Ecclesiastes on Evangelism
Most people associate Ecclesiastes with “vanity”, the “brevity of life”, or the “whole duty of man” (“to fear God and keep His commandments”). But there are wonderful insightful lessons throughout the book that are worthy of our study and consideration. Consider with me the following passages as they relate to evangelism.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 – “He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.” This concept is so simple that it is hard for us to miss or misapply. It is a general truth that is spoken to make the point that we must be active in sowing. Jesus teaches the same principle in Matthew 25:14-30 in the Parable of the Talents. Without action, without work, without doing, it is impossible to please God. God has given us all some capacity to reach out to the world around us and share the gospel truth. Those who often com-plain about why the church isn’t growing are doing so while they watch the wind and look at the clouds. God has provided the field for us to sow, and causes the growth, and He provides the harvest for us to reap. What are we doing? How are we working? Are we sowing or are we merely looking?
Ecclesiastes 11:5 – “Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.” Have you ever thought about how many wonderful opportunities God has provided you with to teach a lost soul the gospel, yet you never saw it, you kept your mouth shut, and you squandered the opportunity? How many people do you see in a week, in a day, in a month, in a year, in your life? How do you know that the person at the check out coun-ter, or the waitress, or person your standing next to in line isn’t at the perfect moment with a contrite heart to accept your invitation to study the Bible? How do you know that an accident that puts you in contact with a total stranger is not an opportunity to share the gospel of Christ? How do we know? Because we don’t know, is why we should be active in sharing the gospel with anyone at any time. “Devote yourselves to prayer… praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ…” We must be diligent to not be so busy watching the wind, that we don’t see the door that God has opened right before us.
Ecclesiastes 11:6 – “Sow your seed in the morning, and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.” How many times have you wanted to ask someone to study the Bible with you but instead you said to yourself, “No, now is not a good time”. But then, a good time never did arrive did it? How do we know what a good time is? I know a young man who was baptized in the ocean while on vacation. I know of a woman who decided during a wed-ding reception. I know a guy who made the decision on a Sunday afternoon be-cause 3 dear friends decided that no time was better than NOW!! And I thank God my friends decided not to be idle. What are you waiting for: morning or evening, light or dark, this week or next week, summer or winter? Since you don’t know which is better, why not try both?
“The Preacher” wanted us to learn from these observations to make opportuni-ties, make the most of opportunities and to be optimistic. Let us have a heart of love that motivates us to sow at anytime, having faith that God will provide the increase (I Corinthians 3:6-7).