1 Thessalonians 5:6
So then, let us not sleep as the others do, but let us remain awake and sober.
Sermons
A Slumbering ChurchC. Wadsworth, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Awake Thou that SleepestProf. Croskerry.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Awake! AwakeC. H. Spurgeon.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Be SoberA. S. Patterson, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Duty of WatchfulnessW. Mason.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Let Us not SleepT. Binney.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Life the Time for WorkPreacher's Monthly1 Thessalonians 5:6
On GuardG. Swinnock, M. A.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Salutary WatchfulnessA Tamil Parable.1 Thessalonians 5:6
SleepT. M. Morris.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Sleep NotC. H. Spurgeon.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Spiritual SleepJ. Morison, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Taking ObservationsW. Wilberforce.1 Thessalonians 5:6
The Danger of Spiritual SlumberJ. W. Hardman, LL. D.1 Thessalonians 5:6
The Deadening Effects of the Gospel When it Does not ArouC. H. Spurgeon.1 Thessalonians 5:6
The Enchanted GroundC. H. Spurgeon.1 Thessalonians 5:6
The Insensibility of the SinnerC. H. Spurgeon.1 Thessalonians 5:6
The Pilgrims on the Enchanted GroundL. O. Thompson.1 Thessalonians 5:6
The Soul AsleepD. Moore, M. A.1 Thessalonians 5:6
WatchR. S. Barrett.1 Thessalonians 5:6
WatchC. H. Spurgeon.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Watchfulness Must be ConstantJ. F. B. Tinling, B. A.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Watchfulness OvercomeJ. L. Nye.1 Thessalonians 5:6
Why Christians Should not SleepPreacher's Monthly1 Thessalonians 5:6
Exhortation in View of the Lord's ComingR. Finlayson 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
The Attitude of the Church Towards the Second Advent of ChristG. Barlow.1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
The Day of the LordB.C. Caffin 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
The Profanity of Attempting to Determine the TimeBp. Jewell.1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
The Second Advent and its IssuesR. Fergusson.1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
The Uncertainty of the Time of the Second AdventJ. Hutchison, D. D.1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Times and SeasonsAbp. Trench.1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Under Sealed Orders1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
A Warning Against WatchlessnessT. Croskery 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8
Night and DayW.F. Adeney 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8
St. Paul writes of two classes of people whose conditions correspond respectively to night and day. Many associations of gloom and evil and ignorance gather round the image of night, while their opposites - brightness, goodness, knowledge, etc. - are suggested by the idea of day. One advantage of the metaphorical language of Scripture is that it gives to us richer and more suggestive ideas than could be conveyed by bare abstract phrases. Subsidiary notions, like chromatic chords in music, give tone and richness to the main idea impressed upon us by a manifold and significant image. This is apparent with the use of the images light and darkness by St. John. St. Paul would have us think that the unspiritual and godless world is in general like a people of the night, while the Church is like a city of light. But probably the enlightenment of revelation, the daylight of spiritual knowledge, is the prominent thought in the mind of the apostle. For we find that in previous verses he has been referring to the shock of surprise to the world which will not be shared by enlightened Christians. On the fact of their greater enlightenment he now founds an exhortation to conduct worthy of it. The fuller light demands the holier life. Sons of the day' have not the excuses of children of night.

I. THE CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT.

1. These are in darkness. The darkness is not confined to the illiterate. Nor is it confined to the inhabitants of heathen lands. People in Christian countries, who are familiar with the language of the New Testament, may be totally ignorant of its spiritual thought. Such people, though they sit in university chairs as professors of divinity, are blinded with midnight blackness. Was not Faust in the night?

2. Some of the children of the night sleep. These are the thoughtless and careless. They may be awake to secular business. But they slumber over moral and spiritual subjects. If they think of them at all it is with dreamy unconcern.

3. Others of the children of the night are awake only to evil. They spend the night in drunkenness. They hide shameful practices under the cloak of darkness.

4. The guilt of the children of the night is mitigated just in proportion as their benighting is not willful. If it arises from their unhappy circumstances, these unfortunate people cannot be condemned to the same doom as that of men who sin with their eyes open, or as that of those who willfully put out their eyes because they love darkness.

II. THE SONS OF THE DAY.

1. These are enlightened. They may not be brilliantly intellectual nor highly educated. They may be illiterate in human lore. But the "eyes of their hearts" (Ephesians 1:18) are opened. By faith and love and obedience they have come to know what God has revealed through his Spirit.

2. Sons of the day are expected to be wakeful. It is natural to sleep in the night. Sleep in the day betokens sinful indolence. The indifference of spiritually ignorant people is natural. That of Christians on whom has risen "the Dayspring from on high" is monstrous.

3. Sons of the day are expected to be sober. It is bad enough to be drunken in the night, but a debauch which is not shamed by the light of day proves itself to be scandalously depraved. There are excesses of passion, of self-will, and of worldly excitement which Christian people who have escaped the coarser sins fall into. These are not excusable in the children of the night, but they are much less excusable in the sons of the day. Sobriety becomes the enlightened Christian. This sobriety need not consist in Puritan rigor; much less should it partake of sourness, gloom, or prim formality. The sober Christian should remember that the typical citizen of the kingdom of heaven is a little child. Sobriety is just the opposite to unrestrained passionateness of pleasure or anger.

