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Adrian Rogers - The Wake-Up Call

Adrian Rogers - The Wake-Up Call

Would you take God's Word and be finding Romans chapter 13. And we left off in chapter 13 last Sunday, and we will take up again here in just a few moments, beginning in verse 11. But let me tell you what happened a long time ago in the birth of our nation. The day was April the 18th, the year 1775. And the British had brought their troops into old Boston. And the plan was at nighttime, when everyone was asleep, to take small boats, go across the Charles River, and attack Concord and Lexington. Everyone was asleep, the British had their plans, but there was a man who was not asleep. And his name was Paul Revere. He was awake. He knew what was happening. And Paul Revere and his famous ride, you remember the story, he got on his horse and he began to gallop from village to village, from house to house, and he began to cry, "Wake up! Wake up! The British are coming, the British are coming"!

And he sounded the alarm and he knocked on doors and cried in the streets and galloped from place to place, telling everybody, "Wake up"! And candles were lit, and windows were opened, and curtains drawn back, and people rubbed their eyes. Men got up and put on their clothes and grabbed their muskets. They called them, "Minute Men". They were ready in a minute. And they went out into the streets to defend their honor, to defend their country, to defend their children from the British, who were coming in the night. Old Paul Revere sent out a call, and that call was, "Wake up, the British are coming". I want to tell you, there's another war, an invisible war, and somebody today needs to be a modern Paul Revere and tell us to wake up, to wake up, the enemy is upon us, the enemy is coming, and we need to sound the alarm. And the sad thing is this, that the church is asleep, snuggled up in her pews with the covers pulled up over her head, and the sanctuary is dark.

And the church needs to wake up before it's too late. That's what the apostle Paul is talking about here, Romans 13 beginning in verse 11 through verse 14. Look, "And that, knowing the time," watch it, "it is now high time to awake out of sleep. For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed". Listen to this now, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof".

The title of our message today, "The Wake-Up Call". What time is it on God's clock? Well, number one, it's time to wake up and number two; it's probably later than most of us think. And this is a wake-up call that Paul gave to these saints so long ago, and I believe that he wants to give it to us today because the alarm has sounded. The late, great Vance Havner said, "In today's world there is anarchy in the world, apostasy in the church, and apathy in the pew, apathy in the pew". We're asleep. And we need to wake up. And I thought about that, and there is anarchy in our world. I want to give you some alarming things. Remember, listen, we in America today are in a moral free-fall, have you noticed? I am amazed, in all of my ministry I've never seen such a loosening of standards as we see. Something is happening in the hearts and minds of boys and girls.

Years ago, down here in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, a youngster took a gun to school and killed his erstwhile girlfriend. He had one objective, to go to school and kill her. And he told of worshiping Satan and praying to Satan, and I give you a quote that I lifted right out of the newspaper from this young man. He said, "At one moment I was a broken idiot. The next I was in complete control. That was the power Satan had given me. I know it is real". Now, how can we have boys and girls today who are turning to Satan worship right in the very buckle of the Bible belt? I was given an article that came out of a skateboard magazine. You know boys and girls love to ride skateboards, and so much that there is a magazine. That magazine is called Thrasher.

This is the September 1997 edition. It's a little comic strip, and it has a little smiley-faced devil and another little imp there with horns on his head and a little forked tail, and here's what the comic strip says. Here's the smiley-faced devil and he says, "Hi, kiddies," and this smiling-face devil is surrounded by half-naked women around him. He says, "Hi, kiddies, it's me, Devil Man, along with my trusty sycophant, Flame Boy". Now Flame Boy is the little demon that's there. "I want to make you a little offer". This is what Devil Man is saying to the kids. Now listen to it. Imagine your boy, your girl getting this. "I want to make you a little offer. Here's the deal; I want your soul". And then little Flame Boy answers in the comic. He says, "But boss, won't they need their souls if they're going to go to Heaven? That's where I want to go when I die".

