Wake Up Sleeper

May 28, 2023

David Sorn

Too often we are being lulled to sleep by the things of this world. Let God wake you up!

Wake Up Sleeper

May 28, 2023

David Sorn

Too often we are being lulled to sleep by the things of this world. Let God wake you up!

SERMON TRANSCRIPT | Romans 13:11-14


(Groundbreaking Ceremony)

Morning. My name is David Sorn, and I’m the Lead Pastor here.

When we opened this building not that long ago, I could have never predicted that we’d be starting our expansion in May of 2023.

Just crazy. God is real!

SO, we would love for all of you to come out THIS Tuesday night at 6:30 and celebrate with us at our Groundbreaking Ceremony!

We want everybody to literally bring your own shovel!

We’re going to do this together! That’s who we are!

We all pick up an oar, so we’re all gonna use a shovel!

(Northpoint Elementary Slide)

And THEN, the first phase of construction will be the renovation of our current building (to expand our worship center, etc.) and then the vast expansion of our parking lot.

And that will preclude us from meeting here.

SO, for the next 3.5 months or so, our Sunday services will take place at Northpoint Elementary (just down the road),

We’re going to have great outdoor services, so bring a lawn chair with you next Sunday.

And kids will be inside in the beautiful spaces they have in the school.

And we’ll be back to 3 services

That all starts next week!!

And also next week, we will be starting our summer series, where we once again will be going through a book of the Old Testament.

And this summer, we will be teaching through the book of:



If you don’t know much about Zechariah, that’s okay, that’s why we’re going to teach through it!

Zechariah prophesied about 500 years before Jesus, in the times when the Jews were just coming back to Jerusalem, and rebuilding the temple after they had been exiled.

It’s a FASCINATING book (one of my favorites from the OT), and it has lots of prophecy, imagery, and powerful verses.

I think you’re gonna love it!


(Wake Up Sleeper – Message Title)

All right, let’s get into our message for today.

Let me ask you a question: “Are you awake?”

I don’t mean literally…I mean, spiritually?

Are you awake?

Several times throughout the Bible, God warns Christians to not become “sleepy” in their faith.

Meaning, to succumb to a state of your Christian faith where you still believe, but you’re kind of sleepwalking through your spiritual life.

“Yeah, here I am at church. Yep, I believe the Bible. Never really read it. Don’t pray much. (yawn) Never evangelize. God is good…(yawn)…see you next Sunday.”

And here’s how you can tell if you’re spiritually asleep

How excited are you to read God’s Word right now or meet with Him in prayer?

How grieved are you over your sin? How much do you want to change?

When you think about the lost people around you (your friends & family who don’t know Christ), is your heart broken, or are you just so focused on other things, that you don’t even think about that?

How you answer those questions is going to reveal your level of spiritual sleepiness.

And today, we have a passage in the Bible to help us counteract spiritual sleepiness

Romans 13:11-14

Page 776

This is a letter written by one of the early Christian leaders, the Apostle Paul, to some of the earliest Christians in the city of Rome.

And Paul wants to make sure that none of these Christians are falling asleep.

Let’s take a look

(Romans 13:11-14) – NIV

11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.


Here is what I see Paul saying in this passage.

We must wake up, put aside the deeds of darkness, and put on the armor of light:

#1: Because the morning is coming!

Paul says, your salvation (that is, Jesus coming back, or the day you die & meet Jesus), that day is closer now than when you first believed.

Right? The morning is coming.

“The night is nearly over,” he says. “

This is actually a VERY important theme throughout the New Testament

Jesus, Himself, tells multiple parables about it.

The parable of the 10 virgins, from Matthew 25, is a good example.

The 10 virgins all go out to wait for the bridegroom (Jesus), but the hour gets late, and they all fall asleep.

And when he comes, only 5 had brought oil for their lamps, and thus they are ready for him to arrive, but the other 5 miss out…

…because of their slumber, and their lack of readiness for his coming.

