The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a massive labor shortage in the USA and other nations. There are many reasons for this, including fear of the virus, fear of the vaccine, mandates, and other causes. However, that is not the labor shortage I am speaking of.
You have probably seen fast-food restaurants closing early, department stores, schools, government, healthcare, and other areas running into many problems due to these work-related issues. Of course, those situations will eventually be alleviated. But there is on labor shortage that has been ongoing for at least two thousand years.
The Laborers Are Few
Matthew 9:37-38 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will send out laborers into His harvest.” MEV
Jesus tells His disciples to ask the Lord of the Harvest, the Father, to send laborers. While we were driving to visit family this past weekend, I came upon miles and miles of white cotton fields, ready to be harvested. Soon the farmers will fire up harvesting equipment and the harvest will be reaped.
Of course, it requires effort on everyone’s part. Then there is the need to fuel the equipment. In the end, the cotton is taken to a gin, where it is separated from the seed and processed.
As I looked at the white fields, waiting to be harvested, I was reminded of Jesus’ words in John 4:35, “ Do you not say, ‘there are yet four months, and then comes the harvest? Listen! I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for the harvest.’
Why The Laborers Aren’t Laboring In God’s Field
There are numerous reasons why we don’t work in the Lord’s field. First, the harvest is the lost, those without the knowledge of Jesus as Lord. They are the ones who have never heard the good news. They are also the hard-hearted who have resisted the gospel. They are without Christ, without salvation, and therefore have no hope. Yet, the time is never more urgent for their salvation. The field is truly white with the harvest of souls. But why aren’t we reaching them?
It’s The Pastor, Evangelist, or Missionary’s Job!
Wrong! No scripture says it is only the work of the five-fold ascension gifted ministers from Ephesians 4:11. It is not just the job of people who move to foreign lands and live among a least-reached people group.
The job of Pastors, Evangelists, teachers, and other like ministers is to equip every believer to do the work of ministry. Yes, you are a minister. If you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, Kingdom, you are a minister of reconciliation to bring others into the Kingdom of God. Jesus sent out twelve to the nations. There were others among His group. They were already sharing their faith long before He was crucified.
The mission of the twelve was to make disciples of nations, and as such, they were fulfilling Israel’s call to be a light to the nations. Later, Paul went to the Gentiles and raised up churches, but he had helpers and established elders in every city. The work quickly spread because the few spread out, and those that they reached, in turn, reached others. They didn’t keep silent. So what is our problem?
Too Busy With Our Own Needs
Often we become inundated with doing life, and as we go about our daily business, we fail to engage people. We are so wrapped up in our own needs that we miss opportunities when they present themselves in front of us.
We fail to pray for the person at Wal-Mart, or even our co-workers. Often we don’t share our faith because we are embarrassed or fearful. We want to be accepted, after all, we need our job. We put our job above God and His commands. We forget who our provider is. So many do not speak out against the evils of the day.
Complacency and Lack of Concern
When we are first born into the Kingdom, we are fully alive and in love with Jesus. We are eager to share the gospel. But soon, the cares of life weigh on us to the point that we don’t pray for the lost. We are not burdened that people are dying with no hope. They die without Jesus and will meet their doom.
Our lack of concern causes us to turn a blind eye to the needs around us. The other thing we hear is people say, “let someone else tell them.” We leave it up to someone else to go, and yet God may have chosen us to go to the streets of some big city here in the USA.
It Is Not Good News If It Doesn’t Reach Them In Time!
1 Corinthians 9:16 MEV “Yes, woe unto me if I do not preach the gospel!’
In Romans 15:20, Paul tells the reader that he sought to go where no one has gone so that he would not build upon another man’s foundation. He was compelled to go. He was under an obligation.
Why should we who have been so blessed keep this gospel for ourselves? Paul even went so far as to say that he had ‘fully’ preached the gospel in all the places where he was sent. The spirit led him, and even when he suffered, was jailed and stoned, he did not stop. We quit if someone gets offended at us just for standing up for the gospel.
No matter what happened, or who opposed him, Paul was steadfast,and he drew strength from the Lord. We must yield to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and share our faith. Likewise, there are those of you who God has singled out to go to the least-reached people and bring the gospel. After all, they can not hear without a preacher, and they cannot preach if they are not sent. (Romans 10:14)
IT Must Be Finished
Samuel Whitfield has written an excellent book entitled “It Must Be Finished.” There is no other way to put it. Jesus is not coming back until every person on the planet has heard the gospel at least once.
Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and the end the end will come.” MEV
Many believe Jesus could come at any moment, but that is after Jerusalem calls Him to come back, Matthew 23:39, and the gospel is preached to every tribe, ethnos, nation, people group, and language as a witness. So what are we waiting for?
Already persecution is at an all-time high. Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors minister to the persecuted church in some of the most challenging places for the gospel on the earth, while we in the west continue to enjoy our freedom to worship. However, that is slowly dwindling away. The Church in Canada is experiencing unprecedented persecution, and street preachers are being arrested, having broken no law.
It is time to be counted as the laborers. Will you answer the call. You may not can go to the nations, but you can pray and sow for those who do go. Sadly many return broken due to lack of proper prayer and financial support. But you and I have a role here and in the nations. It must be finished. Meanwhile, pray for the laborers that have answered the call.