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Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock

by David A. DePra

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice,

and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and

he with Me. (Rev. 3:20)

     If we listen very carefully, we can hear a "knocking" sound. Do

you hear it? "Knock, knock, knock." And we all know what to do

when we hear that sound: We go to the door to find out who is


     According to this passage from Revelation, Jesus Christ is

knocking -- right now. He is not going to knock "someday." He is

not saying He once did knock. No. He is, right now, standing at

the door. He is, right now, knocking.

An Attention Getter

     Someone knocks at our door to get our attention. They could

yell, I suppose, but the usual procedure is to knock. Door bells are

a modern version of knocking. But regardless of what kind of

knocking is used, the knock is used to get our attention; to tell us

that someone is at our door, and that we need to come and find out


     When Jesus says that He stands at the door, and is knocking,

He is telling us that He is trying to get our attention. He is trying to

let us know that He is there.

     Why? Well, Jesus says in this passage that He is there knocking

because He wants to be invited in. Jesus does not picture Himself

as a salesman, or a service man. He wants to come IN -- to eat with

us. This is symbolic of close fellowship. Thus, this fellowship is the

goal, and is the reason He wants to get our attention.

     We talk much about seeking God. But according to this passage,

Jesus is seeking US. He is taking the initiative to come over -- to

right where we are. And He is talking the initiative to knock on our

door. He is not waiting for us to find HIM.

     This is not merely a picture of salvation which Jesus is here, in

Revelation, giving us. It is more. It is a picture of the heart of God.

It is His eternal attitude towards, not only unbelievers, but towards

those who do believe. Jesus says that He is continually standing

and continually knocking. He is continually wanting to be invited

into more and more of the "rooms" of our lives.

     Our life can be pictured as a large house with many, many rooms.

Initially, Jesus stands outside of the entire house and knocks. IF we

let Him in, we receive salvation. But at that point, He is merely in.

But He wants to do more than that. He wants to enter into each one

of the rooms of our house as well. He wants to come in and have

fellowship in ALL areas of our life. Thus, He progressively stands

and knocks at each one of those various rooms. His purpose is

the same in each case: He wants to get our attention. He wants

to be invited into each one of those rooms.

The Door

     Notice that Jesus uses the picture lesson of a DOOR. What is the

door? Well, actually the question should be made more specific.

Jesus is not just talking about a door. He is talking about a door

which is initially CLOSED. This is a closed door which is both

keeping us IN, and keeping Jesus OUT. It is a barrier separating

us. But once the door is opened, then it is no longer a barrier. It is

then a gateway. It is a point of entry.

     So here we have a closed door which is a barrier. But IF any

one will open it, it is no longer a barrier. It is then a gateway. That

which keeps Jesus out then becomes the means by which He

enters our lives.

     So what IS this door? Well, it is the gateway to our hearts. It is

the gateway to our lives. And WE determine whether to open it.

WE do. Not Jesus. WE alone must make that choice. We must

either, by faith, open the door to Jesus, or through unbelief, we will

refuse to open it.

     It is a easy mistake to think this door -- which is initially closed --

is SIN. After all, we said that the door is an obstacle. And as an

"obstacle" it is a barrier standing between us and Jesus. So we may

think the door is sin -- our acts of sin. Or the sin nature.

     If you thought that, you were wrong. The reason it is clear you

are wrong is that Jesus said YOU have to open the door. He said

YOU have to get the door out of the way. Just try getting sin out of

the way before you can let Jesus in! You will never win that battle.

In fact, you will live in fear, condemnation, and defeat.

     The fact is, Jesus is the Lamb of God who does what? -- who

takes away the sin of the world. So Jesus has already taken away

sin. You cannot. But there IS something you and I can do. It is

exactly what Jesus says to do in this passage: We can BELIEVE

He has taken away all sin. We can OPEN the door -- by faith. We

can refuse to believe that there is anything which can separate us

from the love of God in Jesus Christ.

     God never tells us that WE must solve the sin problem. He says

that He has solved the sin problem -- and that it is finished. There is

nothing left to do about sin! Jesus bore it all. He bore every single

sin ever committed by anyone who has ever lived. He has, in fact,

bore the very sin nature which stands behind all acts of sin. So

what is left to do? To believe. And to embrace what Jesus has

done -- by opening the door.

     Does this mean once we open the door that we are free to sin?

God forbid -- as Paul says in Romans 6:1. The Truth is, if I want to

get Jesus into my life so that I may have a license to sin, then I may

go through the motions, but I am not opening the door to Jesus. I am

opening it to someone else -- another Jesus than the One who died

and was raised for me.

