1 Thessalonians 5:6
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
There is a portion of the road which leads from the city of Destruction to the Celestial City which is more dangerous than any other. It does not abound in lions, dark woods, deep pitfalls, yet more pilgrims have been destroyed here than anywhere. The great geographer, John Bunyan, well pictured it when he said "I then saw in my dream, that they went on till they came into a certain country, whose air naturally tended to make one drowsy, if he came a stranger into it. And here Hopeful began to be very dull and heavy of sleep wherefore he said unto Christian, 'I do now begin to grow so drowsy, that I can scarcely hold up mine eyes; let us lie down here and take one nap.' Christian: 'By no means, lest sleeping we never wake more.' Hopeful: 'Why my brother? sleep is sweet to the lab(raring man; we may be refreshed if we take a nap.' Christian: 'Do you not remember that one of the shepherds bid us beware of the Enchanted Ground? He meant by that, that we should beware of sleeping; wherefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober.'" There are no doubt many of us who are passing over this plain.
I. WHAT IS THAT STATE OF SLEEP WITH WHICH CHRISTIANS SOMETIMES FALL? It is not death but —
1. A state of insensibility.
2. A state in which they are subject to divers delusions.
3. A state of inaction.
4. A state of insecurity.
II. SOME CONSIDERATIONS TO WAKE UP SLEEPY CHRISTIANS.
1. The Lord is coming (ver. 2). Would you wish to be sleeping when the Lord comes? Would you like Him to find you at a ball?
2. Souls are perishing. Sailor, wilt thou sleep when the wreck is out at sea, and the lifeboat is waiting for hands to man it?
III. WHEN IS THE CHRISTIAN MOST LIABLE TO SLEEP?
1. When his temporal circumstances are all right. See the parable of the rich fool.
2. When all goes well in spiritual matters. The disciples went to sleep after they had seen Christ transfigured.
3. When we get near our journey's end. The enchanted ground is nigh to Beulah, and Bunyan gives the reason why.
IV. Good ADVICE TO SLEEPING CHRISTIANS.
1. One of the best plans is to keep good company and talk about the ways of the Lord.
2. If you look at interesting things you will not sleep. A Christian never slept at the foot of the Cross.
3. Let the wind blow on thee. Seek to live daily under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
4. Impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.