‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.Revelation 3:20
This is a verse that has been misinterpreted to mean that Jesus wants you to come into your heart, so He’s knocking on the door of your heart. It is connected with a popular confusing Gospel of ‘asking Jesus into your heart’.
There is a huge misconception among a part of Christendom today that the proclamation of the Gospel actually means to call to turn from one’s sin and surrender to Christ, this, even to the point of bullying if necessary to make them penitent and confess, turn, surrender. This is, to them, what it means to have a ‘true’ gospel proclamation. However, the response of the believer is not our responsibility. The Bible calls unbelievers sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2) because it is each person’s responsibility to respond to the drawing of God (John 6:44). We are commanded not to coerce a decision but rather, to proclaim Christ and Him crucified (Mark 16:15, 1 Cor 1:23) so the person can respond to the Holy Spirit’s convicting (John 16:8-11).
The proclamation of the Gospel is not at all about what the unbeliever has to do. The correct message that must be proclaimed is that of the finished work of Christ on the cross and that He gave himself to pay for our sins, and he rose again on the third day. This is the Gospel proclamation! Following the Gospel presentation (the Person and work) the unbeliever should be invited to believe it. The person who hears the Gospel and believes it is saved! (Eph 1:13, Acts 16:31)
The fact is, thousands were saved when Peter proclaimed the Gospel (Acts 2), and they didn’t even have Revelation 3:20. This verse was not written until some 60 years later!
The real meaning of Revelation 3:20 is to believers who were not walking in fellowship with the Lord. It is written to the Laodicean church that had left Christ out of the church and Jesus used the imagery of him knocking on the door of the church asking to come in and fellowship with anyone that wanted to. This is a sanctification verse about fellowship and not a justification verse about being saved! These people were already saved but were not walking spirit-filled lives. They were so full of themselves they had no need for Christ in the church!
Does this mean if someone asked Jesus to come into their heart or if they prayed the sinner’s prayer they are not saved? Yes!…unless they heard the Gospel message and understood that Christ paid for their sins and they believed in Him. In this case, they would have been saved even before they even prayed or whatever. The prayer to ask confused matters but did not annul that God had already declared them righteous and sealed them with His Holy Spirit who comes and lives inside the person.
It is sad that many a child (and even adults) have been deceived into thinking that by asking Jesus to do something they are saved. You can ask a judge to forgive you but unless justice is satisfied, the penalty must be paid in full.
If you happen to be one that has believed that Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart to let Him in and if you ask Him you are saved then I trust that you will carefully study the context of Revelation 3:20 (starting at verse 14) and see that this verse is not teaching how to be saved.
Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone. Jesus has paid your debt in full. It’s credited to your account by simple faith.