Sabbath 3/21/15 Daytona SDB Church Pastor Wray sermon “O Sleeper Arise”

Mar 2, 2014
Daytona Beach, FL
Sabbath 3/21/15 Daytona SDB Church Pastor Wray sermon “O Sleeper Arise” Jonah 1:6

A storm is breaking up the ship that Jonah is using to run away from God. The ship crew men are calling upon their pagan gods to save them from the storm. In verse six, the ship master went to Jonah and woke him up asking why he was sleeping instead of praying to his God for help. He says to Jonah “O sleeper arise and call upon thy God to think on us so we perish not”. The ship is rocking on the sea and the crew men are frightened while Jonah is sleeping in the hull. One thought I have is, does the lost world of today have the right to ask the same question of us Christians today. “What meaneth thou O sleeper? Arise and call upon your God so we perish not”

Of all the men on the ship, Jonah should have been the one who was most awake. But he was fast asleep even though the wind was howling and the sailors were screaming. We can see in Jonah’s case the deadly effects of sin on the life of a believer. Jonah’s sin was disobedience. Disobedience was his problem. Sin made him numb to the present need of those who were around him. The question is whether Jonah ever slept as soundly as he did on the boat to Tarshish. It is reasonably easy to stay awake spiritually when you are surrounded by God’s people doing all the right things. But it is hard, very hard to resist sleeping and the deadly influences of the world around you when you exist in a purely secular society. For our society today, “Plenty” is a “Pillow” which has cradled many of us into a “Spiritual Doze”. The materialistic comforts that most of us live in today and the lack of personal needs in our homes has turned much of the American church into a sleeping giant.

We, the Church, are fast asleep when we consider the world’s needs around us. It is no surprise that when we pamper the flesh, the body will fall asleep. I was in the military for eight years and the military only has showers. I am not accustomed to bathtubs but take showers. My wife loves baths and we have a big bathtub. One day I decided to sit in the tub so I filled it to the top. I sunk down into the warm water and the warmer I got, the more relaxed I got. The more relaxed I got, the more slumped down I got. The next thing I knew, my nose was under the water! Rude Awakening! The soothing bath makes us want to fall asleep. You cannot be soft in the flesh and expect your spirit to be sharp! It is not just the church or a believer’s fault but it is Satan’s fault too. Satan is trying to hypnotize the church to the needs of the world. Satan is directing behind the scenes and he knows a Christian will not thrive if he is asleep to the awful needs of the world. If Satan can lull God’s watchmen asleep, he will take the city with ease.

This morning I ask you, does the lost world have the right to ask the same question of us Christians? “What meaneth thou O sleeper? Arise and call upon thy God if so be that God will think upon us and we perish not.” The fact is that the Devil cannot send us to Hell. I see some heads nodding and some eyes getting big. If God does not want you to go to Hell, the Devil can’t send you there. We are saved for Eternity by Christ and the Devil doesn’t control that. However, we are as good as dead if the Devil can get us to fall asleep concerning the needs of those who are around us. We can become so numb by the standards of the systems around us. We can be tempted by the comforts offered to the flesh and tantalized by the gifts of the Devil. Then we may find ourselves being rebuked by the ship master of this world. He doesn’t know God himself but he knows better than we do that we have slipped into a slumber-sleep. He tells us to wake up and call on God for help so we don’t all perish.

We are generally asleep to the great needs of the spiritually lost. We should be more concerned for the spiritual needs of the lost. There are people in the world who have more concern about the physical needs of the masses than we the Christians have for their spiritual needs. There are souls around us who are lost, starving spiritually and on their way to Hell! There are charities, volunteers and governmental agencies who know nothing about the Love of God and Christ. They know nothing about Hope and Eternity and Heaven. They know nothing about the horrors of Hell. They don’t even believe that there is an Eternal soul living inside of people. Yet they would do more for a dying dog then what some Christians do for those that are lost. We would all run to help put out a fire in a neighbor’s house. We would give food to a starving family in real need if they came to our door. Why do so many of us not do this spiritually? We know of God’s love, the Hope of Heaven and the horror of Hell. We need to not just sit by and say nothing to people. We are the ones that can tell them about Jesus, the Bread of Life and give them the bread. People are perishing, children are dying, Hell is filling up and yet we are sleeping.

The world’s population is estimated at 6.2 billion people. Among this population there are 140,000 missionaries. Only 64,000 of these missionaries come from the USA. Of the foreign missionary funds, only 1% of funds go to work with un-evangelized people in non-Christian countries. Right before the Lord Jesus went back to Heaven, He told his disciples that they would get Holy Ghost power to be witnesses of Him in Jerusalem and the whole earth. The church in the West is generally asleep to the great needs of those who are spiritually lost. My prayer is that we here in Daytona Seventh Day Baptist Church can be awakened to this fact. Also that our efforts will be more targeted to those who have not heard the Good News that we have learned to enjoy. I thank God for my Salvation, how about you?

It is a wonderful thing to know the Love of God and to experience it in our daily lives. My prayer is that God’s Holy Spirit would build a fire under us that we would be willing to share the Hope that we have. Share the Joy that we have. Share the Thrill that we experience as we go through life. We experience the Love of God in our lives with the solving of our daily problems. My prayer is that we are able to share this with other people.