Subject 13 : The Gospel According to MATTHEW

[Chapter 9-4] God’s Workers (Matthew 9:35-38)

God’s Workers
(Matthew 9:35-38)
“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”
All of us, who have become the righteous, pray to God and do His work. So we pray to Him, “Lord, there is much to harvest, but the laborers are few. Please raise Your workers who can spread Your gospel.” Let us, in fact, begin today’s Scripture lesson by praying together.
“Dear Lord, the age of tribulations has indeed begun in this age and time, and countless sinners are lost and wandering in their sins. Lord, we ask that You would enable each of us to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit that can save all these lost souls from their sins. Dear Lord, raise Your workers who can save these souls and who can testify Your gospel to them. We ask that You find these workers and raise them for us.” 
“Our Father, we pray that you would give us the strength to save sinners. Though we are few in number, let this year be a year when we testify Your true gospel Word in this age of the end times, and we ask You to work among the righteous so that many servants of Your righteousness may arise to bear witness to Your gospel. Raise these workers for us and send them to us. We pray that You would continue to save souls, and to anoint them as Your workers. To all the righteous who has already been born again, inspire their hearts to serve You and make them Your workers, so that through these servants of Yours, Your gospel would be witnessed to all over the world, Your Word would also be testified, and Your will would be fulfilled as well.” 

Only the Righteous Can Become God’s Servants

Who among the righteous can become God’s workers? First of all, it is those who definitely believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Word of our Lord, and whose souls have been born again by this gospel, that can become the workers of God’s gospel. Those who can spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit to others are the righteous who have been born again by first believing in the Lord and the true gospel. Only they can preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We can confirm this truth in Acts 1:8, which states, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 
It is only when one receives the remission of his sins and the Holy Spirit comes into his heart by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that he can become God’s worker. When we truly believe in the perfect gospel Word of the water and the Spirit and thereby are remitted from all our sins, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit into our hearts (Acts 2:38). If one can witness that his sins has been blotted out and that he now has no sin in his heart, this is the evidence of the fact that the Holy Spirit has come into his heart. It is because the Holy Spirit in our hearts guarantees our witness that we have now become sinless by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Our Lord said, “You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” This means that He will make the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit His witnesses to the whole world. Therefore, when the righteous deny themselves, trust in the Lord and obey Him, the Lord Himself then entrusts them with His work. Because the Holy Spirit dwells in the born-again who have received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Holy Spirit in their hearts leads them in every step. So the righteous who have been remitted from their sins preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit at every opportunity they get. 
If you face an opportunity to preach the gospel to someone, of course, you may feel nervous about or be afraid of it. But it is ultimately the Holy Spirit who really works in your lives. The Holy Spirit gives you the right words to say for the right times: “For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matthew 10:20). Therefore, it is only right for us to trust in the Holy Spirit, to boldly preach the gospel by faith at every opportunity, and to do the work of our Lord. Let us all have confidence that the Holy Spirit indeed works in our hearts!
On the contrary, anyone who does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is not qualified to become God’s worker. Why? Because sinners cannot bear witness to the righteousness of God, and because no one can be washed from his sins but only through this gospel of the water and the Spirit, for the Lord took upon all our sins through the baptism that He received. As such, all those sinners whose hearts have retained their sins cannot be used by the Holy Spirit as His instruments. 
If anyone claims to have become God’s worker without even believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, he is someone who has become a worker all on his own —and a false one at that—and is not someone who was really called by God to become His true worker. No matter how hard such sinners do the work of God—to be more exact, think that they are doing His works—everything is in vain. 
We see many such people all around us. There are many sinners on this earth who suffer from such bizarre delusions. One of their defining characteristics is that even as they are oblivious to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they are still devoted to what they are doing so much. Hence, I sometimes wish our born-again saints would be as devoted to the true gospel as these people are.
The Second Qualification to Be God’s Workers: To Love the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit 
I have told you that the first qualification of God’s workers is to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In other words, only the righteous can be called as His workers. But you must know that all the born-again are called as His workers. Among the righteous, it is only those who have compassion for the souls of sinners and whose hearts desire to save them, that can become the workers of God’s gospel. This is the second qualification to become His workers. They may not be particularly gifted, nor articulate, nor have anything else that is even remotely remarkable, but the righteous whose hearts desire every soul to be saved are qualified as God’s workers.
