Rom. 13:1-14




Have you ever heard the phrase "High Time"?

I have.



I've even used it.

The thing I didn't realize for a long time is that it comes from the Bible.



Almost 2000 years ago, Paul told the Church at Rome, “It is high time for you        

to awake out of sleep.”

I amusingly wondered what some of you would say if I told you, “It is high  

time for you to awake out of sleep?”



I also wondered if the phrase "high time" is in the dictionary.

It is.



It means “none too soon.”

Or, “before it's too late.”



So Paul was telling the Church at Rome, “It's none for you to wake up.”

Or, “You had better wake up before it's too late.”



James Currens lives in Florida.

He's a chronic sleepwalker..



He sleepwalked out of his house early one morning.

He rolled down an embankment into some alligator-infested water.

He woke up with several alligators swimming around him.

He managed to grab a stick to fight them off.



He started screaming.

His neighbors called the police.



The police rescued him.

But what if he hadn't woke up in time?



That's the message.

Wake up before it's too late.



Today, I want to suggest four things that it's high time for us to do.

1st---It's high time for us to recognize that the Bible is the Word of God.



Today, the Bible is one of the most attacked books in the world.

We're told that no educated person believes everything in the Bible.



Some theologians cast aside large sections of the Bible.

Some are uneasy about what the Bible says about angels, miracles, Satan the

Second Coming, visions, and things like that.



Some don't want the Ten Commandments posted.

Some don't want our children to be given a Bible in school.



Lawsuits have been filed to get the Bible off the teacher's desks.

And off the Library shelves.



These attacks come right out of the pits of hell.

And it's high time that we recognize it.

I want to give you six incredible facts about the Bible.

One---More than 60 billion copies have been printed (Compared to 14,000    

for the average book today).



Why more that 60 billion copies?

Because multitudes from EVERY generation have believe the Bible is the       

Word of God.



Two---More than 500 million copies are sold every year (the popular Left      

Behind series has sold about 60 million copies total).

Why more that 500 million copies a year?



Because multitudes from OUR generation still believe the Bible is the Word   

of God.

Three---Some of the most intelligent people who have ever lived have  

accepted the Bible as the Word of God.



Four---The Bible talks about Jesus.

Skeptics have tried to explain Him away,



But they can't.

History verifies His existence.



He never sat on an earthly throne;

Never became an earthly king.



But He changed the world more than any earthly king who ever lived.

Five---The Bible has caused many to repent of their sins.



Alcoholics have quit the habit.

Drug addicts have come clean.

Thieves have turned around.

They changed because they believe the Bible is the Word of God.



Six---The Bible has been published in more than 18,000 languages and          


It's available in many different sizes, translations and versions.



It's available on cassette tapes, computer disks and more.

This has happened because people believe the Bible is the Word of God.



Verse 1 tells us, “To be subject unto higher powers.”

That means obey your government.



Verse 2 tells us, “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the        

ordinance of God.”

This is important.



Think it through.

If we don't do what the Bible tells us to do, we are resisting the ordinance of




We will stand before the Judgment Bar as people who refused to do what     

God told us to do.

A preacher was talking to a woman on her deathbed.



She said, “You often told me to read the Bible.”

“But you didn't tell me enough about the danger of not doing what it says.”



It's high time that we understand that the Bible is the Word of

That there is a danger in not doing what it says;


That we will be judged by the things that are written in the B i b l e

(Rom. 2:16);

That every day that passes brings us closer to the Judgment Bar;



That we need to pay more attention to the Bible.

And we need to live by it.



2nd---It's high time that we learn what the Bible has to say for ourselves.

There have always been people in the Church who taught false doctrines.



It was a major problem in the early Church.

And it's a major problem in the Church today.



Two weeks ago (Aug. 4, 2003), the Episcopal Church USA confirmed an     

openly gay bishop.

This was a clear violation of Scripture.



But the new bishop and many of his followers attributed his confirmation to  

the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

If I understand the Scriptures, it's more likely that they were following one of          

Satan's seducing spirits than the Holy Spirit (I Tim. 4:1).



It is also my opinion that they have committed the ultimate blasphemy.

They have brought sin into the Church and called it the work of the Holy      

Spirit (Matt. 12:22-37).



