Summary: A sermon on Romans 13:11-14 (HoHum from Sermons4Kids at: http://www.sermons4kids.com/snooze.html; Outline and material adapted from David Jeremiah's book, "Living With Confidence in a Chaotic World", chapter 10 "Stay Convinced")
Have children come up front for children’s minute. Need: An alarm clock with a "snooze" button Do you use an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning? A lot of alarm clocks have a button on them called a snooze alarm. When your alarm goes off, you can hit that button and go back to sleep. In about ten minutes, the alarm will go off again. You can just keep on doing this and go right on sleeping. There are two problems with snooze alarms. The first is that if you keep on hitting the snooze alarm, you may be late or miss out on something completely.
The second problem is that if you keep hitting the snooze alarm, you may get so used to the sound of the alarm that you don’t even hear it at all and you will sleep right through the alarm. Did you know that God sometimes sounds an alarm in our lives? He says, "It is time to wake up. It is time to follow me." Some people just hit the snooze button and say, "Not now Lord, call me again a little bit later." Some people hit that "snooze button" so many times that they get to where they don’t even hear God’s voice. Then one morning they wake up and find out that it is too late, they have missed out on God’s call.
Vance Havner- The devil has chloroformed the atmosphere of this age. We need to take down our “do not disturb” signs, snap out of our stupor, come out of our coma, and awake from our apathy.
A.W. Tozer- What is the present condition of the church? The bulk of Christians are asleep. God’s alarm has been going off for years. Are we listening? Let’s wake up- you and me.
Thesis: Romans 13:11-14 offers 4 prods to urge us to not hit the “snooze” button
We are to watch vigilantly (Romans 13:11)
Paul is not talking about actual time like this is July 21, 2013 at about 11:10 am. No, he is talking about a season of time- This present time.
We need to understand the present time like the men of Issachar “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” 1 Chronicles 12:32, NIV. Need to understand that this present time is the age of salvation, the age of grace through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This age or season began with the church in Acts 2 and will not end until Jesus Christ comes again.
Part of wisdom is to understand that our time is short. Some of us have financial planners to help us prepare for the future and manage our money in a way that will provide for ourselves and glorify God through our giving. It is always wise to factor the future into our plans. So many people live hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck and this is not good. We need to understand that all the signs are there for the return of Christ and we need to be on red alert. We must increase our watchfulness.
“You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” Matthew 16:3, NIV. We watch for rain or for the sun, but not for spiritual signals. Today’s technology lets us have 7 day weather forecasts with reasonable accuracy. Doctors can predict that certain diseases may occur, even before they are detected. All the while we are remarkably blind to the signs of this present age. We are hypnotized by the rhythm of life and culture, as if this moment has no bearing on eternity.
Some even laugh at those who warn us of the return of Jesus Christ. “First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”” 2 Peter 3:3, 4, NIV.
““Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:26, 27, NIV.
“our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed”. I thought we were already saved. From our perspective, salvation has three dimensions or tenses.
Past salvation is the moment when we said yes to Christ (believe, repent, confess, be baptized), sins washed by the blood of Christ, sealed by HS, our debt is declared paid in full.
Present salvation is the ongoing growth process called sanctification. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1, 2, NIV.