August 19, 2023

Recently, I have been aware of more “Christians” who are satisfied with the thought, “Oh well, I will just wait for Jesus to return. There is nothing I can do.” Show me where in the Bible Jesus endorsed that approach! Spoiler alert—you won’t be able to find it. Some point to the first chapter of Romans, beginning in verse 18, to say God has turned us over to our sin. While I agree that God has turned nations and cultures over to their sin, the scripture clearly says it is the unrighteous person that has been turned over.

Verse 21 of Romans 1, in the NKJV, says, “Because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Who are they? It is the “unrighteous” men from verse 18. As followers of Christ, we have different assignments.

In the 19th chapter of Luke, Jesus relayed a parable that is a vision of Him in this world. A rich man is headed off on a journey and provides instructions to his servants (Greek doulous, not a slave but a servant). In verse 13, this owner tells his servants to “trade” with the money he leaves behind while away. Upon the owner’s return, they will be called to account for their activities. The word trade in the original Greek is pragmateuomai, an active voice (verb) for engaging and doing business. Some have attempted to translate the word as occupy, which in Greek is peripateo. This word, paripateo, is a more passive word and gives the vision of people just standing around and waiting. No! That is not what Jesus wants us to do. In Matthew, chapter 9, Jesus tells His disciples that the harvest is great, but the workers are few (vs. 37). Then He goes on to say that they/we should pray to the “Lord of the harvest” to send more workers (vs. 38). We are those workers and those leaders.

In 1 Timothy 4:1, Paul begins identifying some of the indicators of end times. We can all see this in our current culture and in many countries worldwide. In verse 6 of 1st Timothy, Paul tells Timothy—and us— that if we instruct/lay down/ suggest these teachings from God to the brethren, we will be good ministers of Jesus Christ. My attempt here is to show the active voice of the words translated from the various versions. This is not the “oh, well, I will wait/occupy until Jesus comes” mindset. This is the get out there and trade mindset!

In 2 Timothy 3:1, Paul further explains what the “latter days” will look like. These words point even more clearly to our current American and world cultures. In verse 5 of chapter three, Paul calls out the current western, Laodiceanesk churches, “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” As harvest workers, we must fight against the unrighteous in our culture, government, schools, and even our churches. This is not an “Oh, well” moment; this is a stand-up and fight and walk boldly into the harvest field harvest moment.

Recently, my wife and I had the opportunity to engage with a couple of worldwide ministries. We traveled over 3,600 miles to watch gifts be exercised in the harvest field. Over 1,000 people came forward under the evangelistic ministry of Mario Murillo and accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. The local churches were already engaged to meet with and continue discipleship with these dear, new brothers and sisters. We watched as witches and members of the church of satan were muted and rendered unable to speak or impact the services. We saw God change weather patterns and give clear windows for His workers to complete their work. We saw the gifts of healing manifest as some who arrived with walkers picked them up and ran from the tent without needing the apparatus. God is at work. The harvest is great. Ashbury, Oklahoma University, and many other awakenings and revivals profess this fact.

We are moving into those “latter times” of which Paul spoke. Be prepared to give an account of why you believe and what you believe in any and all circumstances. Peter tells us to “sanctify” or set God apart in our hearts and be prepared to give reasons why we believe and have hope (1 Peter 3:15). This, again, is an active voice of preparing and being prepared. It is not an “Oh, well” moment. Exercise your gift mix (Clinton, 2012; Wallnau, 2023) and lead. Some of you are teachers, then teach! Some are administrators, then administer! Some of you have the gift of mercy and service, then do it. Be active in the harvest fields around you. Show Christ to anyone who will look. There will be those who oppose you and even attack you. Carry on and do not fall into an “Oh, well” moment. Will Christ find faith when He returns (Luke 18:8)?

Clinton. J. R. (2012). The making of a leader: Recognizing the lessons and stages of leadership development. 2nd ed. NavPress.

Wallnau. L. (2023). Various sources found at Lance Wallnau

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