What Did Jesus Mean When He Said, "Knock, And It Will Be Opened To You"?
"I keep on asking my mom if I can play Nintendo, and she finally says yes," says Clyde, 7.
Well, Clyde, there's no doubt you've learned that persistence pays off. Your mother knows this, too. Give your mom a break, and apply that same persistence to things of God. You might be surprised at how much more rewarding it is.
"When you are dead, you are knocking on the door to get into heaven. When you ask to come in, the door will open," says Connor, 6.
Jokes abound about Saint Peter examining credentials for entering the pearly gates. Some people believe in second chances such as reincarnation. Let's see what the Bible says.
"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation" (Hebrews 9:27-28).
It's one and one. Jesus died for our sins one time, and we have one life in which to decide whether we'll trust him with our eternal destiny.
"Keep on trying hard, and you will receive everlasting life," says Bruce, 11.
This is a common belief that appeals to our pride. Many things in this life are earned by persistent hard work. Eternal life is not one of them. The price is higher than anyone can pay. That's why God sent the Lord Jesus to pay the price for us.
"If you keep asking Jesus into your heart, someday he will come," says Sara, 8.
Sara, Jesus isn't reluctant to impart his life to those who want it. Begging isn't required. Jesus freely gives his eternal life to anyone who will "believe in him," as John 3:16 so clearly states.
If our eternal destiny isn't at stake here, why did Jesus command us to knock?
"If you pray for something, and God doesn't answer it right away, he will answer you if you keep on praying," says Gerald, 6.
This is the essence of what Jesus said. When Jesus spoke of knocking, he also mentioned asking and seeking. To illustrate what he meant, Jesus asked, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:11).
The logic is obvious. Even evil people, who are selfishly motivated, give good gifts to their children. How much more does God, who is motivated by pure love, give good gifts to his children who ask? This is where persistence pays huge dividends. The key is to make sure you're asking for the right things and persist in asking, seeking and knocking.
"Don't quit following Jesus for one day. He will reward you," says Grace, 10.
In the context of knocking, this is persistent prayer for the advance of God's purpose and plan in all areas of life. We can pray boldly and confidently about many situations revealed in Scripture.
For example, we know it's God's will for Christians to pray for government leaders "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy 2:2-4).
Think about this: Knocking on heaven's door on behalf of our country and friends is a ministry to which every Christian is called.
Memorize this truth: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7).
Ask this question: Do you believe in the goodness of God to the point where you will persist in asking him for good things that glorify him?
Carey Kinsolving is a syndicated columnist, producer, author, speaker and website developer. To see more articles like this one, visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/ColumnArchive.aspx. The Kids Talk About God website contains free, online content for children and families. See Carey’s Kid TV Interviews. Print free lessons from the "Kids Color Me Bible" and make your own book. Let an 11-year-old girl take you on a trip around the world in the Mission Explorers Streaming Video. Print Scripture verses illustrated by child artists. Receive a complimentary, weekly e-mail subscription to our Devotional Bible Lessons.
Bible quotations in this Bible lesson are from the New King James Version.
Copyright 2006 Carey Kinsolving