Knock, and it will be opened to you (Mt.7:7).#2. “On the outside looking in.”

Knock, and it will be opened to you (Mt.7:7).#2. “On the outside looking in.”

You may have heard the oft told story about the hobo who prayed weekly from the steps of a church that wouldn’t let him in. One Sunday he was visited by an angel. “Your prayers have been heard,” said the angel. “But you are wasting your time praying to the Lord to tell them to let you in.” “Why?” asked the homeless man. “Because” said the angel, “the Lord has never been allowed in that church, either!”

Christ has been put on the outside of too many churches.

Recently a couple attended church for the first time. They liked it. But eight months into their happy experience their pastor announced from the pulpit, in passing, that he was an atheist. Why does it come as no shock that the pastor also teaches at a local university?

When preachers do not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the inspiration of the Bible, the virgin birth, eternal hell, or even an eternal heaven, for that matter, should we expect that Jesus is present? But closer to home is the growing rejection of baptism as being the point of Biblical salvation. Personal feelings run high when favourite preachers are accused of counting baptism as ‘an optional extra’ to salvation. These preachers are defended with statements like, “He still believes in baptism, but he is just teaching that there is more to baptism than what the church of Christ teaches.”

These preachers have not only shuffled these poor souls into a state of Biblical ignorance, but they have also allowed these same souls to cloak them in vain glory.

The ‘lukewarm’ church in Laodicea had cloaked itself in vain glory. Jesus judged them as “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Jesus was on the outside looking in. They had driven Him from their midst.

By grace He stood without knocking to be let back in:
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 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” (Rev.3:19-20).

John Staiger


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