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Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
1. Sleep is a frequently used metaphor in the Scriptures.
2. Some sleep is good; too much can be bad.
"Oversleeping has been linked to a host of medical problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and increased risk of death.
"Researchers are careful to note, however, that two other factors -- depression and low socioeconomic status -- are strongly associated with oversleeping. Those two factors may be the reason for the observed negative health effects." (Physical Side Effects of Oversleeping, WebMD, http://tinyurl.com/y8b9kjf)
3. Are you getting the right kind of sleep? Too much or not enough?
I. A SYMBOL OF DEATH: LIFELESSNESS OF SLEEP.
A. Death of the Physical Body, Job 14:10-14 (common event that leaves all without knowledge of earthly events, and soon forgotten by the living, Eccl 9:2-6).
B. Just as We Awake from Sleep, Jesus will Raise the Dead, Jno 11:11-14, 17, 21-27, 41-44 (Jesus: the Resurrection and the Life).
1. Bodily death and resurrection, 11:25.
2. Spiritual life evermore, 11:26.
3. All who "sleep" will be raised immortal, 1 Cor 15:51-52.
4. All who '“sleep in Jesus" will be raised to life, 1 Ths 4:14-15.
-Are you ready to “go to sleep”? Will it be "in Jesus" (Rev 14:13)
II. A SYMBOL OF SPIRITUAL NEGLECT: UNCONSCIOUS STATE OF SLEEP.
(Lethargy, complacency, unaware, unconscious) cf. Matt 25:5
"In 'sleep' we are, though living, insensible to any danger that may be near; we are unconscious of what may be going on around us; we hear not the voice of our friends; we see not the beauty of the grove or the landscape; we are forgetful of our real character and condition. So with the sinner. It is as if his faculties were locked in a deep slumber. He hears not when God calls; he has no sense of danger; he is insensible to the beauties and glories of the heavenly world; he is forgetful of his true character and condition. To see all this, he must be first awakened; and hence this solemn command is addressed to man." (Barnes Notes, Ephesians)
A. Spiritual Blindness and Spiritual Death, cf. Isa 29:9-12; 1 Cor 11:30.
B. The Failure to be Spiritually Vigilant, Matt 26:40-41; Lk 22:45-46 (1 Pet 5:8).
C. Warnings to Wake Up:
1. Time is running out to put on the Lord Jesus Christ! Rom 13:11-14
2. The light of truth should wake us up! Eph 5:13-16
3. Be sober and watchful of spiritual dangers (cf. sins of neglect, complacency, indifference...), 1 Ths 5:4-10.
III. A SYMBOL OF LAZINESS: IDLENESS. Prov 19:15
A. Idleness Refuses to see and do the Work set before it, Prov 24:30-34; Jno 4:34-35; 9:4.
1. Open your eyes and get to work! Prov 20:13 (2 Ths 3:10)
2. The work is not accomplished, and the lazy one suffers the consequences, Prov 6:6-11.
B. We Need Increase Fervent Faith and Zeal, Gal 6:7-10.
1. Watchmen in Zion, cf. Isa 56:10. (Preachers, elders, parents and teachers...)
2. Be committed servants of God like King David, Psa 132:1-5; Rom 12:11.
3. Be diligent like Boaz, Ruth 3:18.
IV. A SYMBOL OF PEACEFUL REST: A BLESSING FROM GOD.
A. Work Hard, Sleep Well, Eccl 5:12.
B. Trust in God helps us be Content, Matt 8:24-27; Prov 3:24-26.
1. Sweet rest knowing God satisfies, Jer 31:25-26 (cf. Eccl 5:12-15).
2. Rest without fear because God protects, Psa 3:5-6; 4:6-8.
1. God never sleeps! (cf. 1 Kgs 18:27)
2. He will not cast off those who turn to Him, Psa 44:23-26. He is always ready to show mercy! Psa 44:25-26
3. He who keeps Israel never slumbers nor sleeps, Psa 121:3-4.
4. Our rest in heaven awaits us. Until then, let us work diligently as obedient servants of God, Heb 4:9-11.