Summary: Sometimes people are so content they get into a spiritual rut where nothing ever changes. Part of the problem is with us preachers. There is so much Sermonic Sominex dispensed in churches today, it lulls people to sleep.
Open your Bibles, please, to Romans 13, verse 11. Today I want to talk to you about “Wake Up and Get Dressed!” So you won’t have to keep looking at your watch, I’m putting a clock up here for you.
I know for some of you, when you come to church and the preacher stands up to talk, it is your cue to go to sleep. You might want to hear this story before that happens. I heard about a guy who went to sleep every time the preacher preached. One day the preacher got tired of it so he decided he would play a trick on him. Halfway through his sermon, he stopped and said in a very soft voice, he said, “Everybody who would like to go to heaven when you die, stand up.” Everybody in the church stood up except for that one guy who was back there sound asleep. The pastor said, “You may be seated.” Then he said in a very loud voice, “Now everybody who wants to go to hell when you die, stand up!” That guy jumped to his feet. He looked around, and didn’t know what to say, but he looked at the preacher and said, “I don’t know what we’re voting on preacher, but you and me are the only ones for it.”
I’m not talking about real slumber, of course. Today we’re going to be talking about waking up from spiritual slumber, and hearing God’s alarm to wake up. I want us to begin reading in verse 11 of Romans 13. Paul has just been telling us how to live, how to behave. “Don’t owe any man except love. Love covers all the commandments.” Then he says, “There’s a sense of urgency to do all this.”
Verse 11. “And do this, understanding the present time.” What time is it? That’s what we’re going to talk about. “The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, (and then he lists some things here that you shouldn’t be a part of) not in orgies, and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ (one of the few times we find all three titles, Lord Jesus Christ) and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
I. WAKE UP FROM SPIRITUAL APATHY!
Today as we talk about what this passage is trying to teach us, let’s learn the four things it tells us to do. Number one, we are to wake up from spiritual apathy. Wake up. There’s God’s alarm clock. Do you hear it? God is saying, “It is no longer time to sleep, it’s time for you to wake up.” Now I don’t know how you wake up every morning, but I am one of those people who jumps up out of bed. I don’t use an alarm. I wake, wide awake; ready to go. It drives my wife crazy. There are some people who don’t wake up that quickly. There may be some in this room who use the snooze button. I’m of the opinion that whoever invented it is of the devil. Some lazy guy who wanted to keep rolling over and over again invented the snooze button. I know some people who set their alarm an hour and a half before they get up. When it goes off, they hit the snooze; it goes off, they hit the snooze. The sad thing is, when God calls us to wake up spiritually, you hear a call, a wake up call like I’m giving you this morning you might try to do the same thing in church. You might stir for just a moment, but you reach over and you punch the spiritual snooze button and said, “It’s okay. I’ll stay spiritually asleep.”
What does it mean to be spiritually asleep? What does it mean to have apathy? Let me read you the dictionary definition of sleep. Then we’ll apply it spiritually. This is what sleep is according to the dictionary. It is “a state of inactivity with a loss of consciousness and a decrease in responsiveness to the events taking place around you.” In other words, when you’re asleep, obviously you are sort of unconscious. You don’t know what’s going on around you. The truth is, there are a lot of you in this building today, you’re sitting here, your eyes are open, at least most of you, you are watching me, listening to me, but you are spiritually asleep. In other words, you are not sensitive to what is going on around you spiritually.