Summary: A call to our church to commit to a lifestyle of soul-winning.
“A Call to the Harvest”
Date: January 4, 2004 A.M Service
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: Matthew 9:36-38
In my family there have been many different occupations. For instance, some have been carpenters, mechanics, truck drivers, salesmen, etc. Some would not like me to say this but, I have heard stories of some relatives running “moonshine” during the 20’s & 30’s. Not surprising there have not been many preachers…
On both sides of my family as we have researched our family tree, we have found that many of our relatives have been farmers.
After WWII, my father and uncle purchased land side by side and began farming. My dad always called himself a dirt farmer. I don’t know much about farming, but when I think of farmers, I think of the harvest. A great deal of work goes into preparation and planning but the success lies within the harvest. For many families, the success of the harvest depends on whether they can keep the farm for another year.
For instance, if there is a drought, flood or freeze and the harvest is lost, that means loss of income. Everything depends on the harvest at harvest time. Other things become secondary, because the harvest waits for no one.
In the past, many towns and communities would celebrate harvest time with festivals and feasts. It was a great time of celebration and anticipation for the hard work ahead.
As a church, we also are in the harvest business. Not in fruit, vegetables, cotton but in the greatest commodity that can be found. The harvest of souls.
In preparation for this message, I begin to look at some of the history of Allendale Baptist Church. I am sure that in the 18 years of the churches history, there have been many that have been faithful in sowing the seeds. The best that I could find was that 179 total baptisms in 18 years. I’m certain that there have been many others who have come to make professions of faith as a result of those being a faithful witness in this community.
This morning my desire in this message is not to focus on the past, but challenge us to the future. As we look at this scripture, I want us to see five important principles for the harvest ahead.
I. THE HARVEST IS PAINFUL
· V. 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.”
· Many times we see in scripture that Jesus was moved with compassion and He wept.
· We never see His hurting and suffering for Himself, but only for the spiritual condition of others.
· My dear Christian friend, when was the last time you hurt, when was the last time you cried over a lost family, an unsaved friend or a co-worker that does not know Jesus as Savior and Lord?
· This is not going to make me very popular and same will get mad but, more church members, and I must say pastors, get their feeling hurt over silly unimportant things than they ever would be hurt and cry over someone going to hell. More church members will rearrange their busy schedules to come to a business meeting than they would to come to an evangelistic outreach or soul winning visitation night.
· The work of harvesting souls is painful and costly. But I say it is the greatest reward for the Christian and the church to persue.
· Is your pain tolerance high enough to endure the pain of the harvest?
Next we see…
II. THE HARVEST IS PLENTY
. V 37 “Then saith He unto His disciples, the harvest is truly plenteous.”
· Each quarter we are given the large number of people to continue to move into Montgomery County. One report that comes to mind shows over forty thousand families each month. We have seen a large part of that growth in the west side of Montgomery County, but over the last few months the growth continues to come eastward.
· In the previous verse we saw that Jesus looked at the multitudes.
· This word multitudes is used over 200 times in the Bible as I see related to the work of evangelism.
· I must say this the shortage is not found in the harvest.
· You do not have to go very far, and I would even say turn your head this morning to find someone in need of the Gospel.
· Many churches have turned so inside that they have lost sight of the harvest right outside their backdoor.
· Ever heard the old saying; “can’t see the forest for the trees.”
III. THE HARVEST CANNOT BE POSTPONED.
· V 37 “But the laborers are few”.