Summary: It's time to wake up from our slumber. The world is getting worse year by year, but Christians in general are not responding to that trend. It's time we made a change in our personal lives and in the life of the church. We can't remain in our slumber.
It’s Time To Wake Up!
INTRO: We often fail to consider the gradual, cumulative effect of sin in our lives. In Saint Louis in 1984, an unemployed cleaning woman noticed a few bees buzzing around the attic of her home. Since there were only a few, she made no effort to deal with them. Over the summer the bees continued to fly in and out the attic vent while the woman remained unconcerned, unaware of the growing city of bees.
The whole attic became a hive, and the ceiling of the second-floor bedroom finally caved in under the weight of hundreds of pounds of honey and thousands of angry bees. While the woman escaped serious injury, she was unable to repair the damage of her accumulated neglect. Robert T. Wenz.
Is there something you have neglected? Something you have been lazy about? Something you have been lethargic about? I can name one thing we have neglected, we don’t even have a Christmas tree up yet or all of our present bought. It’s pretty much crunch time and I been lazy about it!
In Campus Life it was written, “Hard work is often the easy work you do not do at the proper time.” Campus Life, May 1980
Richard L. Evans, Bits & Pieces, “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” March 4, 1993, p. 2.
I think it is true of almost every Christian at some point in our lives, that we put off things. We get lethargic in our lives, we get apathetic to the world around us and we find ourselves just going through the motions. This not only happens in our personal lives, but it is brought into the church as well.
And the church as a whole finds itself just going through the motions, being lazy and lethargic. We may have good attendance and good offerings and we think that all is going well, that we’ve done a good job and God would be pleased with us.
But isn’t there more to the church than good attendance and good offerings and just going through the motions. Isn’t there more to the church than putting on a Worship Service that most people enjoy? Aren’t we called to do more than put on services and offer programs?
Personally, I’ve found myself just going through the motions in the past, I think many in church leadership have done the same and I think that many churches in our area and country have done the same thing too.
And others see those things too (laziness, being lethargic) and the church has no appeal to them. In all honestly there are many church who have lost their zeal and they are no longer appealing even to the head of the church Jesus Christ. They have either lost their first love like the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2:4 or have become like the church in Laodicea in Revelation 3:15-16 and have become lukewarm.
Did you know that in the last 20 years there have been millions of Christians leave the church? These Christians are hungry for spiritual help and meaning in this life, but they didn’t find it in the church.
ILLUS: According to the Barna Group, “Only 3 out of 10 twenty somethings (31 percent) attend church in a typical week, compared to 4 out of 10 of those in their 30’s (42 percent) and nearly half of all adults age 40 and older (49 percent).
So many of those who have left the church are hungry for God, but just didn’t find Him among the traditions, apathy, and lack of genuine Christ relationship in the church.
ILLUS: Hugh Halter, The Tangible Kingdom, “Yes, we have big churches, churches that grow and do much good in the world, but let’s be honest: Do people take us Christians seriously? Do they respect us and our way of life? Do the spiritually hungry look to the average evangelical church for help, or would they rather go buy a self-help book at Barnes & Noble?”
“How long has it been since you knew someone who came to faith for the first time? I’m not talking about in a youth group setting or in children’s church. I’m talking about an adult who had no idea about God but who has since found faith in Christ and rearranged his or her entire life around his? We’ve been working with pastors of mega-churches, house churches, and many new churches, and the reality of “non-conversions” is staggering.”
“We have churches everywhere, but they smell musty, fussy, clubby, judgmental, mean, punishing, ungenerous, and are not compelling people to come or stay. Almost every statistical reference to the church indicates that we not only can’t draw people, but we can’t even keep the ones we have.”