Thesis: We must go to them, for they will not come to us.
1. Illust. In Northwest Ohio there is an incredibly rich section of land along the Scioto River called "The Scioto Marsh." Actually it used to be a marsh. About 100 years ago a series of ditches were dug to drain it and it became phenomenally rich farmland. Onions grew particularly well and for a while this area around Alger, McGuffey, Foraker, and Jumbo was known as the "Onion Capital of the World." One problem though--onion cultivation was labor-intensive and there weren't enough workers. The call went out for laborers and many Kentuckians moved into the area. Most of the people in that part of Ohio have Kentucky roots. THE POINT: The onion fields couldn't go to Kentucky, so Kentucky had to go to the onion fields!
2. That's the way harvests are! You have to go to it, it doesn't come to you.
a. Read: Luke 10:1-3.
b. If we are going to participate in the Lord's harvest, we must do three things . . .
I. WE MUST SHARE JESUS' VISION (1-3).
A. If we share the Lord's vision what are we going to do? (PRAY!)
1. Many prayers relating to evangelism sound like this:
a. "We pray for _____ that they may come to saving knowledge of the truth before everlastingly ..."
b. Nothing wrong with that kind of prayer, it's just not the kind of prayers we find in the NT (Eph. 6:19-20; Col. 4:3-4).
2. Lord commands prayer for harvesters, not harvest!
B. It is impossible to pray for the Lord to send harvesters without becoming one ourselves!
II. WE MUST FOLLOW JESUS' INSTRUCTIONS (4-8). < 5 strange commands >
A. "Do not take a purse, or bag, or sandals" (4a).
1. Travel light!
2. Illust. Campers who go to "get away from it all" yet takes house trailer with stove, T.V., and airconditioning into the wilderness! Miss the point!
3. Go in faith. Don't plan for every possibility. Don't over-calculate!
B. "Do not greet anyone on the road" (4b).
1. Seems like Jesus would want them to greet strangers!
2. Custom called for long-winded, superficial "howdy-doos."
3. Jesus: "Don't dilly-dally around!" "The mission is urgent!"
C. "First say, `Peace to this house'" (5).
1. Offer genuine, heart-felt blessing.
2. Response will tell if they're "ripe" (6).
D. "Stay in that house ..." (7).
1. If received, put down some roots--invest yourself.
2. Illust. Talking about a philosophy of evangelism. Two men are hunting and come on a herd of 40 deer in a clearing. Shotgun and a rifle. Shotgun could hit every deer, wounding them but not killing a single one! Rifle would kill 1, but would scare away rest.
E. "Eat what is set before you" (8).
1. Jews of Palestine spent much time arguing over dietary matters (food, washings, etc.).
2. Jesus: "Don't get into all that!!!"
3. Paul: "Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels" (2 Tim. 2:23).
III. WE MUST PROCLAIM JESUS' MESSAGE (9-12).
A. Content of Jesus' message--"The Kingdom (rule) of God."
1. Everyone must come under God's rule.
2. The song remains the same regardless of the audience.
a. To those who receive us (8-9).
b. To those who reject us (10-11).
B. Judgment is coming! Part of the message!
1. Harvest isn't going to come to us, we have to go to it!
a. Onion fields couldn't go to Kentucky!
b. Deer aren't going to come up to hunters--shoot me!
c. Sinners aren't going to come to church (much less to Christ) simply because we've got a building, and our address is in the phone book!
2. Jesus sends us to the harvest--he doesn't send the harvest to us.