Heaven’s Door

“Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and Someone sitting on it.”
Revelation‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭NLT

In our pilgrimage through the book of Revelation, we now find ourselves in chapter 4. The messages to the seven churches are behind us, and now Jesus wants to show John something else. He wants to give John a glimpse of that is inside this place we call Heaven. A door opens. And a very loud voice, sounding to him like a “trumpet blast“, grabs John’s attention. Why a “trumpet blast”? In those days it would have been a common way of grabbing people’s attention, at least those who were out and about in the market places or the town square. So it would have certainly grabbed John’s attention, particularly as it was from what seemed to be a speaking trumpet. A trumpet wasn’t the only way God spoke to mankind. God’s voice sounded like thunder in John 12:28-29, “Father, bring glory to your name.” Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him”. In 1 Kings 19:12, Elijah heard a still small voice, a whisper. In Psalm 18:13, God’s voice was accompanied by natural events, “The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and burning coals”. 

But I was thinking about today – our lifestyles don’t tend to revolve around public places, so how would God grab our attention today? I don’t know, but what I do know is that God will tailor-make a way of grabbing the attention of those who want to listen. As we see in the John 12 verse, some interpreted the voice of God as thunder. Others as the voice of an angel. We hear what we want to hear because we have a tendency to try and rationalise things we don’t expect or understand. If the sacrifice of God’s Son on a Roman cross at Calvary doesn’t grab the world’s attention and get a response, then I don’t think people are listening. Jesus ended each of the messages to the seven churches with the verse, “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches”. 

John received an incredible invitation from Jesus. He opened Heaven’s door for John and invited him to join Him there. What a privilege. But what a responsibility. Don’t forget that John was languishing in a prison cell, in exile on the island of Patmos. We know it was the Lord’s Day and John was lost in worship. Little did he know that day that he would be invited to join Jesus in Heaven. John was instantly transported into a spiritual world. Prison cell and exile forgotten. And he received a glimpse as he peeped through the door of Someone, of God probably, sat on his throne.

What else John saw in Heaven unfolds in the Revelation pages. And it’s quite a story!

Dear Lord. We thank You that there is nothing dull in a relationship with You. Please help us to get so lost in worship to You that we too get lost in a Heavenly place. And I’m sure the things of the world will go dim in comparison. Thank You Lord. Amen.

Knocking the Door

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” 
Revelation 3:20-22 NLT

Jesus continued with His message to the Laodiceans. He never gave up on them. Even though they had apparently turned their backs on Him. He gave them this picture of someone knocking at the main door of their houses. Knocking. And knocking. And He calls through the door, reassuring those inside of Who is knocking. Asking them to open the door. 

There is a famous painting by an artist called William Hunt that depicts a rather sad looking Jesus, carrying a lantern, knocking at a decrepit-looking door, surrounded by weeds. Obviously it hasn’t been opened for a while. The image captures the message, that Jesus won’t enter unless the person inside opens the door. And so it was for the Laodiceans. In the verses today, we are told that Jesus wanted to join them for a meal, a meal enjoyed by friends together. Sadly, those inside had become spiritually deaf and may not have heard either the knock or the voice.

Jesus continued by reminding the Laodiceans that if they overcame the troubles and problems before them, honing up their faith, keeping His commandments, dealing with their sins, standing firm when persecuted, then they, as His victorious followers, could join Him on His throne. Just like He joined His Father after He conquered satan at the cross (Hebrews 12:2). 

Anything here of consequence to today’s pilgrims? Quite a bit actually. Revelation 3:20 is a verse that has been much used in evangelism, but the context in this chapter is for something different. It speaks of God’s incredible grace, in pursuing His children even when they have turned their backs on Him, preferring to go their own ways in life. And even when we slam the door to our hearts in His face, He will still remain outside, knocking, and knocking, calling us. What love! What grace! So to any pilgrim reading this today, and who perhaps feel they are not good enough to be in God’s presence, I would encourage them to listen. Can you hear the knocking? Can you hear the voice of Jesus? No? Well, He will never give up on you. He will be knocking until you draw your last breath. What an amazing Saviour! What an amazing God! Take a moment in your busy schedule. Shut out the worldly noise around you. Just listen. Can you hear the knocking now? 

Dear Lord Jesus. Your love for each one of us never ends, never fails. We are so grateful. Amen.