We have this Scripture in substance and different forms elsewhere, but in actual form here. Martin Luther used to say that there were certain Scriptures in the Bible which were little Bibles in themselves, and he illustrated it by quoting John 3:16. If that is a little Bible, then surely this Scripture is one, too, for the text is a sermon, and if you forget what I write I would like for you to remember the Scripture.
First of all we have the sinner described, secondly the sinner addressed and thirdly the sinner pointed to the Savior. Not only is the sinner described, but the backsliders who have gone back into sin, who have lost communion with God, who need to be called back by the Word by which they were first called out of darkness into light.
And the Apostle Paul writes that the life that life away from Christ, the life of the unbeliever, the life of worldliness, is described as a life of sleep. The person who is not converted, the soul here who is not walking in the light of God’s grace, is sound asleep. That is not very complimentary is it? But the Bible is always plain, that is why we don’t like it. This is a hard article, I know, but I stand on the Bible, and the Bible said it to me first. Not only does the Bible prove it, but experience as well; for plenty of people who were first ruffled and irritated by God’s Word found out that God loved them, and because of that love He dared to rebuke them and tell them the truth.
“Yes,” you say, “But I am not asleep, my friends would tell you I am very wide awake!” Yes, you may be in the affairs of the world. You would turn night into day and Sunday into Saturday if it got you more dollars. Yet, making that admission that you are keen in your business, that you have a great intellect, that you are a great thinker, and legitimately employ your time, still if you are not converted, if you do not know Christ, where have you been living for the past 10, 20, or 30 years? I would tell you to your face that you are like Rip Van Winkle. If you have not awakened to the knowledge of sin as a plague, a disease fastened to your vitals, if you have no knowledge of God, of the judgment, of heaven or hell, where are you but asleep? All around you are the tremendous realities of life, and they are unheard and unappreciated by yourself.
If you want to wake a person up, you can’t do it by whispering polite nothings. It was while I was growing up I had to do chores before even going to school, so my father would come in my room and in his morning voice push me and say time to get up.
I am saying these things because it is high time that we as a city need to wake up. If our city sags morally, it is because the devil has become the pied piper and lures our children off to do drugs, have premarital sex or some other god-forsaken thing. I say it is time to wake up and put the devil in the hospital and drag our children away from darkness and into the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. How are we to do this? I am not sure, but one thing I am sure of is to present the Gospel to each and every one that I come in contact with.