We’ve been talking about the harvest fields of God, and how Jesus told us to pray to the Lord of the harvest. Specifically, to pray that God would send forth laborers into His harvest. There are so many people who are searching for the kinds of answers that you and I have found in Jesus.
But, guess what? You can’t just go into the harvest fields at your leisure. It’s not something that you can keep putting off until there’s nothing else left to do. No, just like in the natural, there’s a time when it’s right to harvest, there’s also a time when it’s too late to harvest. The crops have gone bad, and are no longer able to be harvested.
I believe that the crop of humanity in America has almost been left too long. The church has been caught up in programs, fund raising and other side issues. Meanwhile, the collective consciences of America have gotten so seared.
Jeremiah in chapter 8:20 says that his people had gotten the same way. Then he said, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” They had gone beyond the point of God sending laborers forth into the harvest. The people were so deceived and hardened that they couldn’t respond to anything good anymore. They had no consciences left to deal with, and their hearts were too hardened to feel the love of God.
The harvest is a particular, limited and specific time. Jesus told us in John 4:35 not to think we could just go out there and be used to win souls at any time. He said, “Say not ye, ‘There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest.’ I say unto you, lift your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already unto harvest.”
Don’t think you can wait four months and then obey God when you have finished serving yourself. By then, you will have run out of time, and your harvest will be lost.
When are the special times of harvest? First of all, when children are very young. That’s why there’s such a need for Christians to respond to the Spirit’s call for Sunday School teachers and children’s workers. The little children WANT to come to Jesus. Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto Me. (Matthew 19:14).” But how can they come, if the adults are too busy or too preoccupied with their own lives to give a few minutes each week for the children?
Another harvest is the teenage time period. This is when kids are most open to changing, to being influenced and when they’re searching for their own identities. They’re insecure and NEED strong role models and people who they can talk to and who will listen.
Teenagers need the close personal contact of Christian friends who really care about them. Fortunately, a handful of caring adults have made themselves available to the teens here, to help them in their walks with the Lord. And, sadly, other adults just don’t have the (consecrated) time or the spiritual interest to actually get in the trenches with the kids and help them fight for their souls.
Then, there’s the harvest that comes during times of crisis. Times when people are sick, laid off the job, had a death in the family or some other jolt in their lives. What happens to these people? Usually, God’s people are too busy doing their own thing, and these people just slip through the cracks, never to be saved.
How about the harvest at times of happiness? When there’s a marriage in the family, a job promotion, moving to a new neighborhood, or a new birth in the family? People are especially open to the things of God during these times of joy and thankfulness. They just have to be reached out to.
That’s all. Most of the time, though, we miss God’s golden opportunity to do the very thing He left you on earth for. He could’ve called you home to Heaven right after saving you. But, instead, He left you here to help other people.
In Jeremiah 8:20, the prophet realizes that his people missed their time to reach out to their time of fun, rest, relaxation and enjoyment, and they didn’t use it for God.
The time to help people is now. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “Now is the day of salvation.” Now is the time to reach people with the life changing message of good news from Heaven. People need to hear the good news that God loves them, cares about them and wants to make Himself known to them.
They need to know that they’re not left here on earth alone to fend for themselves. They need to know that God can be their “strength in the time of trouble (Psalm 37:39.)”
There’s a God in Heaven who cares about them and will help them, if they can just call out to Him in their day of trouble. He says, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me (Psalm 50:15).”
People are being “destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).” They don’t know that there’s a real God who will touch their lives. And, they won’t know unless someone tells them.
You and I know that, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).” We’ve experienced His goodness over and over again, and KNOW the difference He can make in our lives.
Life is uncertain for the people in our lives. Life is also uncertain for you and me. we don’t know when we’re going to be called home to stand before the Lord of the Harvest.
The cry that Jeremiah gives, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” is the saddest cry a human soul can make. And it’s completely unnecessary. No one needs to be unsaved. No one needs to be lost in life. And, no one needs to be lost.
Commit your life and energies totally to God before the harvest ends. Live a life of usefulness and obedience. Respond to the dealings of God in your heart, so you don’t miss the time of your visitation from God.