The Gathering/ Pastor Barry Acts #16: The Eutychus Syndrome To hear this message and others get our free app from the App Store. Search The Gathering Connect.
On The Move Acts 20:1-6
Last week, our lesson in Acts ended with a riot beginning in Ephesus because Paul was quoted as saying that man-made gods were no gods at all (Acts 19:26) Although this statement was true it was far from being politically and socially correct in first century Ephesus. Paul’s three-year influence on the city (through preaching the gospel) had so influenced the spiritual climate of Ephesus that even the idol business was in jeopardy. This riot in Ephesus became the pushing point for Paul to move on towards Jerusalem where he felt God was calling him. While in Ephesus, Paul had begun a mother church that would eventually give birth to other churches all throughout Asia.
Chapter 20 begins after “the uproar had ended” in Ephesus, and he takes the gospel to Macedonia and Greece. A “plot against him” by the Jews changed his plans from going to Syria and sent Paul back to Macedonia and eventually on to Troas where our text is found for today’s message.
Sleeping To Death Acts 20:7-12
Some say that pastors can be “long winded”, but Paul actually preached someone to death with a lengthy sermon in Troas. Knowing that he was leaving the next day, Paul continued till midnight and a young man sitting in an open window fell asleep and plummeted to his death three stories below. Dr. Luke, who wrote this account, took notice that he was dead indeed, but God brought him back to life! You would think that Paul would take the hint and call it a night, but he went on talking until dawn! That would have been about a 8-10 hour sermon with a pretty captivating illustration! This is a funny story but let’s dig a little deeper for a life lesson in paying attention to God’s word:
Eutychus was in the privileged position of hearing God’s word from one of His greatest teachers of all time, but instead of hanging on every word and seeing the importance of that lesson for his life, Eutychus tuned out. You might say that Eutychus was asleep in the light! How many times have some people heard God’s truth only to disengage and “fall asleep”? How often has God’s word been ignored by listeners or written off as boring by scoffers? Not paying attention to God’s direction will eventually result in the Eutychus Syndrome, which always leads to death!
Symptoms of The Eutychus Syndrome:
- Ignoring Salvation: Warning: Hebrews 2:1-4
- Scorning Instruction: Warning: Proverbs 13:13-14
- Sleeping (not keeping watch): Warning: Mark 13:32-37
When we choose to ignore God’s gift of salvation, scorn His instruction for living, and not watch for His promised return, we are exhibiting all the symptoms of the Eutychus Syndrome. Falling to our death is eminent if we do not administer the REMEDY!
The Remedy 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Fortunately for Eutychus, Paul had the remedy for his death. Paul threw his arms around his lifeless body and by the power of God, he awoke! Funny thing, the guy who bored Eutychus to sleep was the same guy who brought him back from the dead. The message of the truth never changes, only the receptivity of our hearts. God’s word becomes important to us as we choose to listen and apply His instruction to our lives.
Like falling out of a window in slumber, the Lord will come again when we least expect it (like a thief in the night). We must “keep awake” and be “sober”. Then rather we live or die we will be with the Lord…He is the remedy.
Wake Up Sleeper 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Ephesians 2:4-5, Ephesians 5:13-16
As Paul said in his second letter to the church at Corinth: “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers…” It is the devil who deceives the person who drifts from God’s reaching love and into the Eutychus Syndrome. But God’s love reaches still. Even though we may be dead in transgressions (through ignoring the Lordship of Christ in our lives) He, like Paul towards the dead Eutychus, embraces us and beckons us to wake up and rise from the dead! It is by His grace we are saved!
The Word of God is a light for our sleepy eyes. Everything is visible to Him and yet He loves us still. Do not ignore His salvation- make it yours! Do not scorn His instruction- let Him direct your life. Do not sleep like Eutychus- Keep watch for He is coming again! Wake up and Christ will shine on you!