4. Sons of the day are provided with armor. The three graces - faith, hope, and love - constitute the armor of the Christian. They protect the two most vital parts - breast and head. Faith and love come together, for they interact. Faith working by love protects the heart. Hope, the hope of final deliverance from trial and temptation, is the helmet, because it protects the head by keeping the thoughts clear and calm. - W.F.A.







Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober
I. THE SLEEP OF SIN — Scripture teaches us, with the utmost explicitness, that a state of sin is a state of slumber. Sleep is a figure which is commonly employed to illustrate man's natural and unrenewed state. Sin is the sleep of the soul — the spirit.

1. Both natural and spiritual sleep are characterized by forgetfulness. We speak, and not without reason, of the oblivion of sleep. A man falls into a sound sleep, and immediately he forgets the past, "forgets himself," to use a very common and not inappropriate expression. Look at men in a state of sin, in an unrenewed, unawakened state — are they not the subjects, the victims of forgetfulness, to an almost incredible extent? Do they not forget what manner of men they are? Do they not forget all the great lessons of God's Word and God's providence, which have been so repeatedly addressed to them? Do they not forget what they owe unto their Lord? Are they not oblivious to those immense accumulations of guilt which are invoking the long delayed vengeance of Heaven?

2. Both spiritual and natural sleep are characterized by insensibility to the present. In bodily slumber a man is insensible to all that transpires around him: he is shut off from all surrounding influences; a mysterious, and, for the time, impenetrable veil separates him from the external and material world. Is not this, again, illustrative of the moral, the spiritual condition of the unrenewed, the unawakened sinner? He is in the midst of a spiritual world, full of realities the most stupendous, the most amazing. He has no spiritual discernment. There are the truths of Scripture, there is this wide-spreading spiritual universe, with all that it contains of beauty and terror, with its sweet whispers of invitation and its thunder tones of warning, all of which things are not the less real because he is asleep: but to him they are as though they were not, while he is asleep; for him they have practically no existence; on him they exert no appreciable influence.

3. In both spiritual and natural sleep we see not only forgetfulness as to the past and insensibility as to the present, we see, also, the entire absence of apprehension as to the future. In the case of natural slumber, though some great peril be actually threatening the sleeper, there is no uneasiness, no dread, no desire or effort either to avert the danger or to escape from it. That I am not overstating the case will appear, if you will take the trouble to compare your feelings in reference to some object of earthly interest, with your feelings in reference to some object of spiritual interest. But with spiritual danger it is otherwise. You see it not — it is intangible — it is mysterious — it is future.

4. Both natural and spiritual sleep are often disturbed by dreams. But there is the widest difference between the dreams which disturb the natural and spiritual sleeper. In natural sleep the objects of our dreams are unrealities, fantastic and improbable assemblages of familiar things, grouped upon we know not what principle of association. The man wrapped in spiritual slumber dreams, but of what is actual and real.

5. In the case both of natural and spiritual slumber we see that persons who are soundly asleep are very unwilling to be awakened. And in all deep sleep, if the awakening be not a very thorough and complete one, there is an almost irresistible tendency to fall asleep again. God often, in His providence, disturbs the sleep of men. But, whatever may be the cause, there is in such cases only a partial awakening, and we see plainly enough that the sleeper does not like to be thus disturbed.

II. Let us now notice THIS SLEEP OF DEATH which is so often referred to in God's Word. The same natural state is, as you know, employed to symbolize two things, sin and death; and if we are but truly emancipated from the Slumber of sin, we shall be able to look forward without foreboding to the sleep of death. As we compare sleep and death, we distinguish several points of correspondence, which are not only very obvious, but which are also very interesting.

1. We see sleep exercising its dominion over the entire world. In all ages, and in all countries, we see men yielding to its influence. And just so the power of death is universally exercised and submitted to. "Death has passed upon all men, inasmuch as all have sinned."

2. Though men have been sleeping and dying for six thousand years, there is an infinite mystery still attaching both to sleep and death. There is no one wise enough to say precisely what the one or the other is.

3. Sleep and death agree in this also, that their dominion extends no further than the body. While the body lies fettered in sleep, the soul enjoys an unbounded and unwonted liberty, which it scarcely knows how to use.

4. In sleep and in death there is the apparent enjoyment of rest and quiet. In reference to the grave we say, "There the wicked cease from troubling; there the weary are at rest."

5. In sleep and in death men lie down with the hope and the expectation of rising again.

6. You know, in the case of natural slumber, that they who would sleep well at night must not sleep much in the day. And I would remind you, that if you spend the day of your life sleeping the sleep of sin, the sleep of death will be a troubled sleep, and your awakening, on the resurrection day, one full of terror. If you will sleep when yon ought to be awake, you will not be able to sleep when the time for sleep cometh.

(T. M. Morris.)

Many thoughtless and irreligious men think that they live in a manner that is the furthest off from sleep. And, indeed, they may be in a perpetual fever; and yet spiritually they are like men who sleep.

