May 25, 2015 Harvest

          Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.  John 4:35 

 A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that the percentage of Americans who identify their religion as “Christianity” dropped by eight percent from 2007 to 2014. This finding comes as no surprise to anyone living in the United States. Among Christian groups, the number of mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics dropped sharply, while the number of evangelical Protestants rose slightly. Most of the people who stopped identifying themselves as “Christian” now identify themselves as irreligious (or “unaffiliated”). http://truthonlybible.com/2015/05/13/the-decline-of-christianity-in-the-united-states-whose-fault-is-it/
We live in a time where the media, our schools, and our government are force feeding the public atheistic, anti-biblical philosophies.  This is going on in every level of our educational system from our elementary school kids to the collegiate level.  The more educated a person is in modern America, the less chance there is that he will still believe the Bible or attend a church.
Because of this trend, what Jesus said in John 4:35 is becoming more and more true today.  It is time for the church to get back to the gospel message of Christ.  People in the U.S. need to know that there is a God who loves them and sent his Son to die for them.  The church needs to get back to the basics of what the early church did.  They got out of the walls of the church and took it to the streets to share the good news of Christ, and they did so boldly.  There is a harvest out there ready for the truth that we possess.  But you have to ask yourself, “Do I really care?”  Unless we are heart broken for the lost we will not go out.  Jesus was heart broken and wept.                                                                  
Jesus wept for his friend Lazarus:                                                                                                            

Standing before the tomb, sensing the heartbreak around Him, Jesus wept. Knowing that in a moment He would perform the greatest miracle so far. He would bring back to life a man rotting in the tomb, He wept at the sorrow and anguish that sin and death brought in its path.

Jesus wept – John 11:35
 

Jesus wept for his country:     

He stood on the heights outside the city and wept because Jerusalem and the nation had rejected Him. He could see into the future. He could see the appalling things that would happen within a generation. He wept because a nation that had received so many blessings could be so stubborn and foolish in rejecting Him, the Messiah.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets 
and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your 
children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, 
and you were not willing.  – Matthew 23:37

Jesus wept for the world:

He wept for the whole world of lost and ruined human beings. In Gethsemane the tears rolled down mingled with blood, so great was His agony as He thought of a lost world.

And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. – Luke 22:44We need to fall on our faces before God and ask for a broken heart not only for our own sin but for the sins of the world.  We need to have the attitude that it is not okay that there are people out there in our community that are lost.  We all have family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers that do not know Christ.  And statistics show more and more people are falling away from Christianity every day.  What are we to do church?

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.   Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.  Psalm 126:5-6