WHICH CHURCH DO YOU ATTEND?
BY: WADE E. TAYLOR
“Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked?” Rev 3:17
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock…” Rev 3:20a
Those within this church are satisfied and content with their present spiritual condition. However, the doorway that leads to the manifest presence, and divine activity, of the Lord in their behalf is closed to them.
This means that the Lord’s direct involvement in their lives is not a present reality, but they do not realize this, as their trust is in all that they possess. The Lord is there knocking on the door of their spirit, seeking a response. He is looking for those who are noticing that “something” is missing, and are seeking an answer.
There are present day Christians who, as these, live within the Church at Laodicea. They have received much from the Lord and think themselves to be rich. They are clothed with the garment of salvation, but lack the Bridal garment.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Rev. 19:7-8
Therefore, the Lord called them “lukewarm” and admonished them severely.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.” Rev. 3:15- 16
Then, in love, He showed them what they should do.
“I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see.”
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Rev. 3:18-19
Jesus is seen as standing outside of the “door” that will lead us into an active spiritual relationship with Him. He is knocking in order to attract our attention, that He might offer Himself to come and fellowship with us.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if anyone hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Rev. 3:20.
If we prayerfully compare the Church at Philadelphia with the Laodicean Church, and discover that our spiritual life does not relate to those in Philadelphia, but all too much relates to those in Laodicea, we will begin to understand how much is available to us, and how much we are missing.
“And unto the Angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens.”
“I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.” Rev. 3:7-8
The Church at Philadelphia has before them an open door. In Laodicea, the door was shut. In Philadelphia, the approbation of God rests upon them and the Lord is causing even their enemy’s to be at peace with them. In Laodicea, they are being chastened.
The word “Philadelphia” means brotherly love, but here it is more than that. It speaks of an active shared expression of love, “I will sup with you, and you with Me.” This is the “overcoming church,” the one that will be caught up to the Throne.
The “open door” that the Lord has placed before this Church speaks of a readily available door, or place of entrance, into the realm of the Spirit. It speaks of an ability to enter into the Lord’s presence in such a way that He is unhindered in becoming active in our midst to accomplish His purpose, or to answer the petition that we have placed before Him.
These have learned how to use to the key of David, which unlocks the door to the very presence of God. This open door means that we can easily move into the realm of the Spirit, or, that the Lord can easily move into our circumstances.
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show you things which must be hereafter.”
“And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” Rev. 4:1-2.
These are two very real environments that can be found within the Churches of our day.
We are privileged to be living in the time of the “Parousia” of our Lord. This speaks of the coming of the Lord being preceded by His presence, which is available to us as never before. He indeed is at the door, knocking.
We are living in a time of intense activity. May we become quiet long enough to hear His gentle knock and then respond.
WHICH CHURCH DO YOU ATTEND [Wade E. Taylor] 1