Summary: Part 3 of a sermon series preached in Anjung, South Korea
John 4:35 '...Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.'
What a wonderful verse! Another one is found in Luke 10:2 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'
What wonderful verses! Encouraging verses! The fields or ripe, they are white, they are ready for harvest! The grain is ready to be cut down and brought in, the fruit are ready to be picked and the vegetables ready to be dug up!
But of course Jesus isn't talking here of fruit, veg or grain but rather He's talking about people, He's talking about the lost! He's talking about the non-Christians! (John 4:33?), and what He is saying is that they are ready! He's saying that the time is now! Salvation for them is but and breath away! And that labourers are needed to go out and 'bring in' the harvest.
And as we read through the accounts of the Gospels and Acts we see just how true that statement was! 1000s came to listen to Jesus speak! They brought their sick to Him to be healed and their demon possessed to be set free! People would walk miles and miles just to see this Man! People quit their jobs to follow Him!
In Acts we read that 1000s, 1000s were added to the Church daily! People were tortured and killed because of Him and they died singing praises Him!
Truly the fields were ripe for the harvest!
But is that true today? Is Anjung ripe for the harvest? Are people ready, here, for the Kingdom of God?
Now I'm sure we all know what harvest is. Harvest marks the end of the growing season of a particular crop. When that crop has matured, when it has ripened and is at its perfect state to be picked and consumed.
Are the people in Anjung 'ripe for the picking'? Are they ready today?
You see, at harvest time ALL the fruit are ready to be picked. Yes you'll have some which are under ripe, and some which have gone bad. Yes you'll have some which have been damaged or destroyed by the weather, but in general the crop is ready. There is no need for a person to go around feeling and tasting individually, picking those that are ready and leaving those that aren't.
No, when the time comes, yes they may take a few and test, and if they are ready they go and get them all!
Another thing about harvest time is that it is the easiest time for the farmer. What I mean is that at harvest there is nothing the farmer needs to do but collect the crop in. There is no digging, no ploughing, no sowing or watering are protecting. Rather it's just collecting. It's just going out there, into the field and plucking!
There is no more praying needed. There is no more loving needed. There is no more work to be done other than going out into the field and bringing the crop home! Listen to what Jesus says in the full verse 'Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.' (John 4:35)
The time is now! All the hard work has been done! The ground has been ploughed! The seed has been planted! It has been watered and it has grown and has been has been looked after and now, right now, today the fields are ripe for the harvest! It's time now to bring them in!
Now, is that true of Anjung today? As we look out over this town, is it ripe for the harvest? Has the seed been planted? Has the crop been looked after? Has the Holy Spirit finished His work? Are the people here ready for salvation?
I'm not going to answer 'Yes' or 'No', instead, next week you can answer me 'Yes' or 'No'. Because this week I want you to ask 3 people, if we all ask 3 then we should be able to get a good idea of where Anjung stands, and all I want you to ask them is this 'Can I tell you about Jesus?'.
And it doesn't matter who you ask, as long as it isn't our pastor or someone we already know is a Christian. And to be quite honest it doesn't even matter if they say yes and you are not sure what to say (testimony would be great though), invite them here next Sunday or take them to see the pastor.
But at least we'll know where Anjung stands! At least we'll know what work needs to be done! If 2 out of 3 people say 'Yes, I'd like to know Jesus' then the harvest is here and our work is to go out and gather in! But If less than 2 out of 3 say 'Yes' then we'll know we're back to the preparing, planting and praying stage!