     Jesus HAS died for all sin. And now He is standing at our door,

knocking. He wants to bring in the victory over all sin which He was

won. We won't invite Him in unless we want His victory over sin.

     This passage makes us accountable. It clearly tells us that WE

decide. Jesus is not pictured as breaking the door down and

forcing Himself into our lives. He will not barge in. WE must open it.

Indeed, the entire possibility of whether Jesus comes in and sups

with us "hinges" -- no pun intended -- upon whether we DO open the


     We need to get that: IF we open the door, Jesus comes in. IF

we don't open the door, Jesus will NOT come in. It is just that

simple. This is true for salvation, or for any other "room" in our


     Now notice something here. Jesus is doing plenty. He is taking

the initiative to come to us and knock on our door. He is doing all of

that. He doesn't tell us to try to find HIM. No. He is there, standing

at OUR door. But we must open or He isn't going to come in and

sup with us.

IF Any Man Hears

     If you read the passage, you will find two "if's" -- two conditions

which must occur before Jesus is invited into the house. The first

condition is "if any man hear my voice." The second is "if any man

open." Obviously, these two are in the correct order, for you can't

open the door unless you first hear the knocking, or voice of Jesus.

     Now notice: Jesus says He is knocking. But He doesn't mention

anyone hearing His knocking. He only mentions hearing His

VOICE. It would seem that Jesus is so desirous of coming into our

hearts and lives that He is not only knocking, but He is calling to us.

     The important point here is that you cannot know who is at the

door if all they are doing is knocking. Most "knocks" sound the

same. But you will know who is at the door if they call to you in

addition to knocking. Thus, Jesus is indicating that He will knock

to initially get our attention. But then to make sure that we know it is

HIM at the door, He will call to us. We will HEAR His voice. Thus,

Jesus is doing everything possible, short of breaking down the

door, to let us know that He desires to come in and fellowship with


     The "hearing" of Jesus' voice is conditional. It is ALWAYS

conditional. That's because when God talks about "hearing" His

voice, He is not talking about the ability to hear. He is talking about

the WILLINGNESS to hear. "To hear" means to open one's heart.

It has nothing to do with eardrums.

     Parents say to children, "Will you please listen to me!" They

aren't questioning the child's ability to hear. They are questioning

the child's WILLINGNESS to hear and obey them. They are

correcting the child for not giving them their attention, or for not

obeying them. It is in this sense that God tells us to "hear Him."

     Hebrews says, "Today if you will His voice, harden not your

hearts, as in the provocation." (Heb. 3:15) Again we see an "if." If

you want to hear the voice of God, don't harden your heart against

Him. In other words, do not be set in your own will to the point

where you will only hear what you want to hear. Don't have an

agenda with God. Open your ears in an unconditional surrender.

     Thus, Jesus is saying, "If any man hear my voice -- if any man

acknowledge that I am calling to him, and turn and listen." That

does not yet get us over to the door, but it is a necessary first step.

For once we do that, then we will actually HEAR what Jesus is

saying to us. And we can then go over to the "door" and actually

open it to Him.

IF Any Man Opens

     The responsibility for opening the door is said to be upon us.

So as mentioned, the door cannot be sin. We cannot open that

door. But what CAN we do? Well, we can BELIEVE. We are told

that FAITH is the one thing which we must exercise to let Jesus in.

Imagine the door to be our heart -- the seat of our will. It is there

that we are able to OPEN ourselves to Jesus. And there is really

nothing complicated about this. We simply say, "By faith, I invite

you in, Jesus." And He promises to come in.

     So the door is really the door to our hearts and lives. The choice

is either to open it by faith or keep it closed. It is OUR choice.

Now we would not even have the choice before us to open the

door unless Jesus had knocked. Do you see this? Jesus had to

take the initiative to come to US. But once He does, then we DO

hear Him knocking. We then know enough to open the door, or

to NOT open it. And, at that point, WE must choose.

     But some people will NOT open the door. They just won't. Why?

One reason is that some of us don't want to be bothered. We

are too occupied with our lives. Too comfortable. It is too much

trouble to get up off the couch and go over to the door. Maybe if we

don't answer, Jesus will just go away. So we just turn up the volume

on the "television" and get on with life.

     So what does Jesus do? Walk away? Not yet. What He usually

does is knock harder and louder. It is amazing how loud God has

to be with some people. They won't hear otherwise.

     Another reason some folks don't open the door is that are

deceived into thinking that it is locked from the outside. They think

they are trapped in the room, with no way out. They think it is up to

them to break out of the room and get to Jesus. But because they

have already tried to break the door down and failed, they have

given up. They have resigned themselves to life as a prisoner.

