Pastors, next time you feel your sermons are too boring, remember: The Apostle Paul once preached someone to death.
God bless Eutychus. Acts 20 says that Paul was preaching late into the night and dear Eutychus couldn’t take it anymore. He even moved to the window. I’m guessing he did this as a strategy to stay awake.
But even sitting at the window didn’t work. He zonked off and out he fell. Paul raises him from the dead, and then, get this, it says Paul then “talked until morning!” I love this!
Paul bores someone to death, raises him up, and then keeps on preaching for more hours!
Thank God this passage is in the Bible.
Do you know how many pastors over the years of Church History have put people to sleep and yet remained confident to keep going because Acts 20 is in the Bible?
Eutychus probably had an excuse. He probably worked long hours, or walked a long ways to get there. I do think he moved to the window in an effort to keep awake. The spirit was willing, the flesh was exhausted.
I give him the benefit of the doubt. I do this because many people have fallen asleep on me while I was talking. Most of these people work long and late hours. One guy worked a moving shift of crazy hours and often just got done with work before coming to church after working all night. He could have just gone home, but he made the effort to be there.
People are busy and here’s the other thing: I’m not always that exciting.
There is much biblical foundation a person needs to fully know what to do with the Bible. People get geared up about the “practical parts” of the Bible, but the “practical parts” only make sense if you have the foundation.
The foundation takes time and is often tedious. It’s hard to make every single passage of Scripture life shakingly gripping. Those who try usually just completely blow the entire intent of the passage.
The Bible was not written to entertain. It was written to educate you in a new way of life made possible by the Gospel. Ultimately this is very exciting and life changing, but the process is not always thrilling. There are some pretty thick parts. Even Peter says there are things Paul wrote that are “hard to be understood.” It takes some work sometimes.
Work is exhausting.
I’ve heard stories of pastors who throw things at sleeping people or suddenly call on them to pray. They make a joke out of the person before everyone.
I get it, this is no doubt fun and keeps everyone terrified to fall asleep, but is this really the loving thing to do?
If Paul says he will be one under the law when with those under the law, shouldn’t we let sleeping people sleep? Their sleep doesn’t always mean they are spiritually in trouble. Don’t always attach spiritual meaning to physical tiredness.
People are tired. There were some Sundays the only thing keeping me awake was the fact I was standing and talking. Sitting and listening is hard. It doesn’t work every single time. That’s ok. Lighten up. Give the people a break.
Let people sleep the way you’d like to be left sleeping!
Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest