By Vance Drum
On Sunday the Sunset pastor continued our Drawing Near to God series with a message, “Sending Workers.” The text was from Matthew 9:37: “Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Today I want us to think about a big subject—the conversion of Grapeland and Houston County.
Jesus (v36) “had compassion on the crowds….” Jesus had great love for the lost souls who were following him. They were harassed by the devil, by their legalistic Pharisee religious leaders, and by the trials of life. The crowds needed God’s guidance and help.
As lost sheep, they didn’t know where the green pastures and still waters of God’s blessings were. They were hungry, exhausted and lost without the leadership of a good shepherd.
Jesus could not be the shepherd of them all, so he asked his disciples to pray for more workers to be sent into God’s harvest field.
What about today? The world is still harassed and helpless, whipped about and beat down by addictions and sin.
But in 2018, Jesus still loves all people, as he did in the First Century. God made us and God loves us. Today Jesus sends His people, the body of Christ, into the world with the commission of reaping a ripe and plentiful harvest for God.
The pastor made two points: (1) One Gospel; (2) Two Responses.
(1) One Gospel. In v35: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” What to make of this?
Jesus traveled everywhere in Palestine. That took effort. He got tired. So will we. That is our commission. God is our strength.
Jesus went “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.”
The Good News is that the kingdom, the reign of God, has come. When the rule of Jesus comes into your life, that is Good News: release from the devil’s clutches, and the fulfillment of our purpose in life, which is to love God and our neighbor.
There is only one gospel. It is an eternal gospel; it has not changed. It is that God loves us, and sent Jesus to bring us up to God by his dying and rising, and that we may have new life, hope and joy in Him in the midst of our fallen world. God still calls us to be workers in his 2018 field.
(2) Two Responses. The world’s response to the Good News will vary, as it always has, and always will. Some accept the message; others reject. We must not be discouraged by those who reject, but press on, knowing that (Acts 13:48) “all who are appointed for eternal life will believe.” God knows those who are His.
Note: Acts 13, In Antioch, “many … followed Paul and Barnabas…[but] When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying.”
Acts 14, In Iconium, “a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.”
Jesus met a receptive heart in a most unlikely place (John 4), a Samaritan woman who’d led a loose life with five husbands. She believed in Jesus and excitedly brought the whole town to meet him.
But the powerful King Agrippa rejected the message, after Paul told him about Jesus, saying: “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
The self-sufficient, prideful, powerful and unrepentant wicked may not be too interested; but the poor, needy, humble and those who want to do right will come into God’s new and blessed way. It’s our job to let them know. God will bless our efforts.
“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.” [Psalm 113:3]
May God’s people all with one voice praise his holy name this week—our prayer for all of us from Sunset Christian Church.