Are you ready for the harvest? Tonight, I am not speaking of a financial harvest, or a new car or house. There is a harvest of souls in this world that we need to bring into the kingdom of God. Each and every day there are opportunities for sowing the seed of God in someone’s heart. It may be a simple word, or a kindly act. It could be a line in a letter we write, or a text we quote, and the seed is sown and someone’s life is blessed.
The Main Focus Of this Lesson. – This lesson will focus on evangelism. When speaking to the Corinthians Paul said “I have planted, and Apollos watered but it was God Who gave the increase.” It’s time for an increase of souls in the Body of Christ, and evangelism is the key to this increase of souls. Evangelism could be described as “sowing the seeds of the Gospel”.
There Is Much Work To Do. – When you examine the wickedness of the world in which we live, and when you see the evil that surrounds us, it is clear that there is a great work to be done. For those who are actively involved in church, you are aware that there are only a handful of people willing to roll up their sleeves and labor in the fields.
The Fields Are Ripe. – The time for us to harvest souls is now. And with that in mind, let’s look at three things that we must do as laborers in the Lord’s field:
#1 – As Laborers We Must Visualize (See) – v35 – It is very important that we see the needs around us, and after seeing the needs, we must MEET THOSE NEEDS! We must see what Jesus saw. He saw sheep without a shepherd. We must feel how Jesus felt. He had compassion on the multitude. We must do what Jesus did. He ministered to their needs.
Evangelism does not have to be an organized church “program.” However, evangelism MUST be intentional. We must see people for what they are…lost souls in need of a Savior! We must understand the consequences of them dying without Jesus. They are destined for the Lake of Fire! We must realize that we have the information that they need to rescue them from that fate. If we are going to reap a harvest of souls then we as a church must VISUALIZE! Well, what should we visualize (see)
#1 – We must see “The Mission Field – v35a “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages…” Sometimes when we think about a “mission-field” many times we think of some place in a faraway country. Foreign mission is great. Actually, one of our covenant churches is in Jamaica. However, let us not overlook the fact that there are places that are virtually un-reached here in America.
Notice that verse 35 says that Jesus “went about ALL the cities and villages”. The fact of the matter is that we live in the midst of a vast mission-field. Daytona Beach, Holly Hill, Port Orange, Ormond Beach, various communities, are mission fields.
The bowling alley is a mission field. The football stadium and the basketball arena are mission fields. Wal-Mart is a mission field. And for some of you, your own home is a mission field!
Wherever you go is a mission field! Wherever there are lost people is the mission field. And as a church and as individuals we must VISUALIZE! We must look around and see the lost people everywhere we go, and get them. Again, we must see the devastating condemnation that awaits them if they die lost in their sins! And when we see the mission field then we must share the message of the gospel.
#2 The Message – v35b “teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom…” We find in the latter part of this verse that Jesus healed sicknesses and diseases. For that very reason many people followed Jesus and there was always a crowd near Him looking for a miracle. But the fact that Jesus “preached the Gospel of the Kingdom” to them is much more important.
Through the preaching of the Gospel, many received a miracle that would last throughout eternity. Through the preaching of the Gospel they received the miracle of salvation. Matthew 11:5 says “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
There are people today who are looking for a miracle:
1) Some are looking for a solution to their financial problems
2) Some are in desperate need of a solution to their marital problems.
3) Some are facing a terminal diagnosis and are looking for a solution to their health problems.
—Without the Gospel there is no evangelism! Without the Gospel there is no mission work. Without the Gospel there is no help for those in the mission field. It is imperative that we share the GOSPEL. In Romans 1:16 Paul said that “the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth”
—Let us see the mission field and share with them the MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST!! Jesus first shared the Gospel, but He also served them and performed many miracles! Consider:
#3 –We Must Minister – v35c “and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” – Ministry involves SERVING. Jesus healed many sicknesses and diseases. Not only did He heal physical infirmities, but He cast out many demons as well. On a couple of occasions He fed thousands of people. Throughout His ministry Jesus illustrated the importance of service. Jesus Christ was the ULTIMATE SERVANT! Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
The entire life of our Savior was a life of service. Serving others points people to Christ. Matthew 5:16 says “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Serving others makes them think, “I wonder why he did that for me?” or “What makes her so different?”¨ Service is proof that we love God and it helps draw others to Him and His Church. If we are going to participate in the harvest of souls then we must VISUALIZE! Let us see the mission. Share the message, serve in the ministry!
#2 – As Laborers We Must Agonize – v36 – “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” Jesus saw these multitudes and He was intensely moved with sympathy and pity because of their condition. They are described as being “sheep with no shepherd” This was a multitude of people who were utterly neglected concerning the interests of their souls. There was no shortage of people and there was no shortage of problems. As Jesus looked upon their hurting faces He had great compassion on them.
Today there is no shortage of people… AND THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF PEOPLE WITH PROBLEMS! It is not up to us to judge those people. It is not up to us to condemn those people. We must realize that we were once as lost as they are now! It is time that we stop looking at the lost world as drunks, addicts, gays, adulterers, thieves, etc.! It is time that we see them as Jesus sees them….LOST SOULS THAT NEED A SAVIOR!!! The only way we will ever see a harvest of souls is if we come to a place of intense burden for those lost souls. We will not see a harvest of souls until we finally grasp the fact that hell is real and people are going there!
It is time that we stop doing church. It is time that we quit going through the motions. It is high time that we become the church! We must realize that we are the body of Christ… we are His hands and feet!
But if we are the body, why aren’t His arms reaching? Why aren’t His hands healing? Why aren’t His words teaching? And if we are the body, why aren’t His feet going? Why is His love not showing them there is a way? There is a way…JESUS IS THE WAY!
In order to Prepare For The Harvest… As Laborers We Must Visualize, We Must Agonize, and finally let’s look at the last thing we must do.
#3 – As Laborers We Must Evangelize – v37-38 – Evangelism is defined as the spreading of the Gospel of Christ by public preaching or personal witness. We can see in verse 37 that Evangelism Is A Necessary Work – v37a “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous…”
In other words, Jesus was saying to His Disciples… “Look guys, there are plenty of people who need to hear the message… there are plenty of people who need to be served!”
The mission field is ripe and ready to harvest!” Jesus wanted these men to know that there was a great work to be done! Today there are many, many more people in the field today than there was in Jesus’ time. And these people are in great need! They are as sheep with no shepherd! These people are on a path that leads to destruction! And today, more than any time in history EVANGELISM IS A NECESSARY WORK!
– Not only is Evangelism A Necessary Work, we find in verses 37-38 that: Evangelism Is A Neglected Work – v37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Jesus makes it clear that the harvest is ready. There were people who need to be reached. But He also declares that there was a great problem… there are few laborers to work the fields. That is a problem that is present in 2015! There is a field ripe and ready to harvest, but there are few who are willing to work!
Conclusion- As followers of Jesus Christ, we have much work to do and little time to do it. We must give ourselves to it. The times demand urgent action. Do you see the potential harvest? Are you willing to do what it takes to work the field? Will you see what Jesus saw? Will you feel what Jesus felt? Will you do what Jesus did? I pray that the Body of Christ come together and Visualize, Agonize and Evangelize! When we do these things, then we will be “Prepared For The Harvest”