The Fields are White Unto Harvest
Good Morning from the Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team to all who are listening to or reading this message. What a glorious day to worship God! Our Bible reading for today's message comes from the New Testament Book of Matthew, Chapter 28 verses 18 through 20 and the title of today’s Message is “The Fields are White Unto Harvest.”
Many Christians know and believe in the “Great Commission” but lack the will, fortitude and sense of urgency to actually follow their orders - instead they are content to live out the “great omission.”
Now reading from Matthew 28:18-20:
18 All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. 20 And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Father, I thank You that You have entrusted us to share the good news of Jesus with others. I pray that each of us will have a desire to become bolder and more willing to share what Jesus has done in our lives with those in our world.
Open our hearts to receive the Message You have for us both as individuals and as a church. In Jesus' name, Amen
Several years ago, a story was published in The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, titled “Tourists Watched Woman Drown.” This article described how dozens of tourists watched impassively as a woman drowned while trying to save her child. One person even videotaped the drowning, saying "I got the whole thing on tape." No one watching made any attempt to help.
As shocking as I trust you find this story, how willing are we to get involved in rescuing others from sin? Are we content just to watch as people drown spiritually, or will we turn away from our own indifference and do what we can to rescue them?
Do we realize that as Christians, we are all God's spokespeople? This is a mission for all of us; not just pastors, preachers, evangelists and missionaries, but every Christian and our mission fields are wherever we are at any given time of the day.
How easy is it for us to be distracted from our calling to evangelize?
John 4:35 tells us of the need: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
It was the need when those verses were written and it is still the same need today. Do we realize that people are dying and if they have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they will be lost for eternity?
How close to us are the white fields that need to be harvested…our family, neighbors, friends?
In looking at some of the things America has been through in recent years...COVID-19, riots, looting, political unrest, fake news, sickness, death, betrayal, apathy, hurricanes, floods, wars, fires, drug abuse, suicide, murdering babies in the name of abortion...we may wonder, what it will take for America to turn back to God.
In an age and society like ours, do we Christians see why we should be sharing the good news? Do we think our nation knows who God is, or is He unknown to most people? Do we feel a sense of urgency about our world’s need for the Gospel?
A survey several years ago found that 95% of Southern Baptist Convention Christians, those who are known for evangelizing, have never shared their testimony one on one. They have invited people to church but not shared their testimony. And if this is true for them, how much more so for other denominations?
So, my first thought is this: In order to share something, we must have it...we can't share what we don't have or haven't experienced.
Do we believe because of what has been told to us or do we believe because of what we have personally experienced? Do we believe because of another's testimony or do we have one of our own?
In John Chapter 4, Jesus has an encounter with a Samaritan woman at the well. Once the woman realizes and believes that Jesus is the Messiah, she goes and shares with her townspeople. They were curious enough to go see Christ but they eventually believed because of what they had experienced for themselves.
Verse 42 says: “And [they] said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
Maybe we think it is complicated or that we have to know the whole Bible to share Jesus. Well, we don't!
Revelation 12:11 tells us: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
The word of their testimony...this is what the woman at the well did. In the early church, that's primarily how the gospel was spread. And that's still effective today...ordinary people like us sharing with family and friends what Jesus is doing in our lives.
God has entrusted us to be His ambassadors, telling people about who He is and the good things He has done.
In II Corinthians 5:18-20, Paul describes it like this:
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
And if we don't already know, we need to understand that all we can do is share the gospel; it is the Holy Spirit who woos a heart, it is God who saves people, not us. John 6:44 tells us “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Yes, it is our job to share, to proclaim, to explain and then we must trust the Spirit to do the work we cannot do. It is God who saves, always, every time.
When we share the gospel, we offer the hope that can only be found in Christ. As Ephesians 2:4-5 tells us: “But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
Do we realize the importance of building a relationship with people before sharing the gospel?
Now I know that when we are out and about, the Holy Spirit can draw us to people and give us the words to say to share with them or to pray with them. That's not what is meant here.
When we take time to build a relationship with a person, sharing Jesus seems to me to come naturally. It’s been said that people don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.
