Summary: This messages explains the importance of preparation for the Lord's Day and practical suggestions for how to get the most out of Sunday worship...stress free.

The Man Who Fell Asleep in Church

Series: Acts

Chuck Sligh

August 5, 2012

A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available upon request at

TEXT: Turn to Acts 20


JOKE – There was a man who always fell asleep in church because the preacher was so long-winded. The pastor got so agitated about it that he gave one of the deacons a stick to hit him over the head with every time he fell asleep. Once the man dozed off, the deacon tapped him on the head and woke him up. A few minutes later, he starting dozing again, so the deacon hit him again, this time a little harder, again waking him up, but only temporarily. When he fell asleep the third time, the deacon hit him so hard he knocked him out of the pew and onto the floor, almost knocking him out. Rather than responding in anger, the delinquent church member was heard to say, “Hit me again; I can still hear him preaching!”

You can get into a lot of trouble falling asleep at the wrong time.

Illus. – Tell the story of my falling asleep at Maranatha Baptist Church in the community of Snuffyville, Georgia, a suburb of Summerville, Georgia—snoring in church, Susan laughing, etc.

Most of the stories people have about falling asleep in awkward situations are simply humorous. There are some situations in which it would be DANGEROUS to fall asleep—like while driving, for instance.

In our text, we have a story of a man who fell asleep in church which we wouldn’t normally think of as dangerous (some of you do it all the time with no ill effects), but in this case it was. We find this story in Acts 20, beginning in verse 6.

In this passage of Scripture, note with me the following points:

I. FIRST, IN VERSES 6-7, WE SEE A FAITHFUL ASSEMBLY – “And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread…”

These believers were faithful to gather to worship on the Lord’s Day.

In this passage it’s obviously evening because the rest of verse 7 says Paul preached until midnight, so this wasn’t the Sunday morning crowd—this was Sunday night church!

The thing that we want to see first is the faithfulness of these people to be in the Lord’s house whenever the church met for worship and fellowship.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

As we see the day of the Lord approaching—the day of His return—the writer of Hebrews exhorts us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.

We need to be faithful to gather with God’s people to hear the Word preached, worship, and pray.

II. NOTE SECOND, AN EARNEST PREACHER – VERSE 7b – “…Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

I get teased sometimes for being a long-winded preacher.

Well, let me tell you something: I NEVER PREACHED TILL MIDNIGHT!

J.W. Burn said, “The most popular preachers have not been short preachers; witness Chrysostom, Henry Smith, Whitefield, James Parsons, Punshon, Liddon, Spurgeon, Knox…”

Sometimes people wonder why preachers are often long-winded.

So in defense of myself and my brethren who preach the Word week after week, let me offer two excuses—I mean REASONS—why we’re sometimes long-winded:

First, there’s so much to say, it’s hard to keep it in three quick points and a poem.

Second, we get so excited about what we have studied and are sharing that sometimes we just can’t hush up!

That’s the way Paul was: when he got a chance to preach, he would just “let her rip”—and I guarantee you, the LENGTH of his sermon wasn’t his overriding concern!

Paul always had a sermon in his heart like any good preacher does.

In 1 Corinthians 9:16 he said, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

And you see, when you’ve got a sermon burning in your heart, you can’t always contain it in 30 minutes!

So have a little heart for your preacher, will ya?

And you pray for me—not that I would preach SHORTER SERMONS, but that I would preach soul-stirring, life-changing messages that challenge you and stir you and make you think and which God uses to change you through the power of the Holy Spirit.

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