Stop Hitting the Snooze Alarm
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Ro 13:11 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.
 12 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.
 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

 Ro 13:11 And do this, (in addition to all the admonitions of chapters 12 and 13 which we would do well to review here, namely to:
 present ourselves living sacrifices daily to the Lord,
to not think more highly of ourselves than we ought,
to plug our gifts into the local congregation,
to love without hypocrisy,
to distribute to the needs of the saints,
be given to hospitality, (then outside the confines of the congregation we are to...)
bless and love our persecutors and our enemies,
repay no one with evil, overcome evil with good,
be subject to civil government, pay our taxes,
and owe no one anything but love.

In addition to all that stuff we are now told to:
cast off the works of darkness Put on the armor of light
Live properly Put on the Lord Jesus Christ And make no provision for the flesh.

Why are we to do these things?

“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.  12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand.

All Christians must know the time. We must know that the table has been set. Everything is ready for our Lord’s return. It has been so since the day of Paul and it remains so today.

At this point I could go off on our present age and plainly show you that the end is near. Well meaning people have been doing that very same thing since the time of Paul. Jesus spoke of the end in Matt 24. He spoke of wars, and earthquakes, and famines and diseases and we could make a big deal about these things because they seem to be increasing.

But the truth is the world has always experienced these things. Why should we think that our avian flu (which is now reported to have broken out in India and France) is a better sign of the end than the Black Plague? Or Polio? Or Tuberculosis?

Jesus spoke of the rise of many false teachings that will deceive many, but again, why should we think that the Mormons, or the Jehovah Witnesses, or the House of Yahweh, or the liberal churches who do not teach the inerrancy of Scripture  are better indicators of the Last Days than  the gnostics or stoics, or Judaizers of the days of the early church?

Jesus said lawlessness will abound and the love of many will grow cold. Do you think that our present day United States has cornered the market on lawlessness and cold-heartedness? It’s always been around.

Jesus said that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Ahhh now we’re talking. Modern technology and knowledge of the world we live in has made this preaching of the gospel a pretty much done deal. There may be a lost tribe or two that we aren’t aware of, but for the most part, the gospel has been preached to all nations.

As your pastor and caretaker of this little flock, I must warn you to be careful with all the “end times” garbage” that is out there. And that’s what most of it is.....pure slickly packaged garbage. And people spend all their time sifting through it, trying to find THE END, and they miss what really matters. Being awake and at it when He returns.

Here’s what Jesus had to say about His return: “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:42.......End of argument. Watch! Be awake!
Knowing that the Lord could come back at any minute, and knowing that if we die before He comes, the condition of our faith at the time of our death will determine our fate, this is “knowing the time.” This is the impetus for remaining awake in our faith.  God knows our hearts, he knows those who belong to Him.  

 Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
Luke 12:20, “But God said to him, you fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided.”

Should He return before we die....the criteria is the same. Do you have faith? Will Jesus say that He knows you when you claim to be with Him, or will He say, “Depart from Me for I never knew you.”    Lu 18:8 when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"

Knowing the time as you now do, it is high time for you to awaken out of your sleep. It’s time for you to stop hitting the snooze button. Stop lounging around St. Mattress. You and I need to be about our Father’s business!

One thing you’d have to agree with, your salvation, (the second coming of Christ and eternal bliss) are a lot closer than when you were first baptized! This should give some earnestness to your Christian walk, there ought to be some bounce in your step! Jesus is coming! And if I am spiritually awake when He returns, oh what a great salvation awaits me. Don’t be hitting the snooze alarm.

The night is far spent, (When one considers that in the Lord’s economy, a day is like a thousand years we realize that Satan’s run is nearly over. Which means Judgement Day is not far away)

“Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness,”

The works of darkness are sins. And every work of darkness in our lives is a hindrance to our growth and an obstacle to unbelievers.  

Knowing the times, knowing that our Lord could return at any moment, knowing the terrors of hell, why in the world would we choose to hit the snooze alarm and remain apathetic concerning our spiritual activity?

Why would we choose to continue in sinful behaviors and attitudes, putting our own salvation at risk and putting obstacles in front of  unbelievers?

Don’t you know that we are not to even give the appearance of evil to others.  1Th 5:22 Abstain from every appearance of evil. Let that sink in for a while! You are living under the microscope of the unbeliever, do not give him cause to blaspheme the name of God.

It’s not, “I don’t care what others think God knows my heart!” Well He also knows the heart of the unbeliever and you aren’t helping it as you continue giving the appearance of living in sin. This is about God’s will, not yours.

When David committed adultery with Bathsheeba, got her pregnant, and then arranged for her husband to be killed on the battlefield, the prophet Nathan confronted him and his sin and said,  2Sa 12:14 “because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme,”

The people’s tongues were wagging, they knew what David was up to, and his actions caused people to blaspheme God. What are your actions causing others to say about God? Yes, even the appearance of your actions. What are people saying about your situation? How does it appear to them?  “Abstain from every appearance of evil!”

Are you a stumbling stone to unbelievers or a stepping stone?

Awaken from your spiritual apathy! Stop being a “going through the motions” Christian. Luther, commenting on this passage said, “Christians who are sluggish in good works and overcome by the feeling of security, are falling asleep.”

