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“The Dangers of Sleeping During the Sermon” (Acts 20:7-12)

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

My big brother, Ben, is a wonderful sleeper. That guy can nap like it’s his job. He’s a super hard worker, and a great husband and father. So, when he’s tired, he sleeps, even if it’s not bedtime. I’ve gone hunting with him, only to find him sleeping in the truck. I’ve gone fishing with him only to see him fall asleep in the boat. The guy knows how to sleep.

In today’s Bible passage, we’re going to hear about a young man who also was apparently pretty good at sleeping. Today’s sermon is entitled “The Dangers of Sleeping During the Sermon.”

Let’s go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to speak to us as we study His Word.


Let me give you a little background to what leads up to our passage in Acts 20.

After Jesus rose from the dead, He hung out on the earth for forty days; then He ascended back to Heaven.

After Jesus left the earth, the apostles began to lead the church, and tell others about Jesus.

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, and Peter preached a powerful sermon where about 3,000 people became part of the early Church.

From there, the church began to blossom and spread through the ministry of Peter and John, and the other apostles. God also raised up another apostle, one who was once an enemy of the Church, whose name was Paul.

Paul would become a legendary preacher, missionary, and church planter. He was particularly effective in taking the gospel to the non-Jewish world.

Paul took the gospel to many cities, including a city called Troas. That takes us to Acts 20:7-12, where Paul would spend seven days in Troas.

By the way, the book of Acts was written by Luke, who was a traveling companion of Paul.

Well, let’s dive into today’s passage. Look at Acts 20:7-12:

7 On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread. Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he kept on talking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were assembled, 9 and a young man named Eutychus was sitting on a window sill and sank into a deep sleep as Paul kept on talking. When he was overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down, bent over him, embraced him, and said, “Don’t be alarmed, because he’s alive.” 11 After going upstairs, breaking the bread, and eating, Paul talked a long time until dawn. Then he left. 12 They brought the boy home alive and were greatly comforted.

This is a weird story, right? I’ve never heard of this happening to anyone other than this young man named Eutychus.

By the way, that’s also a weird name. Although his name Eutychus means “fortunate.” Now, this story certainly didn’t start out fortunate for Eutychus, but it did end that way.

Something special happened in this story. However, I hope that you will see there’s more than one special element to this story.

First, let’s see that . . .

‌I. There is something special about the fellowship of God’s people.

When we speak of fellowship, we mean gathering together and spending time together.

One aspect we repeatedly see in the New Testament concerning the early church was that they gathered frequently.

Churches should enjoy being together in fellowship with one another.

In this case, the church gathered at a building, probably someone’s house, and they hung out all night. That’s amazing!

Church, we should have a bond with one another to where we enjoy being together.

Now, to be clear, this was a special circumstance. From what we know, Paul was about to leave town, so they probably spent more time together than they normally do, so they could soak up every last ounce of what Paul was teaching.

However, it was a regular occurrence for them to gather and fellowship (or hang out) together.

By the way, did you know that you don’t have to gather in the church building in order to be the church? The church is not a building; it’s a people.

Sometimes people will say to me, “Pastor, I wish we had more services because I enjoy being around my church family.” When did we start thinking that we have to schedule something in this building in order for us to fellowship with our church family?

If you need me to sanction something in order for you to fellowship, then here it is: Go! Hangout! Love one another, eat together, watch movies together, go shopping together, pray together, serve others together, cry together, laugh together, spend your lives together, vacation together. You are sent! This is the official church announcement to fellowship with your church family.

I was recently in a discussion with some other pastors and church leaders about online attendance. I told them that we don’t track online attendance at our church. Now, let me be clear, I believe in online resources, and I think we do a fairly good job with our online resources. However, our goal is to get people together, face to face, in worship and in fellowship with one another.

The Bible says in Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.”

Jesus said in John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Acts 2:46-47 describes the early church this way: “Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

Listen, church: there is something special about the fellowship of God’s people.

Second, . . .

‌II. There is something special about the message of God’s people.

Notice in this passage that it says four times that Paul was speaking or talking.

In verse 7, Paul spoke to them.

At the end of verse 7, it says Paul kept on talking until midnight.

In the middle of verse 9, it says Paul kept on talking.

In verse 11, it says Paul talked a long time (you don’t say!).

This is wild, isn’t it? At our church, after I finish my last point, folks are starting to pack their things up and look for the door. If I went much past noon, many of you would wonder what my problem was.

However, the church in Troas gathered together, presumably around dinner time, and then Paul spoke until midnight. He took a break to raise a dead boy back to life, and then he spoke more until dawn, which is when the sun comes up.