Then Devil Man answers, "First of all, Flame Boy, you are already dead. That's why you are in Hell. And second of all, Heaven is not all it's cracked up to be. I should know, I used to live there". "You used to live in Heaven, boss? I didn't know you used to live there". "Oh, you see, when I lived there, I tried to make Heaven a fun place, but that just got me and my friends kicked out. Note how bad we are," and in this picture, there's Devil Man surrounded by halfnude demon spirit personified as women, and he's got a bottle of booze in his hand. And then Devil Man says, "After God told me to go to Hell, things in Heaven were never quite the same". Flame Boy says, "What happened"? "Well, first of all, they set up a bunch of dumb rules, and then they imposed a really strict dress code. I'll wager the people must be quite bored up there, but hey, that's what they get for being good".

And then there's some more vile talk that I'll skip, and finally here's what Devil Man says to Flame Boy, "Flame Boy, a dim-wit like you can see that Hell is by far the best place to retire. Just look at the fun to be had. And remember, in Hell there is only one rule, and that is there are no rules". "So kids," now here's the way this thing ends, "So, kids, to ensure your permanent place in Hell, send me your soul now". And at the end of this thing, now this is for boys and girls to read, I mean, it's for kids who pick up their skateboard magazine. And at the end there's a contract and here's the contract; "I, the undersigned, do hereby give possession of my soul to the devil for eternity forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever".

And then there's a place for their signature. And then it ends with a smiling devil saying, "I'll be seeing you". That's for kiddies to pick up in America today. What I want to tell you folks is the alarm has sounded in America. I was reading where a Bronx school teacher had a student who had drowned, and a student in the class asked about the student who drowned and said, "Is he in Heaven"? And the teacher said, "Yes, the child is in Heaven," and tried to say some comforting words to her students and led them in prayer. Do you know what happened? She was fired. She was fired. And the reason that she was fired because it's against the law for a teacher to lead students in prayer; a public school teacher is not to lead students in prayer. She was fired. The students in that class recognized a double standard.

One thirteen-year-old said, "We talk about guns and condoms, and they give us condoms to have safe sex on the streets, but we can't talk about the One who made us". The alarm has sounded. I mean, the alarm has sounded from the church house to the school house to the White House. We're being told that it's competency in the White House that matters, not character, that there's no relationship between a person's private life and his or her public life. I don't believe that for a skinny minute. And we see anarchy in the world, we see the United States of America sitting down in a conference table with international gangsters and murderers because we think it's good for the economy.

Friend, a bear can hug you to death. I could say much more, but I'm talking now folks about anarchy in the world. But that would not be so frightening if it were not for the second thing which is apostasy in the church. I cannot believe what is happening in our churches today. Let me tell you what is happening. I read an article and the title of the article, "Episcopal Bishop Denigrates Church's Basic Concepts," and here's what it said, and if you're an Episcopalian, I'm not putting down Episcopalians. Because I believe that all Bible-believing, godly Episcopalians are heartbroken over this.

But this is a bishop, now, this is a bishop. "The Right Reverend John Shelby Sprong believes the time has come for intelligent Christians to grow up and admit that there isn't a personal God of any kind on the receiving end of these prayers and petitions. It's nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic Deity". The article went on to say that, "Sprong rejects miracles in general, humanity's fall into sin, and any belief that the Bible contains revealed transcendent moral laws. He rejects the virgin birth, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ as historical events".

Now this is a bishop; a leader of leaders. And I want to quote from him, his words, "The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed". Just dismiss the idea that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. That's a bishop. And the moderator of the United Church of Canada said, and I quote, "I don't believe Jesus Christ was God. I don't believe Jesus is the only way to God. I don't believe he arose from the dead as a scientific fact".

