Bearing FruitBro. Ron Rupé
5/16/1999 11:00 AM
Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23
Jesus teaches about a farmer planting a field, but this is figurative of God planting the word in the hearts of people. The different types of ground are the different conditions of mens hearts. Out of the 4 types of hearts, 3 were unfruitful. Out of these three, two STARTED to bear fruit. One withered; one was choked, but both became unfruitful. Haven't we also received the word and begun to bear fruit? It should concern us that we don't become unfruitful as individuals or as a congregation. A symptom of unfruitfulness: loss of a soul burden or a burden for the lost. A congregation without a burden is withering both spiritually and in number. The loss of burden could be considered as a cause or an effect. Either way it indicates spiritual trouble. A church that has lost a burden for souls is a withering church. We need too have a vision/burden for lost souls.
Look at the difference between Jesus' vision and the disciples' vision. They were saying "It isn't time for harvest." We need the vision Jesus had. Hearts are ready for the gospel. Your burden depends on your spiritual vision. Most people today aren't saying, "The fields aren't ready..." but... "The fields have already been harvested" or "We're in a gleaning time." The fields are always ready for harvest. Each generation brings a new field to harvest. "that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together"... (remember this last portion for later on)...
Today people are saying "The harvest must not be plenteous; we aren't seeing much come in." However, it is because the laborers are few. Pray for laborers.
If the vision of a white field does not help us have a burden, this vision should. John saw the souls of men cast in the lake of fire. He saw men judged by their works. Do you have compassion on others? Does it burden your heart? We need this vision. It will stir our hearts.
2 Corinthians 5:10, 11
Knowing what lost souls will face, persuade men to come to God. It's not just a vision; it's a commission (comes with authority and power to do a thing).
Commission is a trust that comes with authority and power.
2 Corinthians 5:18-20
We're ambassadors of Christ ... and beg people on Christ's behalf to reconcile with God. It's our duty and desire to carry out this commission. A spiritually healthy soul just has to tell ... is compelled to tell. Are you healthy or unhealthy spiritually?
He told them NOT to tell, but he couldn't hold them back. They were compelled to tell because of what was done.
Jesus told him not to tell, but this soul was compelled to tell. This man had been DYING!! Do you believe he silently went about doing what was required for cleansing under the Mosaic law? Probably not....
This man had a change of heart and mind. We need to discern when it is the devil speaking and when it is the man speaking. Does this bring you a burden for souls? This man didn't just tell his house; he told the whole city. Is your desire for souls withering?
He that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. Your joy is connected to your burden for souls. If you've lost your burden, your joy will wither. Let's go forth with the burden and we'll receive joy in return.