Text: Acts 15: 36- 16:5 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
The Fields are white and the laborers are
C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;"
JOHN 4: 35
John 4:35 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.
John 4:36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
John 4:37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
John 4:38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
John 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
Father, Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN
A. ARE WE REALLY EXPECTING A HARVEST?
B. DO YOU BELIEVE THE HARVEST MAY BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK?
C. THE INSTRUCTIONS OF JESUS IS STILL THE SAME!
1. PAY ATTENTION Know what hour it really is!
2. OPEN YOUR EYES See the Harvest the way He sees the Harvest
3. FOCUS ON THE FIELDS Re Prioritize you Lives with his Burden.
D. WORKS FOR A HARVEST All Professing Christians have this responsibility!
The Enemy of our souls does not want us to see the horrible aftermath of the effects of SIN. He only wants us to focus on the now of it and not the later!
Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Hebrews 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
James 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ill.-before the Titanic struck the iceberg she received
5 telegraph warnings about icebergs, and all were ignored. The crew and even the
captain must have grown too confident in all the press and hooplah surrounding
this new ship. Before she launched, people were saying, "even God couldn't sink
35 minutes after the final warning they were sinking, and history records that crew as "criminally complacent."
God has Called us all to be Watchmen. To sound the Alarm, to Stir up, to Wake up, To power up and to Warm up!
7 billion people are alive on this planet but most are spiritually dead. And there's a small minority of us which are supposedly spiritually alive but we're in some kind of a stuper..stumbling around spiritually at best! Once in a while we trip over some sinner accidentally, and we have one saved now and then..but it's time to wake up..imagine what we could do w/ some passion! Alive! Alert! Awake! Enthusiastic
Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of
sleep: for now is our salvation
nearer than when we believed.
The church is sleeping in a noisy room full of lost
people. A vast majority of our city doesn't know Christ as Savior..but we walk
right past them in stores, at work, on the street..and we're "sleep-walking!"!
We are certainly in good company and come by it honestly. Here's some of our predecessors from scripture:
* Jonah-he was a good sleeper..he slept the sleep of unconcern. God told him to preach to the wicked Assyrians in Nineveh..but he went the opposite direction. He boarded a ship and went to sleep..a sleep of unconcern. It wasn't just that he didn't care if they went to hell..he WANTED God to punish those people! What about us? Aren't we sleeping the sleep of unconcern? When we can talk to our neighbors about ANYTHING BUT the gospel, aren't we sleeping the sleep of unconcern? Is there a hell or not? Do we care or not? If we saw their house on fire, we'd surely run get a hose or grab a phone, right?
Ill.-soldiers heading to an almost hopeless battle on a great ship cornered their chaplain and asked him if he believed in a literal hell. He was a liberal who didn't believe the Bible completely and he said "absolutely not..take courage and don't worry. I do not believe that a loving God would send anyone to such a place as hell." They then asked him to resign saying, "if there is no hell..we don't need you..and if there is a hell..we do not wish to be led astray!"
Do we REALLY believe God? Do we believe the Bible is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Or do we approach it "cafeteria style".. picking and
choosing what is tasteful to us?
"You're trying to scare people." Yes, if they need scaring, then that's exactly what I'm doing.
Another Bible example of spiritual sleep:
* Peter, James and John in the Garden of Gethsemane- they slept the sleep of the unprepared. Jesus was in the most desperate spiritual struggle of his life.
Satan in the desert 3 years earlier was nothing compared to this! Jesus knows
that just a few hours ahead of Him is the cross, where He would literally become
sin! He was being tempted not to go thru with it..and He asked His 3 most
trusted buddies to go with Him and pray. He said to His inner circle, I cannot
explain how I feel or what lies ahead, tho' you could never understand the
anguish in my soul..just know I need you to come and pray w/ me now. What an
opportunity! The chance of a lifetime..to pray w/ the Son of God in His greatest
hour of need! But guess what they
did..they fell asleep! They acted as if they had no idea what was going on.
They must not have sensed the fact that what was about to happen would change
history forever..Heaven and Hell hang in the balance..eternity is at stake! And
they fell asleep..the sleep of the unprepared. For 3 years they had followed
Jesus. It was all leading up to this moment, and now they had the chance to get
in the game and carry the ball, and they decide to go to sleep. How about us?
How many believers right now know in their hearts that this is them!? This is
you! You have opportunities, but you don't take them, because you feel
unprepared. And so, you drop the ball! But eternity is at stake..major things
are happening..but still, preachers get
up in the pulpit spiritually unprepared. S.S. Teachers and youth leaders and
children's workers decide they can just "wing it"..and fake their way thru
it. The sleep of the unprepared! Singers need to prepare, yes, but we're all
on stage in life, and Christians are asleep and unprepared! I believe God's work is the most important
work in the world, and we need to be prepared. I believe Christians today
are much like those disciples..sleeping the sleep of the unprepared!
* Samson-where did he fall asleep? In Delilah's lap! He slept the sleep of the unaware. Once he revealed the source of his strength he lost his power, but he didn't know he lost it. The Philistines came upon him during naptime, and he sprung up to flex and rip and tear and watch them run like always, but the Bible says "he wist not the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him."
He was sleeping the sleep of the unaware. He was overconfident..and too comfortable! God help the pastor and the church that starts feeling like the well oiled machine.. "we don't even need to pray-the way God is blessing". We don't need to visit and invite people- they are pouring in the door!" "We have lots of money in the bank, we don't have to depend on God!" Nobody would say these things audibly, but so often we act that way!