And the Bible says we gotta be ready…because we don’t know the day or the hour that Jesus will come back.

But it is nearer than when you woke up this morning.

And what if it’s sooner than you think?

Are you ready?

If you KNEW Jesus was coming back sometime in 2025, how differently would you live?

How we see the timeline, affects how we act.

It’s like, “Some of you have to wake your kids up for school every day…

And when you first are getting them up, you say, “Okay, sweetheart, it’s time to get up. Come and eat breakfast. You have school today.”

But then you go back 5 minutes later and say, “Seriously, you need to get up.”

And eventually you come back and say, “If you don’t get up right now, you are walking to school. Barefoot. In the snow. I don’t care that it’s May! I’ll make snow! Get up!”

The closer you are to the deadline, the more urgent your actions become.

And Paul is saying that Christians are to live like the night is nearly over.

The times are growing urgent.

What IF Jesus is coming back next year?

What IF your life is over this summer?

This is not the time be spiritually asleep.


If Christ comes back tomorrow night at 9pm, what will he find you doing?

Will he find you, living, as if the day is urgent, as if the morning is coming?

Or will He find you in those deeds of darkness that Paul talked about in verse 13?

Look at verse 13 again: 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

These clothes Paul is describing in verse 13 are what I would call “the pajamas of sin”.

They are the clothes of night.

And in the Bible, the night, the darkness, is always a symbol for evil and sin.

And so:

We must wake up, put aside the deeds of darkness, and put on the armor of light:

#1: Because the morning is coming!

#2: Because the pajamas of sin are not for you!

These behaviors, these actions, they aren’t for you anymore, Christian.

(Ephesians 5:8) - NUV

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

And children of the light, children of the day, don’t wear the pajamas of sin.

We must wake up, put aside the deeds of darkness, and put on the armor of light:

#1: Because the morning is coming!

#2: Because the pajamas of sin are not for you!

As Christians, we must throw off the old deeds of darkness, and put on the new clothes of Jesus.

We want to look like him, talk like Him, walk like Him…as much as we can.

We can’t just keep all of our old clothes of sin on, and then put on a button that says, “I follow Jesus”

No, read verse 14 again:

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

The flesh is our natural & selfish bias that doesn’t want to live for God, but instead for our own pleasures.

So look closely at what Paul is saying here:

He says, “Do not think about how to gratify the desires of your flesh”

He’s saying, “You spend a lot of your day thinking, so don’t spend it thinking about how sin could satisfy you.”

If you’re going to clothe yourself with Jesus…if you’re going to put on the armor of light, that battle starts in your mind…with what you think about it and dream about.

(Wake Up Sleeper – Message Title)

So, when you’re (in your mind) feeling anxious and depressed, or lonely, or bored, don’t let your mind even start thinking about the deeds of darkness form verse 13.

Paul starts by warning about “drunkenness or carousing”

Carousing which means getting drunk with others (we would just say “partying” today)

And by the way…can we stop and talk about this for a few minutes??

Because the American Church isn’t so good at talking about alcohol…

…and nowadays, we rarely stop and talk about it more than just in passing.

Now, If you’ve been here longer than a minute, you’ve probably heard me talk about how history is a pendulum.

In the first half of the 20th century, the American church talked about alcohol like it was the devil’s poison, and that’s it. Period.

In those days, you couldn’t even be a member at a Bible-believing church if you drank alcohol

And then, as we hit the middle to the latter part of the century, Christians began to say, “You know, this is too much. Paul tells Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach. Jesus drank wine. I mean, c’mon, Jesus’ first miracle was even turning water into wine!”

“The church needs to relax about alcohol”

And, it did.

Because saying that Christians can never drink, ever, is just not a Biblical stance…

And thus over the last 25 years, the standard response is Christians can drink alcohol…

And then, what’s happened, is our churches have gone from being obsessed with talking about it, to basically never talking about.

And I worry about that…because I’m not sure we know how to relate to it anymore.

