Friday, September 7, 2012

Falling Asleep in Church May Be a Symptom

Last week in church, the elderly woman sitting next to me was fast asleep—her head resting on her chest. When I worked for the government, we had lots of meetings. My boss always fell asleep—he blamed it on narcolepsy!  But seriously, falling asleep in meetings (or church) is easy to do.

On the most important night of Jesus’ life, he asked the Disciples to stay awake and pray with him (Matt. 26:41). But they all fell asleep. Earlier, when Jesus spoke of the final hours before His return, he used similar language, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen” (Luke 21:36). Through John, he warned, “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake.” (Rev. 16:15). Paul issued a similar warning: “Time is running out; wake up…let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.” (Romans 13:11; 1 Thess. 5:6).

What does this mean for us? When people are asleep they are in the dark; they are insensitive to danger and what is going on around them; they are, basically, unconscious. Even so, the Christian who is asleep has no sense of danger, cannot discern the times, and cannot hear God—as though he is spiritually dead. Thus Paul says, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Eph 5:14). At this time in history, we must be alert.  It would be far too easy to fall asleep.

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