The Dangers of a Drowsy Church
Proposition: As members the body of Jesus Christ we must display the qualities of this truth in our every day lives. When we as the Church fail to conduct ourselves as the Church then the world suffers. When we as the Church live appropriately then all the families of the earth are blessed.
I. Our Identity Defined
A. Explanation of who we are.
Paul starts by letting the church at Thessalonica know that Christians are the sons of light and sons of the day.
The traditional King James Version (KJV) differs from the New King James Version in this verse (NKJV). The traditional describes us as the children of light and the children of day.
The reason for this difference is due the way in which this verse is translated. The NKJV translates this verse literally, and the KJV translates with the literal context taken into consideration. The literal rendering of the text is “Sons”, but the audience is both male and female. The KJV considers this and translates “Sons” as “Children”.
The phrase “son of” or “sons of” has an interesting meaning, and in most languages it is almost impossible to translate the exact meaning. This phrase means more than simply being a son of or a child of someone. The connotation has more to do with characterization instead of ancestry.
Some other examples may shed light on this point. Jesus is called the Son of man. He is also called the Son of God. James and John are called the sons of thunder. Paul called a sorcerer a “son of the devil”. In these examples ancestry is not what is meant. The idea conveyed is each person’s character, personality, or make-up.
Sons of light / Sons of the day.
This designation is similar to a title for the Christian. When we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we respond to the word of God. In order to respond to the word of God we must first understand the message contained in His word. The sons of light should refer to those who have responded to the light of God.
This light is the same light that John the Baptist came to bear witness of. The Bible tells us that John was not the Light, but was sent to bear witness of this light so that all could believe.
We as Christians should have seen this light. We should have received this light. We should be walking in this light.
B. Contrasted with what we should not be.
There is another group of people in our text. This other group is of the darkness and night.
We are contrasted to the darkness and the night, since we are of the light and day.
We are also told by John that the darkness did not comprehend the light, even though the light shined into the darkness.
C. "Drowsy" Christian.
We do not mean the one who still is in darkness. John tells if we walk in darkness then we cannot have fellowship with the light.
A drowsy Christian is one who tries to conduct himself as if he is still in darkness while standing in the midst of light. We are supposed to sleep at night. When daylight arrives then we should wake and be alert of our surroundings. The actions of night time are not appropriate for the daytime. If we still crave sleep during the day, then we are drowsy.
Paul warns us of being drowsy Christians. He tells us that since we are not of the night nor of darkness then we need not act as if we still are. If the light of God has shined into your heart, then stop trying to live life as if you are still in darkness.
The actions of darkness are those actions in which we conducted ourselves before we knew Jesus in the pardon of our sins.
II. Why a Drowsy Church is Dangerous
When someone is drowsy they can be a danger to themselves or others around them.
A. Emotions are erratic
When one is drowsy then their emotions can be very unstable. Usually people get extremely irritable when they get drowsy. The littlest frustration can set them into an angered frenzy.
When the church is drowsy we get our emotion stirred up over trivial matters.
We are like Martha. Martha appealed to Jesus to make Mary get up and help with the work. Jesus told Martha that she was worried and troubled by many things, but the one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.
When the church is drowsy we may spend time fighting over small matters, while more pressing issues need our attention.
B. Judgment is impaired
It's hard to concentrate and process information when one is drowsy. When one is drowsy It's hard to see the rightness and wrongness of actions.
We are called to judge ourselves. When we are unable or unwilling to examine our lives and make proper judgment calls we force God to chastise us. This could be the reason that many are weak among us and many sleep.
C. Response times are slow
There is need for the church to respond to situations in the community, in the church, or to the needs of the membership. When the church is drowsy then the response times are considerably longer. Sometimes the response times are to slow to help or save.
III. Dealing with Drowsiness
A. Get some rest
The only true way to deal with drowsiness is to get some rest. There is a difference between going to sleep and getting some rest.
We must rest in the yoke of Jesus
To get some rest we must rest in the right place. We have tried to sleep in some of the strangest places. I've seen men try to get some sleep in noisy factories while on a lunch break. I've seen folk try to get some sleep in a so called "rest area". I even heard of men trying to get some sleep in bed rooms not belonging to their wives.
These all may get some sleep and maybe a little rest, but I know a place to get some good rest.
Jesus once said "come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." He not only offered rest for our tired bodies and strained emotions. Jesus offers rest for our souls. In the arms of Jesus there is rest.
We must walk in the Spirit
If we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. I we have fellowship with the Light He is in the Light and the Blood of Jesus cleanse us from all unrighteousness.