What we’re talking about here is sanctification. Don’t stop with your justification, move on with your sanctification, or there won’t be any salvation for you! Jesus says He will spew out the lukewarm. James says, faith without works is dead! Again Luther says, “to stand still on God’s way means to go back.”  

You haven’t arrived! Neither have I. That’s why I must daily turn off my spiritual snooze alarm and renounce the sin to which I am continually tempted. I must daily call to mind God and His will, and I must be ever vigilant for the sin that so easily seeks to entangle me.

I must cast off the works of darkness, and I do this by daily confessing my sins.....
“and let us put on the armor of light.”

Armor is used for protection. And the best protection that I can have from spiritual slumber is an active time of daily examination by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. By allowing God to show me my sins on a regular basis. I can have their darkness removed and replaced with His light. This is the key to true Christian victory and joy!

 1Jo 1:4 And we write these things to you so that your joy may be full.
 5 And this is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.
 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, (unconfessed sin) we lie and do not practice the truth.
 7 But if we walk in the light, (of confession and forgiveness) as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, (if we don’t let God’s Word speak to us about our sin, if we are too lazy to slow down and sit quietly before Him, if we blow off His correction)  and the truth is not in us.

The truth is not in us. This confession of sin, removal of darkness, is more important than you think.  Pilate interrogating Jesus and he says, “Are You a king then?” And Jesus replied, yes I am and I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth. “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

So what can we say if the truth is not in us? What can we say if we refuse to spend time allowing God to show us our sins, we can only say that the truth is not in us and we are outside the kingdom. But, John continues:

  9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

This idea of daily repentance and confession really needs to get settled in all of our hearts! Sometimes I think that our order of worship even lends itself to the problem. We have this “general or generic confession” that becomes rote. People think it’s good enough, and they leave their confession at that. We forget that our God is a personal God.

A God who cares about each one of us as individuals and it is His desire to set us free from sin and so He challenges us to “cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.

Having cast off the works of darkness by confession and now walking in the armor of light, then.......we are ready for the day. And the challenge is to walk properly.

13 Let us walk properly, as in the day (just as a side note here, Augustine was converted to Christianity by this simple verse. Likely because his lifestyle before conversion mirrored the sins spoken of here.) These were common sins of his time.

Oh that we would see more true conversions with such a simple Word from the Lord!  

But the idea of walking properly is to walk gracefully, like a fashion model who is trained to walk with a book on her head.) We are not to be living our lives as Christians by stumbling around in the dark. Knocking over everything in sight with careless living.
 Be graceful, not disgraceful.

Ps 96:9 says, “Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!”

“not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

It’s interesting that only these three twins are mentioned. There certainly are more that the Christian needs to be aware of. Most likely these sins were most common in Rome at the time of this writing.

As we have seen, they were common in Augustine’s day and if we were to be honest very common in our day as well. These three sets of twins belong together.

Young people listen here. It is a truth that you need to be aware of as you enter your high school and college years, and still another reason to choose Bible school before you go off to college.  Wild parties and drunkenness open the door to sexual promiscuity, lewd behavior, unbridled lust, and fisticuffs.

Anyone who has been in the party scene can attest, that all of these behaviors will show up at a drinking party sooner or later. But Christians are not to be party animals. “Toga! Toga! Toga! is not an acceptable Christian activity.

When your friends chide you into coming along for the party, flee from them! Make tracks! For you are inviting great sorrow into your life and causing the name of the Lord to be blasphemed.

Instead of putting on the toga,

14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

The idea of “putting on” here is to sink into clothing. I’m not sure what that looks like, but to sink into something is to immerse yourself in it. Immerse yourself in Jesus. This is your sure defense.

Start your day with prayer! Immerse yourself in your great salvation paid for on Calvary by Jesus. Spend time in His Word, allow it to get into you, allow it to speak to you to mold your attitudes and behaviors. To enable you to walk gracefully in the day ahead.  

Make no provision for the flesh to fulfill it’s lusts. When you buy a pornographic magazine, or rent an adult movie or go to the wrong sites on the are make provision, you are accommodating your flesh, giving it opportunity to act on it’s lusts.

When you make it a point to drive by your favorite bar, just to see who’s there, you are making provision for the flesh. When you change your route home to go by the beer depot, you are making provision for the flesh.

When you’re struggling with eating too much, spending too much, gossiping too much, and anything else too much, take the time to observe your habits and see how often you make provision for the flesh, how often you set yourself up for failure!

Aren’t you a bit tired of that? Aren’t you fed up with all your defeats in these areas? Then grab onto this promise in Scripture.  And that’s what I believe, I believe this is a promise from God. If you will only sink into Christ, you will not give in to the lusts of the flesh.

“put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

When we put on Christ (and keep Him on) no provision will be made for the flesh. Simply because Christ never made provision for His flesh. Galatians 5:16 says, “I say then, walk in the Spirit (put on Christ) and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh!

Wake up Christian. Shut off the snooze alarm! Remove your coat of darkness and slip into the armor of light! Immerse yourself in Christ. Sink into His Word. Read it’s admonitions, trust it’s promises, obey it’s commands.

 Make provision for Him, sink into Him and when you check the cupboard of your soul for provisions of the flesh, the cupboard will be empty of the lusts of the flesh, and filled with the fruit of the Spirit.