Taking the Word to the World

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“Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37).

We’ve heard that dozens of times. The harvest is plenteous. The laborers are few. Contained in those words is a gigantic opportunity: the big harvest. The problem is He needs workers. Because there are lots of lost and only a few seekers a strategy for world evangelism is paramount. Therefore, here is what you do:

the Gospel of Matthew

Image by humberpike via Flickr

Call:

“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matthew 10:1). Because there are lots of lost and only a few seekers, God calls. Entire lessons and books have been written on the subject of the call so we won’t linger with that. The thing to note here is to reiterate that for those He calls, He gives them power. He enables, equips, and empowers His workers to reap the harvest. A call birthed in prayer and fasting, releases spiritual authority and power.

Go:

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 10:5-7).

The obvious thing about being sent forth is that someone has to “go.” Jesus carefully directed them to the lost. They were to start with the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” His plan for evangelism started at home but eventually worked its way around the globe (Acts 1:8). They began in their Jerusalem but didn’t stop there. It is always God’s plan to go the distance; to the uttermost parts of the earth. Someone has rightly said that the light that shines the furthest shines the brightest at home. Some else quipped, “Don’t send a lamp to the mission field that will not burn at home.”

In reading this verse and verses that follow it, it is obvious that Jesus had a strategic, focused, plan.

Declare:

It wasn’t enough to just go. “As you go, preach.” We are to proclaim the good news of the gospel. The kingdom is at hand: it is drawing close to people and bringing them to a point of decision. This is called a “truth encounter” and should be an integral, pivotal part of every Gospel presentation.

Paul testified that he came “declaring unto you the testimony of God” but also in “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:1-4). Those two aspects of presenting Jesus Christ to a lost world work hand-in-hand.

Demonstrate:

“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6).

“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matthew 10:1).

“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” (Matthew 9:35).

A “power encounter” is a demonstration of God’s power and His acts. It manifests the power of God through answering immediate needs and (at times) through working signs, miracles, and wonders that will confirm the Word of God. These demonstrations may help people make a step of faith. They authenticate the message that has been preached. As signs they evoke awe and astonishment. As miracles they display supernatural power.

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