Sermons

Summary: We are commanded to pray for the Master to send forth harvesters into His harvest fields while we wait for His return. The message is a call for us to fulfil His charge.

“Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, 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.’” [1]

Jesus commanded His followers, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” [MATTHEW 28:19, 20]. We learn this Great Commission early in our journey as followers of the Saviour. Without question, we hear messages instructing us how important it is to obey this command to disciple others. However, too many of our churches fail to disciple people. It is fair to say that most Christians have never knowingly brought another person to faith.

Jesus also taught His disciples to be concerned for those who were hungry. This is a criterion for distinguishing the righteous from the unrighteous when the returning King of Life judges the nations. “Before [the King] will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked, and you clothed me, I was sick, and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me no food, I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me’” [MATTHEW 25:32-45].

Our world has more than 4.5 billion people who are without Christ—these individuals are lost and in danger of eternal damnation. We have lost the concept of what it means to be lost within the modern assemblies. We are not convinced that unsaved people will die and go to hell. We console ourselves that our children are just fine, though they have no heart for the things of God and they are indistinguishable from the world. We are not disturbed that our neighbours and our colleagues are lost.

Worse still, is the fact that we aren’t disturbed by the condition of the hungry and the hurting of our broken world. More than a billion people are on the edge of starvation. We have relegated this teaching to the realm of the social gospel, as though it was of scant importance. Conservative Christians ridicule the liberal churches because they no longer call the lost to repentance so they can feed the hungry; liberal Christians condemn conservative churches because they are focused on the sweet bye-and-bye while neglecting the nasty now-and-now. James has written, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that” [JAMES 2:14-16]? How else can we understand James’ words except to censure our focus on what brings us ease at the expense of serving the Master? Giving a few dollars to the Food Bank or to a missionary cause will not suffice!

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