“IS THE SEED STILL IN THE BARN?”
by R.J. Evans
In a number of ways we are living in a unique time in our history. Modern technology is
truly amazing. New discoveries are coming on the scene in medicine, electronics,
communications, etc. at a rapid pace, but with all the progress that has occurred, there are
also a number of problems, as well. America now has a very high rate of unemployment;
we have a national debt that is in the trillions; it is shocking to hear almost daily of
violence such as the recent incidents in Florida and Arizona involving gunmen shooting
people in public places.
But in my mind the gravest concern pertains to the Lord’s church, especially here in
America. No doubt, the devil is using the internet, movies, music, and TV to corrupt the
morals of many church members, especially those of the younger generation. It appears
that he is, as always, busy at work seeking to destroy the church by any and every means
possible. It reminds me of the words of the Apostle Peter: “Be sober, be vigilant; because
your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1
Recently, I came across a copy of a report (via e-mail) given by a gospel preacher on the
condition of the Lord’s church in the Los Angeles, CA
area. I quote: “My association is with the Venice, CA church which is one of the oldest churches
in the Los Angeles basin, has had a rich heritage of faithfulness through the years. In the past 20
years or so, over 25 churches in the Los Angeles area have simply closed their doors. Venice is
the only congregation in the entire area numbering about 15 souls.”
From the above report, we can see that the church is not progressing well in that area. But that
causes me to think of other areas. While living in Birmingham, AL., I can think of about 8 - 10
churches that closed their doors during that 23 year period. Over the past few years, I have had
friends from that area speak of other congregations, that at one time had an attendance up in the
hundreds, that are now barely holding on with just a small “hand full” of members.
And what about the church here in south Louisiana? Over the last 5 years, two churches lost their
buildings due to Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav. Due to the damage from the storms and other
factors, these two congregations no longer exist. This is disheartening when you consider that the
entire state of Louisiana has a relatively small number of faithful, sound congregations to begin
with. Truly, it is time for all to wake up and realize what is going on ” “knowing the time, that
now it is high time to awake out of sleep...The night is far spent, the day is at hand” (Rom.
13:11-12). With the current trends, where will the church that you and I attend be in 25 years? It
makes me wonder (and others too) if Satan has seen growth in our local area and has targeted the
church in south Louisiana for destruction. May we all get busy in the Lord’s service, faithfully
doing His will, while at the same time, realizing what happens if “Satan should take advantage of
us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor. 2:11).
The Lord has commissioned His people to spread the gospel throughout the whole world (Matt.
28:18-20; Mk. 16:15-16). We need to ask ourselves if we are doing this. Perhaps the question
(our title) raised in the days of the Prophet Haggai is appropriate for our time ” “Is the seed still
in the barn?” (Hag. 2:19).
The writer of Ecclesiastes said, “In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not
withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both
alike will be good” (Eccl. 11:6). We need to be reminded of the promises of God. One is in the
Old Testament and the other is in the New Testament: “So shall My word be that goes from My
mouth; It shall not return to me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in
the thing for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:11). “So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who
waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Cor. 3:7).
So let’s get busy sowing the seed! “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow...” (Mk. 4:3).
Do you have questions about the nature, work, purpose, or pattern for the church? This is the place to share your thoughts and questions with others.
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