March 12, 2023
This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, The Wake-Up Call.
There is invisible, spiritual warfare going on, and somebody today needs to be a modern Paul Revere and tell us to wake up. There is anarchy in our world, apostasy in the church, and apathy in pews full of lukewarm Christians.
There are three things we need to do:
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.
Too many sermons are bedtime stories rather than reveilles. Jesus is coming as a thief in the night, but Paul says, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:4).
How can we sit comfortably when civilization is crumbling around us? It is time that we wake up! You don’t wake up because you feel like it. You get up anyway.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
The picture in this verse is of somebody who has been out on the town all night, and he comes in with his filthy clothes, reeking with the stains of sin, and falls into a drunken stupor. Paul says, “Wake up! Clean up!”
Paul mentions six things we need to put off before we are ready to meet the day. He puts these six things in couplets.
Revelry means carousing. We know what drunkenness means. But carousing and drunkenness is what keeps the bars, the nightclubs, and the casinos in business. God says, “Put that off. You have no business in these places.”
Lewdness and lust are two words we don’t use much, but they refer to sexual immorality, and shamelessness. If you are a child of God, a member of a church, and you are living in sexual immorality, you need to do one of two things: get right, or get out.
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
Many people live together without the benefit of marriage. Today, that is an accepted thing. It is not acceptable in the Word of God! The Bible calls that fornication, and absolutely forbids it. (See Ephesians 5:3.) Order your life not by what the movie stars do, but by the Word of God.
We have a generation today with no sense of shame. The prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah spoke to this.
“Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush.”
“The look on their countenance witnesses against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves.”
That is, they are literally proud of their sexual immorality. Does that sound familiar?
Strife in this verse means the desire for power. Envy is wanting what somebody else has. If your heart is headquarters for hate, envy, and unsatisfied desires, these things are the works of darkness, and God says, “Put them off.”
You can do it. The Word of God can change a heart and change a life.
Dress In the Righteousness of God.
Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light….But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
This is the heart, the climax of the whole thing. What good is it to wake up and clean up if you don’t dress? Don’t be a spiritual nudist. What are you to dress in? “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Notice that Paul uses Jesus’ full title, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ for direction. That is, He is your master; you are His slave. The master tells the slave what to do, what to say, where to go and when to come. Is Jesus Christ your Master?
The name “Jesus” actually means Jehovah saves. (See Matthew 1:21.) Put on the Lord Jesus Christ for deliverance. It is a vile world out there, and as you go out you will need to have somebody who can dress you in the robes of righteousness, protect you, and cleanse you—and keep you clean. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, so that you are clothed with righteousness—with His righteousness alone.
A Sunday school teacher once asked a little girl, “Is there anything God cannot do?”
The girl said, “Yes—one thing. God cannot see my sins through the blood of Jesus Christ.” (See Isaiah 61:10, Romans 4:5-8.)
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ for dominion. He is the one who rules over you, and teaches you how to rule in this life, because He is the Messiah, the king. He is “king of Kings and the lord of Lords.” (Revelation 19:16b; see also 1 Timothy 6:15).
Wear Jesus like a suit of armor, an armor of light. Over your sorrows and around your tears, over your aches and pains, over your failure and shame, put on Jesus.
Those old “clothes” that you cast off? Get rid of them!
Has alcohol had control of you? Give your heart to King Jesus. Are you trying to quit smoking? Don’t keep that carton in case you go back—tear it in pieces and flush it. Have you been having an illicit relationship? Quit. Don’t quit gradually; just quit. Make a distance and saturate that place with your absence. Get out of there, “and make no provision for the flesh” (Romans 13:14b). If you do, you are going down.
The hour is late, so don’t you pull the cover over your head and push the snooze button. Wake up! Tell your neighbors, “Wake up!”
What we are going to do for Jesus, we had better do right now. Life is too short, eternity is too long, souls are too precious, and the Gospel is too wonderful for us to sleep through it all.
Romans 4:5-8, 13:11-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; Hebrews 13:4; Ephesians 5:3; Jeremiah 6:15a; Isaiah 3:9; Matthew 1:21; Revelation 19:16; 1 Timothy 6:15; Isaiah 61:10
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.