Jeremiah 8:20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”

     What a bitter thing to discover;  To discover that somehow you missed the ‘boat’!  Somehow you didn’t make the cut and you thought it was a sure thing!  How does it happen and who does it happen to?  Could it happen to you or to me?

    Yes, we work in the harvest!  For Christians, the harvest has special meaning.  “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:38)  We labour in the great work of the Gospel.  We are called to share the light of the Gospel with those around us.   We, through our words and actions towards others and with each other are to be the salt and light of the world.  (Matthew 5:13-16)

     And yet, the heart of the labourer must precede the rest of his or her harvest.  Has it?  Do you really believe in the harvest?  Or are you engaged in some kind of ‘make work’ enterprise just going through the motions in order to be a member of some social club or service club?  Jesus nailed the Pharisees for this; “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, . . . ” (Matthew 15:8,9)  How can you bring the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others if you have never been transformed by it yourself?

     While the weather is warm and the day is sunny and the summer is here it is easy to be a nominal Christian saying the right things, going through the motions and playing church.   Summertime is the season for ‘almost Christians’.  George Whitefield describes an almost Christian as: “. . . , if we consider him in respect to his duty to God, [he] is one that halts between two opinions; that wavers between Christ and the world; that would reconcile God and Mammon, light and darkness, Christ and Belial. It is true, he has an inclination to religion, but then he is very cautious how he goes too far in it: his false heart is always crying out, Spare thyself, do thyself no harm.”  Almost Christians are easy to spot – they come out when the weather is fine and don’t stand up for anything that isn’t politically correct.

    When the summer season ends the weather gets rough then it gets harder to be a Christian.  We are entering this season.  Evangelical Christians are often held in public contempt.  The Holy Bible is all but banned in our public schools.  Being a Bible believing Christian is not fashionable.  Many have gone into hiding behind the walls of their churches.  Fear of man drives churches and their accommodating leaders into friendship with the world.  Yet scripture tells us that we in the church must choose between God and the world; “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

     Jesus told us clearly; “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:19)  Who do you belong to?  How would you know?  How would your neighbours know?  Any farmer will tell you that the harvest begins in earnest when the summer ends.  Summer’s end is a time of clarity.  Even though the day gets shorter the work gets harder and more urgent.  How urgent and authentic is your personal witness for Jesus?  Are people amazed at the changes He brought about in your life?

     Scripture is plain, those who think they are saved by their own works and confident in their fake spirituality will be rejected.   “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”  (Matthew 7:21-23)

     It all boils down to doing what Jesus says.  Read His Word, Speak His Word, Live His Word;  “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”  (John 14:21)

     Praise the Lord!