The Unfinished Task
Imagine what would happen if every man, woman and child in this country heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly proclaimed and committed their lives to Him this year.
Why, every news outlet around the world would take notice! Every radio station would report “the greatest revival of all time.” Social media would explode, and every television newscast would discuss the dramatic reformation taking place here.
But our work would not be finished. What about the new children? What about the future immigrants? And what about the more than three billion people who have never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel?
Statistics overwhelm us. So let’s think about the specific individuals we have met who have never committed their lives to Christ. Who comes to mind? Then think about the crowds you see in the cities—at the airports, in the streets, everywhere. How do you feel when you think about them?
Scripture tells us that when Jesus saw the crowds, “he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36 NIV). We need to ask God to move our hearts with the same compassion that moves His heart.
The greatest dangers we face as Christians are cynicism and a cool detachment. “Oh yes, so more than three billion people don’t know Christ. That’s too bad.” We must not forget the actual people—including those we know and love—behind that number who live “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12 NIV).
The Lord pointed out the urgency of our task by reminding His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37 NIV). We must sense the urgency of our time.
How long must people wait before they hear the Gospel? How many more generations must pass before some parts of the world hear the message of Christ for the first time?
It’s exciting to see that in most of the developing world today there is a tremendous harvest. Several nations in Latin America and Africa have seen growth in the number of believers over the last twenty years that is staggering. And God is at work in Asia as well. Right now in some places around the world, doors are open as perhaps never before in history. Technology has made it possible to reach previously “closed” nations with the message of life.
All of this is before us now, but it could pass in such a short time. Our task is urgent.
That’s why Christ commanded His disciples, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38 NIV). Our Bibles end the chapter right there, but don’t stop reading! In the next five verses the Lord gave His disciples authority and sent them out. The Twelve became an answer to their own prayer!
In order to finish the task we must have the authority of God that comes from a holy life. Paul told Timothy, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 NASV). I like to think of this as holy boldness.
The unfinished task of winning the world to Christ is enormous.
Are you willing to gain a compassion for the unsaved and a sense of urgency in reaching them for Christ? Are you available to God to serve with holy boldness as a worker in His harvest? Let’s press on to finish the task set before us.
Luis Palau festivals have produced some of the largest audiences ever recorded, in cities from South Florida to South America. Luis’ radio broadcasts in English and Spanish are heard by millions on more than 3,500 radio outlets in 48 countries. Among other top-tier programs, Luis currently hosts Luis Palau Responde, an international Q&A program in Spanish that deals with spiritual issues ranging from marriage to the occult, and Reaching Your World, a devotional-style program featuring tools for evangelism and biblical wisdom broadcast daily on some of the most popular Christian radio stations in the United States. More than 660 evangelists are currently a part of the Luis Palau Association's Next Generation Alliance. Luis and his wife, Pat, live in Portland. They have four sons, three of whom are actively involved in the ministry, three daughters-in-law, and twelve grandchildren.