Friend, the alarm has sounded. The alarm has sounded. And not only is there this anarchy in the world, not only is there this apostasy in the church, but there's such apathy in the pew. What are people doing? Who gets excited? People just roll over and yawn in the face of God and go back to sleep. Now I say all of that to agree with the apostle Paul in these verses. It is high time to awake out of our sleep. That's what I'm trying to say. Romans 13 verses 11 and 12 says, "It's high time," that means the hour is here. Verse 12 says, "The night is far spent". That means it's later than you think. I want to tell you, it's later in this age than you may think. It is later in this age than you may think. I believe that Jesus Christ is at the threshold, and I believe the trumpet is about to sound and Jesus Christ is going to come soon, and it is only the restraining hand of Almighty God and the Holy Spirit that keep the floodgates of evil closed as much as they are. I'll tell you something else.

It may be later in your life than you think. You only have so many more days, so many hours yet to serve the Lord Jesus. James 4 verse 14 says, "What is your life but a vapor that appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away". I'll tell you something else. It's later in the day of opportunity than you may think. We have opportunities now that are unparalleled to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus, when He was here on earth, said in John chapter 9 verse 4, "I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day; for night cometh when no man can work". There are a lot of things you can do, but I'm going to tell you one thing you cannot do when you get to Heaven, and that is you cannot win souls in Heaven. All the soul-winning that you're ever going to do, you're going to do while you are here on this earth, and it may be later in that day of opportunity than you realize.

Having said all of this, and all of this is the front porch to get us in the house, so we have a small house and a big porch, but now listen. There are three things I pray God the Holy Spirit will write upon your heart that the apostle Paul told the church at Rome, and he wants to tell the church in Memphis, and all of those of you who are listening, wherever you may be listening, through television or through radio or through tape. Listen, there are three things you need to do. It is time, number one, to wake up. Look again in Romans 13 verse 11 if you will, "And knowing the time that it is now high time to awake out of your sleep," or to awake out of sleep. Turn to your neighbor right now and say, "Wake up"! Say, "Wake up"!

Listen, it is time; it is time to wake up. You know what's wrong in America today? Too many sermons are like bedtime stories rather than reveilles, and God's alarm clock is going off all around us. Now Jesus is coming as a thief in the night, but the apostle Paul said in First Thessalonians 5:4, "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief". How can we be so, sit so comfortably in the pew when civilization is crumbling around us? One man wanted to impress his pastor. He said, "Pastor, would you give me a little prayer that I can pray when I enter church"? The pastor knew his ways and said, "Yes, I have a nice prayer for you. 'Now I lay me down to sleep.'"

It's time that we wake up! And we don't need to just roll over and yawn in the face of God. The night is far past. So many of our churches are like Samson, asleep in the lap of Delilah. And then when we do wake up finally, we don't know that the Spirit has departed from us, and we go out to shake ourselves with no power. How do you wake up? Not by feeling like it, but just getting up anyway. If I had waited till I felt like it, I still may be in bed. You don't push the snooze button. You wake up and get up. Now first thing, it's time to wake up. Got it? All right, here's the second thing; it is time not only to wake up, but it is time to clean up. Look if you will also in this verse now.

Watch it in Romans 13 verses 12 and 13, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying". Now the picture here is somebody who's been out on the town, all night long chambering in wantonness, strife, envy, drunkenness, reveling, and he comes in with his filthy, dirty clothes, reeking with the spots and stains of sin. He doesn't even undress; he just falls into a drunken stupor, into a sleep. And Paul says, "Wake up! And clean up"!

Now, he mentions six things that we need to put off before we are ready to meet the day. And these six things he puts in couplets, so you have three couplets, six things. First of all, notice these works of darkness. In Romans 13 verse 13 he calls, first of all he says, "You put off rioting and drunkenness". Put that off. Get rid of that. Now, the word rioting means carousing. We know what the word drunkenness means. But carousing and drunkenness, that's what keeps the taverns in business. That's what keeps the nightclubs in business. That's what keeps these casinos in business. And God says, "Put that off. You have no business in these places". If you're a child of God and you're frequenting these places, God sent me here to tell you to stop. Quit! Put it off! And then God says, "Chambering and wantonness".

