Summary: Is our Christian witness putting some people to sleep? There is a world all around us that has fallen asleep concerning the things of God. They have fallen asleep when it comes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of them are even in Christ’s church.
I Stand on Guard for Thee
Upon entering a little country store a stranger noticed a sign saying "DANGER! BEWARE OF DOG!" posted on the glass door. Inside, he noticed a harmless old hound dog asleep on the floor near the cash register. He asked the store's owner "Is that the dog folks are supposed to beware of?" "Yep," the proprietor answered, "That's him."
The stranger couldn't help being amused. "That certainly doesn't look like a dangerous dog to me," he chuckled. "Why in the world did you decide to post that sign?"
"Because," the owner replied, "before I posted that sign, people kept tripping over him."
This illustration is about an old hound dog that was sound asleep at the foot of the cash register. It seems that even a useless guard dog will from time to time slow some people down if they happen to trip over him.
I wonder if that’s the kind of Christian that you or I want to be. Do you want people to trip over you and only then discover that you are a watchdog for the Lord or would you rather be alert and ready to point people to Jesus?
None of us make very good watchdogs if we are fast asleep. If we live out our Christian lives just laying down giving the appearance of watchfulness what good are we? People may just trip over us as well. In fact we may just prove to be a hazard so to speak to someone who is looking for Jesus. Our poor Christian witness may trip some folks up. They may take one look at us and assume that it’s O.K. to be a sleepy Christian.
Have we lost so much interest in the things of God at Sunday Worship that we let ourselves fall to sleep spiritually? I hope that is not the case for you or me. I hope that God’s Holy Spirit is still speaking to your heart no matter if you’re a young pup or an old hound dog of a Christian.
I hope that you still stand on guard for Jesus.
In the book of Acts we have this short notation about a young man who died because he fell asleep at church. The young man was named Eutychus and he had been sitting on a window sill as the preacher St. Paul was trying to make an impression on the folks in Troas since he was leaving the next day.
Paul had only been able to stay in that Greek city for seven days and as a final farewell he preached right up to midnight. It proved to be more preaching than Eutychus could handle and so he nodded off. Falling asleep was not really the problem but falling out of the window was.
Have you ever experienced what is like to fall asleep in one place and to wake up in another?
When we were little children it happened a lot we would fall asleep in the car or on the floor and find that when we woke up we were safe and sound in our beds but we had no recollection of how we got there. Well for many people all around us that is what dying is going to be like. They have no idea what is in store for them after they leave this life and wake up in the next.
Sadly for many their experience will not be a good one unlike the one they may have had when they were little children. Instead they will fall asleep so to speak only to wake up to an eternity separated from Jesus Christ. It will seem to them as if they have fallen from a three storey building to their death.
That my friends is what Hell will be like for those who fall asleep at hearing God’s word and then fall into the dangers of sin. They will be overtaken suddenly and unrepentantly.
Fortunately for the young man in this scripture account he was brought back from the dead having fallen from a three story window. Now that’s quite a dramatic way to end a week of preaching but I’ll ask you all if you would not put me in that situation today, I’d appreciate it. I may be able to wake some of you up from time to time but I have not been able to raise the dead.
Maybe we should look at our Christian witness the way the Judge looked at the lawyer who was involved with a very important case where a person was facing the death penalty.
A lawyer was well into a lengthy cross-examination when he stopped and said, "Your honor, a juror is asleep." The judge replied, "You put him to sleep; you wake him up."