Imagine if the fire rescue chief of your city assigned only one firefighter to respond to every fire and assist every medical emergency in the entire city. What would be the consequences if a police chief hired only one police officer to police crime, respond to violence, and help victims? What would happen to you during your time of sickness if there was only one doctor to see all the patients in town? In every situation you would exclaim that the job is bigger than any one person can handle. Because all of these organizations know this, they employ many people to get involved in the work.
Similarly, God gives us jobs that are bigger than one person can do. God gave Moses the job of judging Israel, yet he wisely appointed another 70 to help him. God gave Jesus the world to reach, and He called disciples and built a church. God has called your pastor to reach your city, and he should have hundreds of Christians yearning to help that mission.
Simply put, the evangelization of the world is bigger than any one person could every do. The Lord Jesus Christ intends for every member to be involved in the mission of the church. He wants you to contribute to the work of ministry. Jesus expended His life ministering to those who were out of touch with the eternal realities that hell awaited sinners yet heaven awaited the repentant. Jesus desired for others to enter into the labors of evangelism, reaching the lost with the message of the gospel. Therefore, it is vital that Christians spend their lives in the work of evangelism as modelled by Jesus Christ.
However, if you are going to become involved in the mission of evangelism then you must acknowledge your evangelistic reality.
When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him…And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. – Matthew 8:1; 9:35-36
Matthew chapter 8 opens and chapter 9 closes with a focus on “the multitudes” that came to Jesus for ministry. This fast paced narrative section of the gospel portrays Jesus’s sense of urgency to reach the diverse needs of the multitudes. Upon entering the city, he was met by the multitudes. The conclusion of one personal interaction was met with the beginning of a new interaction with other needy people. He spent all day ministering in Capernaum before departing on a ship just to be met by more multitudes in another city (8:34). The next day Jesus got back into the ship, sailed back to Capernaum, and was immediately met by the multitudes again (9:1). The day must have seemed like déjà vu as scores of people came to meet with Jesus. Everyone from John the Baptist’s disciples, to a synagogue leader, to the demon-possessed, to the blind came to Jesus one after another. Shockingly, this type of hectic day was apparently the norm for Jesus’s ministry as Matthew revealed in 9:35-36. Jesus was known to have traveled extensively in order to preach, to teach, and to reach the needy people. He compassionately surveyed their condition of helplessness and neediness and then made a startling declaration.
Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few… – Matthew 9:37
His observed the unmistakable evangelistic reality: THE HARVEST TRULY IS PLENTEOUS. The job of evangelism is too big for one man to do alone, so Jesus challenged his followers to open their eyes to the great size of the harvest waiting for more reapers.
Many Christians have a misconception of the mission of the church. The purpose of the church is not to provide exciting, “Christianized” programs for adults and children; it is not to host fellowships and musical performances that replicate modern social gathers; it is not designed for the “what’s in it for me” crowd. The purpose of the church is to engage in the worship of God. Where the worship of God does not exist in the world, Christians should sense the call to action – the call to evangelism. A church service is not a show; it is a call to action, and evangelism is the main event. The eternal purpose of God was, and is, to redeem lost persons (Ephesians 3:11).
Our world today is in need of more reapers to enter into the harvest that waits in our cities and communities. When Jesus spoke the Great Commission, the world’s population was less than 300 million. Today the world’s population is nearly 7 billion. Lost people in our world are increasing ten times faster than churches are growing. Yet approximately one billion non-Christians can be evangelized by near-neighbor Christians, those Christians that live close by and could share the gospel without leaving their communities.
Consider the thousands, perhaps even the hundreds of thousands, of people that live in your city. In my hometown of Tampa, there are over 350,000 people living here, many of which are without Christ, without any church affiliation, without any religious interest, and – most importantly – without any hope in this world or eternity to come. It is clear to see that in Tampa, the harvest truly is plenteous. How large is the harvest in your city? No matter where you live, there are multitudes of people who are without Christ and without hope. These multitudes must be reached with the gospel!
If the plenteous harvest is to be reaped, we need everyone to understand the harvest is plenteous! If the world of lost sinners is to be saved, we need everyone to realize that the need is immense! Jesus believed that there were multitudes of people who were lost without Him. Have you come to such a realization? If not, you must realize how desperate the multitudes are for you to take the message of the gospel to them! You must acknowledge the evangelistic reality that people are lost without Jesus, and that we are called to reach them with the gospel.
If you are ready to acknowledge the evangelistic reality that the harvest is plenteous, then you must now accept your evangelistic responsibility…