Derek explains just what opening the door means. When you hear Jesus knocking, you must respond in some way. To not respond is to leave the door closed to Him. Derek shares with us how to respond—to receive and open the door for the new birth.
It’s good to be with you again as we continue with our theme for this week, “The Door Only You Can Open.” I trust you’ve been finding it helpful.
In my two previous talks this week, we’ve been looking at the picture of Jesus standing outside a Christian church and seeking to gain admission. The picture that’s found there in Revelation 3:20, where Jesus says:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
I pointed out that the decisive difference which changes your relationship with Jesus is hearing His voice. That was what Jesus said. “I’ll be on the outside. I’ll continue knocking until you hear My voice. And if you hear My voice and open the door, then I will come in.” You see, many people are busy with Christian activity and church services and other similar activities but they’ve never heard the voice of Jesus. They don’t have that personal relationship with Him without which everything else is insufficient.
Yesterday I spoke about how you can hear the voice of Jesus and I took an illustration from electricity. I pointed out that electric current is the same but it has many different ways in which it is manifested—through a bulb as a light, through a radio as sound, through television as vision, through a cooking stove as heat, or through a sewing machine as power. Five different specific manifestations. But the power behind them that makes all of them work is the same power, the electric current. And I suggested that it’s the same with hearing the voice of Jesus. It can come to us in various ways but the power that brings it to us is always the same. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit.
And I suggested in my talk yesterday four possible ways in which the Holy Spirit can speak to us and bring to us the voice of Jesus.
The first was through the Scriptures, just reading your Bible. But remember, the Bible is just black marks on white paper until it becomes the voice of the Lord.
Or through another person’s life. Somehow or another you’re brought into an association with a person who’s entirely different and you begin to wonder what makes him different and then you discover he has that personal relationship with Jesus.
Or it may be through a personal crisis—a serious accident, a serious sickness or something like that—you’re brought face to face with your own frailty, your need of a power greater than your own.
Or it may be through the marvels of creation. As David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God.”
Well, in my talk today I’m going to share with you something tremendously important—the response which the Lord requires from us once we’ve heard His voice. I’m going to go back to that Scripture in Revelation 3:20 and read it once again. It’s so important. If you were to memorize it, it would be a great help to you.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock [that’s Jesus speaking]; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
The key phrase now, after hearing His voice, is opening the door. “...If any one hears My voice and opens the door.” As long as you don’t open the door, Jesus will not come in. I’ve said already He will not batter the door down, He’s a gentleman. He comes in only where He’s invited.
What is involved then in opening the door? I suggest to you that one key word we could use is the word “decision.” I think that opening the door involves a decision. It may be a simple decision, but it has to be a decision. You have to decide personally that you want Jesus in your life; that you’re not going to keep the door closed, you’re going to open it. That’s a decision.
There are other words related to it which could help you to understand. The word “yield.” Opening the door is yielding to Jesus. Or the word “submission.” It’s submitting your life to Jesus. It’s making Him Lord of your life. It implies also obedience. Once you open the door, then Jesus is in charge. You don’t make your own decisions any longer. And some of the decisions you’ve made, frankly, have been very foolish and very unfortunate. You need somebody to help you in that process. Another word that illustrates this vital transaction is the word “commitment.” Commitment is handing something over to somebody else. You commit your money to the bank when you make a deposit in the bank.
And so, we’re talking in terms of yielding, committing yourself, opening up your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, this is the crucial transaction that changes your whole life and your whole destiny. There’s some words about this in the first chapter of John’s gospel, verses 11 and 13 speak about different responses to Jesus when He actually came in human form on earth. It says this:
“He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. [They just kept the door shut. They didn’t necessarily all persecute Him, but they just didn’t open the door. Then it goes on with the glorious alternative:] But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Notice that: Receiving Him through believing in His name. When you receive Him, you receive the right to become a child of God. And out of that, you are born, not of natural birth, not of natural descent, not of anything physical but you’re born of God through the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that caused you to hear the voice of Jesus will actually open your heart and Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, will come in and become part of your life.
So you see, we have two alternatives and only two, there’s no third possibility. The first alternative is not to receive Him, to keep the door closed. And you can be very religious, very respectable, you don’t have to be a thief, you don’t have to be a villain, but you just don’t open the door. The second alternative is to receive Him, to open the door. And when you do that, the result is a new birth, a totally new life begins within you. A life that comes not from you nor from your parents or from any natural source but a life that comes from God Himself by the Holy Spirit; that is, being born again.
Are you perhaps ready to make that decision? Are you perhaps ready to open the door? You say, “Well, what do I have to do?” It’s so simple. You can do it in many different ways. Really, you just have to yield yourself to Jesus. You have to say to Jesus, “Here I am. Lord, I need you and I want you. Come in. Take charge of my life. Change me where I need to be changed. Give me that new life which comes from God which only you can give me.” It’s so simple. And yet it’s so profound. It’s life-changing. It’s destiny-determining. It will settle your destiny for time and eternity. How vital that you don’t keep that door closed. If you hear that sound on the door, the knocking, if you hear the voice, then please, I ask you, open the door, let Him in.
You say, “If I do open the door what will happen?” I’ll tell you what will happen—He’ll come in. He’s promised. He never breaks a promise. He says, “If you open the door, I will come in.” Your part is opening the door, His part is coming in. You don’t have to worry how He comes in, He knows how to do that. And you’ll know very surely He has come in.
So here is three simple ways to respond: First of all, believe that He comes in. I’ve said already, He’s never a liar. He says, “I will come in,” He will come in, you can be sure of that. Just believe it. Don’t struggle. Don’t try to do something tremendous. Just believe.
Second, respond by thanking Him. You see, that’s the simplest expression of faith—it’s thanking Him. Say, “Thank you, Lord. I believe I’ve received you. I believe You’ve received me. Lord, I want to thank You that You’ve come in, that my life is now under Your control.”
And then the third simple thing to do is confess your faith in Jesus. The Bible says we have to believe in our heart, confess with our mouth. That doesn’t mean you have to stand up and preach sermons to people. In fact, probably, you’d better wait a few days before you do that! But just tell people, in a quiet way, “I’ve given my life to Jesus Christ. I’m going to follow Jesus. He’s my Savior.” You may be a little afraid at first but I want to tell you if you’re honest and open about it, many people will surprise you by their response. They’ll be much more interested than you would imagine. You see, many people are like you. They’re looking for an answer but they don’t know where to find it. If you’ve found the answer, you’ve got good news. Share it. Tell others. I want to emphasize again, you don’t have to be tremendously religious. You don’t have to become a preacher. You don’t need to carry a big black Bible around everywhere. But just let people know, “I’ve received Jesus. He’s my Savior. I’ve given my life to Him.” That’s all that’s really important.
Let me say again, “Open the door. Invite Him in.” And when you do that, these three simple steps: believe that He’s come in, thank Him for coming in, and confess your faith in Him. Let it be known to others that you have committed your life to Jesus. May God bless you.
Our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this same time. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking about what follows opening the door and that is sharing our dinner with Him, Jesus.