There is an everlasting missional problem in the world and in the Church of Jesus Christ. This problem has always been and will always be to some varying degree. However this problem can grow through the church’s lethargy or it can shrink due to her actions. This problem has everlasting consequences, both for the positive and negative. On the positive it is this problem that, when identified, stirs up believers into action. On the flip side of that coin however is the very real fact that this problem directly sends millions around the world 70-305 into the outer darkness of hell. The most terrifying facet of this issue is that it falls on man’s shoulder, not God’s. This is our burden to carry not His. This takes the gravity of this current enigma even more alarming. Yet as we will see humanity’s only chance at bringing a resolution to this dilemma is by the grace of God.
By now you may be asking, “What is this problem? And how can we fix it?”
The problem is a simple problem of mathematics. The dilemma is that the number of lost souls ghastly outnumbers the number of laborers to bring in the harvest. Therefore millions upon millions are dying daily without any knowledge of Christ, the gospel, or the atoning sacrifice that was provided for them on Calvary. Romans 1 tells us that creation declares the glory of God so that all are without excuse, yet by creation’s witness alone man rejects God and is condemned to eternal fire and judgment (Romans 1:20-21). Essentially God has given enough revelation
P2090-095 of Himself in creation so that we know He exists but not enough to save us.
The good news of the Gospel is simply that God has given us more revelation. He has displayed more of Himself to us. He has told us what He is like. He has told us His desires and plans. And God has told us who we are to Him and how we can eternally fellowship with Him. This is the Gospel. Jesus came to show us what the Father was like, to reveal Him to us, and to reconcile us back unto Himself.
This is the love of God displayed. This story, the story of the cross, is what has enraptured the hearts of believers all over the globe all throughout history. No matter a person’s culture, ethnicity, language, economic status, or political stance, sinner’s hearts are won over by this story. It pierces every heart and tears every soul asunder the exact same way. That God would die for man, that God would die for me.
Yet currently more than 2 billion people are oblivious to this revelation. They have not heard this story. And chances are that will live their entire life not even having the opportunity to hear this story. These 2 billion will not blatantly reject Christ like the atheist of America, no these 2 billion will never even hear His glorious name.
Here inlays the problem. This is the eternal issue. It is the issue of the cross and the issue of the resurrection alike. It is the issue, the plague, and the dilemma of lost souls. It was this very issue that sent Christ to earth and eventually to the cross. His greatest desire, His greatest longing, and His greatest prayer is that sinful humanity would be reconciled back Him and glorify Him as their Father, Maker, and Redeemer. God desires souls to be saved. He came to save souls.
The interesting thing about this quandary is that we have already been given the answer. The real question is whether or not we will follow the program Christ has laid out for us. The answer is the Church, the answer is us, the answer is you. God’s plan for reaching the lost is through partnership with His Church. God uses and anoints laborers, nothing more, nothing less. He does not use machines, plans, or methods. He uses and anoints laborers to accomplish His will on the earth.
Paul points towards the same issue in Romans 10:14-15 as he asks, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?”
The eternal problem of the Gospel is not the lack of hearers, it is the lack of preachers.
Jesus Himself forewarned us of this problem in Matthew 9:37, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”
Just to prove that this is a long-standing, never ending, issue lets examine the question the Godhead posed in the Old Testament.
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” – Isaiah 6:8
God is looking for preachers. He is scanning the earth for laborers, men and women who will lay down everything so that Christ may have glory and worship in the earth. God, in His divine providence, has left the task of proclamation to us.
However bleak the situation looks Christ has not left us alone or wandering. He has given us the remedy. All is not lost and we are not in this alone. Although the task of proclamation and preaching is our responsibility God has not left alone in it. He has given us His strategy to raise up more laborers in order that more souls may be saved. He details it for us in the very next verse that we looked at in Matthew.
“The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” – Matthew 9:37-38
What is God’s answer to problem of laborers? Pray! If we want to see souls saved how do we start? Pray! We see an area of injustice and want to turn the tables? Pray! The divine remedy to the issue of no laborers is pray. Pray to the Lord of the harvest. Ask Him. Cry out to Him. Entreat Him. Lift up you voice to the sovereign God and implore Him that He would raise up, equip, and send out laborers into the harvest fields of the earth. We do not need to be left wondering what to do. We have very clear instructions on how to release salvation and the will of God on the earth. Pray! God doesn’t need your ideas, your methods, or plans. He needs your prayers. He needs your voice ascending before the throne.
Andrew Murray says that the number of missionaries on the field depends entirely on the extent to which someone obeys that command and prays out the laborers.
The House of Prayer is God’s solution for evangelism. The House of Prayer is step 1 in God’s end time program to see salvation sweep across the entire earth like a wild fire. Prayer is what fuels the mission and the mission is what fuels our prayer. You cannot separate the two. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is missional in it’s purpose and prayerful in it’s origin.
In order so souls to be saved there must be preachers. And in order for there to be preachers there must be someone praying them out. Without the prayer you cannot get the preacher. Laborers are not raised up or sent out on accident. They are thrust into the harvest in answer to prayer. The House of Prayer is the furnace of world evangelism.
“Lord of the Harvest send forth (ekballo) laborers into this region. We implore before Your throne today that you would release salvation all over this region. That you would amplify the voice of your saints and that you would endue them with power from on high. Raise up a witness we ask! And send for laborers into your harvest fields. May we be like a sickle in your mighty right hand.”