I. When a man is asleep he is in a state of INACTIVITY. You no more expect activity from the sleeping than you do from the dead. Whatever may be the fervid life of a godless man, yet with respect to God, prayer, preparation for eternity, religious duties, he does nothing; and Scripture says that he is not only asleep, but dead — and this, notwithstanding his pursuit of knowledge and pleasure.

II. A man asleep is UNCONSCIOUS of all around him. He may be asleep in the sunshine, on a bank of beauty and fragrance, surrounded by the most gorgeous scenery on earth, but he is insensible to it all. Such is the condition, spiritually, of the sinner. A man that has religious faith in him sees that God has surrounded him by another creation; but this is forever shut from the sight of the godless. What is the scenery of earth to that of the universe of truth, to which the worldly have their whole soul closed?

III. They that sleep DREAM, and are therefore liable to be affected by the unsubstantial and the untrue. A sluggard perhaps dreams that he is rich and prosperous; a hungry beggar, that he is a king. The most absurd and grotesque visions may flit over the dreamer and be to him as affecting as the realities of life, or he may be disturbed by dreams of terror equally unsubstantial. And worldly men will often be agitated by superstitious fears; their very ignorance of religion will be a positive and operating evil. But principally they dream that they are "rich and increased in goods," etc.; while they are in reality "poor and miserable," etc. The worldly man goes on fearing nothing because unconscious of the actual condition of his nature, and there is nothing so absurd as the dreams of irreligious dreamers; aye, and of religious dreamers too, thinking that they have enough of religion, and resting satisfied with repeating their creeds.

IV. Sleep is SOMETIMES PRODUCED BY INDULGENCES that make sleep heavy (ver. 7). When men sleep through grossness and sensuality it is very difficult to awake them. Loud voices and violent shaking will scarcely do it; and if you should succeed, they are irritated and want to sleep again. So when men's souls are drugged. Startling providences, such as a death next door, or an arousing sermon, which makes the deepest impression on others, have none on them. If some kind friend takes them by the arm, and will make them hear, they are vexed and feel insulted. Their conscience may be probed for the moment, but it is soon over, and they go to sleep again. So men go on crying "Peace and safety," and by the constant neglect of their spiritual nature closing the heart against the gospel, they get into a state of complete hardihood, and then "sudden destruction cometh." "Let us not sleep like" these, "but watch and be sober."

(T. Binney.)

I. SLEEP IS A TIME WHEN THE REASON HAS NO CONTROL OVER A MAN. This is the state of the sinner. Boast as he may, his reason cannot exercise its full powers till God gives light to the understanding. How manifest it is that men are in a state in which they are not acting with a proper view to their well-being. Though hastening to eternity, they are making no provision for it.

II. SLEEP IS THE TIME WHEN THE POWERS OF BODY AND MIND ARE WITHDRAWN FROM ACTIVE AND USEFUL LABOUR. True a sinner's mind is active, but not about the chief good, the glory and honour of God. The body is active, but what are its powers wasted upon? Are they not frequently "instruments of righteousness unto sin." And though men may not have sunk into licentiousness, yet, unless consecrated to God, their highest powers are thrown away.

III. SLEEP IS A TIME WHEN DANGER MAY BE VERY NEAR WITHOUT BEING PERCEIVED. The sinner is like a man whose house is in flames, or into which robbers have gained entrance. He may have upbraidings of conscience, and make resolutions, and see that a course of sin is a course of misery. But all pass away unless there be the quickening power of heaven upon them. Take heed then, sinner, and awake.

(J. Morison, D. D.)

I. THE EVIL. There are three kinds of sleep in Scripture. The sleep of the body; of the grave; of the soul. It is of the last that Paul speaks. There is —

1. The sleep of indolence, indifference, thoughtlessness. We use a like term in the affairs of life. Of a man who lets all his opportunities pass, and makes no provision against evil, obvious to all but himself, we say, "He must be asleep." Such a sleep, spiritually, is described in Isaiah 29. The Bible is a sealed book, and eternal things a matter of little consequence. The Bible is not opposed; but all we can extort is a vacant assent, and then sleep.

2. The sleep of security and false peace. Attention has been awakened; "things belonging to peace" have been apprehended; but after having been thus enlightened there has ensued a delusive tranquillity of soul, trading in past conversion, little thinking of the use their sleepless adversary is making of their guilty slumber.

3. The sleep of sloth and inactivity. All the emblems of the Christian life support the necessity of earnestness and diligence — the racer, etc. Hence the idea of an unadvancing Christian is a practical contradiction. Imagine the case of a babe remaining always a babe, a warrior without victory. All stationary conditions in religion are slumbering conditions.

II. THE DANCER. Spiritual sleep, like natural, is a thing of degrees. There is a deep sleep from which a man can with difficulty be aroused, and yet there is a lighter sleep in which though every noise be sufficient to disturb, yet it may not be sufficient to arouse. These two states are types of the unawakened sinner, and the unwatchful Christian.