Because the Bible does talk about alcohol a lot.

And The Bible is very clear, that getting drunk is sinful…and it does not reflect the clothes the Christ

And drunkenness leads, exponentially, to even more sin.

And honestly, I think, in part, because churches never teach on it anymore, alcoholism is one of the big, hidden secrets of suburbia right now.

How many people do you know in your neighborhood that can socialize without alcohol?

I can’t even begin to imagine, how many people are secretly struggling with alcoholism…

And it’s wrecking their family…but everyone is afraid to admit it’s a problem.

And as a Christian, if your drinking is ever leading to drunkenness, you gotta walk away from drinking.

For you, that’s getting too close the fire. It’s not worth it.

And there are also plenty of people where it’s not usually drunkenness, but it is a problem of frequency.

Is alcohol something you enjoy once in a while socially, or is it something you couldn’t actually do without?

Anything you can’t do without, is probably an idol.

And Paul mentions alcohol in this passage, because for many, it IS what is lulling them into spiritual sleep.

God wants to heal what feels wrong and empty and broken in their hearts, but they keep turning to alcohol instead.

It was another hard day, time for a glass of wine.

I can’t calm down, time for a beer.

I can’t sleep, time for….

That’s an idol.

You’re turning to your drink, instead of your God who can truly help you…

And it’s lulling you to sleep, spiritually.

If you feel frustrated by this that may be another sign, that it matters too much to you.

In fact, let me offer you a challenge, especially if you’re unsure, or feel unsettled, and a little bit of you is worried that maybe this is an idol you’re turning to to heal your pain.

I want to challenge you all to not drink any alcohol for the next 30 days.

Again, I’m not saying that for everybody it’s necessarily even wrong, but hear me out.

I want you to try this challenge:

Don’t drink anything for the next 30 days, and if you complete that, and it’s no problem, then carry on.

But if can’t go 30 days without having a night where you just have to have a drink…

I want you to let us help you.

I want you to reach out to your elder, your house leader, and they will help you.

There are a great Christian recovery programs, where we can help you.


Those pajamas of sin…they’re not right for you.

It’s time to walk in the light again.

And let Jesus wake you up again.

Don’t be lulled into spiritual sleep.

And Paul continues his warning by calling out other sins like dissension & jealousy.

And he lists, “sexual immorality and debauchery.”

The Greek word he uses here for sexual immorality is about sexual sin in a bed (that’s what it literally means)…so it’s adultery, unfaithfulness.

And the word translated debauchery here is actually that same Greek word, a-sel-gia, that we saw in Jude, and was translated as “licentiousness”

It’s a word that is describing people who, sexually, do whatever they want, because they feel like they have permission to do, whatever they want.

And Paul is saying, “When you’re feeling lonely, or isolated, or sad that you’re not married, or anything like that…”

As a Christ follower, “DO NOT THINK ABOUT HOW TO GRATIFY the desires of your flesh!”

Don’t put your mind on the lies about how if you were married to someone else…

Don’t put your eyes on the addictive evils of pornography…

And you don’t have go to a terrible website anymore to see that, you can just watch any new drama on Netflix.

But Paul is saying, “These pajamas of sins, these night clothes of evil, they are not fitting for you as representatives of Christ.

And if you continue to do nothing about it, they are going to lull you into spiritual sleep.

I worry greatly that the devil, like an evil hypnotist is lulling an entire, young, generation to sleep right now with pornography.

There are some of you in this room that God is calling to be spiritual giants for the Kingdom.

God wants to do INCREDIBLE things for your life.

But the devil has got you hypnotized on pornography and it’s just slowly sucking your spiritual life out of you.

And instead of you changing the world for Christ, the devil has you on the sidelines in shame.

And I say to you, “WAKE UP!”


Don’t spend another night under that spell.

You gotta tell someone today.

Tell your small group leader, text your friend, tell your elder.

The freedom is in the light, not in the darkness.

And get in recovery.

