By George Rassovsky
Context is extremely important for any literary work. However, when it comes to the Word of God, it is vital! A verse, or a part of one, taken out of context, can have enormous and eternal consequences. Despite this being the case, the fact is that the Bible is perhaps the most misinterpreted book. Below are some of the most commonly misinterpreted and misunderstood verses of the Bible.
#3 – Jesus at the door of the heart
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”Revelation 3:20 [NKJV]
This verse, perhaps more than any other (especially in Western Christendom throughout the last century), has been used as an evangelistic illustration of the Saviour’s pleading with men for their souls. We do not doubt that God can and has used it for the salvation of many. As someone has said, “God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick.” He often uses imperfect means to achieve His perfect ends.
The context of the verse however, is hardly evangelistic. It is Christ’s message to the members of the “lukewarm” Laodicean church. One of the seven churches in Revelation ch. 2-3. It is the Savior’s invitation for communion with believers who are spiritually asleep, not with unbelievers who are spiritually dead. Such expressions are not used in the Word of God with regards to unbelievers. Strictly speaking, God does not invite unbelievers to open the door of their hearts for Him… He actually commands them to repent (see Acts 17:30). Besides, we know that for the unregenerate person, who is not simply “asleep,” but “dead” (see Ephesians 2:1), communion with God and even repentance towards Him is impossible without the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit – Who alone can grant “repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18).
Next – #4 – Two or three – Matthew 18:20