Summary: One must plant seed to reap a crop.
• John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
• Never did Jesus encourage his followers or even those who were considering becoming his followers to wait until tomorrow.
o He was gripped with the urgency of the hour and he sought to transfer that same urgency to his followers.
o The apostle Paul was ready to preach the gospel at every opportunity, for he recognized that people are lost now and need a Savior.
• In a well-known, often quoted passage, he declared that today is the day of salvation.
• This is a truth that we, as a church must grasp.
o Today is the day of salvation!
o People are ready to be reached with this gospel right now.
• We must be busy in the harvest fields.
• The night is quickly coming when no man can labor.
o Right now, in homes across this community farmers are fretting and worrying about the crops that are still in the fields.
• The quality and value of cotton is degraded every time it gets rained upon after the bolls are open and ready for harvest.
• The forecast for tomorrow and Friday includes another 4-6 inches of rain!
• Not only is the quality of the cotton affected, its entirely possible that some of these fields won’t be accessible until the cotton has already been ruined!
o As the church we should be gripped by that same knowledge.
• An opportunity is passing from us, even right now.
• Some soul that is ready to be reached is going to slip into eternity before we reach them if we don’t launch ourselves into the harvest with all that we have.
o I promise you that, if we can catch a dry spell, the farmers will labor 24-7 to get those precious crops out of the field.
• How much more urgent should our efforts be? Harvest time is right now!
II. Sleeping during the harvest.
• In our text we are confronted with the uncomfortable truth that there are those that choose to sleep during harvest time.
o During this urgent moment when the opportunity is there and souls are ready, there some who would rather be idle and careless as an open door slips away from us.
• The tragic truth is that, while we sleep, the harvest is going to waste in the fields.
• Won’t it be a tremendous catastrophe if all those beautiful white cotton fields out there can’t be harvested this year because of the rainfall.
o What a wasteful shame it will be to watch those fields go to ruin when it is readily evident that they are ready for harvest.
• Unfortunately, the farmers can’t help it, but the church has no excuse.
o There is no spiritual obstacle stopping us from getting into the harvest.
• The only thing that impedes us is our own casual laziness.
• It would be a shame if, after 33 years of cultivating the harvest field in Lake City, we failed to seize the opportunities that are before us and allowed the harvest to go to waste in the field.
o The pressing truth is that we don’t have the time to be casual and indifferent about the harvest.
• Years of labor and effort are coming to fruition in this community and you and I simply MUST do all we can to reap the harvest while it is ready.
• We can’t afford to sleep through the harvest.
• This is our hour and if we do anything less than give it our very best then, according to the proverb, we are a son that causeth shame!
III. High Time to Awake!
• Often times, my boys will fall asleep somewhere other than their bed and on numerous occasions when they are roused from their sleep to go to bed, they deny the fact that they were ever asleep.
o I wasn’t asleep, I was just resting my eyes…
• I believe it is possible, tonight, to fall asleep spiritually and not even realize it.
• In light of that truth, Paul wrote to the church in Rome (Romans 13:11) saying “that, knowing the time,” or recognizing that the time of salvation is at hand, “now it is high time to awake out of sleep!”
o I believe that it is high time that we stirred ourselves to wakefulness.
Those who are asleep do not use their eyes.
• They are blind to what is going on around them.
o They have no clue as to what is happening in their world.
• It is high time that we, as the church, became aware of the fact that there are folks all around us that are desperate and hungry for the truth.