Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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by George C. Clark, Sr.
"Do not be deceived; God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap."
These words from Paul were originally written to God's children, but they apply to all people. Everyone is sowing either to the flesh or to the Spirit. And, as Paul emphasized, "He who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but he who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit" (Gal. 6:8).
We, the saints of the "latter rain", are being stirred by the events unfolding in our time, as the climactic hour of this end-of-the-age harvest season draws near. Now is no time for sloth. All true followers of Christ are pushing up their sleeves, as men of labor, and reaching out for the souls of men, desiring to present to the Master a good harvest of souls. They are not among those who have been lulled to sleep by cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches.
As I pen these lines, beloved children of God, I feel the Spirit of God within me crying to many of you in thundering tones, "Awake, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light" (Eph. 5:14). Solomon said, "He who gathers in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a son who causes shame" (Prov. 10:5). Oh, think of how many children of God are sleeping away these precious days, when the earth's harvest is so near, even at the door!
The preacher's advice from Ecclesiastes 11:6 is this: "In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know whether will prosper, either this or that, or whether they both will be alike good." Thank God for the few who have learned and acted upon what the preacher meant in this scripture. Don't count on one sowing or planting. Go the extra mile and sow your seed in both the morning and the evening because it is unlikely that both will fail. It may be that both will succeed.
The pressure of spirits opposing our labor may be great, but we may rest assured that the grace of God will always be sufficient to accomplish our tasks. "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him," wrote Isaiah. It doesn't matter that there are persecutions for righteousness, nor how hateful are the blows of the enemy. What matters is that "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" and that there is a sure reward for our labor. "Let us not grow weary in well-doing," the saints are exhorted, "for in due time, we will reap if we faint not" (Gal. 6:9). When we remember how the apostles and earliest saints suffered for the sake of Christ, the words of the Psalmist come to mind: "They that sow in tears will reap in joy" (Ps. 126:5). No one has ever regretted being faithful in the service of Christ. But, oh, the remorse of the wayward, those who surrendered their faith in the heat of the battle! How about you, my reader? What kind of seed are you sowing? How important it is, that you consider this sowing and reaping of yours!
Because God is perfectly just, it is impossible to sow anything without reaping it. As Paul said, "Whatsoever a man sows, that will he also reap." Sadly, there are those in the body of Christ who are even yet "sowing to the flesh", and as we consider their path, the words of Solomon come to mind: "He who sows iniquity will reap vanity" (Prov. 22:8). And in Job 4:8, we read, "They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." Hosea (8:7) prophesied this truth in these words, "They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind." Now, dear reader, in order to escape this dreadful "whirlwind" reaping, we must follow the instructions of Hosea, who said, "Sow to yourselves in righteousness; reap in mercy. Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you" (10:12).
At times, it may seem unlikely that our sowing the good word of God will avail anything. Iniquity is so rampant that it sometimes appears to be an unconquerable giant, holding captive the souls of men. But God has promised that His word will not return unto Him void, but "will accomplish that for which it was sent" (Isa. 55:10-11).
God is looking for truth-sowers, those who have such a victory in their souls and holy love for others that the forces of darkness are puzzled as to where to look for their next move. Yes, God wants brave warriors with faith to subdue kingdoms and wax valiant in battles, stopping the mouths of lions and turning to flight the armies of Satan (Heb. 11:33-34). These will say, when they see the manifestation of the power of God and hear of God's promises, "Let us go up at once and possess it!"
God still has His faithful few, the devoted, seed-sowing servants who have died out to personal interest and have launched out from self-aggrandizement, blind to everything except God's will and His plan for the evangelization of a lost and dying world. These saints have but one purpose in life; namely, to become so subjugated to Christ and so subdued, controlled, and conquered of God that all else may be counted as dung. The body of Christ needs these seed-sowing saints, whose whole desire is to be an instrument in God's hands and to know Christ in both the fellowship of his sufferings and the power of his resurrection. Yes, God still has His few who are willing to fill the hard places in the kingdom of God and to suffer for Jesus' name, counting it a privilege to do so, "esteeming the reproach of Christ to be greater riches than the treasures" of this world.
What would any army be if all its soldiers sought the easy assignments? May everyone who reads this tract resolve to be like the men who formed that famous Scotch company of soldiers of whom we have read. As they stood erect before their commanding officer, he gave them the facts of a very difficult and dangerous mission and then called for volunteers. "I will turn my back," he said, "and any who desire to volunteer for this mission, step forward one pace while my face is turned." The officer turned away and then back toward his troops to see who had volunteered, and to his amazement, the line was still unbroken. "What!" he shouted, "the Scotch Volunteers – and no volunteers!" Just then a soldier stepped forward and, saluting the commanding officer, said, "Sir, the whole line stepped forward!" Saints of God, in the name, and for the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ, let us step up and assume the privilege which is offered to us, the privilege of being a witness of Jesus, asking God to replace our fear with faith and our cruelty with love.
From the teachings of Jesus, we learn that there is only one safe way. It is the "strait and narrow" way that leads to eternal life. Any who would attain to that life must do his part to sow the word of God here among men. The children of God are in need of seed-sowing laborers. And those who will sow enough of the right kind of seed now will find themselves reaping a wonderful harvest when the time for the ingathering comes and we hear the angel crying to him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in your sickle and reap. For the time is come for you to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe" (Rev. 14:15).