! Thank you for renewing and reviving me! Thank you for knocking on the door of my heart! I pray all these things in Jesus name. Amen.


Now, family of God, it’s time to press on with our hands to the plow. March forward! Resist the temptation to look back at past failures except to remind you not to plow that path again. He loves you and will take you into the future He has planned.


God bless you as you follow Him, Brian Mark Weller

 
 
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Brian Mark Weller is the founder of Message Ministries and a Christian teacher with a passion for world missions. Brian met the Lord in 1974 and entered public ministry soon after in 1976. In 1988, God gave Brian a special gift — a piercing burden for lost souls on the mission field. Since then, Brian has traveled the nations preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. He has recorded 9 albums of challenging Christian music and published one stirring book — Backsliding in Heart: 5 Steps to a Backsliding Heart and Back Again. He currently lives with his wife Anne in St. Petersburg, FL. He has three grown children and three grandchildren. Click here to learn more about Brian, access his Bible teaching, or invite him to minister at an event.

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