BRINGING IN THE HARVEST by Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
Oh, I loved to play baseball, hockey, badminton and rugby. I thoroughly enjoyed swimming, fishing and camping. ‘Sports days’ and red ribbons for first prizes - from the smaller events to a provincial championship in Saskatoon, were great.
Milking cows, feeding chickens, chopping wood for the old stove, working in the hay field, looking for rhizatonia and blackleg among the registered potatoes, riding horseback, driving the tractor and watching the land turn black as loam, as the weeds were destroyed.
All these hold special memories in my mind. Mother, Dad, brothers and sister together with church and family altar are something special of course, which stand alone in an individual’s memory lane almost as something sacred.
THRESHING MACHINE PARALLEL OF THE CHURCH!
Plowing the ground, cultivating, disking and seeding were part of the job - and necessary - but not too exciting. Even cutting down the wheat with the binder and stooking the fields were not really stirring, but when the threshing rig moved onto your yard and the straw came roaring out of the blower into the large pile and the wheat poured into the granary, THAT WAS EXCITING. THAT WAS LIFE!
The old threshing machines are long gone and large hi-tech combines operated by one person has replaced the large threshing crews. Maybe some of the sentimentality or excitement is gone, but when the grain pours into the big trucks and is transported into large grain silos or the elevator in town, there is still a lot of excitement in the air. Without doubt, harvest is a very rewarding and exciting time.
The time of “seeding, spraying and irrigating” is a very vital aspect of farming, as is evangelizing and reaching out for a harvest of souls. The time spent in prayer around the altars, the hours of labour utilized in poring over the Word of God in deep intensive study, and the years of sharing the Word by testimony, giving and going may not be as rewarding or glamorous as one would like.
WHEN THE REVIVAL STRIKES AND AN AWAKENING BEGINS TO STIR SOULS TO A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST, ENTHUSIASM AND EXCITEMENT IS GENERATED WITH AN UPSURGE OF EXUBERANCE AND HOLY JOY!
There is nothing as rewarding as seeing souls weeping their way through to God at an old-fashioned altar. Wrongs being righted and new lives made out of old ones in a Heaven-sent-revival.
The church packed out with seeking souls, stirring revival messages sinking deep within the innermost being. Serious meditation and somber moments as well as unconcealed joy, love and warmth being poured out by numerous church goers who have just found a new plateau in God.
And then, there is the Holy awareness of a mighty and powerful God who has just granted a miracle healing to an arthritic or given sight to the blind eye of some unfortunate accident victim or opened a little boy’s deaf ears.
The Bible tells of a revival conducted by Philip the Evangelist as follows: “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them. And many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city”. (Acts 8:5-8
My Gospel Ministry - which blossomed into a world-wide crusade in 1963, began with a “one-on-one” soul winning thrust in personal evangelism. I still love to get one or two people alone in a serious discussion about world conditions and the solution to those problems.
A personal encounter with Jesus Christ results in a radically changed lifestyle, approach and set of values! After I had preached repeatedly in many Indian villages, a variety of churches and numerous street meetings, and after personally witnessing to hundreds of people individually about our Lord Jesus Christ, and six years of intensive meditation, study and prayer, I was prepared to begin this worldwide ministry!
ST. PAUL SAID, GIVE DILIGENCE TO READING!
To this day, I usually take with me on my travels, an armful of spiritual books to read together with my Bible and trusty laptop computer. As I grow older, the more intense becomes my desire to meditate, study, research, read and then to put down on paper that which God has revealed to me, so that others may also be blessed. Praise God forever!
I believe it is important that we listen to and view things that enlighten, uplift and edify us rather than make us slaves to T.V. programs containing loose, immoral jesting or sex scenes. Many of today’s talk shows, gaming shows and soap operas are enthusiastic messengers for carnality, worldliness and satanic influence!
I am also against the rock and roll music that constantly blares out from major radio stations, demoralizing and hypnotizing our youth with its degrading lyrics and sensual, lusty beat! It is important to listen to Christian music and the Word of God as much as possible.
He began to speak declaring that his ears were opened. Talk about joy in that automobile, as I led him to Christ. We all rejoiced together concerning God’s mighty works!
Another case is that of an Electrolux salesman who kept coming to our home. Donna and I were newly married and had purchased our first new home. I was doing well in business and we were prospering in every area of life. We owned an Electrolux vacuum cleaner but didn’t have a polisher.
My friend, Bob the Electrolux salesman wanted to sell us one! I had begun to witness to him about Jesus Christ and didn’t want to lose him, so I encouraged him to continue coming to see us. We eventually ended up buying the polisher, even though we didn’t have a need for it at that time!
Our agreement was that we would buy the polisher from him, if he would allow me to preach to him for 30 minutes. Bob and I were in the front room, while Donna was tending to something in the kitchen. We were having a cup of coffee and I was preaching the Gospel to him. Tears came to my eyes as I told of the love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross.
THE GOSPEL OF THE JESUS CHRIST!
I painted him a very vivid picture of our wounded, bruised, chastised, striped Saviour. I went into detail, describing the horrible crucifixion of Jesus and how he suffered for us on that cross!
I expected him to be moved towards Christ, but to no avail! His heart was cold as ice. He said, “Look Max, are you finished”? I said, “Yes, I’ve given you the best I possibly could”! He answered, “I’m sorry, but I don’t feel a thing! You haven’t moved me one bit. I have no desire to give my heart to Jesus”!