Among the righteous, those who love other souls, even though they themselves have no power, still desire others to be saved; and because these souls must be saved, they rise to meet the challenge despite their insufficiencies, and they are willing to do anything to save these souls. It is precisely such righteous people, who love other souls, that are qualified to become God’s workers. 
Is there, however, anyone who says, “Yes, I have such a heart, but I am still too insufficient to become God’s worker”? But this cannot be a reason for you to be disqualified as one of His workers; whatever you may lack can be filled by faith and be taught by God’s Church.
My fellow believers, the righteous who have this caring heart that loves the gospel of the water and the Spirit and other souls need to be trained in all things, from the art to how to handle a soul, and to the knowledge of the Word. If only our hearts truly desire to serve God’s gospel and to spread it, all that we have to do is just receive all abilities through our faith. Therefore, what is needed for you to become His workers is this fundamental heart that desires to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit, that loves other souls, and that wants to dedicate yourselves to God. Only when our hearts desire to serve the gospel can we do the work of God in all its variations.
It is not easy to save life, whether spiritually or physically, and so proper discipline of faith is really necessary. Before a doctor becomes a specialist, he must go through an arduous period of extensive training as an intern. Just like this, before the righteous become God’s expert workers, they all should go through a period of apprenticeship. My fellow believers, we must discipline ourselves until we all become experts at preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. 
When souls meet intern workers, they frequently become the object of research for the spreading of the gospel. Also, there are many times when someone who is about to receive the remission of his sins is averted from doing so, and ends up going home only with a injured heart, just because the one who bore witness of the gospel to him has not been trained enough. This point is particularly more relevant when it comes to the training that is provided in our Mission School that belongs to God’s Church. When people meet the immature workers of God, it is quite possible that even those who were about to receive the remission of sin would not be able to do so. Even those who had opened the doors of their hearts may end up closing them down again.
I said that those whose hearts love other souls are qualified to become God’s workers of the gospel. But they must be filled with God’s Word to serve the gospel and to lead souls. God’s workers can have spiritual fellowship with those whom they are trying to save only when they listen sufficiently to the Word of God and they themselves have the spiritual knowledge of the Word and strong faith in it.
However, this training cannot be attained on one’s own. We must be inside God’s Church and hear the spiritual Word that the Holy Spirit speaks to His workers through the Church. No matter how much understanding one may reach of the Word of God on his own, this in itself cannot turn into a spiritual sword. Only when we hear and learn the Word through God’s Church can our knowledge of the Word turn into our spiritual weapon. It is then that when we just barely touch others with this spiritual sword, they will come to be saved from their sins and be healed from their spiritual illnesses of sin. 
At issue here is whether or not there is a burning love for the gospel of the water and the Spirit in our hearts. Even if we are not particularly gifted, all that we need to be qualified to become God’s workers is a heart that loves the gospel. So the question to ask is this: Do our hearts love other souls, or do they love the world? It is the righteous who have this loving heart for other souls that are qualified to become the workers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Even Now, God Is Looking for the Workers of His Harvest
Even now, at this very moment, God is still looking for the workers to send them into His harvest of the lost souls. You don’t have to be experts in theology and doctrinal issues. You don’t have to be good at handling the secular affairs of this world, either. If you teach the gospel of the water and the Spirit accurately to the sinners who have not received the remission of their sins yet, and thereby you vanquish away, with the Word of God, Satan’s evil schemes that had imprisoned these sinners; and if you help such souls to receive the remission of their sins from hearing and believing in God’s gospel Word of Truth, then you are indeed God’s good workers. God is looking for such workers for harvesting even now. You don’t even have to be good at nurturing souls. God Himself, through the leaders of His Church, will take care of all such nurturing of souls.
In the movie “Superman,” there comes a Jack of all trade who solves all the difficult problems on his own. But God is not in need of such a single super-worker. Rather, God is looking for many workers who would be faithful to each of their callings, preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and live by faith. 
The leaders of the Church, who are your shepherds, and the workers of the gospel have different tasks assigned to each of them. All that the workers have to do is be faithful to their assigned tasks, but the leaders have to do more than this, for they must manage the workers as well.
