THE CHALLENGE OF ‘UPREACH’ AND
By Rodney W. Francis
I have been preaching for 51 years. The GFM Ministry has been in operation for 47 of those years. I have been privileged to travel to numbers of nations, to preach to thousands of people, and to see something of the needs that exist out there in the world. Yet, right now, I feel more burdened for the lost than I have in all those previous years. I carry a concern that the Christian Church has to rise more to the challenge of getting the Gospel out to the ends of the earth. We have to have a greater outward focus if we are going to obey the words of Jesus when He told us to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover” (see Mark 16:15-20 ).
Multitudes of people are daily walking in a lost darkness, without Jesus Christ in their lives, and without hope. Multitudes are in the valley of decision! Can anything be done for those still outside the Kingdom of God? Can we . . . Can I do anything to reach the lost in these days? Yes! Yes, we can . . . and we must! We who are called Christians have a divine obligation to preach, publish and make known the Gospel . . . in all the world . . . to every creature! This is the vision and burden of the Lord. And that vision must become our vision and burden more and more; so much so that wedo something about it. Christians must become more convinced that we do indeed hold the keys and answers to this generation’s great need. The Gospel preached brings salvation, healing and hope to the spirits of those who believe. Most problems cannot be solved without the spiritual input of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The first step to doing something about the great need in the world today is for Christians to strengthen their ‘Upreach.’ In other words, to come to grips with God ~ to have such a daily walk and experience with God through Jesus His Son, that we may KNOW HIM and HIS POWER in our own lives. For God to be able to do a real work through us, He must first be able to do a real workwithin us! As we reach up to God daily He will work within us. The Bible declares: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8 ). It is as we draw near to God daily (Upreach) and give God time to work within us that we are made more aware of our responsibilities in the cause of Christ. Upreach will give us the knowledge of His will concerning our lives (and don’t we need it today). If we are too busy to get alone with Jesus, then we are too busy! Our modern world has produced so many “time-saving” things, yet the number one excuse of most is: “I just don’t get time for this or that any more.” This is heard far too often amongst the people of God. Let the Bible speak: “See then that you walk circumspectly (“accurately, pointedly”), not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 ).
Christian believer . . . it is time to get alone with God, and to get a vision of the right values in this passing life here below. Time is running out for this old world. It is time to be fully engaged in doing the will of Him Who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. Let us repair the broken-down altars of the Lord by giving time to prayer and Bible reading daily. The lack of ‘Upreach’ in the life of a Christian causes us to limit the power of God in so many avenues of our life. Too often we limit His provision, limit His ability through us, limit the promises of His Word. One of the sins of God’s people in Old Testament days was they “limited the Holy One of Israel”(Psalm 78:41 ). We can be very guilty of this very same thing today. A renewed ‘Upreach’ in daily contact with Christ Jesus will help to remedy this. A right ‘Upreach’ will make Jesus Christ more real to you than your best earthly friend. “Seek, and you will find” (Matthew 7:7 ).
The second step in being used of God to bring light to those who still sit in darkness is for us to be willing to get actively engaged in ‘Outreach’ ~ in the spreading of the Good News of Jesus to all in need. If our motives are right in our ‘Upreach’ then sooner or later we shall hear the voice of Jesus say: “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest” (John 4:34-38 ). All around the world right now the fields are white unto harvest; hungry hearts are waiting for the servants of the Lord to bring them the Great Message of Salvation, Hope, Holy Spirit Ministry and Deliverance in the name of Jesus Christ! Each born-again believer can help to do something about reaping that harvest, or we can let it die, never to be reaped. If we do nothing, then their blood will be required at our hands (see Ezekiel 3:17-21 ). This should sober us up no end! Never will the opportunities be so great as they are right now! Never are you more able to do something about winning the lost to Jesus! “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your heart . . .” (Hebrews 3:15 ). Make yourself more available today!
These are days of great victories for those who will be willing and prepared to obey God, and to work with Him . . . to those who will be so caught-up in ‘Upreach’ and ‘Outreach’ that every persecution will only cause us to “Rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5 , especially verse 41). The fields are white unto harvest. Multitudes are stillin the valley of decision, without God and without hope! Let us be workers together in such a way that we shall fulfil the calling of God on our lives, being His living witnesses (Acts 1:8 ), bringing glory to His name, and having the joy of knowing there is rejoicing in heaven over every sinner that repents!It is our privilege, responsibility and duty to see that all in our generation hear the Gospel at least once. I say it can be done ~ as long as we will let God have His way in our lives!God is using all who are useable. Have an ‘Upreach’ that produces vision for ‘Outreach’! Let us make these days the very best of our lives to the glory of Jesus! If you cannot go you can pray and give ~ but let our focus be the winning of the lost while there is still time.