2004-06-14 - The Sleeping Christian
Mark 13:35,36 "Therefore, be on the alert. For you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening at midnight, at cockcrowing, or in the morning -- lest he come suddenly and find you asleep."
It is rare that I quote at length from something, but some things are worth quoting. I felt this was the case with the quote below from Charles Haddon Spurgen, on the sleeping Christian. We are all asleep to some extent, but this quote seems to paint well the picture of someone who is sleepwalking through the Christian life. We can, at any time, resolve to do better, and I hope the quote below will spur you on to seek more diligence in your walk with Christ. We don't need New Year's Day to start resolutions. June 14 is just as good a day to resolve to seek more faithfulness. Please don't take this as an accusation against you, but rather as an observation of the church in general. I know as I look around the church, I see those who seem quite content to slumber on through life. I hope that if you see yourself, or some of yourself, in this quote, that you will be motivated to, "Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you," Ephesians 5:14
"Christian, behold your condition. Have you not sometimes been brought into a condition of insensibility? You wished you could feel; but all you felt was pain because you could not feel. You wished you could pray. It was not that you felt prayerless, but it was because you did not feel at all. You sighed once; you would give a world if you could sigh now. You used to groan once; a groan now would be worth a golden star if you could buy it. As for songs, you can sing them, but then your heart does not go with them. You go to the house of God; but when 'the multitude that keep holy day' in the full tide of song send their music up to heaven, you hear it, but your heart does not leap at the sound.
"Prayer goeth solemnly like the evening sacrifice up to God's throne; once you could pray too; but now, while your body is in the house of God, your heart is not there. You feel you have brought the chrysalis of your being; but the fly is gone away from it; it is a dead, lifeless case. You have become like a formalist; you feel that there is not that savor, that unction, in the preaching, that there used to be. There is no difference in your minister, you know; the change is in yourself. The hymns and the prayers are just the same, but you have fallen into a state of slumber.
"Once if you thought of a man's being damned, you would weep your very soul out in tears; but now you could sit at the very brink of hell, and hear its wailing's unmoved. Once the thought of restoring a sinner from the error of his ways would have made you start from your bed at midnight, and you would have rushed through the cold air to help to rescue a sinner from his sins. Now, talk to you about perishing multitudes, and you hear it as an old, old tale. Tell you of thousands swept by the mighty flood of sin onwards to the precipice of destruction, you express your regret, you give your contribution, but your heart goeth not with it. You must confess that you are insensible -- not entirely, but too much so. You want to be awake, but you groan because you feel yourselves to be in the state of slumber."
As mentioned above, any one of us, at any time, can resolve to awake and seek to put an end to our sleeping slumber. "Blessed is the one who stays awake," Revelation 16:15.
Soli Deo Gloria,