This past week our family has enjoyed berry picking. The wild raspberry harvest came in this week, and they are delicious. When the sun strikes them, they look like ruby jewels hanging in groups from the raspberry bushes. You can tell from the colors which are the ripest--a deep burgundy instead of candy apple red. Some of the fruit is so ripe that when you simply touch it, it falls into your hand. Sometimes, they are so ripe when you merely touch the berry, it bursts in your hands, its juices running down your fingers.
In picking berries, there is both joy and pain. The delicious results are nestled within a cluster of sharp thorns. Quite often, your fingers are pricked as you harvest the fruit. It seems a part of harvesting is this inevitable pain. The more you pick, the better you become at avoiding most of the thorns, but not all.
This set me thinking about the most important harvest in this life: the harvest of souls. When we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost, we are involved in the harvest. There is great joy here on earth, as well as in heaven, when one soul comes into the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. But in working the harvest, there is not only joy, but there is also pain. You know this if you have shared Christ in this world. There are those who, like the thorns, will stab you in any number of ways as you share Christ with them. The longer you are involved in the harvest, the more perceptive you may become in discerning which is fruit ripe.
There have been seasons in the life of our country where great ingatherings have taken place, for example, the First Great Awakening, just a few decades before our Independence. It was a time where multitudes came into the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Honest historians confess that, if it were not for this tremendous spiritual outpouring, there would never have been a movement towards independence, and as we face an undeniable crisis in our land, we are in dire need of a new Christian Great Awakening.
There are over 300,000 churches in our land, and there are countless organizations whose supposed mission is to bring people to saving faith in Christ. So the question is, what has happened to the harvest? What has happened to America?
Consider what happened last month with the Supreme Court stating in their opinion that sodomite unmarraige is now the law. What they accomplished is a malpractice of the worst kind altogether. They damaged the consciousness of our country.
Before we consider that opinion, let's look back at 1973 and their opinion in Roe v. Wade. Up to the point of the issuance of that opinion, most American's believed abortion was wrong, that it was the unjust taking of human life - a fancy way of saying it was murder. But look at what happened after that case: abortion went from being a rare event which most involved with were embarrassed about to a trumpeted right of all women--a constitutionally-guaranteed right which the truly righteous people in our land fully stood behind. The conscience of America was severely damaged. 60 million dead babies later, many still hold to that opinion, although their numbers are diminishing.
What happened in America, I contend, was the Nazification of our thinking. We adopted Nazi thinking. What do I mean by that? Nazi thinking is thinking that whatever the civil government declares is just and righteous is, therefore, just and righteous. So if the government says throwing Jews, Christians, and Gypsies into the gas ovens is a good and righteous thing to do, then it must be a good and righteous thing to do. This is nothing less than the deification of civil government—the government is god and, therefore, it is the being that determines right and wrong, and no one should ever question it.
The Nazification of America took place at Roe v. Wade, as the American people saw their government say that murder is no longer murder; instead, it is not only a protected right, but it is so good, noble, and righteous that we are going to force those who oppose it to nonetheless support the killing of tens of millions of babies with tax dollars.
We have a land where more than 70% of the populace self-identify as Christian, yet immorality and evil pervade our land and we suffer under increasing anti-Christian persecution. If there were truly that many Christians in America, wouldn't you think it would show? What's gone wrong with the harvest? I think we can discover that by going back to the instructions, God's Word. Preaching the Gospel is essential to recovering our country.
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