The Field is the World

Matt. 13:38


I.          Example of the early church.

A.  Acts 2:5-12 - On the day of Pentecost, God caused many people to assemble together to get the early church started, and saved 3,000 of them to show He was with this tiny group of believers.

B.   Acts 3:1 - This miracle and its results happened outside the church assembly, not during the assembly.  Acts 4:23-31 - The assembly prayed, and received more power to do more work outside the assembly.

C.  Acts 8:1-4 - When Stephen was killed, the church members were scattered everywhere, but they went preaching the word.

1.   Acts 11:19-21 - Those that were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

2.   Acts 11:22-25 - They needed additional instruction that only the leaders of the church could give, therefore Paul and Barnabas continued with the church for more than a whole year.

D.  Somebody must go.

1.   Don't leave it up to the other fellow.  They proclaimed the gospel as they went into the world.  This is what God has called each of his people to do.  It is not the pastor's responsibility, any more than the church members.  Most church members today leave this work up to the "leaders of the church", not realizing they are leading somebody.  Somebody is watching your life.

2.   When they went forth, this is a necessary action.  This shows preparation beforehand.  The Bible had been read, prayers had been prayed, and it was already determined in their heart that they would speak to people about their souls.  He was already in the field - the field is the world.

3.   He didn't go forth to reap!!!!  The purpose of going was to tell the blessed gospel truth, not to "get folks saved".  Only God can do the saving.  Our job is simply to proclaim the truth, and God will give the increase.

4.   Ezk. 16:3-21; 33:1-9 - We've got to get out of our heads that we have failed when people don't respond favorably to the gospel message!!!!  It is not our duty to make them respond, it is our duty to proclaim the truth to them.  What they do with that truth is between God and them.  We have failed when we don't proclaim the truth to them.

5.   Don't let men bother you.  Eccl. 11:4-6 - Don't look up at the clouds.  Jeremiah 1:17 - Do not be dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.  Keep rows straight by looking ahead.  Jesus looked past the cross to eternal glory, Heb. 12:1-3.

6.   This is a time of great cost.  The farmer must bear great expense in planting his crop so he will have a harvest.


II.   The church is not to serve people that are saved, but teach them how to be sound in the faith.

A.  The church in their home.

1.   Rom. 16:3 - Aquila and Prescilla had a church in their home, but were ordered to leave, apparently going to Corinth.

2.   Acts 18:2 - At Corinth, Paul found Aquila and Priscilla worshipping God with a church in their home.  Verse 11 - Paul stayed at Corinth for 1½ years.

3.   Acts 8:18 - Aquila and Priscilla leave Corinth with Paul, going to Ephesus.  Acts 18:24-26 - While at Ephesus, they find Apollos preaching the gospel, knowing only the baptism of John, whom they take into their home, instructing him more perfectly in the Word of God.

4.   I Cor. 16:19 - When Paul wrote to the Corinthians from Philippi, Aquila and Priscilla are with him, having a church in their home once again.

5.   We discover that Aquila and Priscilla serve God in every place they live, and they move around quite a lot!  This is how we ought to be.  We ought to serve God as a part of our everyday existence, not as a separate part of our lives.  We must not live in the world as one part of our lives, and serve God as another part of our lives.

B.   I Tim. 3:15 - Know how to behave yourself in the church of God.

1.   This is not knowing that it is wrong to stand on the pews, or run in the building, or throw paper on the floor, or chew gum.  (Remember when chewing gum in church was considered a great crime!  Today, that is not even thought about, but what is considered a crime is seducing somebody in the church house.)

2.         Behaving yourself in the church of God is understanding what proper doctrines are, how to live Godly lives during the assembly and after, understanding what  the will of God is for you.