Tuesday, June 8, 2010


There was a revival going on at a local church. The preacher, while very gifted, was also very long winded. He continued to preach long past the point which everyone was engaged. In fact he preached on past midnight.

In the balcony that night was a young man who had heard great things about this preacher. He had been eager to hear the words that God had for him through this great preacher. The only thing he was not prepared for was the lengthy oration.

As some of us may have done before, the hard work-day, the lateness of the hour, the drone of listening to the same person speaking for hours on end, got the best of him. The young man fell asleep. As he fell asleep, he began to slump a little. There was nobody close to him, to prop him back up so he slumped a little more. Before anyone could do anything about it, the young man fell from the balcony and onto the people and pews below.

Of course the entire congregation crowded around him. Upon closer inspection they discovered that the fall had actually killed the young man. Everyone was upset and saddened by the event as the preacher made his way to the lifeless body of the young man…

By the time you read this, I will be almost finished preaching a revival for Peace Haven Baptist Church. The hope during revival time at church is that the Holy Spirit will bring God’s people to action. Indeed, there are some who will be. However, there are others who are more like the young man in the story you just read.

What if an event happened during a revival in Edgefield like the one in the story above? What would you tell others in the days and weeks to come about it? Would you tell them about how Christ’s wonderful love was evident in the preaching and singing? Would you tell of how the Holy Spirit moved in people’s lives and changed them forever? Or, would you tell them about how the sermon went so long that a young man died from falling asleep and plummeting to his death from the balcony?

The story that I told is true. It really happened. The preacher was the Apostle Paul and the young man was named Eutychus. Instead of falling from a balcony he fell from a third story window. The end of the story is what I did not include. 

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "He's alive!" Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted. (Acts 20:7-12 NIV)

God raised the young man from the dead through His servant Paul. After this Paul continued his sermon until daybreak. Paul wanted to make sure that both the others in attendance and the young man left the meeting knowing that the main purpose for being there was to experience God, not to just have an interesting story to tell.

I believe that all those who were there during Paul’s sermon that night were changed forever, particularly Eutychus. None of them could ever go back to serving God the way they had before. My prayer is that all of us will find a new fire and a new commitment to Christ and that through that new “revived” spirit we can charge forward with our Lord as our leader.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen (Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV)

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