My wife recently (Aug. 8, 2003), returned from national meeting of the United

Methodist Women.

One speaker represented the World Council of Churches.




This speaker from the World Council of Churches said the Buddhists, Hindus        

and Muslims all have their religious writings.

And Christians shouldn’t say the Bible is more right than theirs.



She said Christians shouldn’t say Jesus is the only way.

She said Christians cause war and other problems by teaching that.



But this is the point.

Many Church members in high places are teaching false doctrines.



It's not enough just to attend Church.

We need to learn what the Bible what says for ourselves because we can       

attend Church and hear false doctrines from people we trust.



Dr. Charles Halff is the head of a large Christian ministry.

But he was born into a Jewish family.



When he was 15 years old a friend gave him a prophecy New Testament.

That prophecy New Testament was like every other New Testament except it          

contained a list of Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah.



Dr. Halff said, “I felt compelled to look them up.”

“I had never seen prophecies like these before.”



“I had never even heard the word ‘prophecy.’”

“Suddenly, I was reading Scriptures that told me where the Messiah would be        

born: in Bethlehem.”



“That He would be born of a virgin:”

“And even the reason for His death:”


“He was wounded for our transgressions,”

“He was bruised for our iniquities,”



“The chastisement of our peace was upon Him:”

“And with His stripes we are healed.”



“All we like sheep have gone astray;”

“We have turned everyone to his own way;”



“And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:5, 6).

Dr. Halff said, “The Scriptures I read really upset me.”



I asked, “Could these Christians be right?”

“Could this Jesus really be the Messiah?”



“Later, my friend showed me that no man is righteous.”

“From the Scriptures, he proved to me that all men are sinners.”



“He emphasized the importance of the blood atonement.”

“I knew I needed this Sacrifice.”



“I accepted His atoning work on my behalf.”

“I remember that one of my first prayers was that He would make me a         

student of His Word.”



Dr. Halff has a great testimony.

But suppose he had not tried to learn the Scriptures for himself?



Would he be a Christian today?

Probably not.

Suppose some of our schools teach our children that there's nothing wrong  

with the gay lifestyle?

It's happening.



Suppose some of our Church leaders preach that there’s nothing wrong with

the gay lifestyle?

It's happening.



Suppose some of our preachers are forbidden to speak against the gay lifestyle?

It's happening.



Where will this leave our children, our grandchildren and others?

It's high time that we learn what the Bible has to say for ourselves.



3rd---It's high time we made an extra effort to follow Jesus.

We live in a day when multitudes say they're following Jesus.



But they're are not following His example.

It was His custom to attend the synagogue every Sabbath.



But they're not attending Church every Sunday.

Something is wrong, if we're too busy to attend Church.


One man said, “Everything’s gone wrong in my life.”

“I had a wreck.”



“Someone stole my boat.”

“I got a divorce.”




“My son’s an alcoholic.”

“My daughter has dropped out of school.”



“And the Bears lost in the last minute of the game.”

He said, “Isn't that awful?”



“The Bears lost in the last minute of the game.”

 His priorities were wrong.



He was more concerned about the Bears ball game than he was about his      

marriage, son and daughter.

This is what a lot of people are doing today.



They're making a big deal out of trivial things.

And ignoring the more valuable eternal things.



We also live in a day when too many people are not letting the Word of God

change them.

Verse 8 of our text reads, “Owe no man anything but to love one another.”



Verse 9, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Verse 10, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor.”



Verse 14, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

These are the two Great Commandments in reverse.



Love others.

And love Jesus (God).




Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all

thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

“This is the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:37).



It’s not often that I read the cartoons in the newspaper.

But I occasionally read, Peanuts.



One Peanuts cartoon has Snoopy sitting on top of his dog house with a        


Snoopy's writing a letter to the IRS.



“Dear IRS.”

“Please take me off your mailing list.”



I like that.

Wouldn't it be great, if we could get the IRS to take us off their mailing list?



Wouldn't it be great, if we could earn money without having to pay taxes?

Sounds like doggie heaven to me and Snoopy.



But we can't do that.

And we can't get the approval of God, without letting the Word of God        

change us.



Our heart is not right with God, if we don’t care what the Bible says about    

many of these things.

We’ve often heard people say, “We can’t just talk the talk, we also have to    

walk the walk.”



God often told the Jews to circumcise their heart.

That was His way of saying change your ways, live a life of submission.

We also live in a day when many people get bored in church.

Some preachers and Sunday School teachers are not doing their job.



One man told me that both of his boys said they will never set foot in a         

Baptist Church again.

I don't know what the problem was.



But they said they were bored by what they heard.

If we don't take the time to prepare, those who listen may not get much out of        

what we say.



And we might eventually lose them.

Verse 3 says, “Do that which is good and thou shalt have praise of the same.”



Do what God wants you to do.

And you'll receive the praise of God and others.



Make your lessons more interesting.

And you'll receive the praise of God and your students.



An old expression says, "no pain, no gain".

If we don't put forth the effort to learn the lesson, we won't accomplish much         

when we try to teach it.



And the same thing can be said about some of the other aspects of the         


The music, decorations, lighting, atmosphere, etc.



We have to wake up.

And liven things up so people will want to attend.


We also live in a time when people can't remember what the preacher said.

By the time they go out the door, they have already forgotten what the

message was about.



My wife has three brothers who are currently pastoring Baptist churches.

I laughed when one of them told me he used the word britches in one of his  




One of his members told him she didn't think he should use the word britches.

He asked her “What did I say before britches?”



She didn't know.

He asked her “What did I say after britches?”



She didn't know.

He replied, “If I hadn't said britches you wouldn't have gotten anything out of         

the sermon would you?”



It's high time we remember what the preacher said.

We can't live by what was said, if we can't remember what was said.



4th---It's high time we spent more time in self-evaluation.

It's important for us to reflect on how we are doing with God.



George Whitfield was a famous preacher.

Before he went to bed at night he evaluated how he spent the day.



His nightly self-evaluation involved fifteen questions.

Have I:


1. Been fervent in private prayer today?

2. Used my stated hours for prayer?

3. Used spontaneous vocal prayer each hour?



4. After or before every deliberate conversation or action considered how it  

might attend to God's glory?

5. After each pleasure immediately given thanks?



6. Planned my business for the day?

7. Been simple and self-controlled in everything?



8. Been zealous in undertaking and active in doing what good I could?

9. Been meek, cheerful and affable in everything I said or did?



10. Been proud, vain, unchaste or enviable of others?

11. Exercised self-control in eating and drinking? Been thankful? Been

      temperate in sleep?



12. Taken time for giving thanks according to [William] Law's rules?

13. Been diligent in studies?



14. Thought or spoken unkindly of anyone?

15. Confessed all sins?



Can you imagine how asking ourselves these fifteen questions every night     

would impact our life?

Verse 12 reads, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand;”



“Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of       


We have learned to recognize the seasons.


We will soon put away our summer clothes.

And get out our fall and winter clothes.



In the same way, we need to learn to recognize where we are in life.

We need to put away our works of darkness and put on the armor of light     

(God’s ways).



Verse 11 reads, "Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."

A man wanted to play cards with some friends.



His wife said, “I don't mind, if you will come home by midnight.”

There was a malfunctioning grandfather clock in the house where he went.



And late in the evening, he heard it striking: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

He dropped his cards, jumped up and headed for the door.



His friend asked, “Where are you going?”

“I'm going home.”



“It's never been this late before.”

I don't care how old you are, it's never been this late before.



You're closer to the next life than you've ever It's high time

It’s high time that we stopped being ordinary members of an ordinary




I’m not your judge.

I don’t know who’s saved and who’s not.





But I do know that many preachers believe that less than half of their Church

members are saved.

It seems to be a widely accepted custom today to just drift along in Church.



Drifting along is not a sign of salvation.

Billy Sunday was a famous major league baseball player.



Then, he became a famous preacher.

He once said, “Stopping at third adds no more to the score than striking out.”



Some people touch first base, some second base, some third base, but they

never cross the plate.

Some people get off to a running start, but they fail to finish.



It’s high time that we realize that it’s more important to have a ten point lead  

at the end of the game that it is to have a ten point lead at the beginning         

of the game.

It’s high time that some of us stop acting like spiritual drop outs.



If we’re the new creation that we claim to be, the Word of God says it will