World Challenge Pulpit Series

Its Reaping Time In America

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By David Wilkerson
December 19, 1988

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his own ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lords money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them" (Matthew 25:14-19).

This matter of sowing and reaping can be taken two ways, both good and bad. All my life Ive heard it preached, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." It was almost always given a bad connotation: sow to the flesh and reap destruction - sow to the wind and reap a whirlwind! But this text of the parable of the talents focuses primarily on the good side of sowing: sowing to the spirit to reap life everlasting. "In due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galations 6:9).

Lets first consider the dark side of sowing. There most certainly is a "sowing to the flesh" that brings a terrible harvest. There is already evidence of this horrible harvest everywhere to be seen in America. Look at our public schools: we are reaping an awful harvest from years of driving God out of the classroom. In 1940, just one generation ago, classes opened with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Gods blessing was asked upon the school, on the lessons, on the students, on the nation. It was one nation under God and he was honored every day in the classroom. In that year the top seven disciplinary problems were: talking in class; chewing gum; making noises; running in the halls; cutting in line; improper clothing; not disposing of garbage. Today, recent surveys are frightening. The top seven disciplinary problems are: rape; robbery; assault; burglary; arson; bombing; murder - almost all of which are related to drug abuse. Our youth are not just saying no! Drug-pushing students in New York City parade the halls wearing gold chains and carrying wads of $100 bills. Restrooms are now shooting galleries and smoking dens.

God was not wanted in the schools, but the devil was welcomed! So in came the occult, humanism, and doctrines of perversion. Promiscuous sex was glorified and homosexuality was praised. The liberals called for condoms to be freely distributed in classrooms. Now they want condom vending machines in all high schools. They call it AIDS protection!

Look what we are now reaping: One-half of all births in our cities are now illegitimate! Fifty percent! One-fourth of all pregnancies are now being aborted - twenty-two million so far. In just one generation we have gone from chewing gum to machine guns! In one Bronx school a student brought an Uzi machine gun to class, hidden under his jacket. There used to be respect for teachers and for authority, but today teachers in New York and other cities live in dread. Some have been beaten up. Can you imagine what our schools will be like in just five more years if we survive? When a nation draws a line and dares God to cross it - when satanic powers are made welcome - it has to end in a living hell on earth, a devils playground.

What about the "sexual revolution" of the past twenty years? What a harvest are we reaping now for years of sowing to the flesh. The liberal press and the corrupt theologians called for a new day of sexual freedom. They wanted no more Puritanical moral standards, no more restraints. The cry was, "Anything goes between two consenting adults!" Hundreds of thousands of gays came out of the closet. They took their message into the public schools; they marched on our streets calling for gay rights; they moved into government to pass laws protecting homosexuality. America was flooded with books, movies, and TV series glorifying lesbianism, group sex, and wife swapping! There was talk of open marriages, of living together, of sexual freedom. It was supposed to be paradise on earth!

Now its payday - now comes the harvest. The death angel has come to say, "The partys over!" What awful, incurable new diseases there are such as herpes, chlamydia, and AIDS. Chlamydia now infects over four million girls in America, leaving many of them infertile. Many of these girls have no chance of ever having children. God may have to shut one womb for every abortion. Syphilis, an old disease, is on the increase. My Christian doctor told me that fifteen years ago he would give 600,000 units of penicillin to syphilis patients. Now it takes 4,800,000 units and its still not killing the virus! This virus is becoming immune to penicillin. Now there is a new sexually transmitted cancer virus known as papilloma - a form of cancer being found in young women. Also the rate of incest is up 100% in the last ten years. The end is nowhere in sight as the harvest keeps getting worse daily. Who know where the AIDS epidemic will end? There can be no doubt that the Word is true in saying, "You reap what you sow."

The worst harvest of all is the unbelievable wave of child pornography and child molestations. Who could have believed that a nation founded by godly men would one day become so corrupt, degenerate, that it would turn on its little children like wild beasts? This is the worst kind of sadism known to mankind and its sweeping America like a plague. An ever-growing number of parents are molesting their own children. What a tragic harvest!

America Is About to Reap an Economic Crash!

There is going to be a payday for all the years of greed and lust for money. The dollar is Americas god, with businessmen and Wall-Streeters out for the one big kill - like vultures on the American economy. The more they get, the more they want. Its madness! The wild speculation we see now is of the very same spirit that gripped men just prior to every past crash (1857, 1880, 1932). Not even our best-educated government officials know what is happening now. One Federal Reserve official said recently, "Dont worry about all these multi-billion dollar takeovers, with their ten to one debt load. There are too many other unknown forces at work out there..." "Out there" is an unknown world that can come crashing down overnight and no one will be able to explain why.

But there is a good side to this matter of sowing and reaping:

The Lord Is Going to Have a Great Host
of Willing Sowers in the Last Days.

"And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more, His lord said unto him. Well done, though good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matthew 25:20-23).