Saying that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are too few, God told us to pray to Him to send us more workers to harvest. Having said so, our Lord is also telling us, “You who are praying should go.” Those who pray to God to send His workers are asking this precisely because their hearts yearn to do God’s work. They pray for this because they have compassion for all the lost souls. This is why our God is telling us that we who are praying for this should ourselves go out there as His workers. This is what God is telling us.
What we all need to realize here is that God’s workers do not just drop from the sky. First, we must pray to God to send us laborers, and second, we ourselves, who are praying for this, should go as such laborers. God will then entrust souls to His workers for harvesting.
This Age Needs God’s Workers All the More
This age needs God’s workers all the more. We must pray to God and ask Him to send us His workers. And we ourselves, the very ones who are praying, must go as His workers, too. Saying amen at the end of our prayers is not the end of all. 
My fellow believers, the righteous who are praying for this must first go out to the fields as God’s workers. It is because our hearts’ desires lie in the work of God that we have prayed in this way, and it is because we know His work that we have prayed for this mission. Those whose faith precedes that of the others not only pray but they themselves go out to the fields to do God’s work. And as they actually do God’s work, they gain yet another laborer of God. My fellow believers, this age desperately needs God’s workers. There are still many people throughout God’s Church who are more than qualified to become His laborers.
My fellow believers, let’s pray to God: “Lord, please save all these souls. They must be saved from their sins before it’s too late, before Your return. Deliver them from the hands of the liars, Lord. Just as You have saved me, please save these souls also.” This is how we should all pray. And we ourselves must become God’s workers and head out to His harvest fields.
God wants us to go out there and proclaim the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Will God’s work be done if we just sit around and do nothing? Don’t just sit there and think all day long about what you should be doing, but stand up in the name of Jesus Christ and step into the field. This is the way for you to become God’s workers. There are still many righteous men and women in the world who are called upon to become God’s laborers.
God is telling us to pray to send us His workers and to go ourselves. Do you believe this? Amen. Don’t just come up with excuses, saying that you are too insufficient to go out to the field, or whatever else you might think of as an excuse to just sit around. Whatever you may lack can be filled with learning. What is really important is that you love the gospel of the water and the Spirit and are able to see the condition of other souls, and that you believe in the coming of the end times and the age of tribulations as prophesied in the Word of God—it is those who have such faith that are so needed. And it is such people who must rise up as God’s workers. God’s wise workers must arise. In the end times also, we need the workers who can lead the people of God and nourish them with the bread of life according to the times. 
In the Days of Noah’s Flood, Everyone Only Drank and Ate to Perish in the End
All sinners are on the road to perdition. It is our responsibility to deliver them from the liars. We need such workers who can lead these souls to receive the remission of sin by preaching the true gospel to them and nourish them with the Word of God that is appropriate to the times. 
Will you fixate your minds on the things of this earth that will perish eventually, as if you were to live for thousands of years? This world will not last forever. 
A few years ago, an earthquake devastated the Japanese city of Kobe. As its residents built their houses and carried on with their lives, none of them expected that they would be struck by a disaster of such magnitude. They had decorated their homes, planted beautiful trees around the city, and spruced up the landscape, all wishing to live happily for never-ending years to come. But an earthquake struck them and the city of Kobe was devastated in the twinkling of an eye.
Where is the guarantee that our own homes would not be struck by such an earthquake that struck Kobe? Do not think that you are safe from earthquakes, just because it hasn’t happened yet. We are all living under the same condition. Nor should you think that the prospect of nuclear war is no longer relevant to you, now that the Cold War is over. On the contrary, it is as close to us as it has ever been. What I am trying to tell you here is not to be so complacent and self-satisfied that you ignore these dangers and remain completely insensitive to them, as if you had turned into self-content pigs. Rather, like the hungry Socrates, you must know where you came from and where you are headed, why you live, and for what purpose you should live, and you must live your lives preparing to stand before God.
