OVERVIEW OF TOPIC
Through the apostle John in Revelation 2—3, Jesus addressed seven letters to seven churches in Asia Minor. They were individualized letters of instruction, rebuke, and encouragement to the local congregations. To the last church, the lukewarm church in Laodicea, Jesus made this urgent plea: “Behold! I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”(Revelation 3:20).
The idea of Jesus standing at a door and knocking is often used as an illustration of Jesus’ offer of salvation to individuals: if you would only “open your heart’s door” and let Jesus into your life, all will be well.
However, in Revelation 3:20, Jesus is not pleading with an individual to be saved; He’s seeking entrance to a church! It’s alarming to think of Jesus standing outside of the church and knocking, but that’s the position He was in.
The Laodicean church had shut the door on the Head of the church; they were smug in their prosperity, but Jesus was left standing at the door. He was an outsider to the hearts of the entire congregation.
Most of the seven letters contained a compliment, a complaint or criticism, a command, and a commitment from Jesus. But the church of Laodicea, like their spiritually dead sister church in Sardis, merited no words of approval from Jesus. The Laodiceans were guilty of self-reliance, self-righteousness, and spiritual indifference. Even worse, the church was unaware of their wretched condition.
To the congregation at Laodicea, Jesus issued this scathing criticism: “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. 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 3:15–17).
In their proud, self-satisfied, and spiritually blind state, the church of Laodicea was useless in God’s kingdom. Using figurative language, Jesus issued His command, beckoning the members of the church to exchange their counterfeit righteousness for genuine righteousness (Revelation 3:18). He called the church to be zealous and repent (verse 19).
Jesus knows that not everyone will answer His invitation and open the door to a relationship with Him. Many, like those living in Laodicea, will choose to reject His call. Lukewarm, and with hardened hearts, they will remain blind to the fact that they have accepted a false righteousness (Hebrews 3:7–8). To these Jesus will say, “I never knew you, depart from me” (Matthew 7:21–23). Sadly, they will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
When Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock,” He was inviting the members of the Laodicean church to recognize their miserable spiritual condition and receive His authentic gift of salvation. Like the apostle Paul, the Laodiceans needed to realize their absolute dependence on Christ.
To those who would open the door, Jesus promised a close fellowship, pictured as enjoying a meal together. And He offered this great reward: “To the one who overcomes to them I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Revelation 3:21). These words were Christ’s commitment to the Laodicean church.
Today Jesus continues to say, “I stand at the door and knock!” To churches who are filled with lukewarm Christians, He sends out His earnest invitation for fellowship. The One who holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:19; Revelation 1:18; 3:7) calls us all to hear His voice and open the door so that He can come in and share an intimate union with us. To those who respond, Jesus Christ guarantees the open door of eternal life and the reward of ruling with Him in heaven.
FRIDAY 6TH NOVEMBER
This event is a time of reflection and celebration of the goodness of God. It will be a time of thanksgiving and worship through songs, testimonies, poems, and tributes.
We will be honouring our Treasured Saints (brethren aged 65 years and over), thanking God for their faithfulness, and their labour of love. It will be a time to encourage and inspire all believers.
Everyone of all age groups are welcome to come and celebrate with us, as we honour our past, and embrace our future.
SATURDAY 7TH NOVEMBER
What are the names of the seven churches in Asia?
Who are the angels of the church? Why do you believe each letter is written to the angel?
What is repentance? Who should repent and why?
Why is Jesus writing this letter to the church in Laodicea?
Consider the message of this letter to the Laodicean Church, how does it compare with the churches in our district and the churches of Bethel.
Time: 1pm - 3pm
LADIES AFTERNOON TEA
Time: 2pm - 3:30pm
(Access details will be shared on registration for event)
HOST: LADY YOLANDA EDMUND
SUNDAY 8TH NOVEMBER
- Please dress for this service as if you were in a church building - Ladies to wear White and Gents to wear Black/White.
- Please prepare substitutes for the 'bread' and the 'wine' as we would have in church, so a small vessel of grape juice and a small piece of cracker.
These items will be prayed over and sanctified before we eat and drink together as led by our Bishop.