What did Jesus mean when He said, ‘I stand at the door and knock’ (Revelation 3:20)? from Christian Truth
Revelation 3:20 says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” This verse is commonly used as an example of Jesus seeking out non-believers, which He certainly does: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). In this particular verse, however, Jesus is seeking out people within the church.
Revelation 2—3 contains letters to seven churches, and the letters are filled with exhortations for each respective church in what it needs. The last letter is to the church at Laodicea. The church of Laodicea had become lukewarm in their faith, to the point that they had forgotten about the Lord Himself.
Because their material needs were met, the Laodiceans no longer felt the need to seek God. Self-assured and comfortable, they were not bearing any fruit in the kingdom of God. Jesus had this message for them: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:15–17).
Jesus called the church to turn in their false righteousness and instead to commit to genuine righteousness, which, for starters, requires the church to “be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19). We are not made righteous on our own; the Bible makes this clear. We are made righteous by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24–25; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:1–10).