Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
The second week in a row evangelizing in the same place, it can feel awkward. People hear what you are saying; they listen in and wonder why you would do this. They talk about you when you leave but more than that, I believe the Holy Spirit talks to them and that is why they stare. Do you remember the stories of the prophets of old? They would walk into a town and the people would get a little uneasy, saying “here comes the prophet of God” or “here comes that one who troubles Israel”. Now I am not comparing myself to a prophet and the message that we bring is not one of judgment and destruction of our city and the warning of captivity but one of God’s amazing grace. I also want to say that I am not boasting. Please don’t think that, I want to encourage and even convict some into sharing their faith more and that is why I write to you tonight.
The evangelist of today, he is, in a very literal sense an Elijah, attempting to turn the hearts of the people to God. He is also a Jeremiah or Isaiah, warning that if those whom the message is for do not turn to God, that they will stay in bondage and that destruction does await them. We are very much an Ezekiel, prophesying to dry bones, to dead men and hoping by faith that God will breathe His Breath into them and open their hearts and make them alive!
I use the testimony of tonight’s evangelism encounters to illustrate what I believe God desires of His Church. Young men, not yet believing in Jesus but recognizing that their friends need to hear the gospel too, pointing out the most wayward of the crew, they themselves personally experiencing the conviction of the Holy Spirit, restraining them from their sins at least for a time. From a distance, others seeing the “evangelist” who spent time with them the week prior and wanting to learn more about God from him.
Paul said that one sows and another waters but God brings the increase. What if you began to water what I had sown, I believe God to be faithful to bring in the increase of a saved soul.
What if we began to plow and plow and break up the fallow ground of people’s hearts? What if God’s Bride were to continually sow in righteousness? Exposing people’s sin and comparing it to Jesus’ perfection. Teaching people about the perfect righteousness of God, dispelling the myth that if a sinner asks for forgiveness, God must just forgive. Did that confuse you? 1 john 1:9 is for the Saint, not the sinner, God is just, He doesn’t just forgive, there must be a full payment for the penalty, there must be a full atonement for the sins that have been committed against Him and there must be faith in the one who paid the penalty.
Reap in mercy, Jude says “And on some have compassion, making a distinction;
but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by
the flesh.” Clothed in the righteousness of Christ, with great hearts of mercy, sow in
truth and wait for God to reap in His harvest. Laboring, loving and languishing for the
gospel. If you want to have a heart of mercy, share the gospel. God prepares your heart
and makes it yearn for even strangers to come to Him. True mercy towards man was
born out of the gospel. Sow in Righteousness and Reap in Mercy.
Break up fallow ground. This is the hard work of the gospel preacher. This is where we must trust the Spirit and swallow our pride. Yielding God’s commands and probing deep into a person’s heart and exposing to them the rebellious dark sins that they love but that God hates, exposing the sins that are producing wrath for the day of wrath and righteous judgment against them from God. Why do you think that the moral law, the Ten Commandments has been removed from so many places? Why do you think that the most popular verse in America is “judge not lest you be judged?” It is because men love darkness and love to keep their sins deeply hidden in their heart. But that is not the call from the Bible, we are to use the Law, lawfully, to open every eye and to shut every mouth, to leave every person speechless in their guilt before God. If we continue to allow antinomianism to be the standard operation of all people a very grievous result will multiply worse than it is today, it will be a destructive, damning loss of love towards God.
Mat 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
At such a vital time in our nation, we need one thing more and more and that is a love towards God. Our politicians can’t bring it, unless that is; they begin to preach the gospel. Yes you can legislate morality; you just can’t get people to obey it. But if we teach them about God and His love through Christ Jesus and His impossible standard of righteousness and we trust that the Holy Spirit is drawing them to the Son. Then morality will become a God given desire. We must break up the fallow ground.
If we are doing this, we will be seeking the Lord. This can’t be done without first seeking God, waiting on Him and at least attempting to abide in Him.
Again, what if the Bride of Christ did this; sow and reap and break up and seek until He came. He will come, five virgins will have oil in their lamps and five will not, but all of them were caught off guard.
If you and I, and the Christian next door and the one down the street were to all continue on in this. If we all were to live by this decree…. For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 2Co 5:14-15
I cannot profess to say I know what God’s plan is for this country, but if His spotless Bride were to; sow and reap and break up and seek until He came I am willing to trust in His ability to accomplish what He promises. I truly trust that He will rain down righteousness on us.
Joh 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."
Men, women, all of those who are called by the name of Christ:
Be expended to His glory