I am going to prove to you that the true church of Jesus Christ will not go out with a whimper! It will not be crushed or crippled by the tide of wickedness. It will not be weak, confused, or beaten down by demonic powers. Never! This parable proves that God will have a fruitful, glorious harvest at the end. Two out of three of the Lords servants will come to the judgment loaded with fruit and full joy - happy in a great harvest. They will not be losing ground or be barely making it. Instead, they will say, "I have gained - what God gave me has doubled." They will be "good and faithful," not backslidden or dead. They will not be cast down, depressed, or dejected, but rather, they will have the joy of the Lord.

Jesus is "the man traveling into a far country" who will "after a long time" return and call into account His servants. We are those servants, "His own," and the talents represent our measure of grace and revelation of Jesus. We are commanded to go out and sow this revelation. Some have a greater revelation of Jesus than others - but all must sow.

Yet, looking at the world today, we ask: Will there be vision for the lost souls in these last days or will missions die the closer we get to His coming? Will young people respond to the command to go and sow to the world? If sin gets worse with drug abuse and violence rising and the economy falling, will these wicked conditions cause the young to hide? Will there be young men and women left unspotted by this corruption? Where will God find a new host of workers? Doors are closing to missions fields, as the costs go out of control.

The truth is, the Kingdom of God is not affected by demons, the economy, communism, violence, or any world conditions. In fact, the church in China is stronger today than ever. Persecution has only made it stronger and more powerful, even in all the Iron Curtain countries. I dont know how God will do it, but this parable proves that God will have a last day army here and abroad who will be out there in the harvest loaded with fruit, joyful and excited!

Psalm 110 is a direct prophecy about a last-day people who "shall be willing in the day of thy [Gods] power" (verse 3). Martin Luther called this psalm "a glorious prophecy concerning the Kingdom of Christ." He added, "It ought to be dear to everyone in the church." There is a "rod of... strength out of Zion" (verse 2) - a rod of power. This refers to Jesus who, even now, has all power and authority. But in these last days we are going to see and experience a day of the fullness and climax of his power - a last great demonstration of His might. So it was when God showed His strength to Egypt, sending ten awful plagues. First, He touched the earth; then the heavens shook with lightning and thunder. Finally, in one last surge of power, God exploded in a rage of death, killing all of Egypts first-born. The power of our Lord has shaken mankind for the past 2,000 years. But there is prophesied one last great shaking: "Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven" (Hebrews 12:26).

Gods people will be "willing" in that day - they will be spontaneous volunteers. Here is how God does it: When He determines that His day of power has come then He raises up holy prophets, watchmen, and shepherds who blow the trumpet. God supernaturally moves upon a people to respond. They heed the call to repent, to rally, and to rise up in faith to challenge the enemy. They wake up, go out - and challenge the powers of darkness. Gods people begin to cry out and He sends prophets to arouse the church.

So it was when Sisera and his great iron chariots came up against Israel (Judges 4). God raised up Deborah because "the children of Israel cried unto the Lord" (Judges 4:3). It was the Spirit of the Lord that came upon them and as Deborah later sang, "the people willingly offered themselves" (Judges 5:2). When the Spirit of God truly comes upon a people you dont have to push, plead, pull, or threaten. They become willing in the day of His power. I see this happening already here in Times Square Church. The Word is cleansing and the Spirit of God is coming upon many. We have now an abundance of volunteers, willing to do anything for Jesus.

"Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness" (Psalm 110:3). This is a prophecy that God will have a people who do not see holiness as a burden too hard to carry. They will not see it as something difficult or legalistic - but beautiful! They will not cringe under a hard message; but rather, they will see it as God cutting and polishing a diamond, so additional rays of light will shine forth. It is a certain prophecy that in a day of wickedness, a day of immorality, He will raise up a holy host, walking with joy in all His commandments.

What proof do we have that God will have an army of young people working for Him in the end times? "Thou hast the dew of thy youth" (Psalm 110:3). This means that the young converts shall be as numerous as the drops of morning dew. Go out in the morning and look at the grass: its like millions of sparkling diamonds. So will His harvest of youth be. This is not simply my interpretation of this great prophecy. Edwards, Calvin, and Rodgers all translate it this way. In fact, this 110th Psalm is so important that it is quoted by Jesus and Paul, and is referred to seven times in the New Testament. Has God given up on the youth? Does Satan romp all over hell shouting, "The youth are all mine! The druggies, the sex-crazed, the suicides!"? No! God will have "the dew of youth."

There Is Absolutely Nothing on Earth or in Hell
That Can Stop the Last Day Harvest!

There is something unique and special about these last day servants who will bring in the last great harvest. First of all, they will not be afraid to "plow in the cold." The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing" (Proverbs 20:4). Jesus said that the field is the world, meaning nations, peoples, races. When I came to New York in 1958, society, the church, and government all said the drug addict was incurable - especially heroin addicts. They said in effect, "Too cold to plow! They dont want God. They cant be reached." But God said to me: "Go plow! Thats a diamond mine! Im going to have a great harvest there." And so He has.

