During these last days we can see that the signs of Jesus’ second coming are happening all around us in rapid number. However, Christ’s disciples are not to just be waiting for His coming, but rather we are to be out working in the harvest field of souls, co-laboring with Christ (1 Corinthians 3:9). Today’s sermon is directed at inspiring future leaders to rise up and fulfill their call in the ministry!
1. THE TIME OF JESUS’ COMING IS NEAR
Matthew 24:1-14, “1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
- FALSE CHRISTS (vs.4-5): Hundreds all over the world, with Apollo Quiboloy in the Philippines, being the largest.
- WARS & RUMORS OF WARS (vs. 6-7a): Over 120 major wars and uprisings since World War II.
- FAMINES (v. 7b): 850 million people starving with 1.2 billion living in extreme poverty.
- EARTHQUAKES (v. 7b): “Between 1900 and 2004, the average yearly rate of quakes of magnitude 8 and larger was 0.65, Lay told Live Science. In the past 10 years, that rate jumped to 1.8 — an increase of almost a factor of 3, he said.”
- CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION (v. 9): Each month on average 322 Christians are martyred (3,864 a year), 214 churches and properties are destroyed, and 772 acts of violence against are done against Christians (abuse, arrest, rape, etc.).
- TURNING AWAY (v. 10): The numbers of Christians and churches is reaching record lows in both Europe and America.
- INCREASE OF WICKEDNESS (v. 12): Abortion, homosexuality, and violence.
- GOSPEL PREACHED TO ALL NATIONS (v. 14): The gospel is reaching the 10/40 window with missionaries, TV, and the internet!
2. THE HARVEST IS GREAT, BUT THE LABORERS ARE FEW
Matthew 9:35-38, “35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
- DO WHAT JESUS DID: During these end times we should be doing the work of Jesus- proclaiming and healing, v. 35.
- SEE PEOPLE HOW JESUS DID: We need to always see all people (even our enemies) with God’s eyes of compassion and love- as harassed and helpless, ready to be harvested for Jesus, v. 36-37a.
- PRAY LIKE JESUS FOR LABORERS: When we truly see and do things like Jesus, we will remember to always pray like Jesus for laborers in the harvest, vs. 37-38.
Isaiah 6:8, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me.”