Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Alarm Clock is Ringing!

Meditation for the week of August 16, 2009

Romans 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.

Sleeping is a good thing unless you are sleeping when you should be awake.  When you get older, sometimes it is hard to fall asleep at night, and it is easy to fall asleep during the day.  Sleeping at the wrong time can be embarrassing so some of us have had sleep tests to see if we have sleep apnea.  I was told that I did not have it, but at times I am still embarrassed by falling asleep when I should be alert. 

Peter and I would have had a lot in common.  He often slept when he should have been awake.  In his case, he was probably really tired  because of the schedule he was keeping, but nevertheless, he slept while the Lord was being transfigured on the Mount.   In Luke 9:32 we read, “But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him.”  Can you imagine almost missing out on an event that is that momentous by sleeping?

He also slept while the Lord was agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane before His betrayal by Judas.  In Mark 14:37 we read, “Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?’”

Some of us may find that we are sleeping when the Lord returns.  We may be like the five wise virgins who slept beside the five foolish virgins and failed to warn the foolish ones to get prepared for the bridegroom’s return.  When He came, the opportunity to be a a part of the wedding was lost by the unprepared virgins. (See Matthew 25:1-13).  The chance to help the foolish virgins prepare was also lost by the wise virgins.   This allegory teaches us the truth of Romans 13:11.  Our verse was written in the first century after the Lord’s visit to this planet.  If there were those who were sleeping nineteen hundred years ago, would it not seem safe to assume that many who should be waiting and watching for the Lord’s return are sleeping and slumbering today?

This verse speaks of salvation.  Obviously, the same word does not always mean the same thing.   This verse is not speaking of salvation from the penalty of our sins but it is speaking of salvation from the presence of sin.  Salvation here is the salvation that we are going to enjoy at the coming of the Lord, not the salvation that we obtain when we first trust in the Lord.  I notice that those who are going to be saved didn’t always believe.   Believers may not remember the calendar day or the clock’s hour when they first believed, but they should remember what it was like to find out that they didn’t believe.  They should also remember the story and circumstances associated with coming to a settled confidence that Christ has indeed died to save them.   We need to remind people that it isn’t Biblical to say that we have “always” believed.  We need to warn them that they aren’t believers because their parents are believers.  We need to warn them that others can’t believe for them and that ceremonies and good works do not constitute faith in Christ. 

Sometimes I think that those of us who are saved have become so earthly minded that we are no heavenly good.    Some people think that we can be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.  I personally do not think that is possible.  However, I do think that while we are waiting for the Lord to return, we could be so tired out by our earthly endeavors that we fall asleep on our heavenly responsibilities.  As a result those that we contact day by day see us as not really expecting the return of the Lord that we preach. 

I know the Lord can get His work done without us, but most of us would rather He would get it done through us.  If He is going to use us in these last days before He returns,  we need to be waiting and watching instead of sleeping and slumbering.

Bruce Collins

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