“‘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).
[Thought questions for Revival: Our Great Need July 3, 2013]
1. Lukewarm. Do you remember how you felt the first time you heard that you belong to the last of the seven churches, Laodicea, the lukewarm church? Did you think: A) Oh, no. Not me. I’m a ball of fire for my Lord; B) Maybe some of us, but not enough for the whole church to take on that label; C) It’s all symbolic and doesn’t refer to a specific time or people; D) Too many of us, and myself too much of the time, are too busy with our lives to care whether we’re lukewarm or not.
2. Hope for us. What does the name “Amen” mean as it applies to God? How is the doctrine of Creation related to the doctrine of an all-powerful God? Do you know people who believe in a superior being as God but as an observer who sees all and knows all but lacks the ability to create from nothing or to alter the natural world or the universe? Do we spend enough energy sharing our admiration for an all-powerful God? How does that power give us hope from within the walls of Laodicea?
3. Strong rebuke. What is God’s “gut reaction” to the members of Laodicea? In general, do you follow the laws of God? Do you believe God created you and do you worship Him? If so, then why are you (and all the people of Laodicea) so repulsive to God that he would rather spit you out to relieve His nausea? Is it possible for Bible-believing and Bible-proclaiming Christians to understand all the truths of Scripture and still follow an insipid, meaningless spiritual life? What can God do about that? Are all of God’s people lacking spiritual health?
4. Self opinion. Is anything wrong with having a good self image? Shouldn’t we have a high regard for ourselves and the good work we try to do? Could we be effective witnesses to God if we didn’t like ourselves so much? What kind of a self image do you think God wants us to have? If the religious leaders of Christ’s day were blind, what about our church’s local, national, or world leaders today? What about you and me? Are we ever in danger of misinterpreting what God wants us to do? Do we ever think too much about ourselves and not enough about our place in the mighty work of God?
5. Hope for Laodicea. As Jesus moves from church to church in the parable of the seven churches of Revelation, does he extend an invitation to each group to enter the joy of the Lord? What about Laodicea? Would you choose a church like Laodicea to lead God’s people to the New Jerusalem? Why or why not? What is it like on the road of hope the Laodiceans need to follow to the presence of God? Do they deserve the rewards God is holding for them? If not, how can they qualify for eternal life with Jesus our Lord? Instead of a gentle knock, why doesn’t Jesus break the door down and dominate our lives that way? What can we do as members of this end-time church to reflect more completely the gentleness of Jesus?
6. Relentless love. Are you longing to share your thoughts and love with God throughout eternity? Is He at least as willing as we are to spend thousands, millions, and an infinite number of more years in fellowship together? Are we spending enough time in our daily lives today in communion with God? Can we love Him as much as He loves us? If not, how can we better absorb and live His love?
7. Revival and reformation. Does the revival we’re promised mean going from dead thoughts to thoughts of hope and life? Does reformation mean putting aside wrong ways of thinking and living? Define these terms and then discuss: Which do you think our church needs more these days–revival or reformation? If we choose to continue as we are, what will happen? Are the old ways always the best ways? Are new ideas always better than old ones? What does God long for most in our hearts?