God-willing, this Sunday I will conclude our series entitled "Do We Care?" at First Baptist. My first sermon was about ministry to one another. My second sermon was about ministry to our community. This final sermon is about ministry to our world. It will have an international emphasis, but it's not limited to that. I want FBC to consider the numerous ways we can minister to those local and abroad. The several commissioning passages from Jesus make it abundantly clear that it is not an either/or mentality about who we minister to. We do not minister to those either where we are or across the nations. It is a both/and commission.
This coming Sunday (the following if we get as much snow as they're calling for) I plan to preach from Matthew 9:35-38. This is a very familiar passage for many people, especially verses 37-38, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." There are several things to pull out from this text. For instance, we see the need to pray earnestly. It is a reliance upon God to move and to raise up people to go into His harvest. You can also see that God intends to use people to accomplish this. Those are both fantastic truths from this text. And there are others.
As I am wrapping up my preparation for this sermon, however, I thought about a precious truth of encouragement for this. I asked myself the question, "Why is the harvest plentiful?" Here is the answer I believe the Scriptures give in Revelation 5:9, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation." The reason the harvest is plentiful is because Jesus, through His death on the cross, through His shed blood, through His wrath bearing sacrifice, purchased a people for God. He has guaranteed through His death that people from every tribe and language and people and nation will respond in faith.
I hope to say far more than this on Sunday, but this is a precious truth. The mission is guaranteed to succeed because Christ has accomplished the success through His own blood.