Falling Out Of Church

Acts 20:7-12


  1. The name Eutychus means “good fortune”.  We do not know how old the man was, some believing he is a youth, others believe he is a young adult.  Regardless it is not good for any to sleep in church services.  If he was a youth, his parents did not keep him awake to hear the message.  If he is a young adult, he did not keep himself awake to hear and understand the message.  Many people sleep in church – I see you and God sees you.  It does come upon almost all of us from time to time.  It is not bad for small children to sleep in church – they are quiet then! (grin), but when children begin to grow up, it is good for them to be awake and listen to the sermon.
  2. “Sunk down” with sleep – He was carried away with sleep.  He tried to fight the impulse, but finally gave in to it.  I think we all know about this.
  3. We do not know whether he was tired when he came to services, but his falling asleep indicates he had no interest in the message.  He might have been too full of this world to think much of eternal things.  He might have been too busy making a living to study his Bible and have questions.  He might have been too busy caring for the things of this world and not busy enough in Bible study and prayer to be concerned for eternal things.
  4. Sitting on the edge.  The first reason for falling out of church.
  5. Open windows would let everybody on the outside know what was going on, but it would also allow the people on the inside to get out.
  6. Open windows would also let in air, and that is important.  Lit up by candles, (or some kind of burning light, which also gave forth heat) and people present – so there would be much heat.  If the room was stuffy, there was a great appeal to the fresh air.  But you must stay alert, because you were sitting on the edge – three stories up.
  7. Sitting on the edge is a popular practice – just enough in church to be satisfy the spirit, but not enough to make the flesh miserable.  Some people like to drink and think it is okay, or smoke or drive fast, or break some other law, or to dress like the world and still be a Christian.  Something there is something “cool” about being on the edge.  But they are not courageous, because it takes courage to stand for God.
  8. Sitting on the edge represents today – how much of the world can I have and still be considered a Christian.  The man was in the church, but still in the world.  This will not work.  Many want to live on the borderline of faithfulness and worldliness.  Many want to come as close as possible to the world, so the man balances himself between the faithful and the world.  He does not realize he is about to take a great fall.  He risks his testimony for the sins of the world.
  9. James 4:4 – God will judge adulterers.  Whosoever will be a friend of this world is the enemy of God.  God does not want us to make peace with the world, but to overcome it.
  10. The most dangerous place in war is “no-man’s land”.  You draw fire from both sides, both sides consider you a hypocrite.  Colossians 3:3 – Ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.  Galatians 6:14 – I am crucified to the world.


  1. Falling asleep (when you should be awake) is always dangerous.
  2. Modern churches are accommodating to the world, but we must always stay awake.  I read on Fox News (Internet) about mega churches, which have so much going on, there is something for everybody.  One church even has a 30-minute live band concert (not gospel, rock or otherwise) just to get people to attend.  They have whatever activity you are interested in – therefore you will come to services.  They are presently building a 35,000-seat building.  Very impressive, but is God glorified?
  3. He was a young man, but many would blame the preacher for not keeping him awake.  Some would want to change the preaching for something more interesting.  And Paul preached a long time, and that is completely unnecessary in the viewpoint of some.   Some would want us to put on dramas and so forth, but preaching is what we need.
  4. I Cor. 1:18 – The preaching of the cross is foolishness to some.  Preaching was not practiced because that is the most effective way to communicate, but it is the method God determined to be used.  God ordains preaching.  Let us never depart from that which God has ordained. 
  5. I Cor. 2:4 – preaching in power.
  6. Why did God ordain preaching?  I Cor. 2:5 – Faith should not stand in wisdom of men, but in the power of God.


  1. Wasn’t affected by the preaching of the gospel. 
  2. This is a mark of the judgment of God.  When people are not affected by the gospel and its eternal message.
  3. Isaiah 6:8-11 – God told Isaiah to go and preach, but knowing they would not understand. 
  4. People would hear and not hear, see and not see.  They are unaffected by the preaching of the gospel.  This is a mark of the judgment of God. 
  5. This is why we need to pray and preach for the power of God upon us, that we might be able to hear, see, know and understand.
  6. Don’t fall asleep, because you set yourself up for a fall.
  7. Every person must be aware of their condition – whether of being sleepy and not interested in the message of God.  It is not my message; it is the message of God.


  1. We must dread the consequences of falling.
  2. The man fell to his death.
  3. I wonder if he woke up before he hit the ground, but too late to grasp anything, and then plunge three stories to the ground.
  4. But maybe he never woke up at all.  Maybe he woke up in another world, what ever that world is.
  5. Maybe people are willing to sit on the edge because they do not believe there is really any consequence to falling asleep.
  6. The man probably never thought he would fall, others would fall, but he would not fall.
  7. Some people are “sleep-walking” – awake to the world, but asleep to the spirit.  The church at Laodicean is like this. Revelation 3.  They are rich and have need of nothing – they think.  Look at what Christ said about them, but they thought they were rich and had need of nothing.  This church is indeed sitting on the edge.
  8. Many will be saved, yet so as by fire. – I Cor. 3.
  9. Every person must awaken themselves and see their condition.
  10. There is nothing to stop you, but the hard ground.
  11. The dread of a bad consequence should help us to wake up.


The above are preventative measures.

But what happens when a person falls away from the church (Christ).


If we would deal with the consequences of others falling, we would know how to deal with it in ourselves.  This is our instruction.

  1. Paul embraced him.  Paul did not rebuke him.  Like Elijah, and Elisha.  I Kings 17:21 – Elijah stretched himself on the child three times.  II Kings 4:34 – Elisha lay on the child and he came back to life.
  2. We must have a close identification with them.  We must understand there is no essential difference between those that fall asleep (fall away) and us.
  3. The easy thing (the common thing) to do is rebuking them, and let them go.  We would see it coming, and there was nothing we could do, and nothing we can do now.  We have other things to worry about, and other people to consider.  Therefore we reveal we are much closer to their condition than we realize.  We are self-absorbed that we become oblivious to the plight of others. We are asleep, and our own fall is closer than we think.  We think by saying we saw the fall coming that we are revealing our spirituality, but in reality we are showing to all that we do not care, and that we are about to fall.
  4. This is not Paul’s reaction.
  5. Paul’s example teaches us that we should never give up on a fallen brother, until he shows he does not want life. 
  6. The fallen one is brought back to life in the end.  This is very important.
  7. Do we know a “Eutychus”?  Is there someone we should be helping?
  8. There is always hope, even in impossible situation.  This man fell to his death – three stories – it is impossible, but God raised him up again.


Paul continued preaching (even to the breaking of day) after Eutychus was raised.  The service continues.  God will use the same means now as he used when Eutychus fell asleep.  Nothing changed with God, or with these services. The fault was in the man, not in the method God had ordained.  I have a notion Eutychus paid attention now!