Wakeup Call To The Church

Title: Wakeup Call To The Church

Bible Book: Romans 13 : 11-14

Author: David Cook

Subject: Church; Urgency in Church



A churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.

"I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This started a controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, which went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me those meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!

Rest assured, you are not wasting time this morning by coming to church this morning! However, the sad truth is many of God’s people are wasting precious time by sleeping through life rather than awakening to God’s will for their lives.

This morning, we are going to consider the foolishness of wasting time. Also, we will come to understand God’s urgent call to break free from spiritual darkness and be clothed with the armor of light. How can we do that? How can we awake from spiritual sleepiness? How can we awaken to live out the will of God? Let’s realize that…

I. Seriousness Of Wasting Time

A. Wasting Time Is Slothful

The sloth is a slow moving, tree climbing and dwelling mammal, that spends most of its time sleeping or eating. Most people average 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night, but the sloth averages 15 to 20 hours of sleep.

Sloths are so lazy they will simply stay in the same place hours on end or for days at a time. Because of its lifestyle, the sloth is known as the world’s laziest creature.

It’s not a compliment to be called a “sloth.” Wasting time is slothful.

B. Wasting Time Is Sinful

The Book of Proverbs has much to say about a slothful behavior and attitude. Being slothful in our approach to life is sinful.

Proverbs 6:9-11, “How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?” That’s a question many pastors ask their congregation during the sermon!

Proverbs 18:9, “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.”

Proverbs 24:30-34, “I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; It’s surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down.”

Making the most of life, relationships, employment, school, church, etc. requires great effort and commitment. Taking the path of lest resistance may be easy, but it is profitless.

Being slothful can cause employees to get fired from their jobs. Employers want to see their employees showing up on time, ready to give their best for each new day.

When I worked for JCPenney in Alexandria, LA, a young lady would show up for work late day after day. Because of her slothful attitude, she was fired.

Being slothful in relationships sometimes causes married couples to file for divorce. Being slothful in our exercise leads us to get flabby, out of shape, and can even lead to sickness or disease.
Wasting time is sinful.

C. Wasting Time Is Simple

Nobody I know constantly lives a perfect 24 hours and never wastes a second. Yet, have you ever noticed how easy it is to sit down, turn on the computer or TV and the next thing you know it’s 10 PM? Thirty minutes turned into three hours!

Case in point, my mom told me she was a little frustrated with dad recently. She said he’s been spending too much time on a new computer game my Aunt Linda gave him for Christmas! My dad is not a lazy man. He set a high work ethic standard and always seems to be starting a new project – but he’s really enjoying his new computer game!

There was a time when computer or video games were mainly for kids, but no longer. In a recent survey MacCentral that one-third of adults spend 10 or more per week playing computer games while 11% of teens played that same amount of time per week.

Young people, ages 13-24 average 17 hours a week online, excluding email and 14 hours per week watching TV. By the time teens finish high school, they will have watched 23,000 hours of TV!

In comparison, a high percentage of teens can’t find the time to worship God faithfully for even one hour per week. Wasting time is simple.

D. Wasting Time Is Serious

Did you know too much comfort can actually be hazardous to your health?

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley did an experiment some time ago that involved introducing an amoeba into a perfectly stress-free environment: ideal temperature, optimal concentration of moisture, constant food supply. The amoeba had an environment to which it had to make no adjustment whatsoever.

So you would guess this was one happy little amoeba. Yet, oddly enough, it died.

All living creatures, even amoebas, require challenge. Too much comfort, too little challenge will kill us. Wasting time is serious.

This last one is going to shock you. Listen.

E. Wasting Time Honors Satan

God is always at work, but don’t just think because God is at work, Satan is taking time off! In the parable of the wheat and tares from Matthew 13:24-25, Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.”

Listen to what Charles Spurgeon said about this text, “You may sleep, but you cannot induce the devil to close his eyes. Is it not a strange thing that the servants of the Lord often serve Him at a poor,   cold, dead-alive rate? Oh, may the Lord quicken us! If we could with a glance see the activities of the servants of Satan, we should be astonished at our own sluggishness.”

How do I wake up from spiritual slumber? How can I begin to take steps today to shake myself from spiritual lethargy? Let’s look at what Paul says to some sleeping saints in Romans 13:11-14. First of all…

II. Solution To Wasting Time

A. Get Up!

Romans 13 is a great chapter in the Bible. It talks of our Christian duty to government, our Christian duty to walk in love toward everyone, and our Christian duty to fully live for the Lord Jesus Christ.

