Romans 13:11-14, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
The fact that many within the house of God continue to slumber is not new information, or breaking news. Although some continue to stand against the lethargy that has swept through every denomination, in every nation on every continent, most have given in, they’ve acquiesced, and found a comfortable place to sleep to their heart’s content.
As Paul encourages the church in Rome, and also the church in Thessalonica it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now our salvations is nearer than when we first believed. There is a component to being awakened that many choose to disregard, that if we do not awake, if we do not shake off the lethargy, if we do not wipe the sleep from our eyes and get about our labors, the day is coming when God Himself will awaken us. When God in His righteousness is moved to awaken His people, it will not be in a gingerly manner, or in a soothing tone, but with the sound of a trumpet, with lightning and thunder and great fury that are more likely to scare us into wakefulness, than delicately stir us from our sleep.
So why is it that we should awake out of our sleep? Why ought we to realize that it is high time we were once more vibrant and animated, fully awake, and about the Kingdom’s business?
The first reason we should awake out of our sleep is because Jesus is coming!
‘But brother Mike Jesus has been coming now for two thousand years, and every generation thinks it will be the generation that will see His return. It’s like the boy who cried wolf over and over again; eventually you learn to not pay him any mind.’
If not for the signs that are all around us, I would tend to agree. If however, we are wise in discerning the times, if however we are wise in seeing current events through the prism of the prophetic, we would come to the staggering conclusion that not only is the return of Christ Jesus imminent, it is nearer than we first believed.
The second reason we should awake out of our sleep is because Satan is at work.
Although we might not be laboring as intensely as we ought, I guarantee you the enemy is. He is focused, committed, unwavering, and never asleep. His desire is to keep us from the full knowledge of God, to keep us in a state of lethargy that does nothing to preach the gospel of Christ to the masses, that does nothing to show the love of Christ in action, but that feels justified in its indifference because well, those that are ‘supposed to get saved’, will get saved regardless, so why bother? If it were that simple, then Jesus would have never commanded His disciples to go and preach the gospel, nor would He have mandated us to do likewise. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God! If no one speaks that others hear, how can faith ever come?
Because we desire the least amount of responsibility possible, because we brush off any command that would require us to exert ourselves, we come up with pseudo doctrines that justify our complacency and indifference.
‘God will reach them somehow.’ But what if God had chosen to reach them through you?
We fill our lives with distractions, we are always busy doing nothing, all the while forgetting that Satan is at work, and tirelessly so, his objective being to keep you from praying, to keep you from reading the Word, to keep you from desiring more of God, and to keep you from experiencing more of His Holy Spirit.
If Sampson lost his strength because he slept in Delilah’s lap, today much of the church has lost its strength because it chose to sleep in Satan’s lap. We’ve calmed our jangling nerves by constantly telling ourselves that God is too loving, too merciful, and too good to leave anyone out of heaven, that eventually we’ll all get a pass, and rejoice for all eternity, but I submit to you that God is too just not to leave a great many individuals who call themselves believers today on the outside looking in. God will not fill heaven with the disobedient. God will not fill heaven with those who refuse to awaken from their sleep.
The church has lost its power, the church has lost its discernment, the church has lost its moral compass, and what’s worse is that these things are not missed. We’ve learned to do without the guidance of God; we’ve learned to do without the unction of the Holy Spirit, and hell rejoices.
‘We’ve got good programs, and our music minister is entertaining, and our pastor can tell a joke like nobody’s business, so we’re okay; big wheels keep on spinning, tithe money keeps on flowing, we must be doing something right.’
The third reason we should awake out of our sleep is because the world is lost.
We live in a world that seems to be doing everything it can to accelerate the speed at which it is barreling towards hell. There are some who have questions, but even when they do it seems the church is too timid to give a straightforward answer because it might seem unkind or unloving, and we’re all about tolerance rather than truth nowadays. Rather than messengers or mouthpieces of God we can more readily be likened to politicians running for office telling people what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear.
If only the reality of hell would be ever present at the forefront of our minds, if only the reality of Christ hanging upon a cross and shedding His blood for mankind would be ever present at the forefront of our minds, if only the reality of the great commission to go into the world and preach the gospel would be ever present at the forefront of our minds, perhaps we would not be so timid, perhaps we would not be so fearful, perhaps we would not be so set on sparing people’s feelings while they march towards destruction, but rather we would be bold, and courageous and forthright, preaching a risen Jesus, and the consequences of rejecting Him.
It is high time to awake out of our sleep; it is high time to cast off the works of darkness; it is high time to put on the armor of light; it is high time to walk properly as in the day; it is high time to put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.