Those are two words from the King James that we don't use in our modern English very much, but chambering means sexual immorality. Wantonness means without shame or shamelessness. Think of sexual immorality today. If you're a child of God and a member of this church and you're living in sexual immorality, you need to do one of two things. You need to get right or get out. Get right or get out. God says, "Put these things off". Hebrews chapter 13 and verse 4 says, "Marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled, but adulterers and whoremongers God will judge". Today we have so many people who are living together without the benefit of marriage. They don't get married, they just live together, and today that is an accepted thing.

Well I want to tell you it is not acceptable in the Word of God. The Bible calls that fornication, and the Bible says in First Corinthians 6 verse 18, "Flee fornication". The Bible absolutely forbids that. You say, "Well we're in love". Well then, get married. And if you're not in love, get out. You say, "But what about what the movie stars do? What about what the rock stars do? What about what the sports stars are doing"?

Friend, you'd better begin to order your life by the Word of God. Not in sexual immorality and not in shamelessness. I'm amazed today that there is no sense of shame. We have a generation today of unblushables, people who are going to be amazed that what I said, that I literally said. They say, "What? You mean you're telling me that we're not supposed to live together"? That's right. "Oh"! I mean, it's like, well, "We do that. We're not ashamed of that".

Put these verses down, Jeremiah chapter 6 verse 15, "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay! They were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush". Somebody has said that man is the only animal that can blush and he's the only one that needs to. We have sin today that's arrogant and proud, no shame.

I was reading in Isaiah chapter 3 verse 9, listen to it, "The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom. They hide it not". That is, they're literally proud of it, proud of it! Chambering and wantonness, sexual immorality and shamelessness, he says put it away. And then strife and envy. Strife means the desire for power. Envy is wanting more and wanting what somebody else has. And if your heart is headquarters for hate and if you're full of envy, jealousy and unsatisfied desires, these things are the works of darkness, and God says put them off. You say, "Well Pastor Rogers, I don't think I can". Yes you can. I received a letter and I want to share it with you. It says:

I was raised in a Christian home. My faith waned. I became agnostic and began studying other religions. Over the years I became bitter. I subscribed to evolution, atheism, and eventually Satanism. It was during this dark time that I found Love Worth Founding on the radio. I found Love Worth Finding. I listened with a full intent of mocking the message, often ridiculing it to those around me. But for some reason, no matter how much my hate raged, I still listened. The more I heard, the more I resisted, but I couldn't stop listening. One day my cynicism burst like a dam. In the middle of Adrian Rogers' message I left work, bought a Bible, and began reading. Glory be to God, the Lord Jesus, and His grace. No matter how much I resisted, He wouldn't let me go, and like the prodigal son returning, Jesus welcomed me back with open arms. I admitted all my sins, and they were aplenty, begged His forgiveness, and proclaimed my love for Him. What strength He has to forgive such a stubborn and direct sinner. Praise His name. If any such an enemy of Christianity can turn and be saved, truly anyone can. There just isn't enough room here to testify to the full glory of His grace, but it is good to be home. Thank you for your assistance, Pastor Rogers.

Now, I say that not to pat myself on the back, but to give honor and glory and praise to this Word of God that can change a heart, can change a life. And what God is saying, number one, is "Wake up"! What He's saying, number two, is, "Clean up"! What He's saying, number three, is, "Dress up"! Look if you will now in verse 12 of this same chapter, the last part of it. He says, "Cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light". And then go down to verse 14, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof". That means that this is the heart of the whole thing. This is the climax of the whole thing. What good is it to wake up and even clean up if you don't dress up? You don't want to be a spiritual nudist. So you're to dress up. And what are you to dress in? You're to dress up in Jesus.

