As we face yet another year of pilgrimage, one of the greatest needs that confront us as individuals or as local churches, is to evangelize.
In the words of Scripture although not in the context of gospel outreach it remains just as valid when applied to it, ‘He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully’, 2 Cor. 9. 6. It’s a principle that can’t fail.
The burden of our hearts, whatever the circumstances around us and whatever the smallness of our strength, should be to be out there amongst our neighbours, colleagues and wider society, conveying the gospel as good seed and doing it with a view to reaping. Be prolific in your sowing, have a massive vision for the work and don’t let those with small minds and a multitude of doubts stay your hands.
One of our greatest enemies is waiting for the right time. There never ever was a more right time. This is ‘the due time’, which Paul identified as the one divinely ordained in which Christ as the ‘ransom for all’, and as the ‘one mediator between God and man’, should be made known to all men in every place, 1 Tim. 2. 5, 6. Solomon has a word for the hesitant and dubious, ‘He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap’, Eccles. 11. 4. One of the best explanations as to why ‘evangelizing’ is not included in the list of those things that were continued in steadfastly, Acts 2. 42, is that it was what they were doing night and day, every day, just like breathing.
Scripture is full of encouragement for us to be engaged fully in this highly privileged responsibility to be His witnesses unto the uttermost parts, Acts 1. 8. Listen to this, ‘Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest’, John 4. 35; ‘Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days’; ‘In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand’, Eccles. 11. 1, 6.
To be uninvolved in the activity now, makes you liable to exclusion from the rewards and rejoicing of a day to come. The Lord Himself said, ‘And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that he both that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together’, John 4. 36.
It has been well said, ‘Evangelize or Fossilize’. As you face the challenge of the articles of this the first issue for 2002, our earnest prayer is that many will be goaded into gospel service while there is yet time.