“……………..And he who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30)
Historically, the modern movements to reach the ends of the earth with God’s blessing have occurred in waves. The first wave, championed by William Carey in the late 1700s, washed upon the seacoasts of the globe’s continents. The second era, spearheaded by Hudson Taylor about 1865, thrust scores of bold and daring missionaries to the inland regions of the nations.
The Great Commission is the same yesterday and today, just as how the World remains unchanged (Mark 13:31) , though its challenges and the world scenario have changed. The harvest field isn’t primarily rural anymore. Over 50% of the world’s population now live in cities, and many times, displaced people groups are more open to the Gospel than when they had lived in their rural homelands.
Many are discouraged about the increasing encroachment of evil. But where the darkness of sin is abounding, grace is much more abounding (Romans 5:20). What God is doing in today’s harvest field echoes Habakkuk 1:5 “Look among the nations! Observe! Wonder! Be amazed! For I am doing something in your day you would not believe if you were told!”
Though fewer number, there are those who follow Paul’s example of “going where Christ is not name.” They have set bold, adventurous, aggressive goals to penetrate the final frontiers. “I have fully preached the Gospel in these parts…; I’m going to Spain- which, in Paul’s day, was the end of the earth! (Romans 15) .
Forward-thinking missionaries are taking the Mark 16 aspect of the Great Commission: Go! Preach! To every person who has not heard the Good News.
On the other hand, there is a second army of evangelical workers whose gifting leads them to follow the Matthew 28 command of the Great Commission: Go! Teach! Where daring evangelists of previous generations preached the Gospel of Peace, there are today literally thousands of new “Macedonians” standing on the shores of their nations calling, “Come over and help us. Teach us the Word in such a way that we can teach others” (See Acts 16:9 and 2 Timothy 2:2). It was Timothy, Titus, Erastus and others that Paul sent to “set in orders that things that need attention and appoint elders in every city” (Titus 1:5).
God will accomplish His historic purpose to “make disciples of all the nations” –the people groups of the world (See Matthew 28:19). At the end of time, Christ will be exalted with the song: “By Your Blood You have purchased for God men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).So finishing the task is only a matter of when and through whom. For this to happen, it has to start with the Acts 1 principle of having a local application of the Great Commission. Be witnesses! In Jerusalem! Judea! and Samaria!.
And to accomplish His historic purpose, God will use a huge harvest force of goers and senders. As Mordecai and Esther, “Who knows but that you have been brought to the Kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
Throughout the Word, men and women fulfilled His will for their lives and found their place in God’s Hall of Faith (See Hebrews 11). Moredecai’s question, reverberating down through the corridors of time, heard clearly by some generations, ignored by others, is sounding a challenge to us today- a challenge that we have been called to the Kingdom for an hour such as this! It is time to give serious, prayerful consideration: Has God placed a call on your life to Be Witnesses! Great Commission with a local church emphasis.
Foe “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But how will they call upon Him if they have not believed in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard of Him? And how shall they hear of Him without someone to tell them? And how can anyone spread the Good News unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:13-15).
We at Greater Grace Fellowship Church are involved in all the three aspects of the Great Commission. However we witness the Gospel three time a week in different parts of the City. It has been challenging, but more than that, a rewarding experience, because we see the Faithfulness of God every time we go out to evangelize.
If you want to experience the joy of Christian life, as Charles Spurgeon said, Be a Soul-Winner. The harvest is truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37).