“This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.” — Romans 13:11-12
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a rally in our state’s capital. It was a rally opposing the legalization of gambling in Alabama. The keynote speaker was the governor of our state. This rally was intended for Christians to voice their objections to the evils of gambling.
This rally was scheduled to take place two full hours before a rally by pro-gambling forces. Our rally was invaded by 8 – 10 buses of pro-gambling protesters who attempted to shout down our speakers, even the governor.
Although some thought it was a disaster, I saw the confrontation as an opportunity…and the best thing that could have happened to our “Christian rally.” The confrontation was very eye-opening. The anger and vitriol of the pro-gambling crowd awakened many Christians yesterday to the true spiritual condition of the people of our state and nation.
In Paul’s writing to the Romans in this most practical portion of his letter, he challenged the Romans to the lateness and urgency of the hour. He wrote under the leadership of the Holy Spirit in the tones of an emergency. His charge to these first century Christians was to WAKE UP!
Paul did not stop at a wake up call. He told these Christian brothers to STAND UP and to CLEAN UP as well. This was not a time for comfort and casuality. This was a time for aggressive purity, loyalty and living. Spineless pansies and half-hearted disciples were not needed, nor welcome!
The alarm clock is ringing, whether we are willing to hear it or not. The days in which we live can only be characterized as “urgent.” The darkness of sin is creeping across our land. It is time for the church to wake up! One prophetic poet wrote of our plight in this way:
“The world is sleeping in the dark
That it just can’t fight,
Because the church is asleep
In the light.
How can we be so dead
When we’ve been so well fed?
Jesus rose from the grave
And you, you can’t even get out of bed!”
We must wake up, stand up and clean up for we will soon be taken up. There is a lost world out there. The people are living in blindness. They are in the terrible bondage of sin. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can free them from the chains that have them bound. As God’s ambassadors, we are the only hope for a dying world. If we don’t tell, they will perish without hope!
I say with all my heart, with all the passion in my soul, WAKE UP, SLEEPING BEAUTY…WAKE UP CHURCH!