Spreading the Seed
Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you. (Hag. 2:9)
Though the immediate text speaks of the blessing of God, and the lack of it, one cannot ignore the question he asks “Is the seed yet in the barn?” I wonder if the Gospel seed is lying dormant in your barn?
Friends, we need to get the seed out of the barn; we need to spread the Word and allow the seed to grow into a great tree of faith in the lives of others; we need to be OBedient to that heavenly calling. As each of us read these words, our thoughts are “I am ok, I am doing enough”, but are we really doing enough? Is the seed yet in the barn? Seed left in the barn will rot; it is of no use at all until it is planted in the soil, and watered.
The apostle Paul did not do enough; King David did not do enough; Moses did not do enough, nor does anyone else, except our Lord. Only He can truly say, “It is finished”. Men have traversed the oceans, and climbed to the highest heights that this earth affords, only to realize that they had not done enough; they were not satisfied and had not fulfilled their tasks. It is never enough. The message for us today is “Go, go, go!”. Let us look closely at the command:
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mk. 16:15).
“GO” is the command to all of us, with no exceptions. Those who are not physically able to “go” can go by proxy and in fact “send” others, thereby going through them, and with them.
“GO YE” the little word “ye” is a plural word, and means “You all”, or “all of you”. Again the command is all-inclusive; it is personalized and generalized; for everyone individually, as well as collectively.
1. Where are we commanded to go? “Into all the world”. “All” is another small world that says a lot. We are to leave out not one, but to reach every corner of the world. Friends, this is a big world; we cannot, as individuals, reach every corner of the world; it is, for the most part, impossible if not merely impracticable. This command therefore, speaks of missions also, where we can, by proxy, all reach the entire world. Let us not be negligent in “going”.
The command “Go ye” entails “all of you”; “Ye” is a plural term, and speaks of every Christian, and every church. We are all told to “go”, and collectively, we can reach every corner of the world.
2. What are we expected to do? Preach the Gospel. When we preach we see a threefold outline in one word:
3. “Each” person with the Gospel of Christ. We have been fully equipped to do so; “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” ( 2 Tim. 3:17). The Word of God has equipped us for the task at hand. This means that we are without excuse--we all have the ability to reach others with the Gospel message, and are fully equipped to do so. If you don’t know how to lead someone to the Lord, that is your fault, not the Lord’s; if you are afraid to go, that too is your fault, and the entire blame rests on you. Some have said “I don’t know what to say” or, like Moses, “I am not eloquent” (in a sense), but that too is only fear, we are still commanded to go. We are to “preach the Gospel”. By this command, even ladies are able to “preach” when they give the Gospel to lost souls, lest any say they are excluded from the command.
3. Whom are we to reach? “Every creature”. Not only is none excluded from the command, but none from the hearing of the message; we are to exclude no one, and to be OBlivious to race, creed, or orientation; we are not to be “respecters of persons”.
Now, OBviously this “creature” is man, and not beast, as they have no sense of spiritual things; but many times we become judges, and determine some men to be “beasts” and therefore exempt from the hearing of the Gospel. We begin to “choose” who we will “preach” to, and leave some to fall by the wayside.
I ask you, my friends, “Is the seed yet in the barn”? Is it hidden deep inside of you so that it is of no practical use for anyone else? Is it too small a seed that you feel it will not bear fruit? Whatever the case, we are to “go”; one preacher put it this way: “If you take the “go” out of Gospel, all you have left is a spel (spell). Perhaps you have taken the “go” out of Gospel; if so, break that spell that fear and the devil has upon you. “Go“, for the sake of Calvary; “Go” for the sake of others; “Go” for your own sakes, that the Word of God may dwell richly in you, and be fruitful, and the kingdom of God will be multiplied, and you will be blessed beyond measure until your “cup runneth over” with blessings.
4. How long are we to “go”? Isaiah asked this same question when speaking to the Lord: “Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.” (Isa. 6:11,12) Just previous to this, the Lord commanded Isaiah to go and preach to the people: “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” (Isa. 6:9,10) Today we are to go until there is no more going, and speak until we can no longer speak the name of Jesus unto men; we are to go even if they will not hear us. Though Isaiah’s message was a different message to a chosen people, we too are to until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and until the houses of men be utterly desolate, and men flee from our presence, and there be a great forsaking in the land. Our call is not much different than Isaiah’s call--go, and preach until there is no one else to preach to.
Is the seed still in the barn? It is time for the planting for soon it will be harvest time. Oh that we would not say with the prophet “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” (Jeremiah 8:20)
Spreading the Seed