Sleep on Now
It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite." (Isa. 29:8)
In the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, Jesus said that right up to the end of the Christian era, all of the kingdom of heaven will be taking a spiritual nap. He said that they would sleep right up until the midnight hour, at which time they will be awakened by someone who knows when Jesus is coming. They will have a little time to prepare for his arrival and "go out" to meet Him. Some of those "Christians, who had wisely made some preparation before their nap, will be ready in time. Others, who foolishly failed to do so, returned too late from the oil venders, and found that the door had already been shut.
Millions of us Christians are sleeping on the job. We are only dreaming that we are feasting on the things of God, and drinking the wine of His Spirit. We imagine that we are doing something of importance in our "Church Work." But when we are finally shaken awake, we will see that it was only a dream.
Jesus was aware that the close of His public ministry was near. His disciples were not. The very night of His arrest, Jesus took them with Him to Gethsemane. They were not aware of the great challenge which they were to face before that night was over. So, as Jesus went on a ways further to pray, the disciples fell asleep. He came back and found them sleeping. Again He went and prayed and returned to find them sleeping. He went yet a third time to pray and, when He returned, He said unto them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me."
Apparently Jesus was chiding them when He told them to "Sleep on now," for immediately He told them to "Rise, let us be going." "And immediately, while He yet spake, Judas came." The moment was upon them Ė a total surprise.
Are you a Christian? Brace yourself for the surprise that God has in store for us. Jesus told us, in Matt. 13, that "The harvest is the end of the world." In1962, the harvest began when Babylon the Great, of Rev. 17, launched the ecumenical movement with the advent of Vatican II. That effort to bring the daughters back into the fold is well on its way, and will reach a great milestone with the events which they have planned for this year which they call "The Holy Year." One particular event which they have planned for late June is "Celebrate Jesus 2000" which is administered by the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. It will be a landmark effort in the ongoing plan of the Church of Rome to bring all of the errant groups back to the fold.
The chances are good that your church is involved in this "celebration." Participants include the Assemblies of God, Church of God, Church of God of Prophecy, and such celebrity persons as Pat Robertson, John Kilpatrick (Brownsville), Thomas Trask (General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God) and Bishop James Leggett who is the General Superintendent of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church.
The Lordís reapers will soon have gathered the tares into bundles. Then shall our Lord send His "angels" to gather His elect together, and to "gather the wheat into (His) barn." We can "sleep on," or we can hear the alarm, "It is high time to wake out of sleep." Again Paul said to Godís elect who are alive now, "Awake thou that sleepest and arise form the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."