MORE HANGING OUT THAN HANGING IN

Andy Hollifield 6-12-18
Acts 20:9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
Pastor Terry Sprouse, when preaching recently, asked this question; “Are you all in for God?” I got to looking for scripture relating to that thought and remembered a message that Ken Parker preached years ago at Foster Creek. The message was “Do You Have More Hanging Out Than Hanging In?” Both Ken and Terry’s thoughts relate to this scripture.

You can look at this scripture different ways but I want to share some thoughts that might encourage you and maybe help keep you from falling out along the way. As I thought about Eutychus, I realized he had put himself in a dangerous position. I am sure that he never planned on falling out of that window just as we never plan on falling away from the will of God. The fact is that when you don’t get in all the way, you are subject to falling out the hard way. That may sound real simple but it is apparently so simple that we read over it and don’t get it and wind up learning the hard way. The laws of physics tell us that if you try to balance something and do not have it centered, the side holding the most weight will be the side it falls to. Eutycus should have been more careful in picking his spot. How many times do we try to operate just on the fringes of God’s will so we don’t get in too deep? When we do that and don’t get grounded and established in the things of God, the devil will give us plenty of reasons to fall out and quit. A lot of those reasons will involve church members. If you are not “all in for God” then you will have your eyes on people and wind up hurt and disappointed. Have you ever noticed that most of the time, the people in church with a good prayer life and faithful to the things of God are not the ones that fall out along the way?

Jesus demonstrated this with the parable of the sower in Mark 4. It applies especially to the seed on the stony ground which has no root. The word is first received with gladness but then when afflictions and persecutions come for the word’s sake, they are offended. It is easy to get offended in church. I have had my feelings hurt more in church than I ever have in school or the grocery store or the gas station. It bothers me that food and gas keep costing more but that don’t make me quit buying them. Why then, when something bothers us at church do we instantly feel like we have to quit on God? It’s something to think about isn’t it?

Sitting in a third floor window is not a healthy decision to make. Eutychus had the possibility of leaning back too far, even while he was awake, and falling out of the window. If he had of gotten all the way in the room, his fall probably wouldn’t have happened and if it did, the result wouldn’t have been near as bad. Eutycus was apparently knocked unconscious by the fall because he was feared dead. When we stay on the fringes of service to the Lord, we may fall and lose conciousness of his will and purpose in our lives.

Another thing I noticed was that it didn’t take Eutychus but one time falling out of the window to teach him a lesson. I would say that when he came to and realized what had happened, he probably figured out real quick that sitting in the window wasn’t the brightest thing he had ever done. I noticed too that he didn’t blame Paul because he was long-winded. It would do us good to realize that no one makes us sit in the window. That is something we decide on our own. Something else too that I seen was that Eutycus came back after he had fallen. The only person I found that went to him was the very one he would have likely blamed for his fall. A lot of times, people fall out and then get mad at the preacher for preaching to them when all he was trying to do was help them. When Eutycus regained conciousness, he immediately went back upstairs and ate a meal with the other people there. He immediately got back in fellowship with those he had fallen away from. The last thing I noticed was that I never read anywhere else that Eutycus ever sat in a window again. He learned by his mistakes.

Too often we fail to get in where we should be with the Lord and leave more hanging out than we have hanging in. When we get hurt, we also are likely to get mad and blame the preacher and also get mad because nobody else came to check on us. Instead of getting back in fellowship, we just go home and pout and blame everybody else because we chose to sit in the window and then fell out. People are just people and we will always have disagreements but if we are “all in for God” like we should be, we won’t have a falling out and have to get back in fellowship afterwards. My dad used to say when we made bad grades or done something else to get grounded, “You brought it on yourself.” When we chose to not get “all in” but rather to sit in the window and have “more hanging out than hanging in,” we are just asking to get hurt and “we bring it on ourselves.” Just get “all in for God.” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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