My fellow believers, let us not place our hope on this earth, as if we were to live on it for thousands of years. If the righteous have enough to eat and drink, if their basic needs are all met, then you, as such righteous men and women who are living on the verge of the end times, should be on the vanguard as the workers of the gospel. If you really believe in His warnings about the Last Days, then you must rise up and work for God, just as Noah had built his ark of salvation. We need God’s workers who labor with us and stand on God’s side, not on the side of the people of the world who mock us and are laughing at us.
Throughout our Church, there are many workers. God has sent us many. I have always prayed to God to send us laborers, and so God has answered my prayers and indeed sent us many workers. My fellow believers, now is the time when you should respond to God’s calling. God is calling you as His workers. Humbly reply to His calling, saying, “Yes, Lord. Though I am not gifted and far too insufficient, I will go in obedience. Send me, Lord.” It is such workers whom God is calling.
Is there anyone among the righteous who thinks that he cannot become one of God’s workers because of his weaknesses? Do you love the Lord with all your hearts? And do you love the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Do you believe that this age is nearing the age of the Great Tribulation? You then must answer God’s calling. 
There must arise many workers who can devote their entire lives to serving the Lord, and who can also serve Him with their material possessions. My fellow believers, do you not want to work with God’s Church? Do your hearts desire to do God’s work with His Church? Then, let us all do God’s work together. This work of the Lord is never, ever in vain. If we would labor only a little, if we would dedicate ourselves to the Lord only a little, and if we would just try a little, we can gain, by faith, many souls that are far more precious than the whole world. And when these souls are grown up and they themselves go out to preach to other souls, yet more souls will be gained. Such spiritual works will bring you far more satisfaction, by thousands and millions of fold, than any earthly work that you ever do. 
Before God, the wisest servants in the last days, the wisest saints in the end times of tribulations, are none other than those who preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to every human being, who was created in the likeness of God’s image. And they are the ones who feed souls with spiritual food. They feed them with the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, the Word of nourishment, and the Word of truth. It is such saints who are the wise. And our Lord is looking for such saints in these end times. 
Especially in this age and time, when the coming of our Lord is near, our Lord is looking for such souls. God is looking for workers who would answer His calling. When our Lord returns and sees the workers who are doing His work faithfully, He will command us as “good and faithful servants,” entrust us with more works, give us great rewards, and bestow His grace on us. 
However, if anyone says, even as he knows that the end is near, “But it will surely take some more time before the Lord actually returns. People have been saying all the time that the Lord’s return is imminent, but it hasn’t happened yet, and so I am sure His coming is delayed,” and if he busies himself with his friends to only drink and eat, even as the Lord is near, when our Lord indeed returns, He will call upon this wicked servant and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. The Lord said, “So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49-50). He surely will separate the wicked one from the righteous and cast him out of the Kingdom of God.
This is not just my own word, but it is the very Word of God. Let us all turn to Matthew 24:44-51 to see this: “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Our Lord defines ‘a faithful and wise servant’ as one who faithfully provides His people with spiritual food in due season while the Lord made him the steward over His household. Blessed are the servants whom their Master, when He comes, will find them feeding the flock with the Word of God. The Lord will give Heaven to such good and faithful servants.
In contrast, He defines an evil servant as one who doesn’t believe in His imminent coming, and therefore not fearing his Master, begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards. But the Lord will surely come on a day when he is not looking for Him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. And the evil servant will be cast out into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 
There is no one who is more wicked before our God than those who, even as they have been born again, do not take care of other souls, but instead mingle with the world, eat and drink with it, and are intoxicated by it. Those who do not live for the gospel even as they have received the remission of sin are more wicked than those who have not received the remission of sin. The Lord will cut them in two. He will say to them, “Get out of here! I don’t need you. You deserve to be cast into hell. Such wicked people like you can never live with Me.” He will then cast them all out. 
My fellow believers, once sinners receive the remission of their sins and become righteous, there is a reason as to why the newly born-again must live for this gospel of the water and the Spirit. Do you believe that the times of the Great Tribulation are near us? If you believe, then you have to know that there will surely arise many workers who set aside their things of the world. It is these people who will become God’s workers. It is to become wise servants before God that they believe in the nearing of the end times, set aside the things of the world, deny themselves, and come before the Lord. 
