We live in a day of spiritual forgetfulness. Men are forgetting God and His Son. They are forgetting His church. They are forgetting that Sunday is the Lord's day. People are spiritually forgetful, but the awful fact remains that they must pay for their neglect and forgetfulness. They must reap what they sow. This is an unchangeable law of nature and of God.
Men may forget God and all that this forgetfulness involves, but one day they will reap the fearful harvest. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." There is no truer text in the Bible! But even if these words were not in the Bible, we know that they are true. We know from experience. We have sown and the reaping time has come. We know that this is the truth!
This morning, I want to take some time and look at the truth of this verse. We know that specifically this passage is dealing with the relationship of our giving. A similar passage is found in the gospel of Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you...for with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." However, this law applies to every area of our lives, not just our giving of material wealth. As we look at this familiar Scripture today, I want us to see...
I. A Solemn Warning. "Be not deceived..."
A. There is a 'deceiver'.
1. Satan is described as the one "...which deceiveth the whole world..." Re. 12:9
2. Jesus is the "Truth" and Satan opposes everything that is true and righteous.
3. He will be cast into the bottomless pit so that "...he should deceive the nations no more..."
B. We can also deceive ourselves.
1. By false expectations, by trusting appearances, by being guided by our feelings, instead of the Word of God.
2. We deceive ourselves when we think that it doesn't matter what we sow, as long as we mean well.
3. When we think that we can be blessed by God when we live according to the flesh.
C. God warns us not to be deceived.
1. Luke 21:8 concerning false- Christs.
2. 1 Corinthians 6:9 concerning eternal life.
3. 1 Corinthians 15:33 concerning a holy and godly life.
4. And here concerning this universal law of sowing and reaping.
II. An Unalterable Fact. "...God is not mocked..."
A. You cannot fool God because He sees all and knows all.
1. We may be able to hide our sin from family and friends, but not from God!
2. God not only sees us in the brightness of midday, but He also sees us in the blackness of midnight.
3. A thief took along his young son one evening to steal from a neighbor's garden...the man looked left, right, front, and back to make sure that noone was watching. When he was sure that the coast was clear, he began filling his sack with vegetables. His young son very wisely said, "Daddy, you forgot to look up!"
4. We are very careful that others not see us sin, but God sees and knows all about us!
B. You can't fool God because He has all power.
1. He can make us or break us.
2. He giveth life and can take it away.
3. He has the power to bring us into judgment.
4. We are told that one day we must all give an account for what we have done, whether good or bad.
5. There is coming a day when that which is hidden will be revealed, because nothing will escape God!
C. How foolish is the man who thinks that he can live as he pleases and escape the judgment of Almighty God.
1. There will be no excuses when we stand before God.
a. whether as a Christian at the judgment seat of Christ
b. or as a lost person at the Great White Throne judgment.
2. Some people are masters of the excuse aren't they?
3. One lady invited a fellow to come to church and hear the preaching of God's Word, but he declined saying, "Oh, I can't come, it's going to rain." She solemnly reminded him that it will not be raining on judgment day!
4. Believe God's Word today when He warns us not to be deceived, because God is not mocked!
III. A Great Responsibilty. "Whatsoever a man soweth..."
A. "What I have written I have written" cf. John 19:19-22
1. Roman custom:
a. when a man was to be executed for a certain crime the crime was written on a placard so that all could see for what crime he was being executed.
b. but Pilate had found no fault in Christ, so the sign simply read "Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews".
c. the chief priests asked Pilate to change the writing, and Pilate responded with "What I have written I have written". it would not be changed.
2. We must be careful of the record we write, because it is unalterable.
a. milk that is spilled cannot be gathered up into the glass
b. a bullet speeding from a gun and entering into the victim's brain cannot be called back
c. many of us would like to go back and change our lives...but we cannot
B. It is pressed upon our memory and our conscience.
1. Many of us would give nearly anything if we could escape our memories.
2. There is always something that reminds us of our sin.
a. it may be a scar or mark on the body, but it serves to remind us of our sin.
b. David only had to hear the story about a little ewe lamb until he remembered murdering Uriah and taking Bathsheba.
c. Joseph's brothers remembered what they had done to their brother even though it had been years earlier.
3. Our conscience is that judge and jury that sits on the judgment seat of our heart and arises to applaud the right and condemn the wrong.
a. it is that thing which will not let a person sleep at night.
b. it is that thing that causes a man to duck into a dark alley when he sees a policeman.
c. sometimes the conscience can be `seared' or desensitized so that it no longer condemns us
C. It is reaped in the lives of others.
1. "None of us liveth to himself..." Ro. 14:7a
a. some have said, "It's nobody's business how I live!"
b. but it does make a difference!
c. every thing we do has an impact on someone else around us.
2. Everytime you look at someone whose life has been wrecked by sin, ask yourself...Who was responsible for their first downfall?
a. who gave the drunkard his first taste of liquor?
b. who gave the drug addict their first high?
c. who caused that young person, who sells their body day-in and day-out, to take that first step down the path of degradation?
3. This is the tragedy of sin...it not only hurts us, but it hurts others whom we love!
a. Parents: what you do in moderation, your children will do to excess!
b. every Christian parent owes their children two things:
c. to live at your best for Christ, and to lead your children to salvation.
d. what a tragic situation when parents are more interested with worldly matters than spiritual matters!
e. some may say, "I don't believe in forcing a child to go to church...I'll let them decide."
f. Fine, just be consistent! and let them decide whether to go to school, when to take a bath, when to change clothes, go to bed, see the dentist, and on and on and on....
IV. An Unchanging Law. "That shall he also reap."
A. The Seed.
1. The harvest will not be according to how much we know, but how much we sow.
2. The seeds of thought are sown in words and deeds.
3. We decide what we will sow...but what we sow determines what we shall reap.
B. The principle.
1. We will reap exactly what we sow...
2. We will reap sometime after we sow...
3. We will reap more than we sow.
C. The harvest. cf.v8
1. He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption...
2. He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
3. What kind of harvest will you have?
Conclusion: This morning, if you have never been saved, you will reap everlasting separation from God in a Christ-less burning Hell. God loves you and desires that you spend eternity with Him in heaven. Will you come today and accept Christ as your Savior?
Christians, what kind of harvest will you have from your life? Have you been obedient to God's Word? Who are you influencing right now? Is your conscience clear before God? Do you need to come this morning and spend some time at this altar doing business with God?