Study text Matt 9:36-3, Luke10:1-2.
Matthew 9:35 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.
9:36 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.
9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Luke 10:1 After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
I would start this session with explanation of the following key terms;
- THE GOSPEL
- UNREACHED PEOPLE’S GROUP
- A CONTINUAL CALL TO ALL
We take the Gospel of Christ in very simple form without conflicting it with doctrinal exegesis. The gospel we preach is the same gospel that the prophets of old preached in prophecies ‘Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 8:8 And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.’
This same gospel was preached by John the Baptist ‘Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’
Also the same gospel that Jesus preached
After Christ was glorified in heaven, He finished His redemption plans for us by translating us into the reality of this Kingdom.
Even in our daily lifes, the kingdom manifest as we read in Romans 14:17 …; the kingdom of God is in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Our task in preaching the Gospel therefore is to let others know about this mystery of translation; calling them to respond to the love, to believe as we share the simple GOSPEL as summarized in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
While preaching this way, you are careful not to initiate arguments.
Is the Holy Spirit that does the work of reasoning together.
Yours is to proclaim the Gospel like an Oracle of God.
Yes, preach to unbelievers-teach believers as much as possible.
UNREACHED PEOPLE’S GROUP
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
The term nations as used in Matthew 28:19, refers to ethnic or ethnolinguistic groups not necessary countries. A given country could have more than 1000 nations.
Nigeria for instance have about 500 nations.
A people’s group is distinguished by their unique language, culture, worldview, and ways of behaving.
An unreached people’s group refers to an ethnic group without an indigenous, self-propagating Christian church movement. Any ethnic or ethnolinguistic nation without enough Christians to evangelize the rest of the nation is an “unreached people group”.
IN other word’s, is a group of people that have very few if any, local believers such that they can’t reach the rest of their own people group without outside help. Such persons have also not had the Gospel expressed in their own way.
Many mission researchers describe an unreached people group using a percentage. They say they are “unreached” if there are less than 2% Evangelical Christians among them.
In Sowers, a place is described as unreached if there’s no at least two structures for any of the evangelical churches.
A CONTINUAL CALL TO ALL
We often speak of the clarion call but this is even more sharp and intentional. The continual call to the Christians youth is intentional on the young, intentional on labourers; compassionate and skilled evangelicals, intentional on ardent intercessors, etc.
The trumpet keep sounding, calling out on every one with strength in his bones like the Gideon trumpet. The sound is loud and clear. Is a call to action.
Now you may have the following questions to ask;
- Are there people’s group yet unreached?
- Why should we concern ourselves about the unreached?
- Is it still possible to take the Gospel to all of the unreached places?
- What Are Their Unmet Needs?
- Who is a labourer?
- Is everyone called to be a labourer?
- How will the Christians youths intervene?
Are there people’s group yet unreached?
Yes, there are many unreached people’s group
Ever heard of the 10/40 Window?
The 10/40 Window is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia approximately between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude in the world map. The 10/40 Window is often called “The Resistant Belt” and includes the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.
Approximately 5.09 billion individuals residing in approximately 8,676 distinct people groups are in the 10/40 Window. 5,942 (68.5%) of these people groups are considered unreached and have a population of 3.10 billion. This means approximately 61% of the individuals in the 10/40 Window live in an unreached people group.
Source: Global Mapping International.
The 10/40 Window is home to some of the largest unreached people groups in the world.
The 10/40 Window has several important considerations: 1., the historical and Biblical significance;
2., the least evangelized countries;
3, the unreached people groups and cities;
4, the dominance of three religious blocs;
5, the preponderance of the poor;
6, the strongholds of Satan within the 10/40 Window.
Historical and Biblical Significance
The first and most fundamental reason why followers of Jesus Christ ought to focus on the 10/40 Window is because of the Biblical and historical significance of this area. The Bible begins with the account of Adam and Eve placed by God in the heart of what is now the 10/40 Window. God’s plan, expressed in Genesis 1:26, was that mankind should have dominion over the earth, subduing it fully.
However, Adam and Eve sinned against God and forfeited their right to rule. Man’s sinful behavior increased until God intervened and judged the earth with a cataclysmic flood. Then came man’s futile attempt to establish new dominion in the building of the great Tower of Babel. That effort, which also occurred in the heart of the 10/40 Window, was an open defiance against God. Once again, God reached forth His hand in judgment. The result was the introduction of different languages, the scattering of earth’s people, and the formation of nations.
The billions of people who live in the 10/40 Window have suffered not only the ravages of poverty and disease, they have also been kept from the transforming power of the Gospel. They are poignant examples of the truth expressed in 2 Corinthians 4:4, which states that “the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Why should we concern ourselves about the unreached?
These considerations are examples of what Jesus saw in our text when He said they are like sheeps without shepherd and so He was moved with compassion. The same compassion and passion is expected of us. In fact, it should be in our prayer points. Because this is not what our body’s crave. Yet no one taketh this upon himself. God impacts it strong in our hearts and works in our will to do His good pleasure.
At this point, let’s pause and pray
Enburden me with a compassion for the lost souls!
Particularly in Sowers, the unreached is our concern.
