Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

10 Warnings for Christians Who Are Asleep

10 Warnings for Christians Who Are Asleep

In today’s culture being “woke” is a popular expression, a way of telling people they need to be awaken to the social issues around them.

Just as well, sleeping Christians need to be “woke” to their spiritual relationship with God. Like the Apostle Paul urged, “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” (Romans 13:11).

How Do Christians Fall Asleep?

Instead of pursuing their relationship with God, some Christians fill their lives with worldly pursuits and ideas that shape their thinking and beliefs. So rather than growing spiritually closer, they become insensitive to His leading in their lives and to what is happening spiritually around them.

Other sleeping Christians are individuals who once faithfully served God and expectantly looked for Jesus to come, but have since lost interest. Some have retreated from seeking God, after being hurt or disappointed by a pastor, church, or other Christians.

But Scripture cautions Christians about being asleep. Here are 10 warnings for every Christian to consider.

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  • man looking up in prayer, warnings christians asleep

    1. Beware of Missing Out

    Sleeping Christians are missing out on good things God has for them here on earth. 1 Timothy 6:17 urges, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

    A sleeping believer is also missing out on future rewards. Ephesians 6:8 explains how the Lord will reward each of us for whatever good we do, but Christians who are operating in sleep mode aren’t about doing good.

    Likewise in Revelation 22:12, Jesus says, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”

    2. Resist Prayerlessness

    Although Colossians 4:2 urges us to devote ourselves to prayer and watchfulness, sleeping Christians aren’t alert to the enemy’s plots and schemes. 1 Peter 5:8 warns, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

    Dozing off means believers aren't praying for God’s direction, protection, and leading in their lives, leaving them open and vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks. Like Ephesians 6:18 encourages, be alert and always pray.

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    3. Be Wary of Following the Crowd

    Christians are warned about getting caught up in the crowd and pursuing a lifestyle based on the world’s leading rather than asking God to direct their steps. These following-the-crowd pursuits draw sleepy believers astray and away from where God wants to lead them.

    Although following trendy activities may seem harmless, these pursuits divert believers’ focus away from what God is calling them to do.1 Peter 2:25 explains how this can happen, “For ‘you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

    4. Avoid Being Unprepared

    Jesus wants us to prepare for His coming urging, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Matthew 24:44).

    Just like being unprepared for guests, many sleeping Christians aren’t expecting Jesus to come anytime soon and are not getting ready, even though Matthew 24:42 urges, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

    Still God desires us to be prepared for His coming, saying, “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if He comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak” (Luke 12:38).

    Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Timon Studler

  • family heads bowed in prayer

    5. Look Out for Loved Ones

    Jesus warned, “But store up for yourselves treasure in Heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20, 21).

    Many Christians are storing up stuff on earth, but the truth is we can’t take possessions with us. Luke 17:30-33 explains.

    “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.”

    Yet spiritual sleepyheads focus on their own comfort and needs, oblivious to the eternal destiny of their friends, family, and neighbors until it’s too late. Jesus tells of a rich man who after he died, realized his entire family was set to follow him to torment (Luke 16: 27-28).

    As well, Jesus describes the sorrowful scene of Christians being taken, and loved ones left behind. “I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left” (Luke 17:34-35).

    As Romans 10:14 urges, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

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  • woman looking unsure or distressed in a dark space with electronic light on her face

    6. Run from Darkness

    Both physical and spiritual sleep often takes place in darkness. But 1 Thessalonians 5:5 reminds us, “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”

    Still people are drawn to darkness as John 3:19 explains, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

    Of course Christians living in darkness have backslidden in their relationship with God. Instead of following Jesus, they have forsaken Him as their first love (Revelation 2:4). Like 1 John 1:6 explains, “If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”

    Sadly those who stay in darkness will be surprised at Christ coming like a thief in the night (1Thessalonians 5:4).

    7. Stop Being Clueless

    Christians who walk around with their spiritual eyes closed are not seeing God’s cues to what’s happening in the world.

    Luke 17: 26-27 describes the dreadful consequences of being clueless. “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.”

    Instead of taking notice and recognizing the signs of the times, sleeping believers start accepting and adapting what’s popular into their lives, unaware of what is really taking place.

    Like Luke 17:28,29 explains, “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from Heaven and destroyed them all.”

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    8. Don’t Be Swept Away in Error

    How many of us see family and friends being swept away into new movements that carry them further away from the truth of God’s word?

    2 Peter 3:17 warns, “Therefore, beloved, since you already know these things, be on your guard so that you will not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure standing.”

    Sleepy believers often find themselves somewhere they weren’t planning on going because they get caught in cultural currents and swept away from God’s truth. Like Apostle Paul warned, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!" (1 Corinthians 10:12)

    9. Beware of Leading Others Astray

    What we say and do influences those around us, and sleepy Christians have a tendency to pull others astray with them, like friends who try to convince their friends to participate in things that go against their conscience. However, as Jesus warns, the consequences for doing so are severe.

    In Luke 17:1-2, “Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of those little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.’”

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    10. Exit Sleep Mode

    God encourages us, “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6).

    Like a computer goes into sleep mode and has to be awakened to function properly, spiritual sleepiness causes a shut down of our spiritual growth.

    As Revelation 3:2-3, urges, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/VictorTongdee

    Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.