If these folks eat dinner around 6:00 PM or so, you have six hours until midnight, and then probably about another six hours until dawn. Paul was potentially speaking for twelve hours or more!

Yet, the people continued to stay and listen to Paul. Why? You see, Paul was God’s apostle, and he carried a message for God’s people. There’s something special about the message of God’s people.

God’s people can carry with them, and pass on to others, God’s supernatural, Holy Spirit-filled message.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us.”

Paul said in

Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.”

Paul said in

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . .”

James said in James 1:21 “ . . . humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

There is power in the Word of God! There is power in the message of God’s people.

You see, church: when Jesus left this world, He said He would send the Holy Spirit, who would give us power to be witnesses of all that Jesus said and did.

We have the message of Jesus, and we are to share that powerful message with each other and with the world.

The apostle knew that there was power in the message. He shared with his brothers and sisters in Christ (as he did for about twelve hours for the church in Troas), and he shared it with the lost world.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

The message of God, given to His people, is powerful.

That’s why we can gather in worship, that’s why we call each other for encouragement and prayer, that’s why we share the message with others, that’s why churches gather in secret all over the world, even in the face of persecution, and that’s why the church in Troas gathered for twelve hours to hear from Paul.

There is something special about the message of God’s people.

Finally, . . .

‌III. There is something special about the power of God’s people.

I’ve mentioned this over and over throughout our series about weird stories from the Bible.

God can work miracles through His people. He’s promised it time and time again, and He’s done it time and time again.

What happened in this passage is miraculous. Verse 10 says, “But Paul went down, bent over him, embraced him, and said, “Don’t be alarmed, because he’s alive.’”

What a miracle. God brought life back to this young man through the power of His people.

God still works powerfully through His people today.

I want to tell you a story that my wife got to experience, and the power of God among His people. We were at a small retreat for pastors, and Jennifer got to get away for a few minutes with another pastor’s wife. We were staying close to the beach, and this lady had not seen the beach, so Jennifer said, “Let’s go see it, we’re so close.” This pastor and his wife were going through a really hard time and were looking for a new church to serve. Somehow Jennifer and the other lady mentioned how much they loved the beach, and Jennifer prayed specifically that this couple would find a church close to the beach. Listen to what this pastor’s wife recently wrote to Jennifer: “Good evening Jen. I hope you are well. I wanted to thank you for praying for me a few months ago in October. I will never forget you encouraging us to take a few steps into the water and to pray. You prayed a precious prayer to the Lord for my family. That He would lead us to a church that would cradle and love my family and to a church that needed us too. You also prayed at the end that God would bring us to a church near the beach. I was so blessed that day by your prayer and hid the prayer in my heart and prayed many days as we waited on the Lord. I wanted to tell you that we moved to a city near the beach to serve at a church named BEACH Church. The Lord heard your prayer and I wanted you to know, friend! We bought a home and live about 10 minutes from the beach. God shows off sometimes!” Isn’t that amazing, church? God is amazing!

Church, there is something special about the power of God’s people. These two ladies who love the Lord came together in prayer, and God did something miraculous.

Now, to be clear, God doesn’t promise all of us a home near the beach. Quite the contrary. Sometimes God’s sovereign will for us involves suffering.

However, God does promise this: He promises power for the church.

Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “ . . . on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

Church, God can do something special through His people.

There’s something special about the power of God’s people.

Let this bottom line summarize what God is teaching us in this passage:

‌Bottom Line: There’s something special about what God does through His people.

God did something special through His people at the church in Troas, and He still does special things through His people.

Lives are changed, prayers are answered, communities are transformed, countries that are closed to the gospel have churches raised up, chains of addiction are broken, fear is eliminated, gossip is killed, churches are transformed, all because of the power of God and the special work that He does through His people!

Never forget the special fellowship of God’s people, the special message of God’s people, and the special power of God’s people.

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

‌Weekly Challenge #1 – Identify what is special about the local church.

I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again, the local church is God’s plan A, and is there no plan B.

Take some time this week to dive into God’s Word and learn what it says about the power of the local church.

What does God promise to do through His church? What can God do in our church?

‌Weekly Challenge #2 – Identify how you can be used by God in our church.

There’s something special about God’s people. Well, how can God use you, one of His people, to do something special in His church?

I just spoke to two new members this past Wednesday about how they can be used in our church? What about you. How can God use you in our church?

God can do something special in His church THROUGH you. But, before that, God wants to do something special IN you.

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

Response Song – His Mercy is More

(Announcements – Richard)

(Giving emphasis – History Room)


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