Jesus is Knocking on the Door
By Rev Arnold Chow
September 11, 2022
One day when I returned home, I found that I forgot to bring my key. It was already 11pm. I knocked on the door many times and tried many other means but my wife and my domestic helper still could not hear. I was about to go over to a 24-hour McDonald’s to wait for daybreak when my wife, being aware that I had not returned home late at night, called me up on the phone.
The experience allowed me to understand the scenario in Revelation 3:20: “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 that person, and they with me.” These were the words from the Lord Jesus to the Church in Laodicea. The context before this verse was the Lord’s stern rebuke of that church.
The door the Lord is knocking on is the door of the church. He is the Master of the house. The people inside are obliged to pay attention to His matters and when He returns, answer the door immediately.
Though the Lord rebuked the church, He was not without expectation for her: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent” (3:19). We often mistakenly think the word “earnest” means attending worship services and meetings, serving and offering, and often engaging in prayers and Bible studies. But all of this is just the by-product of being “earnest.” The word “earnest” as used by the Lord can be interpreted as “attach importance to” or “zealous.”
When my children were about to be promoted to primary schools, I as a parent was often puzzled by terms like “direct subsidy”, “private schools”, “subsidized schools”, “government schools”, “discretionary places”, “Phase 1”, “Phase 2” … Time and again, I asked my wife what they mean. One day, my wife finally showed that she was displeased. That was because I was repeating the questions I asked a year ago, months ago or about a month earlier. I thought I attached importance to my children. I would not say I was disinterested. But it is true that I was not “zealous” enough.
The church which belongs to the Lord Jesus had gone so far as to cast Him out! This is the opposite of being “earnest.” Look at the ministries the Lord has entrusted with us today. We may not be disinterested, but are we really “zealous”?
Another time, I again forgot to bring my key. What was different was that the Indonesian maid quickly answered the door. The maid has always been “zealous” at work and after what happened last time, she paid special attention to whether I was home late at night.
Now our family no longer has an Indonesian helper but we do miss the “zealous” maid. She was Muslim but she did not reject our sharing with her about Jesus. She would even make sure that our children prayed before meals and going to bed on our behalf. Several times, incidents happened in her family. She was willing to pray with us. We were not disinterested in sharing the gospel with her, but we could not call ourselves “zealous.” Before she completed her last contract, we finally mustered up courage and preached the gospel to her. Very thankfully, she finally accepted Christ.
Do you also hire a domestic helper? Are you “zealous” enough to take the opportunity of being under one roof and be a good employer, always living out a good testimony and leading them to the Lord?
Mission is what the Lord has entrusted with you and me. Your response to the Lord in being “earnest” might as well start at home.