Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of April 6, 2008

Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
Luke 13:25 “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.'”
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.”

Years ago I was driving home late at night with my family in a Saab that had a two cycle engine where the gas and oil were mixed just like in some lawn mowers. It only had three cylinders so when one of them started missing, there wasn’t much left. On this particular night, a storm came rolling in from the northwest and I tried to outrun it. It caught up with me about 5 miles from home. The wind was blowing branches across the road and it was raining so hard I couldn’t see. Of course, the car decided to start missing. I saw a light in a farm house up ahead and nursed the car to that farm. As I pulled into the drive, the light in the house went out. Since there was a yard light that was still on, I supposed whoever was home turned out the light. I turned the car so that the back was facing the wind, and then I ran to the door of the farm house to see if I could get my family inside. I knocked and knocked in the driving rain with the wind howling and the lightning flashing but no one answered the door. I finally went back to the car and sat out the storm with my family.

That experience made me think of the situation that many will face when they try to enter heaven by their good religious works (Luke 13:26 and Matthew 7:22). They will be knocking at a closed door. The Bible is clear that those who are saved do good works but that none of us are good enough to enter God’s heaven by our works. We need to be saved. We need to be cleansed. We need to trust in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, God’s Son. We sometimes ask people if they know the Lord, but the better question would be, “Does the Lord know you?” Paul says in 2Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His.'”

Since it is painful to be left out in the cold when we want to be invited in, I wonder what the Lord must feel when He is on the outside of His own church. A church is described as the temple of God in 1 Corinthians 3:16 and that is a place where God dwells. However, in our verse in Revelation 3:20, the Lord is on the outside wanting to come in. The church of Laodicea has become something that appeals to people and there is little concern about whether the Lord is welcome there. The encouraging thing in this epistle is that we are not told to leave the church but we are told to open the door so that the Lord is welcomed. Now it is fairly obvious that the problem here is fellowship but whether that is because the people who claim to be part of the church are unsaved or are just so far away from the Lord that they don’t realize that there is a problem could be argued. And it is also clear that the door is opened by repentance and renewed zeal for the things that please the Lord. Repentance requires us to acknowledge wrong thinking and wrong actions. The fellowship that is obtained is for the individual and not for the whole church, but once the Lord has fellowship with one person inside the church, likely the atmosphere of the church will change. I am encouraged to believe that one person has the power to change the condition of this lukewarm church that is involved with self rather than with the Lord.

We who are saved need to be zealous and repent so that those who are going through the motions of worshiping the Lord, might realize that our relationship with the Lord can be and should be passionate and not dead. Then the Lord can use us to warn the religious but unconverted of their condition.

Could it be possible that many people who are comfortable inside our churches today may one day be knocking at a closed door to heaven?

Bruce Collins

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