We understand that every nation must be represented in heaven.
We understand that the glorious second coming of our Lord awaits the spreading of the Gospel to every nation.
We understand God’s love for all.
We understand the Grace that saved us, how we are privileged to have the salvation that we now enjoy.
We understand that everyone deserves an opportunity to have the Gospel properly presented to them.
Is it still possible to take the Gospel to all of the unreached places?
It is not just possible, it is a task that must be carried out by us-man.
N/B: Taking the Gospel to the unreached is not a matter to be taken casually, on a loose note, it should be a matter of life and death.
Like Jesus did, seeing the multitude scattered like sheeps without shepherd—watch the next thing He called them—RIPED HARVEST.
We too should begin to view these group with a positive mindset.
Actually, the 10/40 Window often called “The Resistant Belt” which includes the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists are not the most unripe places.
Instead, they are the most ripped harvest. Their presentation as resistant is only but an agitation calling forth for labourers..
The more resistant they become, the more ripe they are…
What Are Their Unmet Needs?
The needs of the unreached people group ranges from physical, political to spiritual.
There is needs of gospel materials in their culture and languages, needs for peace and political stability, there are needs for friendly policies.
But above all, there are needs for Labourer “the shortage of labourers has not been more pronounced than it is in our generation. We could still restate the words of Jesus …The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
The most pressing needs is labourers!
Let’s pause and pray..
send forth labourers into your harvest…
Who is a labourer?
The labourer are few because not every Christian is a Labourer, not even every pastor is a labourer. Some missionaries are not even labourers. Is ridiculous, but it’s true. The labourers are few.
A labourer is someone who is skilled in his profession. someone who works, or toils. Like I previously hinted-being a laborer is beyond casually sharing the Word. A laborer sees his job surmounted even before putting in the sickle.
He surmounts obstacles, sieves out the challenges of weed and chaff to bring in the harvest. i.e: he does everything to bring in the harvest.
one of our uncles’ in Sowers often uses a Palm Winer tapper to explain a laborer. The Palm-winet tapper could climb a very tall Palm tree effortlessly.
Such struggle free and satisfying experience is a typical reality of a skilled labourer.
THE SKILLED LABOURER
There are skills common with every labourer. Of most necessary include;
- A RIGHT MOTIVE and KNOWLEDGE
- SPIRIT OF TEAMNESS
- FAITH THAT DOES NOT GIVE UP
- A HELPED MOTIVE/ COMPASSIONATE/LOVE
- DEPEND ON THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ALL
Prayer is a great key for evangelism. Praying as an evangelist ranges from interceeding for souls, being moved with compassion to see the end of errors, like some doom conditions in the life of people around us. Such prayers open the door for evangelism
A labourer is a die-hard evangelist.
📍A RIGHT MOTIVE and KNOWLEDGE
For instance, knowing that the harvest is ripe.
Knowing that every nation deserves the mercies of God.
Knowing that everyone is a potential believer.
📍SPIRIT OF TEAMNESS
A labourer understands the place of others, the unrivaled value of every role, delegates properly and goes out to mobilize for all the possible available resources.
📍FAITH THAT DOES NOT GIVE UP
Mission outreach is a work of faith.
Most times, when you are mobilizing for missions, it is hard to conclusively tell who will come. The faces very likely to your mind may come up with cogent, inexcusable reasons why they would not be able to go for the outreach.
Those times, you need a Faith to know that once a mission date is fixed, having mobilized, one thing is sure is that there are people that will come. And these are actually the people God need to make the outreach successful…(The Gideon armies principle).
📍A HELPED MOTIVE/ COMPASSIONATE/LOVE
But then, why would you have to do all these?
Because you understand the Great Mandate. You understand the Great Commission. Because you understand the terror of hell. You understand how all man deserves an opportunity. You understand the solution and the national peace that the salvation of mankind in all creeds will bring. Etc.
It is pertinent to always pulse and check your motives and Praying God to help your motives and set your heart.
This is necessary also in the time of challenges and trails. The offense could come. Then you would need to decide to focus on the common goal of reaching out to the lost souls, prioritizing it to the challenges.
Once again, always pause to verify your motives while at the same time praying God to help you. Remember until Jesus helped Peter, his zeal and devotion remained questionable.
📍 DEPEND ON THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ALL
Of course, in mission work ,we are co-laborers with God.
📍To mention but a few….
Is everyone called to be a laborer?
The great commission reads thus; Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:19).
The command is Go.
There’s no option for stay.
Somebody said: if there should be a need for a call, it should be a call to stay. Till that call-the standing order is GO.
How will the Christians youths intervene?
The Bible describes our role on earth as LIGHTS and SALT.
We are to go into the world with our diver’s giftings, skills, and GRACE.
We are to do this cautiously having in our minds the task for to make known the knowledge of the Glory of our God to all creations in all nations. And as much as when possible by deliberately reaching out.
As concerns our occasional outreach, as Sowers-we make every effort to target our missionary effort to the unreached. We have Faith that the Gospel would surely prevail in due time in various places where it is thriving now.
So we concentrate our effort in places where it’s yet to be planted.