When Jesus was about to go back to heaven, one of his major concerns was the preaching of the Word. He wanted that none should perish but all will come to his saving grace. It is for this reason that he said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). This is known as the Great Commission. It is great because of what this will accomplish and it is also great because it is a task that no one person or a small group of people can do. This requires multitude of workers.
Early on in his ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ acknowledged the need for more workers to evangelize the world. He said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt 9:37-38). During the time of the prophet Isaiah, God had the same concern. He was looking for workers and asked, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
Thankfully, Isaiah responded, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isa. 6:8) It was good for Isaiah to respond to the call because not many will respond the same way. But what is required of those who are to be sent?
Set apart. One who is sent by the Lord is set apart or handpicked to do the specific work or mission entrusted to him. In the early church, God started to send workers into the harvest field. On one occasion, “the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them…” (Acts 13:2). As they were set apart, they embarked in their missionary journey that eventually brought in the Gentile believers. It is important for workers to be especially set apart so that they will not be engulfed by the world because Jesus said, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves” (Matt. 10:16) It is for this reason that the apostle Paul said, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom. 12:2).
Empowered. When those that are called go into the harvest field, they need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. They need to proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with power. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) As the gospel is powerfully preached, the Lord will confirm the message with signs, wonders and miracles. Jesus said, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16:17-18). The Lord will do these as a convincing proof of the power of the gospel to save. Jesus mentioned this as his argument to those who are skeptical in their belief. He said, “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves” (John 14:11)
Nurtured. It is imperative that those who are to be sent are rooted in him and grounded in the word. The apostle Paul said, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Col 2:6-7) We cannot pass on what we do not have. We have to be well acquainted with the Word so that people do not look down on us. The daily reading of Scriptures will help develop a closer relationship with the Lord and help us share our faith. Therefore, the apostle Paul said, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Tim. 4:2).
Determined. One who is sent is determined and focused. He shall press on regardless of the challenges that he will face. In the case of the apostle Paul, he preached unashamedly and with vigor, for a good reason. He said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16). He was determined to reach as many people as possible and was willing to make the needed sacrifices. He said, “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (1 Cor. 9:22-23). He said further, “ I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying” (Acts 20:24). Hallelujah!