In November of 2013, I wrote a blog about the harvest called, “It’s Harvest Time!” Beloved, it truly is harvest time! How long this harvest will go, we do not yet know. Jesus spoke of a great harvest at the end of the age. I believe that we have entered that time. I’ve personally seen it increasing all around…as have family members, friends and fellow believers! But, here are a few pieces of evidence, in case you have any doubt:
– I have been reading “A wind in the house of Islam” by David Garrison, published this year. His team conducted a very large study, travelling across the 9 “rooms” of Islam in dozens of countries. He discovered 82 voluntary moves to Christianity across 29 countries in these areas (a “move” was defined as being comprised of at least 1,000 baptisms or 100 church plants). Two of these moves happened in the 19th century. Eleven of them happened in the 20th century. Amazingly, 69 of them happened just within the 21st century!
– Every Home for Christ has brought the gospel in written form to over 1.6 Billion homes around the world in the last 60 years and has seen well over 100 million decisions for Christ. They have seen many more decisions for Christ in the last 10 years as they’ve seen happen in all of the previous 55 years combined! Also, their conversion rate right now is approximately double what they’ve seen over the course of their history.
– In talking this morning with a friend who is in ministry in the US. He mentioned that he just recently performed the first baptisms in a certain people group he has had an outreach to for 15 years!
– All of this is driven by Spirit-led prayer. We have recently seen a great global increase in Houses of Prayer, many which have worship and intercession going for many hours each week (some even 24/7) and that have been praying in an increasing way for the lost and unreached tribes. The number of these types of Houses of Prayer suddenly increased in the 21st century…from just a handful to ~20,000-25,000 Houses of Prayer worldwide!
In 1975, the prophet Bob Jones passed away and stood before the Lord. One the things the Lord said he would do is to go back and touch some leaders that would have a big impact in bringing in a harvest of over 1 billion (mainly young people) into the Kingdom! He was told he would see the beginning of it before he died. Bob began to announce that the harvest had begun in earnest in 2012 and 2013. Bob passed away on Valentine’s Day of 2014.
It is time to seek the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. To drink in His extravagant love deeply and give it back to Him and to others.
“Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.” ~Matthew 9:37-38 (AMP)
Boaz is seen as a type of Christ in the Bible. Let us watch closely what is happening as we see Boaz returning to the “field” (which represents the “world” in Matthew 13).
Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she [Ruth] went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek. Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!” “The Lord bless you!” they answered. ~Ruth2:2-4 (NIV)
What did Boaz find His people doing when he returned? They were busy bringing in the harvest! They were joyfully doing as they were expected… just as they had been earlier instructed.
When Jesus was in Jerusalem, He said, ”For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” ~Matthew 23:39 (NIV)
God does not change His mind. When He says something, He means it! There is no crooked word that comes out of His mouth. So, what are our instructions? What should He find us doing when He returns? I think it is clear that in addition to watching and praying…we should be bringing His Kingdom of Love to earth! We should be actively demonstrating and sharing His love with others and bringing in His harvest, reaping for Him the rewards of His suffering!
”Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’.” ~Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” ~Matthew 10:7-8 (NIV)
It takes a fearless warrior, operating in the love of Christ, to bring in an abundant harvest. Evil must be overcome with good. When our enemy is overcome, then we can release the prisoners and set them free!
“’If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” ~Romans 12:20-21 (NIV)
“In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.” ~Mark 3:27 (NIV)
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” ~Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)
As followers of Jesus Christ, what will we do? Will we respond to His commands? Or will we sit around in ignorance, apathy and cowardice, waiting for Him to return? Consider the parable of the talents. How did the Master respond to the one who hid in a hole and waited for the Master’s return, instead of laboring in his Master’s harvest? Consider the actions of the wicked servant in the Parable of the Talents.
“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” ~Matthew 25:24-30 (NIV)
Notice how the wicked servant says, “I was afraid and went out and hid your gold…” How similar that is to Adam, after he had sinned and turned over his authority to Satan. “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” (See Genesis 3:10)
Christ has already won the victory and holds all authority. So, let us never go down that road of holding back or hiding again! Instead, let us faithfully and courageously lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters around us and around the world just as Christ did for us! Let it then be said to us on that day, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” ~Matthew 25:21 (NIV)
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” ~Daniel 12:3 (NIV)
Beloved, it is time to throw everything into His harvest…while there is still time! The very least we can do is pray! (For various examples of ways to help, click: Here)