Summary: This sermon uses the harvesting of Sugar Cane in South Louisiana as a comparison to the harvest of souls that is coming upon the earth in these last days.
HARVEST TIME IS HERE!
Matthew 24:32-34, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
Have you noticed something different lately? We have entered into the fall of the year. It’s a time of the year when many of us are happy to see the heat of the summer come to an end and we welcome the cooler temperatures. It’s a time of the year when we can hear the roar of the crowds in the stands at a football game and it’s a time when we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. The Holiday Season is just a few weeks away and it won’t be long until this year passes into the pages of history and a new one rises upon the scene.
We can feel the difference in the air itself. We can see the leaves begin to fall and the colors of summer give way to the colors of fall. Pumpkins, Louisiana Satsuma oranges, and harvesting time is here.
Just yesterday I had a first hand experience in the process of the harvest. I was invited to watch and be a part of the harvesting of sugar cane on a 2600 acre farm across the river in White Castle, Louisiana. It was an educational process that I won’t forget. I’ve seen the trucks filled with harvested cane traveling down the highways but I’ve never been in the fields, nor have I ever seen the entire manufacturing process from planting the cane to the finished product. It was very interesting and educational.
The whole process reminds me of the fact that this world is getting ready for the harvest time as well. It won’t be long until Jesus comes to begin the final process of separating the sheep from the goats.
As I was told of the seeding and planting of the cane, sometimes by hand and sometimes by machine, I was reminded of the fact that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is planted in the hearts and lives of men through many avenues. For some, the gospel comes to them through a one-on-one witness from a friend, or an acquaintance. This is compared to the planting by hand, one seed, one sprout, one at a time. It’s an effective process but God has also chosen other methods to spread his gospel.
In our day and time, the one-by-one method of planting has been enhanced by the arrival of TV, radio, satellite dishes and the Internet, which have become very effective tools in the hands of God’s people to spread the gospel in a faster and more effective manner. Multitudes of people can hear the message at the same time and who can know the number of those seeds of the gospel that have been planted? Only God knows how many have been reached in the large crusades and broadcasted preaching of the gospel.
Just as many of the seeds planted by the machines are wasted and those seeds don’t produce a part of the harvest, I know that a lot of the broadcasting of the gospel over the airwaves falls upon deaf ears. But there is one difference we must note.
God says that His Word would never return void but will accomplish what it was meant to do. In every case, the message of the gospel is preached and that’s God’s purpose in the broadcast. Every time that Word goes forth, men must make a choice – to accept that Word and surrender to Christ, or to harden their hearts against it one more time.
I noticed that, in one section of the fields that we visited, there was a lot of rice planted as food for the crawfish that were being raised for market. I was reminded of the Parable of the Sower, as I watched thousands of birds land in those fields and steal rice seed from the stalks before it could accomplish what it was meant to do.
As the gospel goes forth, either by hand, or by some greater broadcasting method, the seed is planted, but Satan and his cohorts are standing by to steal that seed as quickly as it is planted and the sad fact is that most people are all too willing to allow the devil to take it from them because they don’t want to hear it in the first place. They like living for their own desires and they have no time for the God that they will face in eternity to answer for their refusal to accept Christ as their Savior.