So wake up

Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 03 Aug 2014

Rom 13:11-14
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Here we are commanded to act, because of what was mentioned before. What must we act upon?

Many things are implied, but let’s look at the verses that went before, from verse 8.

8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Woe if there’s anyone among us who doesn’t obey this word to turn from evil.

Do we understand that this is the hour we should wake up from our sleep? There are those who are fast asleep.

A certain man was driving at night and fell asleep behind the wheel. He decided to stop and sleep next to the road in his car. He opened the window a little for fresh air. All his money and earthly possessions were with him in the car. While he slept a thief opened the car and stole all his money. When he awoke he found that all his money was gone. He couldn’t travel further for he had no money left.

In like manner the devil gains the upperhand and robs us when we sleep.

Have you won a soul during the past week? Moody said that he won’t let the sun go down without speaking to someone about their soul. Are you concerned about those who go lost, or do you live for yourself?

Luther said the devil rejoice about those who are fast asleep. He once spoke about a meeting the devil had with his servants about what would be the best way to win the souls of men. At last they concluded the best weapon is to get people complacent and asleep.

Maybe you’re just busy with your own things. But God’s word commands you to awake from your sleep.

Do you have time for your child and look after their spiritual life? Maybe you even choose your child’s part when you’re told of their wrong, and in so doing you strengthen your child in its evil!

Every day we draw closer to the day we will meet up with the Lord, either through death or at the last trumpet.

You’ll remember with the ten virgins, five were wise and five foolish (Matthew 25:1-13). The foolish had no oil with them but didn’t even realise their predicament until it was too late, because they were sleeping. The oil is the Holy Spirit in you.

What causes spiritual sleepiness? It is sin. These sins mentioned in our text are the very things that will extinguish the flame of the Holy Spirit in you.

A certain minister once asked me if dogs will one day be judged. I answered that the Bible doesn’t speak about physical dogs being judged but spiritually those who live a dog’s life will be judged.

A certain girl listened to a minister when he preached and decided to ask him if he was saved. He answered, ‘yes I was saved the day I met Christ for the first time and I’m being saved continually as I surrender my life to Him daily and stay close to Him, and one day when the last trumpet sounds I will be totally saved’. This minister understood the mystery of salvation.

The whole creation groans and wait expectantly until that day when we will be changed into our glorified bodies and the whole creation will be redeemed (Rom 8:22).

We were saved when we met Christ but we’re also saved daily. We must be saved daily to the end of our lives and stay close to Christ or we will be lost eternally. If we give in to temptation and so depart from Christ we will be lost. We must remain in Christ and overcome daily (John 15).

The story is told of the son of great king, but the son was a drunkard and wore around with women. His father spoke to him often and asked him how he would be able to govern that great nation if he lived the life he was living. Time and again after his father had spoken to him he would ask for forgiveness but soon found himself in the company of his evil friends again and sinned with them, becoming drunk, using drugs and visiting prostitutes. One day his father gave him a proper hiding and again he asked for forgiveness. His father though the hiding had helped, but soon afterwards he went with his evil friends again. His father came to the end of himself. He went to two of his generals, poured a very expensive oil into a shell filled to the brim. He told the generals that his son would carry the shell with oil through the city to all those places where he took drugs with his evil friends and visited prostitutes. One general would walk on his right and one on his left and if one drop of oil should be spilled they must not spare him but cut off his head right away. It was a difficult task and they started off. Four hours later they returned and the generals reported that not a drop of the oil was lost.

The father then asked his son whether it wasn’t difficult to pass all those evil places. He said no, for his eyes were fixed on the oil. That day his son was saved and his kingdom was saved.

Likewise if our eyes are fixed on the Lord Jesus we will never fall even when we are tempted.

Don’t say once saved always saved, lest you become like the man who lived a sinful life and slept around with prostitutes, but said that he was saved, for it was only his body sinning and not his soul. Such are foolish people twisting the word of God.

We should be children of light living in His light, turning away from evil, putting on the Lord Jesus Christ daily and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.



German translation: