Summary: Waking Up in a Dark World
THE MORNING AFTER A SHORT NIGHT
April 18, 1775 British troops arrived in Boston harbor by night. The plan was to cross the Charles river in small boats and attack the towns of Concord and Lexington. A young man, aware of the plan, grabbed his horse and rode through the streets shouting, ‘WAKE UP, WAKE UP, THE BRITISH ARE COMING, WAKE UP’. Paul Revere brought people out of their sleep and they prepared themselves for the battle upon them. We have an invisible war upon us and we need modern Paul Reveres to sound the alarms that we might respond to the aggression of the enemy.
Too many Christians are snuggled comfortably into their padded pews and sleeping away the day of harvest.
Vance Havner: ‘There is Anarchy in the world, apostasy in the church and apathy in the pew.’ An army in its bunks instead of in it’s bunker.
Average church(Gallup) 17% say they tithe but only 3% actually do. 40% will give nothing in a year. 91% say they make more money than they ever have in their life. 71% of pastors believe that church members have changed from stewards into consumers.
Alarm is going off: some people can actually sleep through loud alarms. Some alarms that begin quiet and increase in volume. How much louder can our alarm sound in our society today? Watch TV – rent a movie – read about school violence – listen to language of a group of teenagers – examine our political leaders – look at the failed marriages – the disfunctional homes – the dead churches. LOUD! The church is like Samson asleep in the lap of Delilah. Soon we will wake up and find that the philistines are upon us and it is too late.
(What happens when a person wakes up in their spiritual lives?)
Paul has shared about a proper attitude towards our government as citizens and now he directs it more toward our treatment of others and our own priorities which need to be set.
1. THEY PUT LOVE INTO THEIR LIVES (8) Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. (9) For this, ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself’. (10) Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law’.
a. Paul is writing to the capital city of the Roman Empire: love was that which was most lacking there. Cruel relentless Emperor, military machine, rampant slavery and immorality.
1) Writing from Corinth: city steeped in sexual immorality(wrong definition of love) abandoned to pleasure and self. Right understanding of loving others was a needed message.
b. What would happen in this world is people could be taught to really love?
1) Marriages back together
2) No wars to fight in
3) Absence of crime
4) No more prisons
5) Courts and police unneeded
6) Tax burden greatly lessened.
c. Love is actually the radical force that Jesus has turned loose upon the world by His resurrection. It is the power that we possess to radically impart the world.
d. When I come in contact with any person I need to realize that my first obligation is to love them. Owe nothing to anyone except to love them. Every day, every person.
Owe money to a person and see them. The first thing that comes to your mind is that I owe them and they think about it too.
e. There is no limit to whom I am to love: for he who loves his neighbor…
1) More than the person you live next door to. Person next to you when you shop, in your business, in your class at school, in traffic….YOU OWE THEM LOVE
f. Love takes you beyond the law: for he who loves has fulfilled the Law. Love is a step beyond the law.
1) Law often stops with a negative ‘Don’t … but love says ‘Do good to your neighbor…reach out to them… minister to them. How do you help your neighbor and help them at the same time?
2) LUKE 10:30-37 (36) Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man…
You shall not commit adultery…murder…steal…covet…
Summed up in this saying, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. You don’t have to worry about keeping the 10 commandments if you are walking in love. It just happens.
2. THEY PUT SIN OUT OF THEIR LIVES (11) Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. (12) The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (13) Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife in jealousy.