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Summary: The real question is not “Why did God let Eutychus fall asleep?” The real question is: “Was anyone but the Apostle Paul awake?”

For All Those Who Fall Asleep in Church

Acts 20:7-12

Church sleepers beware.

If you think you can get away with sleeping in church then watch out! “A man who went to Church with his wife always fell asleep during the sermon. The wife decided to do something about this and one Sunday she took a long hatpin along with her to poke him with it every time he would doze off. As the preacher got to a part in the sermon where he asked, ‘and who created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh?,’ she poked her husband, who came flying out of the pew and screamed ‘Good God almighty’.”

“A man liked to sleep frequently in church, so the pastor devised a plan. During one service the pastor asked his congregation while the man was sleeping, ‘All who want to go to heaven, please rise.’ Everyone stood up except the sleeper. Then, at the top of his voice, he bellowed, ‘All who wish to go to hell, stand up now!’ Only the sleeper stood up. The sleeper looked around and said, ‘I don’t know what we’re voting on, Reverend, but it looks like you and me are the only ones for it’.”

Have you ever

fallen asleep

in church?

Some folk must really get into their Sunday School lesson because they are so worn out by the time the sermon rolls around that they just can’t help but fall asleep! Or maybe they have worked up such a sweat during the music that they are plumb tuckered out! Perhaps those taking forty winks during the sermon are resting up so they won’t doze off on the long drive home after service. Or they are simply getting ready for the energy they will expend buffet-ing their stomachs at Ryan’s after church.

Please don’t think I’m complaining about folks who fall asleep in church. I understand some people can’t help it. I am convinced that some people fall asleep in church during the sermon because their have a physical ailment. Some folk must have a snooze button attached at the appropriate place so that it is activated everytime the preacher says, “Please turn in your Bibles...”, and sets the alarm off when the preacher says, “Please stand…”!

It doesn’t really bother me when people fall asleep in church. It doesn’t even bother me if they snore during the sermon as long as it sounds like, “AHH-men”!

I confess to you today that I have fallen asleep during a sermon, or two, or twenty. I really haven’t kept track, but I must tell you that I have done something worse than falling asleep during a sermon. I once fell asleep standing up holding a hymnal and singing a congregational song! Were it not for the stiletto elbowing of the person holding the other side of the hymnbook, I might have been awakened by the floor!

Sleeping in church could be a good thing. Did you know if you came to church every Sunday and slept for 20 minutes during the sermon every week, you would have slept over 2 days in only 3 years!

On the other hand, the Bible records several bad things that happened to folks who fell asleep:

• Adam fell asleep and woke up married and missing a rib!

• Samson fell asleep and woke up bald and beaten!

• Jonah fell asleep in the boat and woke up wet!

• Eutychus fell asleep and woke up dead!

Proverbs 6:10-11

10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--

11 and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.


Acts 20:7-9

7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.

9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.


This passage of scripture is the earliest clear reference to the Christian practice of observing Sunday as a day of worship. The O.T. Jews met on the Sabbath or 7th day of the week, which was Saturday to commemorate the fact that God created the universe & everything in it in 6 days, & then on the 7th day He rested. So to the Jews, Sunday was to be a day of rest & worship. So those Jews who became Christians they continued to observe the Sabbath as well as the first day of the week. Early Christians began to meet on the first day of the week as a weekly celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the dead.

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