     Some of these folks are about to go crazy. Imagine hearing

Jesus out there knocking and knocking. And imagine the frustration

of trying to knock down the door, and never being able to do so. At

some point, you just give up. You resign yourself to the fact that it is

never going to get any better than it is right now. You will never sup

with Jesus. You will have to be content with knowing that He is just

outside the door.

     If you tried to break down and door, only to discover that it was

unlocked that entire time, would you not feel silly? Sure. And what

would the problem be? The problem would be that you didn't

believe it when you were told the door was unlocked, and that you

could open it. This is a FAITH problem, not a DOOR problem.

     Of course, if I am in this spiritual condition, the problem is easily

solved: Just go over to the door and open it. Use the door knob!

But you see, we don't believe it is that easy. We think we have to

work hard to let Jesus in. We think we have to do all of the work,

instead of resting in the finished work He has done.

     Some other folks know they can open the door, but they are not

ready to do it because their house is messy, and they don't want

Jesus to see that. So they are spending their lives cleaning up and

trying to make themselves fit for Jesus. He keeps knocking, and

they keep saying, "Just a minute." Trouble is, that minute is taking

their entire life.

     We need to understand, once and for all, that God is NOT

telling us to clean up our house before Jesus will come in. No. He

is saying, "Open the door and I will clean you house." Jesus is

BRINGING redemption with Him. He will clean up our house and

set us free from the mess.

     Get that. God is NOT requiring that we do anything BEFORE

Jesus comes in. Except open the door. Anything which needs to

be done will be done AFTER Jesus comes in -- indeed, BECAUSE

He comes in. Thus, Jesus does not require us to be worthy of Him.

His presence makes us worthy. That is WHY He is knocking. It is

what He wants to bring into our lives.

     If someone stood outside your door knocking, offering you a

million dollars, would you think that you had to make yourself rich

before you had the right to open the door and accept the money?

No. You would realize that only BY letting them in would you be

rich. All you need to do is open the door.

     So why do we make this mistake regarding Jesus Christ? Why

do we think that we must somehow make ourselves rich in order to

qualify for the riches God has for us in His Son? God is simply

saying to us, "You don't need to become rich before you open the

door to Jesus. In fact, you need to see you are poor. The way that

you become rich is by opening the door and embracing My Son."

     Another example: If a cleaning lady was knocking at your door,

wanting to come in and do her job, would you think you had to clean

up the house before you let her in? No. You would know that you

need to let her in to get the place clean. So it is with Jesus. We

let Him in, just as we are. But once He is in, He cleans us up.

     Failure to see this simple Truth has kept millions of sincere

Christians in spiritual bondage. They will not open the door of this

or that room of their lives and let in Jesus -- thinking themselves

unworthy. They don't realize that the WAY they become worthy is

by letting Him in.

     Actually, this point is moot. The Truth is, if we won't let Jesus in,

it is NEVER because we think ourselves unworthy. It is NEVER

because we think our sin is too bad. It is ALWAYS because we

have yet to see how bad it is! It is ALWAYS because we have yet

to see how unworthy we are. The excuse that we are not worthy

enough for Jesus is merely a religious game.

     If you and I really saw how unworthy we are, and if we really saw

how bad our sin is, we would, without hesitation, run over to the

door and let Jesus in. We would know that there are no other

options. We would finally see the Truth of grace. But instead, we

continually find excuses why we cannot simply embrace the grace

of God by faith.

     This deception can be subtle. For instance, how many times

have you heard, "IF you repent of sin, then God will give you grace?"

The suggestion is that grace is not already given -- i.e., -- it is only

given IF you repent.

     But the Truth is, God never says, "IF you repent of sin, then I will

give you My grace." No. He says, "You must repent of the sin of

REFUSING grace! Grace Himself has been knocking at your door."

     Do we see this? Refusing, neglecting, or avoiding the grace of

God -- which is already provided through the finished work of Jesus

Christ -- IS THE SIN we must repent of! It is THE sin. We have all

failed -- at some point -- to simply open the door and let Jesus in.

     The grace of God through Jesus Christ has always been there.

God has told us it has always been there. That IS the "knocking."

But we simply haven't believed it. And guess what? That failure

to believe -- that refusal to believe -- is sin. It is THE sin. It is THE

sin of unbelief. It is the one sin we need to repent of: The refusal

of God's grace.

     Go back to the example of the messy room -- symbolic of the

messy, sinful life. God never says, "First, clean up your room. Then

Jesus will accept your invitation to come in." NO. Rather, God says,

"You have a messy room. Invite Jesus in and He will clean it up."