And notice he uses the full title for Jesus, "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ". Now Lord means Master. What do I do when I start out now after having waked up and cleaned up? What do I do? I put on Jesus Christ as Lord. That is, He is my Master, I am His slave. What does the master tell the slave? He tells the slave what to do. He tells the slave what to say. He tells the slave where to go and when to come. Is Jesus Christ your Master? He is if you put Him on. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. And, and Jesus means Savior. The name Jesus actually means Jehovah saves. So not only do you put on the Lord Jesus as Master for direction, but you put on the Lord Jesus as Savior for deliverance. I mean, it's a vile world out there, and as you go out you're going to have to be clothed, and you're going to have to have somebody who can deliver you, and dress you in the robes of righteousness, and protect you, and to cleanse you, and to keep you clean.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ where you're dressed in His righteousness alone because not only is He Lord, He is Jesus, He is Savior. And then the Lord Jesus Christ, and the word Christ means Messiah, King. And so I have Jesus, I have Jesus for direction. I have Jesus for deliverance. I have Jesus for dominion. He is the one who rules over me and teaches me how to rule in this life because He is the Messiah, He is the king, He is Lord of lords and King of kings. I am to wear Jesus like a suit of armor, armor of light. And as I go out into this world, and as you go out, you're to have Jesus on. Put Jesus over your sorrows and around your tears. Put on Jesus. Over your aches and your pains, put on Jesus. Over your failure and your shame, put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Sunday school teacher asked a little girl, "Is there anything God can't do"? She said, "Yes, there's one thing God can't do. He can't see my sins through the blood of Jesus Christ". Thank God for that.

Listen, friend, Jesus Christ is behind us, Jesus Christ is ahead of us. Jesus Christ is within us, and we're all dressed up in Jesus Christ. And I thank God for that. And then he says in Romans 13:14, last of all, "Make no provision for the flesh". That is, those old clothes that you cast off, don't keep them, get rid of them, make no provision for the flesh. King alcohol has had you? Give your heart to King Jesus. And let me tell you what to do with king alcohol. Don't keep that fifth of whiskey up there in the cabinet. You're making provision for the flesh. It'll clean the hair right out of the sink. Pour it down the drain! Trying to quit smoking? Well, don't keep that carton in case you go back. Tear it in little pieces and flush it. "Make no provision for the flesh".

You've been having an illicit relationship? Well, quit. And I don't mean quit gradually. I mean quit, and so far as that woman is concerned, or so far as that man is concerned, just make a big distance and saturate that place with your absence, and get out of there and get away from there, and, "Make no provision for the flesh," because if you do, you're going down. You put on Jesus Christ. Put Him on. Put Him on for direction because He's Lord. Put Him on for deliverance because He's Savior. Put Him on for dominion because He is king, He is Messiah. Wear the Lord Jesus Christ. Friend, I want to tell you, the hour is late, and don't you pull the cover over your head this morning and push the snooze button. God sent me here to tell you to wake up.

Turn to your neighbor again, say, "Wake up". Now turn to him, say, "Clean up". Now turn to him and say, "Dress up". Listen, folks, listen. The hour is late. And the night is far spent. What we're going to do for Jesus we better do, we better get out it right now. Life is too short. Eternity is too long. Souls are too precious. The Gospel is too wonderful for us to sleep through it all. And soon He's coming. "And when He shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in Him be found, dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne".

Bow your heads in prayer. Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. Would you just begin to pray for those round about you? And while heads are bowed and eyes are closed, let me ask that nobody stir, nobody move. Just pray for the person to your right and the person to your left. Say, "Lord, I don't know his need, her need". It may be the person you're married to. It may be your father, your mother, brother, sister, wife, but just pray. Now will you pray for yourself? When you say, "Lord, what have You been telling me today? What do You want me to do? Speak to my heart. I'll say, 'Yes, Lord, yes, to Your will and to Your way.' I'll say yes".

Now if you've never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, if you're not saved, you can be saved right now, right now this moment. He's knocking at your heart's door. And He says, "If any man will hear My voice and will open the door, I will come in to him". Would you just open the door by faith right now? Would you pray like this:

Lord Jesus, I know You're knocking on my heart's door. I open the door. I receive You now into my life as my Lord and my Savior. My sin deserves judgment, but I need mercy. Forgive my sin. Cleanse me. Cleanse me, save me, Jesus. Forgive me, save me. Come into my life now and begin to make me the person You want me to be. And, Lord Jesus, help me never to be ashamed of You. In Your name I pray, Amen.

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