This picture is the one that I have on the desktop of my computer. It shows a ripe field of golden grain ready to be harvested. But the pleasant blue skies of the warm summer months are being driven away by impending storms. Whenever I see this picture, I’m reminded of the words of the ancient prophet in Jeremiah 8:20 warning about a day when lost multitudes will cry with eternal regret, “The harvest is over, the summer has ended and we are not saved.” Jesus also warned his disciples in John 9:4 that “…the night is coming when no man can work.”
This is why we must go now. This is why we must preach now. This is why we must pray now…the night is coming.
When my son, Elijah, was 3 years old, he visited his grandparent’s church one day during the week. They were walking through the empty sanctuary and when he saw the pulpit, he asked if he could preach. He climbed up the steps to the platform, took the mic and told his Grandma and Grandpa to sit down. Then he began to preach his first sermon. His entire message was unintelligible except for 5 words; “There’s a price to pay.” Im not sure where he got that from, but when I heard about it I thought, “that will preach”.
Yes, there is a price to pay for the sake of the Gospel. Jesus has redeemed us to redeem the time…not to sing songs on padded pews in climate controlled churches while the world burns. There is indeed a price to be paid and even if it would cost us everything, that price would still pale in comparison to what is at stake if we don’t buy up the opportunity before us. That is why we spend. That is why we go. That is why we risk. For the sake of His eternal Kingdom.
One day, around the throne of God, as we worship the Lamb that was slain, as we behold the one who gave everything and paid the ultimate price for us, we will wish with all our hearts that we could have done more for Him. We will wish that we would have paid more and given more and sacrificed more for Him. But it will be too late. There will be no more opportunity to work or give or pay or sacrifice. Whatever we did will stand for eternity, defining us and judging the extend to which we loved the Lamb. No wonder paul said in Romans 8:18 that the sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Regardless of what many preachers would lead you to believe, this season that we are in now is NOT the season to collect our reward and lay back on our hammocks sipping iced tea. This is the high season of harvest. This is the time to work. This is the time to pay. This is the time to give all that we have for the sake of the Kingdom. The day is almost over, darkness will cover the face of the earth. The Lord will render to every man according to his deeds (Rom 2:6). ”We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body…” (2Cor. 5:10) My friend, you will pay a price one way or the other, whether now or later, here or there, on this side of eternity or that…”There’s a price to pay.”
Ephesians 5:16 (Amplified): “Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.”