Matthew 9:35-38, “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “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.”
This past Saturday at our Presbytery meeting there was some discussion on evangelism and on prayer. I wonder how faithful we are in praying for the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. We do need to be careful with our terms and make sure we understand what evangelism is and is not and also what apologetics is and is not.
We have been studying both of these topics in our Wednesday night study. Evangelism is primarily the job of the Church corporate and throughout the history of the Church God has been pleased to draw people to Himself primarily through the preaching of the Word. That doesn’t mean that God cannot and does not act at other times and other places, but He uses the Word proclaimed by pastors and teachers to draw people to Himself. Which is why we pray for God’s kingdom to expand by praying for God to change hearts and draw people to Himself. It is also why we pray for missionaries who are spreading the Gospel and we pray for new Churches both at home and abroad. Our desire should be that more and more people would be added to God’s kingdom.
Apologetics, or giving a defense for the hope that is in us, is commanded by all believers. If people ask us about what we believe we should be prepared to give an answer. That may lead to us sharing good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hopefully those friends, neighbors, and co-workers will be those we can invite to come worship with us on the Lord’s Day, that they might sit under the preaching of the Word of God.
I want to ask you to continue to pray with me, as I often pray on Sundays, for the spread of the Gospel in Brick and in Ocean County. That God would add to our numbers as a congregation those that need Christ, and those we might minister to and minister with. Start praying now for our summer boardwalk ministry, as we give out God’s Word and a Gospel message, that people would be enabled by God’s Spirit to know and understand His truth.
Many in our world today look for gimmicks and techniques and marketing practices to try and draw people to Christ. The problem is, God has not told us to gather a crowd or follow the world’s marketing practices. He told His Church to make disciples of all nations.
He has given us great treasures in the ordinary means of grace; the preaching of the Word, the sacraments, and prayer. He has given us great resources in the ordinary body of Christ, simply being prepared to give an answer and bringing others to worship. Let us pray and let us simply be faithful in the little things that God has used time and time again to bear fruit for Himself.