1. With regard to a man in the confirmed slumber.(1) There is the awful danger that none of the warnings and providential rebukes by which other souls are stirred up should reach him; he cannot hear them. Sickness stretches him on his bed; death bereaves him of friends; decaying faculties predict his latter end; but he sleeps only to waken in the prison of the invisible world.(2) But deep as his slumbers are, they allow of his being amused with dreams. He can hear the whispers of Satan, when he cannot hear the thunders of vengeance. The word is represented as paradise; religion is an affair of observances; repentance is a dying man's employment; and death, perhaps, an eternal sleep. In that sleep of the soul "What dreams do come:" What contradictions to truth, what impiety against God! What frauds upon a rational intelligence!

2. In the sleep of a lighter character, unwatchfulness and supineness of soul, the danger is lest it should deepen into the heaviest. Men thus asleep are like those under the influence of an opiate; their only safety lies in keeping their eyes open; once close them, they die. But at best such can expect to have no evidence of their acceptance in a dying hour: they have none now.

(D. Moore, M. A.)

We do not usually sleep towards the things of this world. In this age of competition most men are wide awake enough for their temporal interests; but we are all very apt to sleep concerning the interests of our souls. The text applies —

I. TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD.

1. Let us not sleep as did the disciples who went with their Lord to the garden, and fell a slumbering while he was agonizing. Think of what Christ has done, is doing, and wants you to do. Where is our zeal for God, and compassion for men in view of all this?

2. Let us not sleep as Samson, who, while he slept, lost his locks, strength, liberty, eyes, and at last his life. Carnal security is a Delilah always. It gives us many a dainty kiss, and lulls us into tranquil slumber, which we imagine to be God's own peace, whereas the peace of Satanic enchantment is upon us. Here there are perils of the deadliest sort. The Philistines do not sleep. Our Samsonian lock, the secret of our strength, is faith. Take away that and we are weak as other men.

3. Sleep not as those did when the enemy came and sowed tares. When false doctrines and unholy practices creep into a Church, it is when the watchers are asleep. An unwatchful Church will soon become an unholy Church.

4. Sleep not as the ten virgins whom the coming of the Bridegroom surprised. Suppose the Lord were to come to night; are you ready, with your loins girt and your lamps trimmed?

II. TO THE UNCONVERTED.

1. Do not sleep as did Jonah. When all the rest were praying in the tempest he was insensible to it all. Every man called upon his God, except the man who had caused the storm. He was most in danger, but he was the most careless. Do not some of you live in houses where they all pray but you? Yours is the only soul unblest, and yet yours is the only one unanxious.

2. Do not sleep like Solomon's sluggard. He slept; hour after hour. He only meant to slumber a few minutes; but minutes fly rapidly to men who dream. Had he known he would have been shocked at his own laziness. Now there are men who say that they will attend to religion soon, but must first enjoy a little pleasure. They will not risk their soul another twelve months, they will but stay till next Sunday. But so it has been year after year.

3. Do not sleep like Eutychus. It is true that he was restored to life; but many a Eutychus has fallen dead under the Word and has never revived. If preaching does not wake you it rocks your cradle and makes you more and more insensible.

4. Do not sleep like Saul and his guards. Abishai said "Let me strike him: it shall be but this once." That is what Satan says and what he will some day do.

5. Do not sleep as Sisera. Those who profess to be your friends will prove your assassins.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Preacher's Monthly.
I. God has done more for them than for others.

II. They have made promises to Him which others have not made.

III. God has made to them exceeding great and precious promises which He has not made to others.

IV. So much is expected of them, and such a great work is laid upon them, if "they sleep as do others," it will not be done.

V. While Christians sleep the enemy is busy — sinners perish — the world rushes madly to ruin!

(Preacher's Monthly.)

"Let us watch."

I. THE IMPORTANCE OF WATCHFULNESS. It is the mainstay of the soul, which, if once called off, we lie open to the shot of every enemy. This, like one of the Nethinims, must stand constantly porter at the door of our hearts — God's temple, to keep out whatever is unclean. Watchfulness is a diligent observation of ourselves in all things, and at all times, that we may please God always. He that watcheth hath his eyes in his head, according to the wise man's phrase, and seeth, as the Chinese say of themselves, with both eyes. David expresseth it fitly: "I said, I will take heed to my ways;" that is, I will ponder my paths, and consider where I set my feet, lest I should tread awry. Without this wariness there is no safe walking. Like Laish was, the secure soul is made a prey to its enemies. Soul lethargies are most dangerous, most deadly. He who watcheth not is led about like one in his natural sleep, by any temptation, he knoweth not how nor whither When the wolves in the fable once prevailed with the sheep to part with the dogs they soon devoured them. If Satan can but get Christians to forego this means of their safety, he will soon make them his prey. It is reported of the dragon that, while he sleepeth, a jewel is taken out of his head. Noah lost the jewel of temperance, David the jewel of chastity, during their sleep. If the eye of watchfulness be once shut, the soul is open to all wickedness.

II. THE OBJECTS OF WATCHFULNESS.

1. Watch against sin, against all sin. The gardener doth not only watch over his flowers to water and cherish them, but over all weeds to pluck and root them up.

2. Watch against thine own sin. A wise governor will have a special eye upon that particular person in his garrison whom he knoweth to be a traitor.

3. Watch for the doing of good. The countryman watcheth for the bell ringing on the market day, when he will open his sacks, that he may sell corn to the needy.

4. Watch in duties. The child must be watched at school, or he will play and toy, instead of learning his lesson thoroughly.

5. Watch after duties. When the garden is dressed and the seed sown in it, it must be watched, lest hogs get into it, and root all up. It was a wise speech of Marcus Aurelius after he had won a great battle, "I tell thee of a truth that I stand in greater fear of fortune at this moment than I did before the battle, for she careth not so much to overtake the conquered as to overcome the conqueror." Satan is like Fortune.

6. Watch thy senses. These are the Cinque Ports, as one calls them, of the Isle of Man, which, if not well garrisoned, will let in strangers and disturbers of the peace. Shut up the five windows — guard the five senses, that the whole house may be full of light, according to the Arabian proverb. "Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when He cometh shall find watching." Surely blessedness is worth our waking; bliss is worth keeping our eyes open. Apollonius, coming early in the morning to Vespasian's gate, and finding him, then a prisoner, up and at study, said to his companion, "This man is worthy to reign and command an empire;" which afterward came to pass. He that watcheth for the Advent of Christ the short hour of his life, shall be counted worthy to reign with Christ in His kingdom forever.

(G. Swinnock, M. A.)

! — Temptation comes —

I. AS A WHIPPED FOE, and begins to say, "Oh, I am worsted; there is no danger in me." Watch it! Firemen watch the smouldering coals that the wind may again inflame. Men watch closely that place in an embankment which has once given way.

II. WITH A NEW FACE, and says, "I am not your weakness." Take heed! Faithful Abraham lost his faith, meek Moses was impatient, David became sensual, and lion-hearted Peter trembled.

III. AS A CHILD, and says, "Oh, I am so little, I cannot do anything." Watch it! Little temptations are seeds of the upas tree, eggs of the serpent, sleeping dynamite. The devil puts the little Oliver Twist through the window to open the door for him, the big robber. Hell is first lit with shavings.

IV. AS A SMILING FRIEND, and says, "You know me and love me; fear not." Watch it! The beloved Delilah betrayed the strong Samson to death. Watch and pray. The sentinel's power lies in his communication with the power that supports him, and then watchfulness. If he watch only, he can do nothing when the enemy comes He is one, the enemy is an army. But if he too can summon an army, then is his watching effective. So is prayer the Christian watchman's communication with the powers above him. If he watch only, he can do nothing, for he contends with principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. But if he watch and pray, he, too, can summon powers omnipotent to his rescue. And prayer is communication with the power.

(R. S. Barrett.)

There was, a paragraph in a local newspaper tells us, a foreign sailor at Cork, who, having been late for his train, lay down to sleep during the short summer night on the first broad fiat wall he came to. After a time, in his sleep, he rolled over the edge, for it was — though he had not noticed the fact — the boundary wall which separated the road from a precipice fifty feet in depth. He would have been instantly killed, had he not, as he fell, instinctively grasped at the ivy which clothed the wall. Here for three-quarters of an hour he hung, clinging with all his strength, and shouting as loud as he could for aid. At last he was rescued, but so soon as he was in safety the strong man fainted, so terrible had been his position. Thus is it with many a soul. Men sleep thoughtlessly on the brink of eternity. They dream of earthly joys; but suddenly, by some unexpected crisis, by some dangerous illness, they are awakened, and made to feel their danger. They perceive that they must expect to meet that God whom they have forgotten. The great fault of modern preaching is its soothing and sugary character. There is a tendency always to be putting forward the mercy and pardoning character of God, whilst His justice and His needful severity as a moral Ruler is kept out of sight. The difficulties of repentance, the awful doom of sin when persisted in, are matters unnoticed. Away with this twaddle and prattle about the simplicity of faith; the easiness of "being saved"; the empiric remedies of the "only believe" school; the supply of comfortable pillows to induce spiritual slumber. Away with the sweet but fatal syrup which suggests that men may at any time with the greatest facility become eminent Christians! How much more vigorous and robust was the piety of olden days. For instance, St. Hugh of Lincoln, refusing to hurry over a poor man's funeral, though he received a message that the king was waiting dinner for his arrival. "In God's Name," said the enthusiastic prelate, "let the king go to dinner. Better that he dine without my company, than that I leave my Master's work undone."

(J. W. Hardman, LL. D.)

I. THE NATURE OF THIS SLEEP.

1. If a Christian man is said to sleep it must be in reference to inactivity. In sleep the whole body is at rest, but the mind is not. Never have we more graphic pictures of scenes and persons, nor more curious uprisings of buried pleasures and pains. But while the worker sleeps the loom is still. Now, while Christians sleep all aggressive energy is suspended; the minister sleeps in the pulpit, and the hearer in the pew, neither do nor get good.

2. While men 'arc asleep they have no interest in their work-a-day life. So to a sleepy Christian, souls may perish at his threshold, but he cares as little for them as they for him. Besides, he is immovable to all appeals. What is the use of spending argument or wasting speech on a sleeping man? This slumbering spirit spreads itself over everything else. If he comes to a prayer meeting he goes away without wrestling with the angel of mercy.

3. There is such an experience as walking in the sleep, aye, and in dangerous places where men awake would hardly go. By some strange influence somnambulists can go safely past the dangers. So, professors have a carnal security, and go terribly near the fire of sin.

4. When a man is asleep he is unprotected. Were we not unconscious of danger we could not sleep: but it is very real. Samson slept till Delilah cut his hair, and Sisera till Jael drove the nail into his temples. When a Christian is asleep he lays himself open to the devil, "who as a roaring lion," etc. He lies down in the enchanted ground till Giant Despair hauls him away to Doubting Castle.

5. In sleep there is no waste and decay. It is by sleep we are refreshed, but we do not eat or drink when we. are asleep. So, when professors are asleep they raise no cry for the living Bread, and have no sense of hunger; feel no need of a Bible or a Saviour; conscious of no want they offer no prayer, and if they sleep long enough, they will sleep on to death.

6. Mark the insidious character of this sleep.(1) A Christian may be asleep and not know it. He may imagine himself rich while in reality he is poor and miserable.(2) He may have taken precautions against being disturbed. There is a way of bolting and barring your heart against anybody, Beware of antinomianism: a draught of that may send you into a sleep that will know no awaking.(3) You may be doing much to make people imagine you were anything but asleep. People can talk and walk in their sleep, and so may you; and you may have fine dreams and grand projects.

II. THE CAUSES OF THIS SLEEP.

1. It is the evil of our nature. While we are asleep about Divine things we are wide awake about worldly things.

2. It is easy to send a man to sleep with the chloroform of bad doctrine. If he believes that God is too merciful to punish he goes to sleep and cares nothing for his soul. Or if holding true doctrine he perverts them that will send him asleep.

3. Another cause is absorption in the things of the world, even when lawful. Every one knows that there is something he likes exceedingly, and that if he were to give full swing to it it would become an everlasting passion.

4. The sultry sun of prosperity. Those are generally the most spiritually minded who have drunk deep of the cup of suffering.

5. Spiritual pride.

III. THE APOSTLE'S ADMONITION.

1. The first thing to do is to open the eyes and let in the light. Open them to God in His Word, works and conscience. Just as the sun in the heavens shining in the eyes of a sleeper drives away sleep, so let the beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine into your hearts and wake you from your slumber.

2. Sleep not, for it is love that would have you awake. A mother's love will lull a child to sleep; but if there is a house on fire that love will take another turn. The wisdom of Christ would have you awake. The thief pilfers, and tares are sown while you are asleep, and therefore it is the highest wisdom to respond. You are commanded to awake, and by One who redeems you with His blood.

IV. INDUCEMENTS TO THIS AWAKENING.

1. Christ will give thee light — the light of truth and joy and glory.

2. It is high time to awake for the old, the middle aged, the young.

(Prof. Croskerry.)

I. AN EVIL TO BE AVOIDED. "Others" may be translated "refuse," the common herd who have no mind above earth. The refuse of mankind are in a state of —

1. Deplorable ignorance. The sleeper knows nothing. So, talk to the sinner of Divine doctrines and they are a riddle; of sublime experiences, and they seem to be enthusiastic fancies. They know nothing of joys and are oblivious of evils to come.

2. Insensibility. Rob or destroy his property, and yet he sleeps as though guarded by the angel of the Lord. How few there are that feel spiritually; although they feel acutely any injury to their person or estate.

3. Defencelessness. How helpless was sleeping Sisera. So the refuse of mankind have no power to resist temptation.

4. Inactivity. The sleeping farmer cannot plough, the sailor direct his ship, the tradesman attend to his shop. And how many there are who rise up early to toil for themselves do nothing for the glory of God or the good of men. Some say they have no time, others frankly that they have no will.

5. Unwatchfulness.

II. REASONS FOR AVOIDING THIS SLEEP.

1. We are the children of the light and of the day, therefore let us not sleep. It is no marvel that men sleep at night; but were a whole city to be wrapped in slumber at noon-day, what room there would be for astonishment or alarm. Sleep in the daytime is incongruous. So, for a Christian to slumber in ease now that the Sun of Righteousness has arisen is untimely and unseemly.

2. It is war time (ver. 8). What have warriors to do with sleep when the citadel is attacked or when the foe is in the field? So spiritual sleep is madness.

3. It is service time. Shall men sleep at the plough, and God's servant sleep over his work.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

You have all read the fairy tale: A great Eastern city, beleaguered by fierce foemen, was arming in resistless strength to issue from her gates and sweep away the invader. But from the camp of the foe came forth a mighty magician, and with a breath of his sorcery changed the whole city into stone. Everything where life had been became a cold, dead statue. There stood the pawing war horse, with nostril distended, caparisoned for the battle. There stood the mailed champion, ready to spring to his seat and lay lance in rest for the onset. But, alas! the strong arm was cold stone on the neck of the petrified charger. There stood the serried infantry, with armour and plumes, and upfloating banners, but each man cold, breathless, lifeless. The eye had a stony glare. Hand, brow, lips, were frozen to marble. All still, silent, deathstruck! Alas! picture sadly truthful of Christ's slumbering Church today.

(C. Wadsworth, D. D.)

se: — You know the great boiler factories over here in Southwark. I am told that when a man goes inside the boiler to hold the hammer, when they are fixing rivets, the sound of the copper deafens him so that he cannot bear it, it is so horrible; but, after he has been a certain number of months in that employment, he hardly notices the hammering: he does not care about it. It is just so under the Word. People go to sleep under that which once was like a thunderbolt to them. As the blacksmith's dog will lie under the anvil, where the sparks fly into his face, and yet go to sleep, so will many sinners sleep while the sparks of damnation fly into their faces. If I must be lost, let it be as a Zulu Kaffir, or as a Red Indian, who has never listened to the truth; but it is dreadful to go down to the pit with this as an aggravation: "You knew your duty, but you did it not!" may this never be said of any of us! May we never sleep under the Word as others lest we die in our sins.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

When a man is asleep he is insensible. The world goes on, and he knows nought about it. The watchman calls beneath his window, and he sleeps on still. A fire is in a neighbouring street, his neighbour's house is burned to ashes, but he is asleep and knows it not. Persons are sick in the house, but he is not awakened; they may die, and he weeps not for them. A revolution may be raging in the streets of his city; a king may be losing his crown; but he that is asleep shares not in the turmoil of politics. A volcano may burst somewhere near him, and he may be in imminent peril; but he escapeth not; he is sound asleep, he is insensible. The winds are howling, the thunders are rolling across the sky, and the lightnings flash at his window; but he that can sleep on careth not for these, and is insensible to them all. The sweetest music is passing through the street; but he sleeps, and only in dreams doth he hear the sweetness. The most terrific wailings may assail his ears; but sleep has sealed them with the wax of slumber, and he hears not. Let the world break in sunder, and the elements go to ruin, keep him asleep, and he will not perceive it. Christian, behold your condition. Have you not sometimes been brought into a condition of insensibility? You wished you could feel; but all you felt was pain because you could not feel. You wished you could pray. It was not that you felt prayerless, but it was because you did not feel at all. You sighed once; you would give a world if you could sigh now. You used to groan once; a groan now would be worth a golden star if you could buy it. As for songs, you can sing them, but then your heart does not go with them. You go to the house of God; but when "the multitude that keep holy day" in the full tide of song send their music up to heaven, you hear it, but your heart does not leap at the sound. Prayer goeth solemnly like the evening sacrifice up to God's throne; once you could pray too; but now, while your body is in the house of God, your heart is not there. You feel you have brought the chrysalis of your being; but the fly is gone away from it: it is a dead, lifeless case. You have become like a formalist.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

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.)

Pursuing their journey, they come to the enchanted ground.

I. HOPEFUL KEPT AWAKE BY GOODLY COUNSEL AND DISCOURSE.

1. He gives an account of his life before conversion.

2. He gives four reasons why he resisted the light.

3. Eight circumstances that revived his conviction.

4. He vainly tried to ease himself by a moral reformation.

5. The way of salvation.

6. He persisted in prayer until the answer came, and Christ was revealed to him.

7. Believing and coming to Christ explained.

II. IGNORANCE COMES UP AGAIN.

1. Ignorance explains the ground of his hope.

2. Christian explains what good thoughts are.

3. Christian gives answer to Ignorance's confession of faith.

4. Ignorance speaks reproachfully about things he knows not.

5. He again falls behind.

III. CHRISTIAN AND HOPEFUL RENEW THEIR CONVERSATION.

1. Reflections over the conduct of Ignorance.

2. The proper use of fear.

3. Why ignorant persons stifle conviction.

4. Talk about one called Temporary.

5. Four reasons why some backslide.

6. How they backslide.

IV. SOME LESSONS ON THIS STAGE.

1. In times of danger it is wise to recall former experiences.

2. Human philosophy may seem very wise, but the Bible is an unfailing touchstone.

(L. O. Thompson.)

Preacher's Monthly.
The apostle sounds a note of warning. Men should attend.

I. THERE IS A DIVINE PURPOSE IN EVERY MAN'S LIFE. We do not come into this world by accident, necessity, nor our own choice. We are sent, and, therefore, we have some distinct mission to fulfil. It is the duty of every man to love God, to watch the interests and good of His universe. This is what He sent us for.

II. THERE IS A DIVINE LIMIT TO EVERY MAN'S LIFE. It is but "a day." Sleep is the time for dreams. It is the season of darkness. He who sleeps knows nothing as it really is, and is, for the most part, insensible to pleasure or pain. Our time is unsuitable for sleep. It is too short. It is too full of duties. It is the only time wherein they can be discharged. Spiritual sleep is sin, death — and God calls us to awake. There is a business to be done in our mortal life which cannot be done hereafter.

(Preacher's Monthly.)

I. WHAT ARE WE TO WATCH AGAINST?

1. Sin.

2. The temptations of the enemy.

3. Ourselves.

4. The lust of the flesh and of the eye and the pride of life.

II. WHAT ARE WE TO WATCH FOR?

1. Opportunities —

(1)To instruct the ignorant.

(2)To confirm the weak.

(3)To comfort the afflicted.

(4)To glorify Christ.

2. The promises.

3. Answers to prayer.

4. The Second Coming of Christ.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

They who in a crazy vessel navigate a sea wherein are shoals and currents innumerable, if they would keep their course, or reach their port in safety, must carefully repair the smallest injuries, and often throw out their line, and take their observations. In the voyage of life, also, he who would not make shipwreck of his faith, while he is habitually watchful and provident, must make it his express business to look into his state and ascertain his progress.

(W. Wilberforce.)

A king had an unwise and reckless son, so reckless that when all entreaty and rebuke proved in vain, he condemned him to death. Still he was allowed three months' respite, in which he was to prepare himself for death. After this had flown, the father called him again into his presence. But what a change in the appearance of the son! His figure was abject, and his countenance bore the traces of an entire inward transformation. "How comes it now," says the king to him, "that thou, my son, appearest before me in so different a character?" "Ah, my father and king," replied he, "how should I not be changed, having death for three months constantly before my eyes?" "Well," responded the father, "since thou hast so earnestly considered the matter and become of a different mind, thy punishment is remitted; yet see that thou keep within thee forever this new feeling!" "That is too hard for me; how could I, amid the manifold enticements of my newly granted life, possibly be able to stand?" Then the king ordered a shell to be handed to his son, which was filled up to the brim with oil, and said to him, "Take this and carry it through all the streets of the city. But two men with drawn swords are to follow immediately behind thee on foot. If thou spillest only one drop of the oil, in the same moment thy head is to roll off into the street." The son obeyed. With slow, but sure, steps he traversed the streets of the great capital, ever holding the full shell in his hands, followed by the two armed servants, who were ready at any moment to decapitate him. But, happily, without having spilled even a drop of the oil, the young man returned to his father's palace. "Tell me, my son," said he, "what hast thou seen in thy wandering through the city?" "Nothing, my father, nothing at all have I seen." "And why not, since, too, this is our yearly market day? Tell me what kind of shops, wares, people, animals, etc., fell under thy notice?" "Indeed, sire, I have seen nothing whatever on the entire route, for my eyes were ceaselessly directed toward the oil in the shell that it might remain in the right position and not run over. And how should I not have been thus watchful, when the executioners were close behind, and my life hung upon the point of their swords." Then said the king, "Now keep well in mind what thou hast been forced to learn in this hour. As the shell of oil, so bear thy soul always in thy hands; direct thy thoughts away from the distractions of sense and the things of earth in which they are so easily lost, towards the eternal which alone has worth, and ever reflect that death's executioners follow at thy heels, and so thou wilt not so easily forget what is needful to thy soul, and so needful to keep thee from the old disorderly life that must necessarily lead to perdition." And the son hearkened, and lived happily.

(A Tamil Parable.)

A believer's watchfulness is like that of the soldier. A sentinel posted on the walls, when he discovers a hostile party advancing, does not attempt to make head against them himself, but informs his commanding officer of the enemies' approach, and leaves him to take the proper measures against the foe. So the Christian does not attempt to fight temptation in his own strength; his duty is to observe its approach and tell God of it by prayer.

(W. Mason.)

When the station of Moriah was planted among the Basutos, the missionaries (Mr. Casalie and two companions) were greatly disturbed by hyenas. Each missionary had to mount guard in his turn for one-third of the night. The hyenas' plan was evidently to wear out the dogs, which they seemed to fear more than the man with the gun, by incessant prowling and howling round the enclosure. For hours together the dogs maintained a corresponding watchfulness and activity, hurrying from one point of apparent attack to another, until even canine nature was on the point of exhaustion. Relief seemed to come shortly before dawn, for the howling became rarer and more distant, until it ceased altogether. Of course the dogs were soon asleep, but their slumber was almost immediately broken by a tremendous uproar. The hyenas had broken in silently, had seized their prey, and were off with it before the missionary had time to fire a shot. Like a greater enemy of man, the hyenas, failing to intimidate, had trusted to a surprise, and by a pre tended peace had worn out the watchfulness of the defenders of the flock.

(J. F. B. Tinling, B. A.)

Argus is fabled to have had a hundred eyes in his head, only two of which ever slept at once. Jupiter sent Mercury to slay him. Mercury put on his winged slippers, took his sleep-producing wand, and hastened to the side of Argus. He presented himself in the guise of a shepherd with his flock. Argus listened, delighted with the new kind of music, and invited the young shepherd to sit beside him. Mercury sat down, told stories, and played the most soothing strains upon his pipes, till it grew late, hoping to lock in sleep the watchful eyes of Argus. At length, as Mercury played and told a long story of the discovery of his wonderful instrument, he saw the hundred eyes all closed. The head of Argus leaned upon his breast, and Mercury cut it off with a stroke, and tumbled it down the rocks. The hundred eyes availed not while the watcher slept. Juno took them, and set them in the feathers of the tail of her peacock, where they remain to this day.

(J. L. Nye.)

I. PHYSICALLY. Abstain altogether from intoxicating liquors, or, at least, from their excessive use.

II. MENTALLY. By avoiding vanity, ambition, and other extravagant and unreasonable passions.

III. SPIRITUALLY. By keeping free from wild and unregulated enthusiasm in religion.

IV. CIRCUMSTANTIALLY. Don't make haste to be rich; and "when riches increase set not thy heart upon them."

V. SOCIALLY. Don't make too many friends, and don't impose on the kindness of those whose friendship you make.

(A. S. Patterson, D. D.)

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