But I am not saying here that you should dispose of all your worldly affairs right now. Among the born-again, only those who want to dedicate their entire lives to God’s work must do this. If the righteous truly believe in the Word, then they believe that now is the beginning of disaster when famine and earthquakes abound, when nations clash against nations and states war against one other. And if they truly believe in His imminent coming, they will voluntarily want to become God’s workers who spread the gospel in this last age.
Do you have such faith? Then you should dispose of your worldly connections. Seek counsel from your spiritual leaders and then let go of your worldly attachments. But you must do this by faith, “for whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).
My fellow believers, even as your hearts desire to live for the Lord, and you have the material means and healthy bodies to do so, are you still hesitant, thinking, “But I still need my material possessions, even more so now that the end times are nearing, since I have to prepare for these times.” But you can never enjoy all your material possessions. Set aside some for your use, and then give the rest to the Lord. 
You may wonder, “I thought Rev. Jong would never say something like this. How can he say this so bluntly?” But my fellow believers, I still admonish you to give your treasures to the Lord. God will accept them in joy. And He will use them as His precious instruments. Ordinarily, this is not something that I say to you. But if you ask me to honestly tell you what is really in my heart, then I will say, “Dispose of your worldly attachments.” But I will also add an important precondition here, namely, that only those who want to serve the Lord should do so.
Those of you, who hold jobs, work diligently. The righteous who do not go out to the harvest field as the full-time workers of the gospel should work diligently at their jobs and support the ministry with their produce. You should back the Church with as much material support as possible so that it can spread the gospel. Be faithful in this endeavor with all your life, as it is written; “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). 
And those who want to devote their lives entirely to their ministry and to wholly live for this gospel, let the deacons take care of the material needs, and dedicate your entire selves to the spreading of the Word and the preaching of the gospel. If you want to become such workers, consult with your spiritual leaders, and if permitted, dispose of your worldly affairs. When I refer to ‘your spiritual leaders,’ I am sure that you will not confuse them with the pastors of this world, who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and hence, have not yet been born again. 
If you ask me, “How should I live properly?” this is what I would like to tell you honestly, for it is what would benefit you immensely. And I believe that it is such people who will be greatly commanded by the Lord, and that they are the ones who are living the most fruitful and worthy lives in these end times.
It is the Word of God that I trust and believe. I cannot trust myself. So I never trust myself, but instead I deny myself.
My fellow believers, is this age and time not the age of tribulations? It indeed is. This then means that we are now approaching the inevitable conclusion of the world. We must live according to this time and age. We the born-again saints must adjust to the flow of the age. 
Everyone says that we have entered into the age of globalization. But just throwing away your old blankets is not adjusting to this new age of globalization. Now that environmental protection has become a paramount concern, separating your garbage into the disposable and the recyclable is not living a new life. Only when you live for the gospel do you become new people fit for this new age. When the times have changed and the age of tribulations is upon us, we must not place our hearts in this world as before, as if we were to live for thousands of years.
We must become the workers who harvest. It is time for you to dispose of your worldly attachments. To repeat, I am not saying here that everyone should do this. Rather, I am admonishing that those of you who truly love other souls and yearn to devote their entire lives to the work of the Lord should dispose of their worldly relations. And when you do so and serve the Lord, your lives will truly be the most fruitful and worthy of all.
My fellow believers, do not be worried about your children. Your children will not suffer hunger just because you serve the Lord. Have no worry whatsoever. Let me make this clear here: I am not telling you to forsake your own children and homes. Rather, I am telling you to first serve the gospel and take care of God’s Church. I am asking you, in other words, to live for the gospel in these times of tribulations until the very day our Lord returns. Our Lord also admonishes us with encouragement, saying, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). I believe that if you truly believe that we are entering into the age of tribulation, many such workers will rise among you.
God is looking for faithful and wise servants. He is looking for the workers who would faithfully preach the gospel. Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” This is why our Lord told us to pray to send such servants, and that we ourselves, who prayed for this, should go out to the harvest fields. 
I give all my thanks to our God. I give my thanks to the Lord of the righteous who enables us to discern the times, teaches us and leads us all, so that we would serve the gospel in these end times. Let us pray to God to send us His workers. Let us ask Him to allow us to work with them together. 
Let us ceaselessly pray to God to send us these laborers, and let us do His work by faith. Hallelujah!
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