Our first reading is from the book of Mathew 9:35 The bible says that ‘Jesus went about all the cities and villages teaching in their Synagogue preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every sickness and diseases among the people but when he saw the multitude, He was moved with compassion because they were weary and scattered like sheep without a Sheppard. 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’. Jesus was moved with compassion because there are so many people to be reached, too much harvest but the labourers are few and in order for this work to be done, we need to pray to the father to send labourers. I believe that you and I are the product of this prayer, you and I are the product of the foundation that Christ laid. We are the answers to that prayer because we are the labourers that God has sent. I have realised in my 29 years of being saved that if there is one area of our life in the faith that many of us find not very exciting, a bit awkward, that we like to excuse ourselves from is evangelism. There are many of us that are not just into this ‘evangelism’ thing. So I would like to start with my own confession by saying that in my early years in the faith, evangelism was one of the things I don’t like doing because it just does not fit my personality, reason being that I was a very withdrawn and shy person. To engage someone in conversation was something I am just not very keen to do. I am sure that many of us find ourselves in this same position. But I had to plug myself to a structure that enables me to get comfortable doing it. It was very refreshing for me to find myself making that gradual movement from complete lack of interest to a point where I was willing to put myself in that situation and be able to reach out and preach the gospel.
What I am trying to say is that it does not matter who or where you are, God has resourced you for this assignment. You need to recognise and prepare your heart that this is a requirement from God. Regardless of the shyness you experience, in meeting people, I want you to know that the spirit of God knows and is willing to help you take gradual steps from where you are to where you ought to be. What is God’s expectation for us as far as our assignment on earth is? The bible says in 2nd Peter 3:9 Jesus said there is need for more labourers and you are the answer to that. God is not willing that any body should perish but that all should come to repentance. Romans 1-:13 says that whosoever that call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. So salvation is for all, for whosoever, from wherever that believes! And it is achieved in the name of Jesus Acts 4:12. Jesus came to offer salvation to everyman, to whosoever that believes. Every single person in this world is loved by God John 3:16. So everyone is a candidate of God’s love and we need to understand that we have been sent to preach the gospel to the entire world 2nd Corinthian 5:17. This means that God has given us the ministry of reconciliation so that we can reconcile others to Him through us. We are ambassadors for Christ; we represent the kingdom of God on this earth 2nd Corinthians 5:20. You are a diplomat of God on the earth, once you are saved; you represent the kingdom of heaven. So while you are here on earth, you enjoy what is called diplomatic immunity. For example, the ambassador of UK to Nigeria though in Nigeria, enjoys the immunity that applies to diplomats and they enjoy the resources of their country. When the bible says that you are an ambassador, meaning that you represent the kingdom of God here on earth and the reason you are still here is because you are sent on a diplomatic mission; you are on assignment. What is our assignment? Our assignment is reaching out to the unsaved and reconciling them to God, we are sent to preach the message of the kingdom of God. Every ambassador is expected to drive and defend the interest of their country. And so, as a believer of Christ, God expects you to be a representative of heaven in conduct and in speech because you are on assignment. An ambassador does not allow the prevailing circumstances in the nation he or she has been sent to, to overwhelm him or her or the prevailing thinking to erode his own values because he represents a kingdom. You must recognise that the parameters by which you measure your fulfilment and success are not things that you determine by yourself but by the person who sent you.
The beautiful thing about the word of God apart from being our counsel and the will of God, the word of God also enables us to know exactly the expectations that God has from us, the word of God helps us to appreciate and know the parameters by which we are to be judged and give s us opportunity to see how exactly we are supposed to live our lives to that we enjoy success. What does it mean to make Jesus your Lord and Saviour; it means it is no longer about your will but His will for you. A prove that you have given your life to Christ is to allow Him to live through you. You cannot say you have given your life to Christ but you are living your life the way you like. You cannot call someone your Lord and when He gives you an instruction, you will not obey. He cannot be your Lord and you will be unwilling to follow His instructions! So as a Christian, we receive our directives or instructions from God’s words. We need to understand that so that we can apply ourselves to the things of God. God is in the business of soul winning. This entire earth and the only reason why it is still in existence are because of souls; God is all about souls. How are you preparing yourself and making yourself useful for God? Because all that is happening on earth is God preparing humanity for eternity so you should have a strategy that goes beyond your life on earth. You should labour towards a reward, towards a recognition that there is a price ahead 1st Corinthians 9:26 by keeping your self or body under. The most important thing to God is souls. 2nd Timothy 2:3 you want to enter into a world rewarded with eternity, you need to know the rules. So here on earth, we have been deployed for a purpose and we need to be clear that beyond all that we do, God expects us to touch lives, witness to people, evangelise and reconcile men to Him. What He has done is give us platforms and opportunity to interact so that people can see Christ in you. That is God’s agenda and that is why we are still alive!
As I said earlier, one of the reasons why we feel reluctant to preach or witness is because when we see people who are bold to do it, we feel intimidated and we just shut is out that it is not a thing for us. The truth of the matter is that God expects you to witness starting from what you can do. It might just be given someone a tract or starting a conversation or sharing what you believed. God wants you to allow Him to touch others through your life. It is not so much about passion; it is about commitment. In 1st Corinthian 9:16… what Paul was saying here is that necessity is laid on us to preach the gospel’… Meaning that is a compulsory course. Preaching the gospel is not optional, it is compulsory. Jesus said Go into the world; that was His parting instruction to us. To say ‘it’s not my thing’ is to deceive ourselves. It is compulsory and one of the things God is going to ask us about. And it is important for us to recognise the urgency so that it will drive our commitment. Think about this; if live is for us to only do things we are passionate about, many of us would not have gone to school but the necessity was laid on you by your parent. I have never seen anybody who is passionate about writing exams but yet the outcome of exams was for you to demonstrate your comprehension and it qualifies your for the next level. The end of that exam is something good. We like the outcome of it, we like the end result but we don’t enjoy the process yet we subject to it. That is real life, so let us not say I am not an evangelist because I am not called to do so; evangelising is mandatory for everyone. We need to rescue people from darkness; we are the agents that God has sent. God is not going to come down to do it but He is working in us and through us. All of us interact with unsaved people everyday and every week, we have them around us but we behave as if we are going to be around them forever. God is counting on us to reach out to those people; there is no alternative arrangement by heaven. If they are saved, it is you heaven is counting on. God does not have an alternative plan, which is how much trust He has in our ability to get the job done. So preaching the gospel is not a matter of our personal preference, it is not a matter of your interest or how your emotions drive your interest. It is a discipline that we must develop; it is something we must be willing to press into as a responsibility. So wherever you are as a person, you need to say to yourself what steps do I need to take? How do I cross over from where I am? If Jesus is your Lord, you need to be willing to take those steps, you need to be willing to step out of that comfort zone and truly represent His kingdom. So this mandate is top urgent and top priority! There is opportunity for us to take advantage of platforms and development that this dispensation presents us to give speed to the work of God. Hallelujah! So my call to you is to challenge you to begin to ask yourself about what you are going to do to starting from today to engage so that the gospel can be preached through you to those people who are unsaved!