The picture he paints is that “now” is the time to do this. This is no time to be “sleeping in” as follower of Jesus Christ. We have meaningful service for our Savior to do! People are in spiritual darkness and we have the light of the gospel to share with them! We have a mission from our Lord to fulfill!

Get up! The alarm clock is sounding! Get out from under the covers! Now is the time to be a fully devoted follower of our Lord!

In Romans 13:11, the Apostle Paul says, “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. (12a) The night is far spent, the day is at hand.”

The NLT says, “Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is
 almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here.” Romans 13:11-12a

What were you urgent about this week? What were you primarily motivated by? What got your blood pumping? Would you have acted any different had you known you would have seen your Lord at the end of the day?

If Paul were to speak to us today, he might say, “Live each day doing your best to make every minute count.” When you have an opportunity to reach out to someone, to minister to someone, to do good to someone, to share Christ with someone, do it! Seize the moment.

In light of eternity. In light of the fact that each day brings us closer to the return of Christ; In light of the fact that people need your love, Get up!

B. Give Up!

“…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 lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.” Romans 13:12b-13

In light of the Lord’s coming, is there a “secret sin” that needs to be confessed and forsaken? Is there an immoral attitude you are tolerating, yet you know it dishonors God? By the grace of God give it up and cast it off today!

Jonathan Edwards was a famous preacher in the 1700’s. His goal in life was to live so faithfully each day for the glory of God. His urgency in this quest led him to write down a list of resolutions. Among the many he made, here are a selected few:

  • Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration.
  • Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.
  • Resolved, To maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.
  • Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can. Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
  • Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better.
  • Resolved, Never hence-forward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's.

Here is a man who knew that the goal of the Christian life is not to see how much sin he could get away with, rather, how much glory can God get out of my life.

Many Christians know that God would not have them participating in sexual sin, wild parties, drunkenness. These are horrible sins and should be given up, especially by God’s saints. But notice what else made the list. Paul mentions “strife” and “envy.”

There are some sins we feel are particularly condemned by God. We look down at those who are caught sinning in one of these “major sins.” Yet, I haven’t heard of too many church break ups caused by excessive partying and offensive behavior.

However, what causes God’s people trouble are these sinful attitudes of “strife” and “envy.” In God’s eyes, these are not minor sins, but major sins!

“Strife” means causing discord or contention in the body of Christ.

“Envy” means I don’t like it when others are doing well. I am jealous. It’s a feeling of displeasure at someone’s success.

The goal of our church is to honor our Lord Jesus Christ by loving one another and demonstrating that love to the community. We are to love one another and love the lost that Jesus died to save. In fact, if we focus the majority of our time on loving God, loving one another and loving the lost, that is a great use of the precious time we have! Time is too short to waste on sinful attitudes!

By the way, what breaks a church down quicker than anything are contentious relationships. Relationships that are not full of God’s love, rather they are fueled by the Devil’s tools of strife and envy.

Take a personal inventory. Are you breaking the church down or building the church up in love? I am confident you desire to build up the church in love. It’s evident in a greater way week by week!

We all struggle from time to time with sinful attitudes. In light of the time, is there anything you need to ask God to help you give up? Get up! Give up!

C. Gear Up!

Are you awake? Get up! Give up! Then, gear up! How can we gear up daily to walk with the Lord Jesus Christ? It’s not as hard as you think it might be. In fact, it’s as simple as putting on your clothes.

When you wake up in the morning, you take off the nighttime clothes and you put on daytime clothes. I would look awfully silly up here this morning had I been preaching in boxers and a white T-shirt!

You know what’s even sillier than that? Being a Christian, but not living like a Christian! The wardrobe of the Christian is Christ!

On being clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ, Ray Steadman says, “When I get up in the morning I put on my clothes, intending them to be a part of me all day, to go where I go and do what I do. They  cover me and make me presentable to others. That is the purpose of clothes. In the same way, the apostle is saying to us, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ when you get up in the morning. Make him a part of your life that day. Intend that he go with you wherever you go, and that he act through you in everything you do. Call upon His resources. Live your life In Christ.”


It’s time to wake up and live for Jesus and let Jesus live through you! Let Jesus be Lord and in first place of your life this week!

Wasting time is slothful, sinful, simple and serious. Heed the call to get up, give up, and gear up! Get up now and follow the Lord!

Do you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? Are you fully devoted to living for Him! Do it today! The night is almost over and the day of his appearing is drawing nigh?

Posted in


Scroll to Top