The Labourers Are Few
THE LABOURERS ARE FEW!
By Rodney W. Francis
“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary (“harassed”) and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest’” (Matthew 9:35-38, NKJV).
These verses of Scripture have troubled me over the years as to why Christians are so reluctant to get involved with Jesus in the gathering in of the harvest. We cannot say that there is no harvest, for there is a harvest of needy souls everywhere we look today. Consider what Jesus also says:
“My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together . . .” (John 4:34-36).
- Our “food” should also to be doing the will of Him Who saved us.
- True Christians are those who are committed to doing the will of God in their lives.
- Jesus has saved us for a specific purpose and that is to be involved in the gathering in of the lost harvest.
- The labourers can only be those Christians who have had a personal and life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ.
- The labourers cannot be the unsaved, for they do not know or understand the message we have to share to bring about salvation and the gathering of the harvest into God’s Kingdom.
THE LABOURERS ARE FEW!
“. . . but the labourers are few”! So much more could be done in the lives of the unsaved harvest if only Christians would quit making excuses and realize that God has called us to be “workers together with Him” (2 Corinthians 6:1). It has been my privilege and joy to be serving the Lord for 61 years. I am so glad that Jesus saved me at 17 years of age, filled me with His Holy Spirit at 18 years of age and called me into His Ministry. I have been preaching the Gospel since I was 18, and it has been a wonderful adventure and walk with Jesus that has amazed me again and again. I have been to countries and places that I would never have gotten to without the Lord’s guidance and have been blessed to gather in a good harvest for God’s Kingdom round the world. Today we are touching multitudes in over 220 nations through The GFM Ministry. The ministry has fully consumed my time over many years, but I have no regrets, as it is so fulfilling to be involved in that which God has ordained for me. All praise to Jesus!
Yes, there have been times of opposition, hardships and trials, but that is life, whether you are a Christian or not. Persecution comes because those serving the devil re-act to those who discern his spirit in them, and so they try and shut us down to avoid themselves coming under conviction. But the promise of God is: “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:4-8).
We need to know that “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). But, through the labourers of Jesus actively working to gather in the harvest those unsaved people can be a real harvest for Jesus. Remember, that we were all like that once. But through the love and grace of Jesus Christ we were born-again by the Holy Spirit and came to know Jesus in reality. Hallelujah! How did you, how did I, get saved in the first place? Someone either witnessed to us our need of Jesus, or someone prayed for God to get a hold of us and change us for His glory. They were active labourers endeavouring to gather in a harvest. Praise the Lord for those labourers who witnessed Jesus to us and prayed for us to get saved!
The heart of Jesus is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). That should be the Christian’s heart also.
So, why is there such a reluctance for Christians to become labourers with Jesus and gather in the harvest for and with Him? Something needs to change in the hearts of many professing Christians, so they can become active in being obedient to “the heavenly vision” (see Acts 22:14-15; Acts 26:15-19). The negative confession that “I can’t” has to change to that of the Bible: “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
THE LAST COMMISSION OF JESUS
The last commission of Jesus before He returned to His Father in heaven was given to His disciples. At the moment in which He gave that commission His disciples were hard-hearted and unbelieving with regards Jesus having risen from the dead. This is what Jesus told them:
“Go into all the world and preach the Gospel 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 shall follow them that 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.”
So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they (Jesus’ disciples) went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” (Mark 16:14-20).
So, what changed those disciples of Jesus from being hard-hearted and unbelieving?
- They received the infilling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:1-4).
- They received a supernatural power into their lives that transformed them into committed and obedient labourers for Jesus and went out and started to gather in a great harvest for Him.
- Notice also that the Lord went with them and worked together with them. Hallelujah! He is the same today!
- He is looking for faithful and obedient Christians that are filled with the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead so He can work with and confirm their words with signs following.
- Are you willing?
- Are you available?
- Jesus is looking for labourers to work with Him to gather in the harvest for Him.
WHERE TO START
Where does one start to get more involved in the gathering in of the harvest? Jesus told us to “pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:38). If you read on into Matthew Chapter 10 you will see that those who prayed were the ones Jesus sent forth. Through prayer they demonstrated a willingness to be involved in reaping the harvest. Prayer is not only expressing to the Lord our desire, but it is also a time when we can listen to what He is saying to us, after which we can follow what He asks of us and become a greater worker with Him. To truly know the will of God for our life it is vital that we get to know His voice, for He is the One Who leads and guides us into all truth. He will guide us into being involved in that which is dearest to His heart for us. It may be that God will lead you to get involved in an already established effective ministry, or He may guide you into starting a new ministry that will fulfil the desires of your heart to fulfil the will of God. The big thing is to be willing to do what the Lord asks of you. Keep listening to Him. And then obey! God bless you