It’s Harvest Time – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

It’s Harvest Time

John 4:35 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.

Intro: Today is Harvest Sunday. We look forward to this part of the year because it means the fall season is here. Cooler weather is here. The trips to the pumpkin farms and apple farms are in full swing. It is the season for hot apple cider. It is the season for college football. It’s also the season for my Atlanta Braves to go to the World Series.

The phrase “time of harvest” is used often in Scripture.

The time of harvest paints several pictures in our minds.

               A. Harvest Time is a time of the Lord’s Riches

We find an interesting statement in Joshua 3.

  • Joshua 3:15 And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)

I’d like to think that if we’d get busy with the harvest, it might get out of the banks in here!

When the rivers overflow their banks, it is a time when the surrounding area becomes fertile.

It is a time of plenty; the water and the nutrients that it brings.

The riverbanks become lush and green and things grow.

Not to mention, the significance of God’s people crossing Jordan and inhabiting Canaan land after 40 years.

In this passage, we could preach about the HARVEST TIME being a picture of God’s riches.

               B. Harvest Time is a time of the Lord’s Return

  • Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

               C. Harvest Time is a time of the Lord’s Retribution

Revelation 14

  • 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
  • 16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

               D. Harvest Time is a time of the Lord’s Request

  • John 4:35 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.

This is the one I’d like to preach on today.

Jesus had been witnessing to a woman at the well.

The disciples had gone grocery shopping.

They returned and tried to get Jesus to eat, but he refused.

He told them he had meat to eat that they didn’t know anything about.

He looked at his disciples and told them – It’s Harvest Time!

I. The Seriousness of their Fallacy – “…say ye not, There are yet for months, and then cometh harvest?”

               A. It is serious because of their Discernment

Anybody that says that there are yet four months simply has no discernment.

Jesus explained it like this in Matthew 16:

  • 2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
  • 3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

It is impossible for me to imagine any Christian today thinking it is four months until harvest time.

Can they not discern the signs of the times?

               B. It is serious because of their Delay

If we keep telling ourselves that there are yet four months, we will not do anything NOW.

Christians are good at finding reasons to procrastinate.

Jesus needed to correct their flawed way of thinking so they could accept the truth.

II. The Shifting of their Focus – “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields…”

               A. There was a lack of Passion – you look at what you love

  • Lamentations 3:51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.

               B. There was a Lack of Pity

  • Matthew 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them,

               B. There was lack of Perspective – when you’re looking down, your perspective is limited

  • Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

III. The Status of their Fields – “…for they are white already to harvest.”

The reason I say the fields were “their field” is because of what Jesus said in Matthew 13:

  • Matthew 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

Our Great Commission was THE WORLD.

  • Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Guess what? The world is OUR field!

  • John 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

               A. The Fields are Ripe

People everywhere are searching for answers.

The confusion, the misinformation, the lies, the hidden agendas – all of these things have made the fields ripe.

  • People are losing their jobs.
  • People are losing friends.
  • People are losing their homes.
  • People are losing faith and losing hope.

The fields are ripe.

               B. The Fields are Ready

There is no question if the fields are ready.

The question is, “Are WE ready?”

Paul said in Romans 1:15 “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.”

Peter instructed the

  • 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

IV. The Sharing of their Fruit

Jesus closed out his discourse with these words in verse 36-41:

  • 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
  • 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
  • 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
  • 39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
  • 40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.
  • 41 And many more believed because of his own word;

Conclusion: Because Jesus made time for that one woman; because He MUST NEEDS GO, many more believed.

There was a harvest as a result of telling ONE PERSON.

Church, it is Harvest Time! The fields are ready. Are we?