There was a time when I wanted to do it all. I would loved to have had the privilege to share the Gospel with someone and lead Him or her to the Lord. But how does God work in all that?
We know the Bible says that one sows and another reaps, but God gives the harvest. God is the One who initiates the work in someone's heart to hear the Gospel. Many times, we share the Gospel with a person who is resistant and has a hard heart. It can be very discouraging unless we understand that, at one time, we all had hardened hearts to the Gospel. We resisted God when we heard the words of truth. But, somehow, God continued to work and we came to Christ, in spite of our resistance to Him.
Sometimes, when we attempt to share the Gospel with someone, that person is hard. But, there are times when the person's heart will soften if he or she continues to listen to the voice of truth. Many times, people take home the message we tried to share with them, but were not able to because of their resistance to us.
God uses His word to soften hearts. Then, another person comes along and shares some more Gospel truth with the person. Eventually, the person's heart is prepared to hear the Gospel message and it is gladly received. God had prepared the person's heart and used His word to soften their hearts.
You might be the third person to share the Gospel message with someone. Or maybe, you just prayed for someone to get well and they were ministered to. The next time a person talks to the person you just prayed for, he or she will be more open to hearing the Gospel.
If every person who has called upon the name of the Lord were to share the Gospel with people and demonstrate the Gospel with their lives, people on the outside would have no excuse for their rejection of the Gospel message. If the person has 6 or 7 seeds sown into him or her, the Gospel can take root as God works in that person's heart.
The other day, I was at a restaurant, and as we were coming out, there was a family there, three women and one man (not sure how they were all related). Somehow, my friend was talking with them and they were explaining that the man was sick and was going to have his gall bladder removed. I tossed the idea around of offering to pray for him, but was not sure I should do that. As I continued to think about it, I decided to ask if he wanted prayer, which he said he did. They all seemed happy that I would pray for the man. So I did.
I did not however, have the opportunity to share the Gospel with him. But, perhaps someone else will. If more than 2% of the people who know the Lord would share the Gospel, then there would be a greater chance of this family hearing the Gospel message.
Sometimes when we sow seeds, it doesn't look like anything is happening. This was the case of Frank Jenner, who lived in Sydney, Australia. Jenner was radically saved while in the navy, and made a decision of giving tracts out every day to people on George Street, which was in downtown Sydney. Jenner did this for years, but never saw any results.
A pastor who lived in England heard several testimonies of people who had gotten saved because a man in Australia gave out tracts to them on George Street. The man would ask the question, 'If you were to die tonight, are you 100% sure you would go to heaven?' Many were disturbed at his question. Some took the tracts. Others rejected the tracts. Frank Jenner never knew the results of his tract distribution until he was elderly. The pastor from England was so intrigued by so many coming to Christ because a man on George Street in Sidney Australia gave them a tract. So, while he was visiting Australia, he decided if he could track this man down.
The pastor from London found out that the man's name was Frank Jenner. He found his address and stopped in. He told Frank Jenner of all the people who came to know the Lord because of his tracts and questions to them. Frank Jenner was surprised, of course. He found out this information not too long before he died and left this life behind.
But my point about Frank Jenner is this; Although Frank Jenner passed out many tracts and asked many the pointed question, those who came to Christ because of his giving them a tract, did not respond to the Gospel by going back to Australia to find Frank Jenner and ask him questions. Instead, these people who responded to the Gospel, responded by finding a trusted, Christian friend or pastor to help lead him or her to Christ. This is where sowing and reaping come in.
Sometimes, you and I will be those who sow the seeds. We might just pray for someone. Or, we might even share the Gospel with someone, or give out a tract. Then, someone else comes along and shares the Gospel or ministers to that person. That is why we pray for laborers to be raised up. We want the number of people in churches who are sharing the Gospel to be more than 2%. If we had a vision for this, I think many more will hear the Gospel and come to Christ. Are we up for this? Can we handle the challenge? It will be worth all the work involved. The results will be eternal, and many will be eternally grateful.