Accelerating the harvest
Text: Mathew 9:35-38 Key Verse: Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (KJV)
After Jesus rose from the grave, according to Mark Chapter 16, He appeared unto the eleven disciples as they were eating, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them, which had seen Him after He was risen. He immediately gave them a command in Mark 16:15 saying, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
The Command in Mark 16:15, which Jesus gave to His disciples is the Great Commission Mandate, which is also given to all believers in Christ. The Great Commission Mandate is “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
It is very clear from Mark Chapter 16, that the harvest simply refers to souls scattered all over the world, which need to be saved and brought to God. Unsaved souls scattered all over the world are the harvest waiting to be realised. It is not a physical harvest of crops, but a spiritual harvest of souls. It is not a botanical or plantation harvest, but misiological harvest.
In Mathew Chapter 9, Jesus spoke of a spiritual harvest waiting to be reaped. As Jesus travelled, “he saw the crowds, (and) he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Matthew 9:36–38).
The need of the hour is to accelerate the 21st Century harvest of souls into the kingdom of God. Something must be done quickily to hasten the Great Commission Mandate given to all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not a one-man business, but a work that must be accomplished by all believers in Christ all over the world. You are saved by Grace to save others.
As a believer in Christ, you must have an unquenchable passion for souls. You must have a burning desire to go out to the field, preach the good news and reconcile sinners back to God. Jesus committed unto all Believers in Christ the ministry of reconciliation and that is reconciling men back to God (Mathew 5:18).
To “accelerate the harvest” means to fast track our mission endeavor, both as a Church and individuals; to pursue the unfinished task; to pursue the great commission mandate and to fast track the last leg relay runner.
In a relay race, members of the team take turns completing parts of the racecourse. The first runner runs with the baton in his hand and gives it to another, until it gets to the last leg relay runner. Believers in Christ are the last leg relay runners and the baton “The Great Commission Mandate” has been handed over to us to finish the task. I see the Holy Spirit handing over the baton to the Church saying “Accelerate, go as fast as you can before the rapture.”
But there is a major challenge to accelerating the harvest as already identified by our Lord Jesus Christ, and it is that the labourers are few. Jesus said in Mathew 9:37, “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;” (KJV).
One may begin to wonder why is Jesus saying that the labourers are few, putting into consideration the teeming population of Pastors in our world today. The hard truth is that though there are many pastors, but few labourers. Many Pastors have abandoned their calling in pursuit of mundane things of this world. I hear God saying, “Wanted, Wanted, Wanted labourers in the mission fields.” We must go to set the captives free; we must go set the bound loose; we must go to heal the sick and we must go to harvest souls into the Kingdom of God.
Jesus told us to pray to the Lord of the harvest for more labourers (Matthew 9:38). We should pray about all aspects of the spiritual harvest process, including preparation of the missionaries. God will use us in His fields, each according to our gifts and the need of the moment, as we trust Him.
Today’s Nugget: It is not a physical harvest of crops, but a spiritual harvest of souls. Prayer: Lord, help me a labourer in the mission field.
Prayer line: Send text only to 09078154261.
Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Nigeria
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