Along our southern borders they are ringing their hands as millions of illegal Mexicans are pouring in. In New York and California there are illegal aliens flooding in from all over the globe. God has raised up churches to reach them for Christ, mostly from addicts, because these newly converted Christian workers saw it as a chance to plow. God has brought the mission field to them. Now, young ministers, who were once illegal aliens, are going back to their homelands as missionaries to evangelize.

Yes! Cold waves of apostasy are sweeping the earth. The Jews are cold, as well as the Muslims. So many seem hopeless and hard. But the Lord says, "Dont be lazy - go plow!" No group of people, no individual, should be considered too cold, too hard, or too far gone! Go and sow! Plow and you will reap! In this day of His power the Spirit will convict all. Before establishing Times Square Church, we were told that New York was too hard and too wicked - that there was no hope - that no one would come out on a Sunday night for church - that there was to much cynicism, too much crime - that people would not leave their homes to come to Times Square at night. It was supposed to be too cold to plow. This packed church proves how wrong they were.

These willing servants will not be afraid of "the lion out on the streets." "The slothful man [lazy Christian] saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets" (Proverbs 22:13). "The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets" (Proverbs 26:13). Is there a lion out in the streets? Yes! A roaring lion seeking to devour. But these Spirit-filled servants are not afraid of any lion. Before I came back here to New York to pastor, the devil tried to put fear in my heart. I see what is coming and how wicked these streets will become. Satan says, "Youll be slain in the streets!" But Jesus commanded: "Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind" (Luke 14:21). We are not afraid!

I think of how wonderful it must be to live in a quiet, secluded place, and many have that privilege. But there are growing number of Christians "taking to the hills," simply to hide out. The lion has chased them and theyre seeking a place of security. Ive already been through that way of thinking. A leading reconstructionist wrote a book called Government By Emergency, in which he warns Christians to stockpile goods and guns, to get ready to hide out and protect their possessions. The list he recommends includes liquor and tobacco to bribe (he calls it "barter") law officials in a time of anarchy.

These are those who will cry for the rocks and the mountains to hide them from His wrath (Revelation 6:16). "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 16:15). No! This Spirit-filled body will not hide, but will be on the front lines, fighting a good fight and bringing in a harvest of souls.

Some Will End Up Lazy and Fruitless, Losing Their Very Souls.

"Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou has not strawed [spread]: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine, His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant... Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents... And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness..." (Matthew 25:24-30). Who is this lazy, wicked servant and why was he cast into hell?

First of all, he was a servant of God who was controlled by a secret sin. Jesus called him a wicked servant, which here denotes evil or something sinister. Although he is associated with a circle of servants who are busy, fruitful, and joyous, there is something hidden and unexposed in this man. He claims to know the Lord ("I knew thee"), but he has developed a perverted vision of the Lord because of unforsaken sin. He says, "Thou art an hard man," which is another way of saying, "You expect too much from me - I cant live up to your demands for serving!"

It is sin in the heart that makes one say, "This is too hard - it turns me off!" The yielded heart, on the other hand, becomes free and obedience is no longer a burden. For the surrendered heart, its all joy. A minister once heard some of our tapes and then told a friend, "No one can live like that! Everybody makes mistakes. You cant live as pure as they preach!" He saw it as a hard message. I wonder why.

We have husbands in Times Square Church with wives who claim to be Christians, but who think their husbands are fanatics. Some of those husbands used to be on drugs or alcohol; they were cheaters, full of the devil. Now, they are sold out to Jesus! So when the wife says, "Lets go dancing and have some fun," he wont do it. Then she blames God for being so hard and strict, for "taking my husband from me!" She ought to fall on her face and thank God the devil doesnt have him anymore.

This slothful servant in the parable accuses his lord of reaping where he has not sown (Matthew 25:24). This is a serious charge of which many half-hearted Christians today still accuse the Lord. What he was saying is this: "Lord, You expect too much of me and Youve let me down when Ive needed You. You expect me to be faithful and fruitful, but You didnt help me when I needed a miracle. You want a reaping in me, but wont sow deliverance in me!" In other words, he had a grudge against his master and therefore accused him of being unjust.

What did he do that was so wicked and so lazy that it cost him his salvation? It was this: "God doesn't need me to accomplish His purpose. If Jews or Muslims or my family are to be saved, He will do it without me. It's all preordained anyway! It's just a waste of my time, witnesing and working so hard, because the Lord will have a harvest without all this sowing. So I'll mind my own business, stay out of trouble, be the Lord's quiet servant -- and what will be, will be. I can't change anything!" So they sit in front of the TV saying, "Who am I? God will do it anyhow! What does it matter? I'm not hurting anybody -- I haven't stolen anything -- I haven't hurt the Lord!"

"I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine" (verse 25). Rather than the fear of God, it was the fear of having to give up sin, the fear of costing him too much, that kept this servant bound. So God stripped him of everything. You either grow -- or -- loose it all. You will either go on with God -- or -- you will be cast out of His Kingdom.

Used with permission granted by World Challenge, P. O. Box 260, Lindale, TX 75771 USA.

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