Keys to the Kingdom
By Carolyn Tucker
Recently, I was sitting at the computer in my quiet office/utility room when I heard an extremely-loud banging on my glass front door. I was both startled and annoyed at the unnecessary intensity of the knocking. When I answered the door, there stood someone I knew. I guess the individual was just excited or ate too many bowls of Wheaties for breakfast.
The classic painting of “Christ at Heart’s Door” hung on the wall of my parent’s living room for most of my life. Since the 1940s, this beloved painting by Warner Sallman has been a long-standing favorite in the home of many believers. It depicts a loving and patient Savior willing to come into a person’s heart and life, but the individual has to open the door because there’s no handle on the outside.
Jesus says, “Look! I have been standing at the door and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20 TLB). No doubt, this was the scripture that inspired Mr. Sallman to paint the beautiful picture of Christ Jesus standing at a door. The Son of God described Himself as gentle and humble in spirit (Matthew 11:29). His knocking is not abrasive because it reflects who He is. I appreciate the fact that He knocks constantly because He’s not willing that any should perish but that everyone would welcome and accept Him as their personal Savior.
The choices we make with the doors in our life will determine our final outcome. The first and most important door must be opened by us so Jesus can come in, cleanse us, and make us right with God. When Jesus was crucified and died, the thick curtain (which represented a door) in the temple was ripped from top to bottom signifying that we could come directly to God now. “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19-22 NLT).
Back to our resurrected Lord standing at the door, I also like this translation: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with Me” (Revelation 3:20 NCV). “Here I am” indicates that Jesus is as close as the mention of His name. He has to be very close in order to knock on your heart’s door and tenderly speak to you. But in this contemporary age, most people don’t like to be quiet. But quiet is a necessity in order to hear a gentle voice. “God says, ‘Be quiet and know that I am God…’” (Psalm 46:10 NCV). If you refuse to be quiet you might not hear the knock on the door or the voice of the Good Shepherd.
The Key: If you’re an unbeliever, Jesus is knock, knock, knockin’ on your heart’s door.