In the third chapter of Revelation, Christ sums up His message to all seven pastors and the churches of Revelation. And His words are telling: “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” (3:20). Too often, Christians don’t open up the doors of their hearts to Jesus. When He knocks, they’re not even home. Instead, there’s a sign on the door, saying, “Dear, Lord, I’m off to minister at the hospital, then later at the jail. See You in church.”
Many churches today are doing so many good, charitable things in Christ’s name. They have programs for almost every human need and the congregants live clean, upright lives, careful to avoid sin. But something has changed about them. At one time, these believers were devoted to their communion with Jesus. They wouldn’t go a single day without spending time alone with Him. But now things are different. All they give Him is a quick greeting on their way to some work. How serious is this to Jesus?
Jesus is warning us, “Something has been lost in My Church. It’s My awesome presence. You have to get back to the secret closet, back to supping with Me. Otherwise, I’ll remove My presence from you. All your good works—your preaching, evangelism and giving—must flow out of our time together. It has to come from My table.”
The church at Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-11) had lost something they once possessed—the manifest presence of Christ in their midst. They had begun to take Jesus’ presence for granted, and it was affecting their ministry. At one time, they loved and cared for one another, but now they took each other for granted as well. And that had a disastrous effect on their labors to do good works. They were so busy serving people that their deeds became the focus, not the love of Christ. His powerful presence was missing.
Now Jesus warned them: “If you don’t make changes—if you don’t return to your hunger for Me—I’m going to take away your testimony. You’ll no longer have any authority when you do your good works. It will all be for naught.”