Sleep of DeathTen virgins awaiting the call of the Bridegroom to come and attend the glorious supper fell asleep as they tarried. Eutychus, sitting in the third story window, listening to the lengthy preaching of the Apostle Paul suddenly tipped from the edge and plummeted to the ground. Peter, James, and John, implored by Christ, WATCH AND PRAY with me, fell asleep until the tragic words of Jesus spoken over slumbering bodies said, “Sleep on now, and take your rest.” Sardis, that great and seemingly impregnable city, standing in pride and absolute disdain to any force that may invade…Oh that it had listened to the Spirit…WATCH YE THEREFORE…idleness, sleep, slumber, and death.

The field of those who sleep is grown over with thorns which choke the precious Word of God. Weeds (nettles) have sprung up and blemish the beauty of the flowers. The stone wall to keep the jackals, lions, and little foxes out lays tumbled and ruined. It needs to be considered well. We need to look carefully and with great scrutiny  upon the condition of the souls of those who sleep and receive the instruction of their destruction. As the door turns on its hinges, so is the sluggard in his bed!

Proverbs 24:33-34 (KJV)
33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

In the year of 1812, Moscow resounded with the victorious cries of citizens and solderies alike, as the once fearsome and great general Napolean ordered his troops into what would become a disastrous retreat. It would have been better to fight to the death then to receive the slow and terrible defeat that was to follow. As they soldiers of the guard stumbled through the deep and deathy cold biting at their faces, limbs, and body;  the muddy foundations gripping their feet beneath the layers of snow with each plodding step the soldiers one by one began to fall prostrate into the snow. Overcome by the cold, breath coming in labored gasps, those fallen soldiers, weak and weary slowly closed their eyes…never to wake again. To fall asleep was to die. One account from Napolean’s Master of Horse described how he tried again and again to shake those who lay upon the snow, warning them that if they slept they would die. But the drowsiness was too much, his cries fell upon deaf ears…and one by one death rode its awful horse and its sickle that buried deep into the soul was only sleep itself.

MARTIN LUTHER’s DREAM or PARABLE….

It is said that Martin Luther had a parable or dream  of how on one occasion the devil sat upon his throne listening to the reports  of his agents and ambassadors on the progress they had made in opposing the  truth of Christ and destroying the souls of men.

One spirit said: “There was a company  of Christians crossing the desert. I loosed the lions upon them, and soon the  sands of the desert were strewn with their mangled corpses.”

“What of that?”  answered Satan. “The lions destroyed their bodies, but their souls were  saved. It is their souls that I am after.”

Then another made his report. He said:  “There was a company of Christian pilgrims sailing through the sea on a  vessel. I sent a great wind against the ship, which drove the ship on the  rocks, and every Christian aboard the ship was drowned.”

“What of that?” said Satan.  “Their bodies were drowned in the sea, but their souls were saved. It is their souls  that I am after.”

Then a third came forward to  give his report, and he said: “For ten years I have been trying to cast a  Christian into a deep sleep, and at last I have succeeded.”

And with that the corridors of  hell rang with shouts of malignant triumph.

Sisera, with the warm milk of hospitality, fugitive fleeing death’s hand itself slowly closes his eyes and the last thing he would ever feel was the sharp and peircing pain of the stake that shattered the temporal lobe…

Let us pray in this hour that we live in that we do not succumb to the false hope and complacency of Laodecia. In the middle, warm and comfortable, increased with goods and wealth, that church was on the verge of tipping over from the window and plunging to a terrible death. The sleep of death.

It is through much prayer, fasting, reading of the Word of God that enables the soul to keep the Light of God burning in our vessels. It enables us to take the driving winds of temptation and instead of blowing out our light it only fuels that fire to burn brighter. It is my prayer this morning that each of you realize the urgency of the 11th hour…it was at midnight the cry of the bridegroom came and five foolish virgins sat with the stark and cold reality of a lamb that had ceased to burn.

God bless you this Sunday morning and have church!