Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

Be A Soul-Harvester

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 28 February 2010

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Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:34-35).

Jesus had just sown the Gospel seed in the heart of the Samaritan woman whom He met at the well. Upon hearing Christ's words, she hastened to tell her people about Him. It is at this time that Jesus uttered the above words to His disciples. He knew that soon she would return with her villagers. He wanted the disciples to be ready to win those who would be coming with the woman. So using the language of harvest, which the disciples were very familiar with, He urged them to be ready soul-harvesters.·

"Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields"

Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” The Lord spoke those words with a sense of urgency. He wanted them to be aware that many souls are ready to be harvested. Like a farmer who watches the crops in his field to determine whether they are ripe for harvest, we must also be diligent to see the souls that are ready to be harvested.

Too many people in the church seem to be unaware that there is a great harvest of souls awaiting their reaping. Are you one of those who do not join the soul-harvesters? Are you waiting for some unusual token of providence to draw you to soul-harvest? Do you belittle, in your heart, those who speak of soul-harvest with expectancy?

Jesus commands us to “lift up” our eyes and “look”. The Lord wants us to be diligent in searching and identifying those who are made ready by the providence of God to come to our blessed Saviour. It is every Christian's duty to be ever ready to lead such souls to
Christ.

In time past, some might have rejected your presentation of the Gospel or your invitation to church. Don't be discouraged by these negative responses. Look around you because as Jesus says "the field" is ready for harvest. There are souls that are ready to come to Christ. Many poor, wretched souls are waiting for someone to guide them to Christ. Will you not "lift up your eyes" and identify them?

There are so many people who are hurt, lonely and lost, waiting for a kind soul to come around and lead them out of the misery of their sins. They need to be told of Jesus, the lover and redeemer of souls. They must be told that His atoning death on the cross will give them freedom from sin and its misery; and if they believe on Him, they too can receive abundant life. Who will tell them of Jesus and why He died? Who will bring them into the kingdom of our Saviour that they may rejoice in its blessings?

If you are Christ' true disciple, then be eager to do His will, even to harvest souls. When you reap one soul, go and look for another, and another, and another.

We should always be ready to share the Gospel. Be willing and ready to reach out to relatives, neighbours, fellow students, teachers, colleagues, co-travellers, strangers on the road and in the markets. We must also be diligent to direct them to the church that they may grow spiritually through the faithful teaching of the Word and the fellowship of believers.

"They are white already to harvest”

Patience is a great virtue, but decisive action is all the more a necessary virtue in soul-harvest. Jesus told the disciples, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you. . . . they are white already to harvest.”

There are so many who keep postponing their duty of evangelism, saying, “Maybe it is not the time of harvest yet.” The common reason for lack of urgency in soulharvesting is that “there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest”. They say, “This is not the time; we better show patience. We must wait; this is not the man; this is not the hour; this is not the place. We must wait till better circumstances suitable for evangelism appear.” Many are waiting for the opportune time that will produce grander results. Their favourite phrase when it comes to evangelism is, “It’s not the time yet.”

But my dear brethren, is it not true that many are dying without Christ? Our cemeteries and graveyards are crowded. Time and tide wait for no man. Moment by moment multitudes are perishing without the Saviour. Should another person whom we come to know die without hearing the Gospel of salvation? Yet, many in the church say, “There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest.”

We cannot wait until someone comes and says, “Sir, what must I do to be saved?” Have you not been waiting too long? Have not months and years passed you by without you feeling any urgency at all to preach the Gospel to someone? When will you end your waiting? We have waited too long; we have waited till our patience may well have exhausted itself.

May we take heed of our Saviour’s words, and no longer say that “there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest”. Let us do as He says, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” Expect a present blessing in your evangelistic efforts. Believe your Master that He will grant you a good harvest if you go at His command.

Let’s not be just dreamers of great soul-harvests. Instead, let us be labourers in our Lord’s harvest field. Until we move with great urgency, we shall not experience a great harvest. Get out of your sluggish waiting, and go to the field that is ready for harvest with ready hearts and hands. Let us manifest readiness and instantaneous diligence.

Conclusion

In Matthew 9:38, our Lord exhorted His disciples, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Will you say “Yes” to the Lord as He awaits labourers to go to the harvest that many more souls may be brought to His kingdom? Every Christian who is expectant of a present blessing will hurriedly say, “Yes, I will go to reap the souls.”

As we gear ourselves for the Family Gospel Night (20th March, 6 pm), my dear reader, please bring at least a soul to hear the Gospel. May the Lord Jesus Christ, the lover and redeemer of our soul, motivate our hearts with His Words that we may be good reapers of the soul-harvest.