By Leslie Diestelkamp
Suppose a farmer furnishes his son with sufficient equipment and seed and then directs the son to plant a certain field. But suppose the son plants only half the field-that part right near the barn-leaving the more distant part completely uncultivated and unplanted. Evidently the father would not be pleased.
Our heavenly Father has supplied his people with sufficient equipment (2 Tim. 3:16, 17) and seed (Lk. 8: 11). Jesus said, “The field is the world” (Mt. 13:38). Our directive is, “Go, teach all nations.” But we have only planted half the field. Nearly half the people of the world live in Asia and most of those people have never seen a Bible nor heard one gospel sermon.
But someone will say, “We want to spend our money right around home where we can see the harvest ourselves.” Well, of course we must “plant the field at home. But we must also go afar. Some may ask, “Why should we send a preacher to Asia when so many souls are still lost right here at home?” Well, there are three answers to that question: (1) We must go to all the world, including Asia, just because Jesus said so; (2) We must go to all humanity because, as Christians we love everybody; (3) And we must especially go to the underdeveloped nations because almost invariably the harvest is greater there.
Of course it is now impossible for Americans to go into China and some other parts of Asia. But little by little progress is being made. A very fruitful work is being done in the Philippines. The people of India have proven very receptive. Smaller but significant efforts are being made in Japan and some other places.
Surely in the next decade or two many young preachers will turn their eyes away from the glamorous pulpits in the fashionable congregations in America, and toward the implanted fields of Asia. Christians everywhere will then gladly supply the transportation (3 Jn. 5, 6) and the wages (2 Cor. 11: 8).
In the meantime we hope the faithful Christians in Asia and in the island nations nearby will proceed diligently to sow the good seed, and that they may soon be able to reach into the heartland of the continent, even before Americans are allowed to go into such places.
One-hundred-fifty years ago there was a great harvest in America but it was mostly in a small area of the country. Today the harvest is not only nation-wide but even in the whole continent. Let us work and pray that the huge harvest in the Philippines may spread to all of Asia, that the great strength that prevails in
Nigeria may spread the gospel to all of Africa and that other smaller beginnings around the world may develop and spread until, in the foreseeable future, it can be said again that the gospel has been preached to every creature under heaven (see Col. 1-23).
In the providence of God, Americans who read this paper have been granted exceeding great advantages: (1) to have had opportunity to have heard the Word; (2) to have had great ability in manpower and money to give the Word to others. God surely holds us accountable for the advantages he has granted us. Let us not shirk nor neglect lest we fail in our stewardship. We must try hard to plant the whole field in our generation, for “The field is the world.”
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 36, pp. 8-9
July 20, 1972