6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: The fields are white for harvest. We cannot expect the statistics of saved vs. lost to improve if we do not sow and reap.


John 4:35-38


We are living in a day when there are more lost souls in the world then there are saved. Statistically, there are 95-100 million unchurched people in the U.S. alone. There are 180-190 million lost souls in the U.S., which do not attend church at all. If we were to be able to attach cables to the four corner post of this church and lift it high into the sky using a crane, we would be able to look out the windows of the church and see numbers of people out and about, while we are here in worship. I say to you, it is time for the harvest.

Jesus himself while talking to the disciples made it known that the time for harvest is all around us. We are all called to win souls for the glory of God. Some times we will sow the seed and some times we will reap the harvest. In John 4:35-38, we will focus on just that, “one sows and another reaps.” We can never expect for the statistics of saved vs. lost to improve if we do not understand the importance of winning souls.

READ JOHN 4:35-38

I. The Process of Sowing and Reaping

A. The Process of Sowing…

i. In agriculture, sowing involves preparing the soil and planting the seed.

ii. In winning souls to Christ, sowing likewise involves preparation and planting.

1. Hearts of the lost need to be prepared to receive the gospel

2. This requires time, teaching, influence, and visible results

B. The Process of Reaping…

i. In agriculture, reaping is the harvesting of what has been sown

ii. In winning souls to Christ, reaping involves a similar harvest

1. The involves souls that have already heard the Gospel Word

2. It also involves those who have decided to obey the Gospel Word

Both sowing and reaping are necessary to win souls. Yet we all need to remember that the same person does not always do the two…

II. We may Reap where others have Sown

A. This was the case in Samaria

i. Jesus sent His disciples to reap where others had labored

John 4:38

ii. Who had done the sowing?

1. Jesus, in conversing with the woman at the well

John 4:5-26

2. The woman, in telling those in town about Jesus

John 4:28-30

The disciples were reaping what had already been sown. The people of Samaria had been planted with the seed of the Gospel by the message of the young girl saved at the well with Jesus. The disciples came along to reap the seed that had already been sown.

B. This is often the case Today…

i. There are times when people seem ready for the harvest

1. They are ready to obey the gospel

2. There is little effort required to bring them to Christ.

ii. This is likely due to someone else sowing the seed of the Gospel in their life earlier

1. Perhaps this could have been done through the examples or teachings of a friend or family member in the past

2. That soul may not have been ready to respond at that time, but the seed was plant and is now ready to harvest.

We will often benefit from someone else sowing the seed for us to come along and reap later.

C. This can be Misinterpreted though

i. We might think that we have won souls all by ourselves

ii. We might think that those who convert many are great soul winners in and of themselves.

iii. BUT, we must remember that reaping does not always reflect where the hardest work has been done. SOWING.

If a crop is never prepared and sown properly, then the crop will never come to harvest. Likewise if a seed is never planted into a lost soul that soul, will never come to be reaped.

III. We may Sow where others will Reap

A. This was also the case in Samaria…

i. Jesus did the sowing, but the disciples would do the reaping

ii. The woman at the well did some sowing, then Jesus and the disciples did the reaping – John 4:39-42

B. This is often the Case Today…

i. There are times when a lot of sowing is being done

1. Lives are influenced by the godly examples of other Christians.

2. Souls are taught the Word of God

ii. Yet the reaping is not enjoyed by those doing the sowing

1. Few seem to respond to the efforts being made by Christian witness

2. Don’t get discouraged or frustrated when you don’t see immediate results from those you are witnessing to.

iii. The reaping often comes later

1. It might takes years before the Gospel seed that you planted finally starts to sprout

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