The Wake-Up Call
There is an invisible war all around us, and today there needs to be a modern Paul Revere who tells us to wake up!
The enemy is coming, and we need to sound the alarm. The sad thing is that many of God’s children are sound asleep when they ought to be awake. The church is asleep, snuggled up in her pews with the covers pulled over her head; and the sanctuary is dark. God’s alarm clock is going off, and we need to get up. This is no time to push the snooze button!
Just as in 1775 in America, when the light from two lanterns warned of impending destruction, today the light from the Word of God is broadcasting another warning about a far deeper danger. We have been given a wake-up call by the Word of God—is anyone listening?
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. 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 (Rom. 13:11–12).
According to God’s clock, it’s time to wake up. The apostle Paul gave a wake-up call to the saints in Rome. How much more we need his wake-up call today! There is anarchy in the world, apostasy in the church, and apathy in the pew.
It’s probably later than most of us think. This world is in a moral free fall like never before in history. The alarm has sounded, and we need to heed the call. But what are people doing? They are rolling over and yawning in the face of God. Paul says “it is high time to awake” and “the night is far spent.”
It’s later in this age than you may think. I believe Jesus Christ is at the threshold. I believe the trumpet is about to sound. Christ is going to come soon, and it is only the restraining hand of Almighty God and the Holy Spirit that keeps the floodgates of evil closed as much as they are.
I pray God the Holy Spirit will write upon your heart three things the apostle Paul told the church at Rome and wants to tell the church today.
It’s later in the day of opportunity than you think. We have unparalleled opportunities now to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. When He was here on Earth, Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (Jn. 9:4).
Do you know what’s wrong in the church today? Too many sermons are like bedtime stories rather than reveilles. God’s alarm clock is going off all around us. Jesus is coming as a thief in the night. The apostle Paul said, “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Th. 5:2, 4).
How can we sit comfortably in the pew when civilization is crumbling around us? The night is far spent. So many of our churches are like Samson, asleep in the lap of Delilah. Then when we finally do wake up, we don’t know that the Spirit has departed from us.
It may be later in your life than you think. You only have so many more days, so many hours left, to serve the Lord Jesus: “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (Jas. 4:14).
There are a lot of things you can do, but time is short; and all the soul-winning that you’re ever going to do, you’re going to do while you are here on this earth. And it may be later in that day of opportunity than you realize.
Not only is it time to wake up, but it’s time to clean up. Romans 13 tells us to put off rioting, drunkenness, shamelessness, strife, and envy. Strife means the desire for power. Envy is wanting more and wanting what someone else has. If your heart is headquarters for hate, if you’re full of jealousy and unsatisfied desires, these are the works of darkness. God says put these things off.
I’m amazed that today there is no sense of shame. We have a generation of “unblushables,” people who commit immorality and are not ashamed. Someone said that man is the only animal that can blush—or needs to. “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush” (Jer. 6:15). Oh, how we need to come before our Lord in honesty and confession!
Not only is it time to wake up, but it’s time to dress up. This is the heart, the climax of the matter: “Cast off the works of darkness, and. . . put on the armor of light. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 13:12, 14).
What do I do after having woken up and cleaned up? Dress up in Jesus. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Put Him on for direction because He is Lord. You must have someone who can dress you in robes of righteousness, protect you, cleanse you, and keep you clean. Put Him on for deliverance because He is Savior. Put Him on for dominion because He is King Messiah, Lord of lords. I am to wear Jesus like armor of light.
So where do you think we stand as a culture, as a church, and as individual Christians? Paul sounded the alarm in the first century, and we need to sound it today as well. The hour is late, the night far spent. Soon He comes with trumpet sound. What we’re going to do for Jesus we’d better do right now.
Life is too short. Eternity is too long. Souls are too precious. The gospel is too wonderful for us to sleep through it all. You’ve heard the alarm. Now you can either roll over and hit the “snooze” button; or you can get up, clean up, and dress up!