Posted in Christianity

The “Poor Jesus” Syndrome by A. W. Tozer

The “Poor Jesus” Syndrome. This is the form of preaching that misuses the Scripture in Rev. 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock ” How many evangelists have used that Scripture to paint a pathetic picture of Jesus standing outside a door, waiting, knocking, knocking, waiting, for the sinner to open up and let Jesus in? Sometimes these preachers go on and on, until it starts to sound like, “Aw, poor Jesus is out there in the cold, shivering, waiting for someone to let Him in. Won’t you go ahead and let poor Jesus into your heart?”

What a line of reasoning! First of all, this statement by the Lord in Revelation is not to the unsaved, it’s to the church in Laodicea (see Rev. 3:14). The picture is truly pathetic. Jesus is standing outside of His own church, knocking for them to let Him in! (Sound familiar?) And if there’s any doubt left as to whom He’s talking to, look at verse 22, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

Second of all, the truth of the matter for sinners is the exact opposite. Jesus is not outside of their world, knocking to come in – they are outside of His kingdom! And they can knock all night like the five foolish virgins (Matt. 25:11), but Jesus will never let them in unless they meet the requirements: a humble and contrite heart, and a complete disgust for sin. Then, and only then, will God deliver them from their slavery to sin – and transfer them by His grace to the Kingdom of His loving-kindness. God will never repent for someone – He will take every step possible to make the sinner see the folly of his ways, but the final move is up to the individual himself. Each person must make the final surrender, the desperate gasp of “I am a fool to run my own life! Lord, show me the way to Your door, and I’ll knock and knock, and beg forgiveness … I’ll do anything, anything, anything You say!” Then, and only then, will God save a sinner. (Psalm 34:18, 51:17; Isaiah 66:22; Luke 18:14; James 4:10)

 

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Author:

Slave of Christ. Reformed Baptist. Mama of many blessings. Homemaker. Homeschooler. Author. Blogger. I write about practical Christian living, womanhood, and domestic violence awareness (with a few other topics thrown in). Passionate about Christ's glory, my children, homemaking, writing, the church, helping those in abusive situations, reading, and animals. Lover of good coffee.

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