THE PASSION AND THE PROMISE
Psalm 126:5-6 (NKJV)
5 Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
6 He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.
Ill. The Context of this Psalm. A farmer may weep due to the drudgery of his labor, but after the ground has been tilled, the seed planted and the harvested brought in, the same farmer returns from the same field rejoicing in the fruit he has received.
If I may remind you this evening, Jesus Christ declared this world to be a field, John 4:35. He also indicated that we, His people, are the farmers who are to plant, tend and reap the harvest here. God’s call to you and me is that we be active in spreading His Gospel message to a world that is perishing. You and I are to be witnesses and soul winners in this present day! Hallelujah!
Now, if we were to be really honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that our witness is often lacking in some of its necessary elements. Well, that is what these verses are all about. In this passage, the Lord addresses some of the things we lack and offers His promise to those who will go forth in His Name, spreading His Gospel His way.
Let’s take a few minutes this evening to look together at the Passion and the Promise. As we do, let the Lord speak to your heart and allow Him to help you in this very vital area of Christian service. The sad fact is, we just aren’t seeing as many people saved as we should be. God can change that and He will, through us, if we will get where He can and where we will.
I. THERE IS A PURPOSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE
(The purpose is this: God expects His people to be actively engaged in the activity of sharing His Gospel with a lost world.)
A. It Is Personal – Notice the word “he”. There is no indication to whom he is speaking, but the inference is to every individual. Where did we ever get the idea that witnessing is the job of the Pastor, the evangelist and the missionary? The Bible seems to indicate that the Gospel is to be spread by every individual who has been saved in Christ – Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15. The task is just too great for the load to fall upon the shoulders of a few. The burden must be borne by everyone who are called on the Name of the LORD! It is a function that every child of God can perform!
B. It Is Present Tense – Note, “goeth forth.” The verb tense points to a continual ministry of bearing the precious seed of the Lord’s Gospel to a perishing world. There has never been a moment, and there never will be a moment, when the message of the Gospel is not needed in the lost and dying world. The whole idea is that we are to be making disciples “as we go!”
(Ill. Your testimony is not something that you turn on and off like a light switch. We are to wear our identity as Christians clearly and consistently as we go through life in a lost world!. The mandate is to be “on mission” at all times! I am not speaking of just simple lifestyle evangelism. We should live it, but there must also be those frequent times when we tell it as well!)
C. It Is Precious – The message we have been given to carry to the world is a precious message! The tools which we have been given with which to minister are also very precious indeed.
1. The Gospel – 1 Cor. 15:3-4 – This is a story like none other! That God loves man and died to save him, then arose from the dead to offer justification and eternal life to all who will simply place their faith in this One who died and rose again! It is precious because it will work for anyone who receives it. It is a universal message!
2. The Word Of God – Rom. 10:17; Psa. 19:7 – The Word of God (BIBLE) is precious because it tells mankind about the Gospel and about the God who designed the perfect plan of salvation.
3. The Holy Spirit – John 16:13; Mark 13:11 – The Spirit of God is precious because He goes with us to witness. He guides us in our witness. He gives us the words to speak as we witness and He gouges the heart of the lost person we are witnessing to. He is a faithful companion and He is the One Who will get the job done through us!
4. Your Own Testimony – 1 Pet. 3:15; Matt. 5:16 – There are all kinds of elaborate methods for sharing the Gospel. You can learn the Roman Road, the Four Spiritual Laws, you can study Evangelism Explosion. All of these are good and they are helpful, but the best witnessing tool you possess is to tell someone what Jesus has done in your life. Sharing your personal salvation experience is the best weapon for witnessing that you have in your arsenal. Do not be afraid to tell others what God has done for you! Amen!
I. A Purpose To Acknowledge
II. A PASSION TO ADOPT
(Ill. This passage uses two words that carry the idea of passion. Those words are, “tears” and “weepeth”. These words speak of toil, pain and of passion. They tell of a burden for a job that must be done. Just as the farmer gives his attention to the field, and as he gives labor to the planting, cultivation and harvesting of the crop, Christians need the same passion toward a world that is perishing without God. We need a burden for the souls of men!)
A. The Reasons We Need A Passion For Souls
1. Our Examples – We have been given many examples of men with a burden for the lost. Their burden serves as a lesson to our lives.
