When the Savior Comes and Knocks
By Al Stoner
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when He will return from the wedding; that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto Him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).
He Shall Knock at His Appearing. The knock, as it is used here, signifies Christ's earnest desire and determination to gain a loving entrance and welcome into His church when He shall come again at the last day. The day and the hour is advancing quickly for all men when the Savior will at last come and knock at their door. For some it will be a knock that has been long awaited and yearned for; but for others it will be an abrupt knock of surprise and alarm, and that which will catch them completely off guard. Some are ready now to open to the Lord Jesus immediately when He comes and knocks. There are, alas, myriads of others, it seems however, who would rather not think about His coming and its associated sudden and calamitous interruption of their entanglements in this present evil world. But His knock will be heard by all! "Every eye shall see Him."
He will come and knock because, as Lord of all (Acts 10:36), He has every right to do so and because He has declared long ago that He will do so. But even more than this, because of His blessed and glorious Person, His soon-to-be-heard knock to gain entrance ought to be desired by all much more than all the paltry and vain tinsel that earth has to offer. Those who presently do not desire Him above all else simply have been deceived by the old serpent.
His certain knock will prove to be the ultimate test for readiness in men. That audible rapping, associated in the above text with His coming, signifies Christ's expectancy of preparedness in men at all times for His return. His love will not be upon the ones who only started in the race to Heaven by an obedience to the gospel which they have outlived, but rather it shall be upon those who also have endured (Mk. 13:13) and continued in His love (Jn. 15:9) unto the end. Christ's knock will make manifest, beyond the shadow of a doubt, men's love and devotion for their Lord, or the absence of that love, as the case may be.
Those who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity (Eph. 6:24) will greatly delight in His knock along with the swift and certain cessation that His appearing will bring to life's trials and afflictions. For such ones "everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away" (Isa. 35:10). But for those who are not looking for Him, His knock will be greatly disconcerting: because for them it shall entail the beginning of sorrows and pain that shall have no end.
His Knock in the Present Time. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock" (Rev. 3:20). This is a knock that can be heard in the present time, but only by those who have ears to hear it. The exalted Savior is here speaking to one of His churches, which had distanced themselves from Him (Laodicea). And precisely in the same manner He speaks to all churches and individuals today who have gotten themselves into such a spiritually-impoverished and jeopardous condition (cf. 3:17). He knocks to gain entrance to men's hearts (particularly those who have professed His Name). But to all who will open to Him now, Christ promises: "I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Oh, what a wonderful Savior and Lord that we have!
The Lord Jesus both desires and seeks to gain entrance into hearts and to maintain a mutual, loving fellowship now in men, who have professed His Name. What a shame it is that He would even have to seek entrance into those of His church?? But, contrastively, oh, what a blessed joy and privilege it is to sup with the exalted Savior, and He with us, even now while we are yet sojourning through these low grounds of sin and sorrow! Such supping (that is, fellowshipping) now with Christ is indispensable to our spiritual well being, for it is readying us for that blessed and long-awaited time when the Savior shall come and knock at our door at the last day. Then He shall not only knock at the door of our hearts, but also at the door of our entire beings. At that day He shall not only knock in order that He may sup with us, but rather that He may take complete possession of us to be His bride throughout the ages to come.
Now the Savior's knock to gain entrance (Rev. 3:20) is heard only by receptive and tender hearts. But when He shall come and knock at the last day, His knock shall be clearly and distinctly heard by all. Now the noise of other things can smother out the sound of Christ's knock, if permitted to do so. But in the last day His knock will drown out all competitive earthly noise.
His Knock at the Time of our Death. If the Lord Jesus Christ does not return in our lifetime, He shall come and knock at each of our doors, individually, one by one, to usher us into eternity. In many respects His coming at our death will bear great resemblance to His coming at the end of the world. His coming at our death will be marked by a degree of unexpectancy (no man knows the day or the hour), but it shall be at an appointed time (cf. Heb. 9:27). "And if He shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch" of our lives, "and find" men in earnest expectation of Him, "blessed are those servants" (Lk. 12:38). "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth" (Rev. 14:13). "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (I Cor. 15:54). At Jesus' coming at the end of the world, He, as the Resurrection and the Life, will swallow up death in victory. And when He comes to each of our doors at the time of our death, He will bring to each of us a blessed foretaste of the final swallowing up of death. What better place to be when the Savior comes and knocks, than "in the Lord"? But, alas, what a horrifying prospect to die outside of Christ!
In conclusion, let us speak a word to all who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, and who are continuing in the faith: let such ones continually give the Lord Jesus entrance now into their hearts, so that when He comes and knocks at the last day, they may open unto Him immediately, and that with great joy. And to those who are yet outside of the Lord Jesus Christ, may they repent of their sins and be baptized, calling upon the Name of the Lord. May such ones "continue in the faith, grounded and settled," and "be not moved away from the hope of the gospel" (Col. 1:23) so that they may be ready for the Savior when He comes and knocks.