Lift Up Your Eyes
“Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35) We see the fruit of Satan’s labor when Christians believe no one is interested in the gospel. The father of lies would love nothing more than for us to give up on our evangelism efforts. He is the one telling us “no one is interested.” Instead of lifting our eyes and seeing opportunities before us, we become downtrodden and are left only to bemoan the hopelessness of those lost in sin. Why do we let Satan get away with this? Lift up your eyes!
What do you expect to see when you lift up your eyes? Who is it you expect to have a heart willing to obey the gospel? Oftentimes we expect people like Cornelius in Acts 10:1-2. These are people who already know about God and worship Him the best they know how, but they just need to hear how to be saved. Justus and Crispus, in Acts 18:7-8, seem to be like Cornelius. They both worshiped God before hearing the truth of the gospel.
Look at the next couple verses in Acts 18:9-11. Paul was in Corinth, a city filled with heathens and idol worshippers. Paul, of all people, was scared of sharing the gospel in Corinth, as he confesses in I Corinthians 2:3. He knew what it felt like to be stoned for teaching the gospel. So in Acts 18:9-10, the Lord tells Paul, “Do not be afraid.” Why? “I have many people in this city.” The Lord knew there were others who had a heart that would be receptive to the gospel. He needed Paul to bring them the message.
So who are these people in Corinth with open hearts? Are they more people like Justus and Crispus? Maybe a few, but certainly not everyone. In fact, I Corinthians 6:9-11 tells us many of those Corinthians who were baptized into Christ came from a godless background. Fornicators. Idolaters. Adulterers. Homosexuals. Sodomites. Thieves. Covetous. Drunkards. Revilers. Extortioners. These were some of the people the Lord was referring to when He said, “I have many people in this city” in Acts 18:10.
Lift up your eyes. Do you expect to see God-fearing men and women who just need to hear the truth? Or do you expect to see fornicators, homosexuals, thieves, and drunkards? Be careful not to limit the audience of the gospel. Expect to see receptive hearts in people of all backgrounds. In Mark 16:15, Jesus says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” The field is white for harvest. Don’t forget to lift up your eyes.