That Sermon Was a Snoozer

snoozer

That sermon was a Snoozer!

Acts 20:1-12

Matt’s snoozer story

Luke narrates how Paul left Ephesus, having spent the best part of three years there during his 3rd missionary expedition, and then traveled place to place until his final destination, Jerusalem.

Paul now traveled through that area. He spent several months revisiting the Macedonian churches he founded on his second missionary journey, speaking many words of encouragement to them.

Paul arrives in Greece, were he stayed three months- where he pays the Corinthian church a painful visit recorded in 2 Corinthians 2:1.

It was during this visit to the Corinthian church that Paul wrote his letter to the Romans. (Isn’t the history of the Bible beautiful? How it’s all woven together)

Paul continues his travels and is accompanied by several men from different regions, Luke joins them perhaps in Phillipi- these men being the fruit of his missionary efforts to various regions.

They spend a week in Troas where only one incident is recorded- the dramatic sleep, fall, death and resuscitation of a young man named Eutychus.

“On the first day of the week” v.7

Luke is following the Roman calendar- this day is Sunday and is the earliest evidence we have for the Christian practice of gathering together for worship

The purpose of their assembly was to  “break bread”, which was understood as the Lord’s supper in the context of a fellowship meal, as in the upper room in Jerusalem

Paul spoke to the people, and because he intended to leave the following day, kept talking (prolonged his address) until midnight. The meeting began at sunset, at the conclusion of their day’s work.

The meeting was held in a private house, upstairs, so that the atmosphere became stuffy and oily from the many lamps.

Eutychus was seated on the window ledge- he is called a young man, but in verse 12 the word is rendered “lad” or “boy” making him between the age of 8-14, and he was gradually sinking into a deep sleep- Greek renders it, “he was completely overcome by sleep” and so he falls from the 3rd story and dies.

Paul suspends his sermon and rushes downstairs and like Elijah with the son of the widow at Zarephath and Elisha with the son of the Shunammite woman, Paul throws himself on the boy and brings him to life as if this is no small thing…..

the crowd goes back upstairs, partakes of the Lord’s supper and Paul continues his sermon until daylight.

What can we take away from this story?

Luke is describing to us what was going on- what the Bible describes is not always what it prescribes

We do not have liberty to copy what took place- assembling in a house on the 3rd story, meeting in the evening, using oil lamps for light or listening to a lengthy sermon nor do we omit what this story omits- speaking in tongues, prophecy, singing songs of praise or Scripture reading.

People want a NT church- “they met in houses”, well then sell all that you have and give to the church and we will divide it as we see necessary.

But it does seem to appear that they met on the Lord’s day for the Lord’s Supper and that this was a regularly schedule meeting and practice in Troas.

In addition to the communion meal, there was a sermon that lasted from sunset to midnight and then from midnight to sunrise.

Eutychus sat on the window ledge, perhaps because it was extremely crowded and there were no other seating, or he was relegated to the farthest seat because he was only a boy. Luke uses medical language when describing Eutychus falling into sleep, it’s clear that he is not condemning the young lad. Because he was young, and perhaps the oil from the lamps aided him in his sleepiness.

I read some sermons about falling asleep in church- my grandma used to do that

But that’s not what struck me in this story.

Paul stops his sermon. Goes down and heals the boy. And continues to minister. Even death couldn’t stop Paul from preaching the Word of God

There is nothing that should stop the Word of God from going forth.

Ex: Joyce Meyer, the lady fell down the stairs; “we are here to receive the Word”

1. Some think this was the enemy trying to stop Paul from preaching

1 Thessalonians 2:18 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.

The enemy at times had frustrated Paul’s missionary endeavors.

In one city, he was stoned where they thought he died, but he got up and went back into the city

Regardless of whether or not this was the enemy’s work, Paul did not stop speaking God’s Word

2. We have a real enemy that seeks not only to steal, kill and destroy; but to hinder God’s work of salvation in the earth.

1 Thessalonians 3:5 New King James Version (NKJV)

For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.

This is the second reference to the activity of Satan in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians.

Paul knew the reality of Satan and evil spirits

You are in a real battle with a real enemy, whether or not you know it or want to war against him; he is against you and he hates you and he seeks to stop the Word from going forth to change lives

3. Satan is permitted by God to war against believers and hinder us from doing what we are called to do for the Lord.

Ephesians 6:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the [a]wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of [b]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Daniel 10:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.

Zechariah 3:1 New King James Version (NKJV)

3 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan[a] standing at his right hand to oppose him.

ANYTIME the Word of God is going forth, the enemy will oppose it. If you are doing nothing for the Lord and a church is dead, Satan will leave you alone. The only thing that transforms lives is the preaching of the Word that brings salvation.

Go and feed the homeless and you will not be opposed, build a church full of transformed saints of God for His kingdom and glory and the enemy comes in like a flood

4. Satan’s power is subject to God’s overruling

Job 1:9-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not [a]made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse[b] You to Your face!”

12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your [c]power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to [a]buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

God can certainly overrule anything Satan’s activities and turn them into good for His kingdom, but Paul still did not let his thorn keep him from preaching the gospel

5. Satan’s opposition can be overcome

Acts 16:16-18 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days.

But Paul, greatly [a]annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

Paul did not stop preaching because he was annoyed, he confronted the enemy head on.

The kingdom of God advances only by confrontation with the powers of darkness and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

You cannot neither be timid nor can you be afraid!  

What do you do when the enemy comes in?

Isaiah 59:19 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 So shall they fear The name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

1. Be aware that you are in a spiritual battle and that souls are at stake.

WE lift up a standard against him!

Not everything is a spiritual attack, but we have to recognize we have a real enemy that is out to destroy us and hinder the preaching of the Word.

2. Be sure that you are living in obedience to the Lord. The enemy will find any weakness or unrepentant sin in your life in order to attack. Unchecked sin opens the door for the enemy- Judas was not living in adultery nor was he a murderer, but he had a greedy heart that Satan used and exploited. If there is any ounce of rebellion in you, any place in your heart that seeks its own way and desire, Satan will use it to gain an advantage and will hinder your ability to minister effectively for the LORD

James 3:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 For where envy and self-seeking (ambition) exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

Fervently commit to God’s truth and righteousness.

Psalm 139:23-24 New King James Version (NKJV)

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

3. Have faith that Satan’s power can be broken in any specific area of his domain and realize God has given us power to overcome. Believe God for a miracle

Paul did not even miss a beat. He spoke a word of life and healing over Eutychus. He knew God was in control and that Paul’s ministry was not yet complete. He still must go to Jerusalem

What if Eutychus would have died? I believe Paul would have still prayed over him, let Luke take care of things and finished his sermon. Jesus said, “let the dead bury the dead” Paul had work to do. People are a privilege, not a promise

The apostle Andrew was crucified on a x-shaped cross in Greece. After seven soldiers whipped him severely, they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when led to the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words, “I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.” He continued to preach for 2 days until he died.

4. Use your spiritual weapons

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 New King James Version (NKJV)

For the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Prayer and fasting- before the distraction comes. You cannot get ready IN the midst of battle. Paul was ready and remained in a state of readiness

Know the Word of God- this is your sword, pray the Word, renew your mind to the Word, demons influence our thoughts, emotions and actions of those who have not been delivered from old strongholds. Paul knew the Word, he operated under the same power and authority of Elijah and Elisha

Wage intense spiritual warfare through the power of the Holy Spirit and the name of Jesus at which every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth- and go and set others free. The preaching of the cross has always been fatal to idolatry, rebellion, and wickedness

Pray in the Spirit and actively drive out the enemy, out of your house, your family, your church! Take authority that’s been granted you EX: Matt and I in TX house, bickering

4. GET up and take care of business.

Like Paul, realize that there will be interference to ministry, but that we need to stay the course and not get side tracked and distracted from doing what the Lord has called us to do. Stop whining and complaining and throwing yourself a pity party-

God has showed me that the enemy does not have to destroy me, only to render me ineffective for His kingdom.

Joshua 7:6-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, Lord [a]God, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all—to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turns its [b]back before its enemies? For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear it, and surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great name?”

10 So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? 11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the [c]accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. 13 Get up, sanctify[d] the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.”

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