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While We Wait For the Spiritual Harvest
by Jan Hughes
5/09/2016 / Christian Living
Dear brothers and sisters, you must be patient as you wait for the Lord's return. Consider the farmers who eagerly wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They patiently wait for the precious harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. And take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. Don't grumble about each other, my brothers and sisters, or God will judge you. For look! The great Judge is coming. He is standing at the door! (James 5:7-9, NLT)
It is difficult to be patient as the spiritual harvest ripens. It is hard to believe that anyone would not see the warning signs of God's coming judgment of sin as recorded in the Bible. It is obvious in God's Word that the only way to escape the wrath to come is to accept His gift of eternal life before Jesus delivers us from this evil world. It is equally unfathomable to us who know Jesus that unbelievers would not realize their need of Him.
The spiritual state of this world can lead us to be impatient until we humbly remember how we were before we knew Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Believers are living proof that God truly loves us and wants us to have eternal live with Him. He patiently pursued us when we lived for ourselves with so little or no regard for Him. And at the moment we cried out to Him, He forgave all our sins, forever.
We who know Jesus must remember how we also formerly did not accept or even desire to accept the Truth. We were more focused on what we could gain and enjoy in this world. We were once blinded by and controlled by the evil one without knowing it.
Before we knew Christ, we did not see that we were sinners who needed Jesus. We did not believe the Truth that Jesus, and only Jesus, is the way, the truth, and the life. We believed the world system which, under the influence of Satan, promotes many ways to God and Heaven, that God does exist, and other lies of the evil one.
We were also once blind, unknowing, and self-absorbed. We did not consider that we will spend eternity in heaven or hell. We looked around or inward rather than upward. We were God's enemies, and yet God loved us so much that He allowed circumstances through which He convicted us of sin, and He urged us to accept the gift of eternal life through His beloved Son.
We once sought God only for what He could do for us, and usually we only cried out to Him when we were in painful situations. We did not live for God with reverent fear and grateful awe. We knew about Him and yet did not know Him.
We, as believers in Jesus, are to serve as He served − with humility, and not with the arrogance of a self-righteous attitude. We are to be patient toward those who do not believe the Truth, and yet courageous in standing for the Truth. We must examine ourselves to be sure we serve God with a pure, single motive of glorifying Him, despite what we may suffer in this life, and without a motive of feeling good about ourselves because we work for Him.
We are all beggars. We are all unworthy of God's forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ. How can we not show unbelievers the love, grace, and mercy as we use every opportunity to tell them the Truth?
Even if those who do not know Him reject the love we show them, for Him, and for His concern for their souls, they may remember what we said or did after Jesus calls us Home. They may, after the rapture, realize we told them the Truth, as our Lord urged us to, and they may accept His gifts of forgiveness and eternal life.
Those who now refuse to accept God through Jesus Christ will suffer terribly after Jesus calls present believers Home. It is not until He does judge this godless world system that many will realize they need Him. God knows what it will take to bring people to seek Him. He knows who will and will not ask Him for forgiveness of their sins. Some will turn to Him during the tribulation. And even if they do not, when we stand before Jesus at the Bema Seat, we can do so knowing we did what He told us to do in order to point people to Jesus.
The harvest is ripening, and nothing will stop God's judgment of sin. The coming of the Lord is near. We cannot give up on working to reach others as God calls us, even if we see no results of our efforts in this life. Souls are more important than comfort. Pleasing Jesus is more important than pleasing people. Jesus , not people, will judge what we did with the lives He gave us. Let us encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ as we wait to be with Jesus. Let us care for the harvest that is ripening, to the best of our ability, and with the strength the Lord gives us. Let us remember, each day in this life, that we are one day closer to Heaven. Let us thank God each day that we will not experience His wrath, and we will live in His presence in eternity.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Jan Hughes is a Christian Licensed Professional Counsel with a private practice in Tyler, Tx. She specializes in Christian mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational issues. Encouragement to trust in the hope, truth, and faith of the Lord in difficult times.
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