We kept the seed in the barn in order to keep it dry. Corn seed, bean seed, etc. As with all barns on farms, ours would get cluttered sometimes. While cleaning up once, I heard my Dad say, “What is this?” He was looking at a bag of old seed he had found.
There was only one way to find out if it was “good seed” and that was to get it out of the barn, into the corn planter and then drilled into the ground. It grew and gave a harvest! Even seed that seemed so old and dry and hadn’t been out of the barn in years had life in it.
Haggai 2:19 says, “Is the seed yet in the barn?” What a sad question the old prophet asked. Seed needs to get out of the barn. It’s possible to miss a harvest by neglect – planting too late or not planting at all.
The barn is the church. The seed is the gospel (Luke 8:11). The field is the people of the world (Matthew 13:38). The Word will never take root and grow in the hearts of men unless we successfully get it outside the walls of the church. This gospel is not for the converted or the choir, but for the sinner. He cannot be saved unless he believes; he cannot believe unless he hears (Romans 10:17).
I have heard that in 1985 there were 57,000 evangelical, fundamental missionaries who had left America and gone into the world with the gospel. By 2003 that number was down to 41,000, even though the world’s population increased by one billion souls during that period.
The church has focused on “Praise & Worship” since 1985 instead of evangelism and discipleship. While we are entertaining ourselves to spiritual death with “all kinds of music” (Daniel 3:5,7,10,15), the world is going to hell without warning, and the seed is yet in the barn. The commission of the church is evangelism, not praise and worship.
Let us learn how to be personal soulwinners again, and teach it to others. Let us get hold of some good gospel tracts and distribute them every way we can think of. Let us think of creative ways to get the gospel outside the church and into our community and world.