Summary: We can’t be satisfied with being saved and not see any fruit from God’s work in our lives.
February 13, 2004
Text: Mark 4:21-29
Subject: Part 2 in the Harvest series.
Title: Growth Unto Harvest
I believe that we are quickly coming to the end of the age. The Bible clearly states things that will accompany that end. One of the things that I personally believe about the end is that the Bible teaches of a great falling away. I also believe that at the same time we are going to see a great revival. How can both happen at the same time? Well, I would say that God, by His Spirit, is drawing a line in the sands of time and is calling mankind to make a decision, either for Him or against Him. WE are seeing a great harvest in third world countries. We are also seeing that great falling away in the so-called Western cultures. In those countries we see that God is systematically being remove from society (the US included) and being replaced by secular humanism (the belief that man can eventual correct his own problems). So as the world is slipping further into sin and towards the realization of its own goals (life without God) the word of God continues to go forth as the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and draws people to a decision. Sometimes the seed has to be in the ground for a while before it sprouts, but once it does there is some growth that takes place.
The passage immediately before today’s scripture was about the parable of the sower and how the seed was sown on different types of soil. The main point is that regardless of the fertility of the soil, seed is still to be sown, for as long as seed is sown there is the possibility of growth and as long as there is growth there will be a harvest.
I. THE HARVEST REQUIRES LIGHT. (21-22)
A. Let Your Light Shine. Why do we need to let our lights shine? Because seed had just been planted. Without light there is no growth. Verse 21Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand?” The lamp that Jesus talks about is a light source. Do you take the light source when it is needed and hide it? Do you but it under a basket? Webster defines light in many ways. Let me share some of them with you. 1) It is part of the electromagnetic spectrum including infrared, visible and ultraviolet light. 2) It is the presence of this radiation, which is the opposite of darkness. 3) It is the source of illumination (the Holy Spirit) 4) a flame or spark used to ignite something! 5) To see the light is to have a spiritual revelation. John 1:4 says, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of the world.” verse 5, “and that light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not comprehend it.” Jesus is the light. He is made known by the gospel. We should never hide Jesus but put Him up on the lampstand for everyone to see. John 12:32, “And I, if I am lifted up form the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” The light of the world cannot illuminate the darkness unless we lift Him up. If we confess Christ before men He will confess us before the Father, and if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before the Father. Let your light shine!
B. Watching the Seed Sprout. Verse 22 says that not all things concerning Christ has been revealed yet, but it will be. “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.” It is the same with sowing seed. Though it may appear that the seed falls into the ground and is hidden and you may never see it again, there is a force that is working on it while it lies dormant. When you plant the seed of the gospel into the lives of others you may not see it at work. But it will be revealed to that person and will be revealed through that person. A couple of years ago when we were doing visitation, we shared the gospel with a lady on the north end of town. At first she was a little reluctant to hear, but allowed us to continue speaking. The more we talked about Jesus, the more we could see the change in her expression as she moved from doubt to faith in Christ. The word that is translated “revealed” in verse 22 means to be made obvious. When the gospel is sown there comes a point that the truth of it becomes obvious. Does that mean that everyone will accept Christ at some point? No, some will still reject Him, but it won’t be because they doubt the truth. It will be because they have hardened their hearts to receive. I’ve had people tell me, “you know, I believe what you are saying is true. But I’m just not ready to change my lifestyle.” Well Pastor Mike, if that’s the case why bother? Well, our job is not necessarily to test the soil. It is to sow seed.