He was about to excuse himself and leave when suddenly the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Tell him what happened when you were filled with the Holy Ghost”! I said, “Just a moment Bob, I have one more thing to share with you before you go. It will only take a minute”
He answered, “Sure Max, I’m listening”. I then related to him how God had baptized me with the Blessed Holy Ghost the very next evening after my conversion. How I had been overcome with the Spirit of the Living God and fell onto the floor under His influence. I shared how I had been filled with fire and power from the risen Christ. And that the love of God had flooded my entire being and I received a great desire to tell people about Jesus!
I’VE GOT TO BE SAVED RIGHT AWAY!
Suddenly, Bob sat on the edge of his chair, his eyes wide open and a startled look on his face. He interrupted me and said, “Max, your face is shining, what’s going on”? I answered, “Bob, it’s the Holy Ghost”. He said excitedly, “What’s that I feel all over me, a presence, a tingling sensation like electricity”? I said, “Bob, it’s the Holy Ghost”. He jumped up and said, “I’ve got to go”, and he was gone!
The next morning, I had to leave very early for Quesnel. At approximately 9 o’clock Bob was at our home, ringing the doorbell. He asked Donna, “Where is Max? I’ve got to see Max”. She said, “He’s gone to Quesnel, but he’ll be back in a couple of days”. He said, “I’ve got to see him now. I’ve been so stirred in my soul about what happened last night, I’ve got to be saved right away”.
Donna was a new convert herself, so she called Rev. Allen Kenny and directed Bob to the Sixth Avenue Pentecostal Church where he gave his heart to Christ. What a glorious time of rejoicing we had upon my return to Prince George that week.
“O the joy of sins forgiven, O the bliss the blood washed know. O the peace akin to Heaven.Where the healing waters flow!”
The third case I would like to share is about a little hamlet in my territory called Topley Landing. Nearly everyone living there were Jehovah Witnesses and I had such a burden to win them to Christ. Every five weeks when I travelled by the hamlet, I would throw tracts out the window of my automobile, hoping the wind would carry them to some hungry soul.
After several years of sowing the Gospel in this manner, a man came to our home in Prince George. Standing at our door - holding up the little tract he had found by the side of the road - this gentleman burst into tears declaring that he was a sinner who needed to be saved!
He was not a Jehovah Witness but a seeking soul who belonged to the Mennonite Church. He and a number of his family accepted Jesus Christ because of this witness and are still serving God to this day!
Hundreds of times during my years as a commercial traveller for Swift Canadian and McCormicks Ltd, I picked up hitchhikers on the road and led them to Christ. Years later I have had the privilege of meeting some of them again, still serving the Lord.
Personal Evangelism is still one of the most effective ways of winning souls. The Bible states, “He that winneth souls is wise” (Prov. 11:30). “They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever”. (Dan. 12:3)
The Psalmist declared, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him”. (Psalm 126:5-6)
THE NIGHT COMETH!
Again, our Master said, “I must work the works of him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work”. (John 9:4)
St. Paul asked, “How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things”! (Rom. 10:14-15)
We are doing the best we can to reach lost souls by printed messages (tracts), magazines, books, radio, TV and massive crusades. I still try to do as much personal evangelism as possible everywhere I go. You can do the same! Witness to everyone you can about the love, mercy and judgment of God.
Love your fellowmen and pray for their souls. You can also pray and help support this end-time ministry that has a burden for lost souls!
By the grace of God, we have had the privilege of taking the glorious Gospel of Christ to millions across the world by radio, television, printed messages and huge Gospel crusades. I thank and glorify God for this privilege! And I thank you who have helped us through your prayers and sacrificial gifts! Amen.
Thu, Nov 26, 2015 at 10:13 AM, Rob Wingert <[email protected]:
Dear Rev. Solbrekken,
This letter to you is long overdue. I'm not sure if you will remember, but I'll try anyway.
Better than 20 years ago I was a young producer at ITV Edmonton suffering from terrible back pain that nobody seemed to be able to fix. The pain consumed me night and day.
I recall having to stop over at your church one morning to discuss a bit of TV stuff. It was there that I mustered up the courage to tell you about my pain. (Something I rarely discussed)
You took the time to sit with me and to pray to God with me and for me. Praying that God in his mercy would lift this burden from me. Your prayer to God was powerful and had a sincerity that continues to move me today.
The pain continued for some time yet but I kept believing that God will fix this (when he's ready)
Time went on and the pain continued and I was now becoming very scared that my days here were becoming numbered because of all the pills I was taking just to get through a day's work so I could support my family.
Then, one afternoon, I was at work trying to get comfortable in my chair as my back was really hurting me that afternoon. Sometimes pressing my back against a sharper surface would bring some temporary relief. Well, out of nowhere comes this pop!
And what felt like a small water balloon
bursting in my back. It knocked the wind out of me and I was now
preparing for the inevitable agony about to come my way. But when I caught my
breath, the pain was gone. Gone! And I knew right then and there, I was
healed. No more pills, no more grimacing. Just joy and outright thankfulness
that God finally got to me on his list. I could live again.
During my illness, I learned many lessons. Especially the many elements of true compassion for others. And to be appreciative of what I have and what I was given back.
Reverend Solbrekken, you took the time to pray with and pray for a lost soul like me in a heartfelt way that nobody had ever done for me before. I never forgot that. I will never forget you.
A heartfelt thank you to you Reverend. You helped keep the light on.
I really wanted you to know how it all worked out.
The Bible says: “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for Signs and Wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts which dwelleth in Mount Zion.” (Is. 8:18)
In his Bible next to that verse, D. L. Moody wrote: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do.”
Let’s do everything we possibly can for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, while we still have opportunity to do so!
Pastor Max Solbrekken , June 11, 2022