If you fall asleep in a sermon, don’t snore.
JULY 11, 2023
If you fall asleep in a sermon, don’t snore. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
This is Key Life with our host, author, and seminary professor Steve Brown. He’s nobody’s guru, he’s just one beggar telling other beggars where he found bread. If you’re hungry for God, the real God behind all the lies, you’ve come to the right place.
Thank you Matthew. If you were with us yesterday, we began to look at the 20th chapter of the Book of Acts. And there are two incidents that happened there, one was probably the longest sermon in the history of the Christian church, preached by the apostle Paul. And the second one happened in Miletus where the Ephesian elders met the apostle Paul and he said goodbye to them, a moving and incredibly profound passage. But we spent time yesterday on the first part of the 20th chapter of Acts, and that was when Paul was preaching a sermon. And the incident described by Dr. Luke is a young man by the name of Eutychus who was sitting in the window listening to Paul preach. Paul didn’t preach a half an hour sermon or an hour sermon or a two hour sermon. He was going on three and four hours, and I suspect more than one person in that particular congregation dozed off, but nobody else was sitting in the window, third floor, but Eutychus. And Eutychus, the young man fell asleep, fell out of the window and down to the sidewalk of the building and died. Paul then stopped preaching, that was about the only thing that would stop him. And he went down the stairs, three floors of stairs, found Eutychus dead, embraced him and Eutychus’s life came back into him. And a miracle was accomplished. Now, there’s some scholars that say he was just hurt and unconscious, he wasn’t dead. And the text sort of suggests that, others say, no, he died and God did a miracle. And the text sort of suggests that too. So, you get to pick and choose. I prefer the latter, Eutychus was dead, Paul embraced him, he came back to life, and Paul climbed up three flights of stairs to the third floor, got behind the pulpit and took up where he left off in his sermon. That blows me away, man. I think, well, he got something to eat on the way, the text says. You know, I think I would’ve said at benediction, I think we would’ve ended the service, if I had been there and had been Paul. I would’ve said, enough is enough, I’ve already gone way too long, not Paul, because he had a burning passion for truth, a burning passion for God’s word. He knew he was going to Jerusalem. He knew that that might end in going to Rome and losing his life. He knew he only had one shot and he wanted to make sure that they understood the basic truths of the Christian faith. He never mentioned Eutychus again, and so he placed the word of God over the miracles. I was the pastor in a church wherein I, it came because I prayed about it and felt led to do it. We were Presbyterians and Presbyterians don’t have healing services, but I decided that we were going to have public healing services. The elders often anointed the sick with oil and prayed for them. And all I said to the elders, we’re going to do it publicly on Wednesday night, once a month. And we did. And it was an amazing thing. God came, people came forward for communion and those who wanted particular prayer for problems or sickness or anything, they backed up in the first row, sat down, and a team of elders would come by, anoint them with oil and pray for them. And we saw, we saw a young lady with meningitis who was going for surgery the next day, and it was gone when she got to the hospital. Cancers were put in remission, major marriage problems were fixed because of the, and it went on and on and on. You say, I bet there were great testimonies. No, there weren’t. I didn’t allow them. You say, what’s wrong with you, man? You can build an empire on that. I didn’t allow them because I didn’t want people to focus on what God had done more than they focused on God himself. And at least in that one incident, I was sort of like Paul. I had a passion for the truth. And it was important to me that people not see the miracles, but that they see the truth. And there’s an important principle there, if you’ve got to choose, choose the truth because kissin’ and don’t last and cookin’ and do. I know that’s sexist, but I love that particular statement. And then there’s, as I mentioned yesterday, there is in this particular 20th chapter of Acts, the crowd that traveled with the apostle Paul. And I suggested that when God calls one, he calls a bunch. Let me make one more comment about that. That principle is particularly relevant in families. I’ve been doing this for a very long time, and I know that some of you have family members who are not Christians, and you’ve been praying for them for years. I prayed for my father who was not a Christian, for years and years and just before he died, he came to know Christ in a tremendous and wonderful way. And so, there’s a sub principle of the principle that when God calls one, he calls a bunch. When in a family, God calls one, he calls a family. And generally that’s true. And so, there’s hope for your unsaved husband or your unsaved wife or your kids who have left the faith because God works not only in Covenant, he works in Family Covenant. And so, be still and watch and see what he does. Alright, enough about that. Let me take the time to look at the second incident that took place in the 20th chapter of Acts. And I’m going to start in the 17th verse.
And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. And they came to him.
And by the way, Miletus is on the coast and Ephesus isn’t, and he was on the boat. And so, instead of making that trip, he thought it would be good for the elders to come and they have a worship service on the dock in Miletus.
And when they came to him,
he said to them: “You yourselves know how I lived among you all the time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility, with tears, with trials which befell me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and Greeks of repentance to God and to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now behold, I’m going to Jerusalem, bound in the Spirit, not knowing what shall befall me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not count my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, that testified to the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that all you among whom I have come preaching the kingdom will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of you all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to care for the church of God, which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my departure, fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after him. Therefore be alert.
Then at the 32nd verse.
And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you the inheritance among those who are sanctified.
And then Luke said, with great tears.
The apostle Paul departed.
Man, sad but good. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown continuing to point out the sights in our unhurried tour through Acts, today turning the corner to explore the back half of chapter 20. Amazing events, amazing stories, and still so much more to discover. And we will continue from right here tomorrow, do join us then. Well, do you know what today is? Well, on this day in 1967, The Newlywed Game premiered on TV. This was also the day when in 1960 Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird was first published. And one more thing. Today is also a great day to order the latest edition of Key Life Magazine. This issue features articles from Jenni Young, Kendra Fletcher, Chad West, and Steve plus info on our exciting new book, subscription service, Key Life Book Box. Claim your copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that magazine. Or to mail your request go to keylife.org/contact for our mailing addresses. Just ask for your free copy of Key Life Magazine. And finally, if you value the ministry of Key Life, would you support our work through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950 then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.