Revelation 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold
tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest
be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine
eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
We need to wake up to the needs of the hour!
Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Mark 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
The Apostle Paul was always preaching or witnessing or discipling or visiting. He could have settled down comfortably in the large church at Antioch, but he didn't..not as long as there were more people who needed to be reached, he had "itchy feet."
Paul didn't view the church as a parking lot, but as a launching pad!
1. We must have the Right Passion
Today we would say "drive." Some people are just driven..some have a passion for money..some for fame. And Paul's passion was reaching the lost.
1 Cor. 9:16
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
He's saying, don't pat me on the back because I witness and preach and proclaim..I have to do these things..it's in my bones!
He's saying, for me, witnessing is not an option..reaching the lost is not a suggestion..for me, it's a command! He was passionate about it.
I like what Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, "If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap into hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish w/ our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let not one go there unwarned and unsprayed for."
You can't have too much enthusiasm.
Ill.-one man may have had too much enthusiasm. He ran an open air fish market in NYC..he had a very good day and had sold almost all of his fish..matter of fact, he only had 1 small fish left in a barrel. He was closing up shop when a lady came by and said, I'd like to buy a large fish for my husband's supper. He looked down in his barrel at that one little fish. He reached in and threw it up on the counter.. "how's this?" "It's a little small" she said. "have another?" He took the fish, swished it back around in the barrel and lifted it out and said, how's this? "Still too small" she said. He tried a 3rd time, and w/ all the enthusiasm he could muster he got excited and said, "ooooh, take a look at this guy!" She replied, well..they're all a little small..I believe I'll take all 3!
2. The Right Priority
The Apostle Paul had the right priority. He knew that the main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing..we get off track in churches way too easily! The main thing is winning souls..keeping people out of hell!
Everything else is subservient to that one goal.
Paul never forgot that Christ was born to die, to rise again, to save that which was lost..He came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life for His priority!
Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Modern-Day Parable: Once upon a time a community of people who lived along a stretch of dangerous sea-coast where shipwrecks often occurred eventually organized a rescue operation. They decided to do something about all the drowning people near their city. And so a small life-saving station was built, and the devoted members of the rescue team kept an ongoing watch over the sea..ready to man their little boats to search for survivors in case of shipwreck. As a result, the town became famous for the many lives that were saved. More and more people joined the team, and soon a new building was needed.
It was much
larger than the 1st building, and was beautifully furnished and decorated. But
as more and more amenities were added for the members pleasure and comfort, the
building was slowly transformed into a kind of clubhouse. Some of the members
then began to lose interest in the rescue operation. But then a shipwreck
occurred, and many survivors were rescued and brought to the clubhouse for first
aid. During this several day period, the frenzied activity caused the elegant
clubhouse to be significantly marred, by such things as blood stains and the
smell of the sea. At the next meeting there was a split in the membership. Most
members felt that the life-saving operation was a hindrance to their social
life. And those who disagreed were told they could go to another operation
further down the coast. As years went by, history continued to repeat itself,
and today, that seacoast is lined with a number of exclusive clubhouses lining
the shore, but no one in the area seems too concerned w/ the rescue
You know, there's a church on almost every corner of this city, but it's so easy to lose our priorities, and even we are not immune.
Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Matthew 9:36 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.
Matthew 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
3. The Right Presentation
16:4-5 You have to have passion, you have to have priority, but ultimately, you have to have the right message. We're put to shame by some cults w/ much more passion and priority than we have..what a shame the message, the presentation, they are communicating!
The right message is that salvation is by grace alone, thru faith alone, in Christ alone, plus nothing, minus nothing. [15:11]
That's the right message, and when you couple that w/ love, souls WILL be saved.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Ill.-Fanny Crosby, that blind hymn writer, wrote so many hymns we love to sing. When she was up in years she visited the Macaulay Rescue Mission in NYC. She stood before a crowd of homeless, drug-addicted, alcoholic men. She said, "is there a young man here who doesn't have a mother?" One young man timidly raised his hand. He explained she died when he was very young. She asked him to come to the front. She gave him a big hug and kissed him on the cheek. It touched her heart so much that she went home that night and wrote these words, "rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave, weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus the Mighty to save."
Years later Ira Sankey was singing for D.L. Moody in St. Louis. He rose to sing that song, but before he sang he told that story. As he told the story a middle-aged man jumped up and shouted, "it was me! I'm the young man she wrote about.
She kissed me. I could never get away from that moment."
He explained that as a result he became a Christian and straightened out his
When we take the right message and couple it w/ love, people will be saved. We have to have the right passion..it's time to wake up. We have to have the right priority..it's time to put first things first. We have to have the right presentation, the right message.
2Cor.15:17Therefore if any man be in Christ,he is a new
creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
people justify their life by saying this is how i am, this is who God made me ,i should not have to change that's not fair to me.
they go to church but there life never changes
The wage of sin is death.
There old nature never died. As long as that old nature is sill present. As long as it's you trying to be good you will never please God. As long as you try (in your self) to please God you curse him. You can not make God apart of you. You must die and let God be God through you. No flesh can glory in his presence.
We must make the life of Christ our life (AMEN )
You cannot cast out the flesh. You must kill it. Crucified with Christ