A. Jesus Christ Had A Burden – John 11:35; Luke 19:41
B. Prophet Jeremiah Had A Burden – Jer. 9:1
C. Apostle Paul Had A Burden – Acts 20:31; Rom. 10:1; Rom. 9:3
2. Our Experiences – There was a day when we were lost without God. Just the memory of sin and a life lived apart from the Lord ought to be enough to drive us our into the world to tell others about a God who loves them and died to save them. (Ill. Isa. 51:1)
3. The End Of Man – The Bible seems to indicate that many, many more will die lost than will be saved, Matt. 7:14; 22:14.
(Ill. Someone has said that only 2% of all the people who have ever lived will be saved. What a horrible and heart wrenching statistic!)
The Bible is also clear in that there are only 2 possible destinations for men when they leave this life. One is Heaven, for the saved, and the other is Hell.
I submit to you that if we really believed in an eternal hell, where the condemned burn for eternity apart from the presence of God with no hope of relief or release, then we would be more active in spreading the news that Jesus Christ saves sinners!
B. The Results Of Our Having A Passion For Souls – When we are truly moved b the plight of the lost, there will be tears, burdens, prayer and increased activity among the redeemed people of God.
(Ill. Let’s face the truth this evening. I don’t want to be mean, but to be honest often requires that we consider unpleasant things. The truth of the matter is, we really aren’t too concerned about those around us who are dying without God. We may say we are, but until we are moved enough to pray for them and to go to them, then we can say anything we want, but the truth of our actions betray us. Many are content to know that their families are saved. Folks, we need a burden. We need God to break our hearts over the condition of the lost. We need God to break our hearts tonight!)
(Ill. We need to cry because we do not cry! We need to be burdened because we are not burdened! We need to be upset that we are not upset! We need the Lord to do something in our hearts that will cause us to be bold and unashamed of the work Christ has done in us and can do for others!)
I. A Purpose To Acknowledge
II. A Passion To Adopt
III. A PROMISE TO ANTICIPATE
(Ill. When we go God’s way with a burden for the lost, we can rest assured that we will receive the Lord’s promises to those who witness for Him. What are the promises?)
A. The Promise Of Success – Note the word in verse 6, “doubtless.” This word implies that the one who goes forth, weeping and bearing the precious seed will receive the harvest he anticipates. Let me remind you that the harvest is the Lord’s, Ill. Matt. 9:38. God never promises you and me that we will be great soul winners with people getting saved everywhere, and every time, we share the Gospel. His promise is that when we go His way, and carry His message, then we are successful. Success is determined by obedience to the Lord. (Ill. 1 Cor. 3:6-9) When we go and tell, we are successful!
B. The Promise Of Satisfaction – Notice the word “Rejoicing”. This word indicated a state of satisfaction. The farmer who had labored and then reaped the harvest could look upon his labor with satisfaction and with joy. The same is true for the Christian who witnesses for the glory of the Lord! We have the satisfaction of knowing that we have shared the Gospel, and obedience to the Lord is always a cause for satisfaction.
When we witness, we will hear the “Well done!” of God’s approval in the depths of our souls. If someone gets saved through our testimony, then we have the satisfaction knowing that there is one more soul who will not have to go to Hell. When we see someone come to the Lord, then we know that God has been glorified, Christ has been exalted and the devil has been defeated. All of those are wonderful things that bring satisfaction to the heart of the witness.
(Ill. There is also the satisfaction of knowing that we will have the opportunity of spending eternity with those who have been redeemed because the Lord took our testimony and used it for His glory! Oh, what an eternity awaits those who share the Gospel with a dying world – Dan. 12:3. Every soul we witnessed to will be another jewel we can lay at the feet of Jesus and whereby we can honor Him. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!)
How many times have you shared your testimony with a lost person since you have been saved?
How many times have you had the privilege of taking someone to the throne of grace and personally introducing them to Jesus Christ?
You may be a very vocal witness. If so, then praise the Lord, you have caught the spirit of these verses!
However, most of us could use a deeper burden and a deeper commitment to the Great Commission. If the Lord has been dealing with you about being a better witness and a better partner in His Great Commission work ,then I challenge you to come before Him this evening and allow Him to do what He needs to do in your heart and life so you can get up and get about what you need to be doing. Let’s mind Him right now.
Will you come?