For example, I taught a line dance class for 12 years. In addition to the class, we entertained at nursing homes, senior centers and assisted living centers. The class was open to everyone who wanted to learn to line dance...we had people from age 5 to 80. We developed relationships with each other through shared meals after performances and pot luck get-togethers. If I knew a person didn't have a church home, I would invite them to join me at church or a revival. We fostered a Christian atmosphere. When they had a problem, they were not surprised if I or others asked if we could pray for them. I was so touched when various members would come to class and share a prayer request or an answer to prayer or even ask for prayer before or after class. I remember while at dinner one evening, a member leaned over the table and said, Sandy, I got saved last Sunday! I almost shouted I was so excited! We bonded, we trusted, we cared, we shared, we loved.
Are we hesitant to share the Gospel because we’re concerned about what others will think about us? Are we afraid we will be disliked, excluded from activities, lose friends or get our feelings hurt?
When we are more concerned about what others think of us or any of the other excuses, this seems to indicate that our focus isn't on Jesus but on ourselves. I'm so glad that when Jesus chose to go to the cross, His focus was on us, not Himself. He showed us that when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
In Luke 10:2, Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
In my studies I found the following titled “The Letter,” but didn’t find who authored it.
“My friend I stand in judgment now and feel that you’re to blame somehow.
While on this earth I walked with you day by day and never did you point the way.
You knew the Lord in truth and glory but never did you tell the story.
My knowledge then was very dim; you could have led me safe to Him.
Though we lived together here on earth, you never told me of your second birth.
And now I stand this day condemned because you failed to mention Him.
You taught me many things, that’s true. I called you ‘friend’ and trusted you.
But I’ve learned now that it’s too late. You could have kept me from this fate.
We walked by day and talked by night and yet you showed me not the light.
You let me live and love and die, and all the while you knew I’d never live on High.
I called you ‘friend’ in life and I trusted you in joy and strife.
And yet in coming to this end I see you really weren’t my friend.”
Folks, time is growing short for us to work for the Lord. It’s time for us to get back to God’s own priority; it’s time to participate in the Lord’s harvest. Everyone who has been born again or claims to be a disciple of Christ is called to work in the harvest field. We’re called to the mission of sharing our faith; it’s time we get out of our comfort zones and do it.
Salt is only of use when it is flavoring and preserving. A light isn’t hidden under a bushel for then it would illuminate nothing. Yeast in a packet safely stored with other packets of yeast in a cupboard will never ever raise anything.
Do you get the picture? This is our calling. I pray we might have the courage to embrace it. Will we risk being in the harvest field? The fields are still white unto harvest, but oh the workers are so few.
We can be part of the answer; will we?
And a last thought from I John 1:4: “We write this to make our joy complete.” So, who do you want to experience this joy?
If we are enjoying our relationship with Christ, how can we not want others to experience the saving grace and love that Jesus offers to all? Won’t you share the Gospel of Jesus with others?
Perhaps there are those reading this Message who have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If so, I want to encourage you to invite Jesus to come into your heart and life.
John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
And I John 5:13 tells us: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Jesus has provided the gift of salvation to us which gives us not only hope for today, but hope for eternity. Have you believed on Him from your heart? Have you acknowledged Him as your Lord and Savior this morning? If you’ve never accepted Christ into your life, then this is your opportunity. You can receive God’s grace and begin a relationship with Jesus today.
In Romans 10:9, we are told that “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
We receive salvation when we:
(1) Repent of our sins.
(2) Trust Jesus Christ as our Savior.
(3) Confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, invite Him into your life right now.
Or maybe there are those who are far away from Jesus. Have you allowed your comfortable, personally focused desires to act as an eclipse between you and God? Is Jesus obscured or completely blacked out of your life? Do you miss him?
All it takes is to open yourself and say "I want things to be different. I know things need to be different. I know what’s wrong, what doesn’t belong and I invite You, Jesus, to come and change me. I want you back."
When we turn back to Jesus in repentance, when we ask for forgiveness, intending to live a godly life, God’s mercy reaches out to us with a message of love. God is a God of mercy, of redemption, of restoration and of renewal. Just come by faith to the throne of grace to receive it. He is waiting for you with open arms. Repent all over again and get back to fulfilling God’s plan in and through your life.
Let us pray: Thank You, Father, for being a perfect Heavenly Father for us, for sending us Your Son to save us from our sins, and for putting Your Holy Spirit into each one of us so that we are never without Your presence. Help us to depend on You, to trust in Your truth, and to serve like You. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
When Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team is ministering in Word and Song, their Fire Choir will sing several songs and then lead the Congregation in singing. Since that isn't possible, please click here and may you be blessed by singing along with "Win the Lost at Any Cost."