There are great Christ-Centered programs out there, like Eagle Brook’s Quest 180.

Find a place to start walking in the light.

But I yearn for Christian believers, whatever their issue, to wake up again.

Not just because sin is wrong and it grieves God.

But because those clothes of sin, they’re not befitting of you.

They don’t look good on you.

God has saved you to wear the beautiful clothes of a Christ follower.

The beautiful clothes of goodness, righteousness, holiness

And I yearn for you to wake up because I know God has such a better call on your life than you just numbing yourself out on a drink, or in lust, or zombifying yourself in binge watching, or endlessly scrolling, looking for life in a place you’ll never find it.

That’s not what you’re on earth for my friend.

So wake up sleeper.

And put aside the deeds of darkness.

Put on the armor of light.

And clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ

And know this, when you strive to set your mind, not on gratifying the flesh, but set your mind on Jesus, to clothe yourself with thoughts of Him and His ways…

Doing so is not just an alternative to giving into the flesh….it is the very way that you BEAT the flesh.

By filling your mind with Him, and by walking with Him, your desires for those things used to lull you to sleep…their power over you begins to fade.

That is the exponential power of Jesus.


And we are so thankful for Him.

Because even though we stray…sometimes quite far…he offers us his grace.

Oh my friend, a few of you in this room, you are Christians, but you have strayed mightily from the way of Jesus.

You have had an affair.

You are so addicted to your drink…to your lust…to your habit…

Your pajamas of sin are consuming you, literally every day…

They are burying you in shame.

They are not only putting you to sleep, the pain, the guilt, is unbearable, is it not?

Listen to me, the path forward for you, is confession.

You’ve got to tell the truth.

You need to tell someone.

You can not walk in the light if this stays in the dark.

And then you need to come back to the forgiving arms of Jesus.

And they are open wider than your sin.

They are!

In a moment, we’re going to take communion.

And often, when we take communion, I KNOW that Christians who feel they have sinned greatly sometimes feel like they shouldn’t take communion.

They say, “No, not me. This is for those other good people, this isn’t for me”

And but listen to me, this is precisely for you…and for me.

Because honestly, compared to the perfection and holiness of Jesus, we’re all a mess.

And communion is a reminder that no matter how much you have sinned, he died for you.

It’s a reminder…that He saw it all, and said, “I KNOW. I KNOW. But even for that, I gave my body and my blood for you…for YOU”

The New Testament describes communion this way at Jesus’ last supper

(Luke 22:19-20) – NIV

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

(Wake Up Sleeper – Message Title)

Communion is something that the Bible says is just for those who already believe.

If you’re not a believer in Jesus, we’re so glad you’re here, but skip this part for now.

If you want to know more about following Jesus, I highly suggest you come up and talk to our follow-up team in the front right after the service today.

And they can tell you how your faith in Jesus dying for you can save you.

But you know, communion isn’t magical…it doesn’t automatically forgive you, or make you right with God, only your faith can do that.

But it’s a tangible REMINDER, a symbol, for believers, that Jesus loves us so much (even when we stray), that He came from heaven to offer his body, and his blood in place of ours.

And it’s that forgiveness that makes me want to wake up, and walk with Him again.

And I pray that’s true for you.

And so if you are a believer in Jesus, at any time during our last two songs today, we want you to leave your seat and go to a communion table stationed around the room (4 in the front, 2 in the back)

You can take an individual piece of bread, and dip it in the juice.

If you need a gluten free chalice, they are available at those tables too.

But I want to encourage you to do something before you get up to take communion.

Communion is always a good time to reflect.

So before you just get up, take a few minutes (and we have time, there are two songs after this)…

…and I want you to confess your sins to Him, to receive His forgiveness, and if you need to, tell Him what person you will confess to this week (maybe even today), so you can walk in the light again.

If you would like prayer while you’re up, I encourage you to seek out our prayer team in the back corners during this last song as well!

We really just want you to encounter God during our service.

Let me pray.

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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