Reading and reaping from scriptures – Part 2
For the purpose of illustration, check up the following simple words in the clear passages containing them. (1) Believe (John 2:23-25; James 2:19; Romans 10:9-10).
Obviously, it matters what we believe, who we believe and how we believe. (2) Love (Ezekiel 33:31; John 14:15,23). Saying and singing “I love You, Lord” does not mean much to God, if it’s only sentimental and superficial without obedience to His Word. (3) Harvest (Genesis 8:22; Jeremiah 8:20; Matthew 9:37-38; 13:39,41; Revelation 14:15).
It is very instructive to read the context of each verse where the word harvest occurs. Then we ask: Is the word used literally, figuratively, spiritually, or prophetically? It is very helpful in interpretation and application of any passage of scripture to know if the word “harvest” relates to harvesting or gathering crops, harvesting or winning, evangelising souls or harvesting or pronouncing end-time judgment on Christ-rejecters. There is a harvest that farmers are responsible for. There is also a harvest of souls being reaped by Christ’s disciples and labourers, while we have the opportunity to proclaim His free and full salvation to all, and there is going to be a harvest of judgment on the final day of reckoning. What a joy to be involved in the harvest of gathering repentant and believing souls into God’s Kingdom.
The time of harvest in Israel got every member of each family and their friends involved. The reaping of their harvest was not left only in the hands of the head of the family. The early CHURCH also got every member involved in evangelistic harvesting. The early CHURCH demonstrated an understanding of the steps and working principles of proper and effective reaping. As in the natural, so we find these principles in spiritual harvesting.
First, the Commission, then Comprehension, Consecration, Concentration, Co-operation (no Competition), Continuation until Conservation and Compensation. That was the commitment of the early Church and this ought to be the concentration and consecration of the whole Church today. We read the Bible so that the life, passion, and ministry of Christ might be reproduced in us. He came to seek and to save that which was lost and we are here to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). He rejected popularity and fame so as to “go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth” (Mark 1:38,39). And so must we. He knew the purpose of His birth and the goal of life on earth. “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world” (John 18:37). He would not be distracted from the divinely ordained purpose of living; neither must we be distracted by anything or anyone.
“He reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.” For Israel “the appointed weeks of the harvest” were the seven weeks from the Passover to Pentecost and were as important for the ingathering of the crops as the rainy seasons for their nourishment. The appointed time of harvest demanded urgency. To delay and waste the harvest or lose their crops would be foolish. For us to be “busy here and there” or to be negligent and thereby allow souls to be lost is worse than losing crops. The condemnation of the negligent will be great; the compensation of the faithful will be greater than expected. Commit yourself to read and obeying God’s Word. Read and reap, and become born again. Then, live a life rapturable and pleasing to God.
Further Reading (King James Version): Isaiah 34:16; Revelation 1:3; Jeremiah 5:24; Isaiah 34:16; Deuteronomy 17:19; 1 Timothy 4:13; Matthew 9:35-38; John 4:34-38; Matthew 13:36-43; Jeremiah 8:20-22. Nehemiah 8:5,8; Luke 10:1-3,17-20; Proverbs 10:5; Psalm 126:5,6; Acts 8:5-8; Jeremiah 5:24.
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