     The moment I repent of unbelief, I AM opening the door to Jesus

Christ. To repent of unbelief, and to begin embracing what God has

always had for me in Jesus Christ, IS what it means to open the door

to my heart and life. And once I do that, I will see that all of my many

sins have been paid for by His finished work.

If We Don't, He Won't

     Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man...

opens to Me I will come into him." We are not required to do one

thing except OPEN. But we must do that. We must open our hearts

and lives by faith to the One who is knocking.

     The result of opening this door to our lives by faith is, yes,

salvation. But God will not be satisfied with merely saving us. He

wants to invade all of us -- to occupy all of the "rooms" of our lives.

Thus, Jesus goes, one by one, knocking on the doors. And He

bids us to open and let Him in.

     As already mentioned, WE decide whether to let Jesus in. WE

do that. And consequently, WE decide whether He will sup with us,

and we with Him.

     Don't be deceived. Don't think that if we do not invite Jesus in

that things are going to be the same as they would be if we did

invite Him in. They are NOT going to be the same. How could they

be the same? Does the presence and Lordship of Jesus Christ

mean nothing?

     God is not reliant upon me, nor is He hampered by me. He is

going to have His will on this earth, one way or another. The only

question is whether I will invite Him to make me part of it. But He IS

going to have it. So the issue here is not "whether" God will have

His will -- but in and through WHO. I decide if it will be ME.

     The fact is, if you do not invite Jesus in, you will personally

experience a tremendous consequence. But don't think it will be

some "punishment" from God. No. So what is that consequence?

Well, if you do not invite Jesus into any room of your "house," then

He will not BE IN that room! That is the consequence. He won't

come in. Don't kid yourself into thinking He will.

     Jesus is standing at the door of one of our rooms -- right now.

And you can count on it: He is knocking. But Jesus says, "IF any

man opens......." The possibility exists that I will choose NOT to

open. And if I do choose to NOT open, then Jesus simply is not

going to come in. He will not break the door down and force

Himself into my life. In effect, if WE don't, HE won't.

Which Jesus?

     Some people think they can go over the the door and open it,

and invite Jesus in on their own terms. They think He will come in

and blend in with the scenario. Or leave our house alone. But this

is deception. When I go over to the door and open it for Jesus, I

must understand that He will enter only on His terms.

     What are those terms? The HE be Lord of the house. That He

be given access to my life. That He "clean house." If I try to invite

Him in under any other conditions, then I am really not inviting Him

in. I am playing a religious game.

     Furthermore, I cannot invite in a false Jesus and expect the real

one to come in. For instance, there are those who deny that Jesus

is God, but think they can invite Him into their lives. But the trouble

is, Jesus Christ cannot fellowship with those who deny He is God,

deny He is Lord, and deny He is the one Saviour. Why? Because

at the basis of fellowship is growing to KNOW HIM in Truth. How

can this be possible if we cannot even accept WHO Jesus is as

to identity? How can we grow to know Jesus if we deny who He is

in the first place?

     In the final analysis, we have to decide about Jesus Christ. "Who

do you say that I am?", is THE question. WHO is knocking? Can I

really afford to be wrong about Jesus Christ?

     Jesus wants to come into to us and "sup" with us. This means to

share common "food" and to be nourished by it. He wants to reveal

Himself to us and nourish us with this Truth. He wants to walk with us

and live with us -- but He wants to do that in Truth. Jesus will not

enhance our errors about Him. He wants to show us the Truth.

God With Us

     Jesus is knocking. He is calling our name. He is calling us, yes,

for salvation, but also so that He may occupy all of our life. He

wants to occupy every room of our house. Every closet. Every

cabinet. He wants to bring the light of His presence into our lives

and set us free.

     But Jesus will NOT break down our "door." He will not force

Himself into our lives. And He will not come in on OUR terms. Yet

why must we continue insisting He does? He brings only live and

redemption. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus

comes to bring LIFE.

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep

my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him,

and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)

     God wants to live in us, and with us, forever. The place to start is

right now. This is a message not just for the unsaved. It is also a

message for the saved -- that we might also invite Jesus into ALL

the rooms of our "house."

     So do you hear a "knocking?" Do you hear Jesus "knocking"

on the door of your life, showing you your need, trying to get your

attention? Do you hear Him calling out, "Yes, it is I. Open and

invite me in."?

     This is the day of salvation. We only get ONE. But for the saved,

this is also the day of liberty and freedom. We only get ONE of

those, too -- it is the duration of our new life in Christ on earth. Pray to

God that none of us may miss the hour of His visitation upon us,

but instead, that we might open the door and invite Him in to occupy

all of us.

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