Summary: Alarms are tools we use to help us when we need to get things started, or when we need to be warned of something dangerous, or even if we are simply missing out on something. Alarms are needed and God has an Alarm for believers... it is His Word! Its time
Date Written: Jan 14, 2012
Date Preached: Jan 15, 2012
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Awaken Series – Oak Park Baptist Church
Sermon Title: Awaken To Our
Sermon Text: Acts 19:11-20 [ESV]
11And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
Alarms are part of life, we hear the alarm clock go off every morning. We hear the smoke alarm sound off unexpectedly. We even have soft and subtle alarms come in our lives in the form of someone touching our shoulder and surprising us… but alarms serve a great purpose!
The alarm clock serves to WAKE us and indicates the start of our day. The smoke alarm serves to WARN us of impending danger within your home and for you to act. The subtle and soft alarm of a touch on the shoulder can serve to notify us that we may be missing something or that something may need our attention.
I find it rather interesting on how many times in Scripture, especially the NT that these writers, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tell the believers within the early church to “Wake up!” We find one of these occasions in Rom 13:11, NLT, where Paul says “Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. [it’s time to] Wake up…”
Now I want us to understand that this admonition from Paul was NOT to those outside the grace of Jesus Christ. This was not a message to the lost of the city or those openly fighting against Jesus Christ. This was an admonition to those who were already believers! This was a charge to those who proclaimed themselves to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Paul was very clear in his words… it is time to WAKE UP! But why does Paul say this… why do we need to wake up? Paul gives the clear response, We need to wake up because “Time is running out.” What is Paul saying here, well I believe he explains it further when he sends a letter to the Ephesian church when he says, “15Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
The days are evil… if you don’t believe it all you need to do is to look around! Why must Christians awaken to understand the will of the Lord? Why must we seek Spiritual Awakening?
A quick look at the news of our time reveals the continued downward moral and spiritual decline in our state and across our country. In our state alone we suffer great depravity…
Louisiana leads the nation in murder rates per 100,000 people
Louisiana has the 2nd highest crime rate in the nation
Louisiana leads the nation in certain forms of sexually transmitted diseases
Louisiana saw at total of 8,167 babies aborted in 2009
But Louisiana is not alone in this depravity, within our nation we see:
A violent crime of some form occurs every 23.9 seconds.
A property crime occurs every 3.4 seconds!
Why is this? Why do we see such depravity and sin all around us? This world is ruled by the prince of darkness and his minions and because of his presence we live in a broken and sinful world; but why does it continue? After all, didn’t Jesus die on the Cross? Didn’t Jesus conquer sin and death? If so, then WHY is it like this? Why does it seem to be getting worse and worse!