Lesson 3

CHAPTER THREE

HIS EYES BEHOLD THE NATIONS

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

C Explain what it means to see the world through the eyes of God.

C Understand the present condition of the spiritual harvest fields of the world.

C Make a personal commitment to join the team of international harvesters being raised

up by God throughout the world.

KEY VERSE:

His eyes behold the nations. (Psalms 66:7)

INTRODUCTION

The last chapter stressed the importance of lifting your spiritual eyes and looking on the harvest fields of the world.

The disciples did not have the same vision which Jesus had. This is why He urged them to lift their eyes and look in order to see the great need as He saw it.

You must see the world as God sees it. This is essential if you are to develop proper spiritual vision.

This chapter focuses on the harvest fields of the world. The Bible states of God that "His eyes behold the nations." What does God see when He views the harvest fields of the world?

RUSTY SICKLES, EMPTY FIELDS

God views the world as a harvest field:

The field is the world… (Matthew 13:38)

The cry comes to the ears of God from the people of the world:

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. (Jeremiah 8:20)

The spiritual harvest fields of the world resemble the natural fields over which the prophet Joel cried:

Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers; for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. (Joel 1:11)

When God’s eyes behold the nations of the world, He sees a spiritual harvest perishing because of the lack of harvesters. Jesus never said there would be a lack of sowers of the Gospel. He said there would be a lack of laborers to reap the spiritual harvest:

The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. (Matthew 9:37)

Presently, North America has 94% of the world’s ministers serving 6% of the population. This means only 6% of the ministers are trying to reach 94% of the population in the remainder of the world.

There are approximately three billion people representing over 16,000 culturally distinct people groups yet to be reached with the Gospel. There are over 2,000 languages for which there is no translation of God’s Word.

For every 1 0 , 0 00 villages in India, 9,950 have no Christian witness. In Japan the total Christian population is estimated at only one percent.

In Latin America there are at least five million people in jungle lowlands who have not been reached with the Gospel. There are 75 0 million Muslims with only approximately 500 Protestant missionaries ministering among them .

The need in other nations of Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East is similar to these examples .

This is what God sees as He views the nations of the world .

THE GAP

The Bible states:

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (I Timothy 2:5)

The need for a mediator indicates there is a gap between two parties who cannot accept each other.

When God looks at the world, He sees multitudes of people standing in a spiritual gap . The reason for the gap between God and man is sin.

Jesus Christ is the mediator between sinful man and a righteous God. Neither can accept the other without the mediator. Jesus made it possible for man to be redeemed from sin and accepted by a righteous God.

Multitudes still wait for the message of the mediator who can bridge the gap between them and God. The Great Commission Jesus gave was for His followers to enter the gap . He spoke of going to Jerusalem , Judaea , Samaria, and the ends of the earth.

They were to start where they were and evangelize Jerusalem. Reaching Judaea and Samaria would require cross-cultural evangelism . Samaria differed theologically and culturally from Jerusalem . The far regions of the earth represented an even greater challenge. But each region represented the gap.

At first Christ’s disciples were hesitant to bridge the gap between Jew and Gentile due to cultural and theological differences. Until persecution came, they did little to extend the Gospel to regions outside of Jerusalem (Acts 8 :4).

If you are to fulfill the Great Commission and reap the harvest you must get out of cultural,
theological, and denominational ruts. You may even have to leave your geographical
location. You must enter the gap to share the good news of the mediator between God and
man.

ANOTHER GAP

In addition to the gap of sin between man and God there is another great spiritual gap. This is the gap between the challenge of Jesus to reach the world with the Gospel and the failure of His people to fulfill that challenge.

Until you receive a vision of the spiritual harvest fields you will never fully understand your role in the Kingdom of God. It is the cause which gives purpose and direction to Christian life . The vision of spiritual harvest should be central to your life. For many it is only a minor concern.

We tend to talk about the things we love . We talk about our husband or wife, friends, sports, and hobbies. We also talk of things that concern us such as politics, finances, and business. But how often do we speak of lost souls? How much concern do we give each day to the multitudes still waiting in the gap, the harvest perishing in the fields?

Paul speaks of using the most routine activities such as eating and drinking for the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31). Every activity of your life can be centered on the vision of spiritual harvest. When this happens it gives new challenge, purpose, and direction to your life as a believer . Every day becomes an exciting quest to see how you can be part of fulfilling the vision .

When you recognize your personal responsibility to the multitudes in the gap and the vision of the harvest bursts into your spirit, you become part of a special network. This network is a group of believers from many nations who have joined together to see the world through the eyes of God and fulfill His plan to spread the Gospel.

In recent times, this movement has been referred to as "World Christians. ” They are believers who at the end of each day can confidently say:

"I know this day my life has counted strategically for Christ’s global cause, especially for those currently beyond the reach of the Gospel."

This is the challenge of spiritual harvest. This is seeing the world through the eyes of God.

OPEN DOORS

Men view some nations as closed to the Gospel. When a nation is referred to as "closed" to the Gospel message it usually means the government will not accept Christian missionaries and seeks to stop the spread of the Gospel within its borders.

But there are no limits recognized by God. He sees no "closed" countries. It is true that some nations are closed to the traditional missionary because the government will not grant visas to those who want to enter the nation and preach the Gospel message.

But when the "front door" closes to a nation , so to speak, there is always a "back door. ” Teams of manual laborers are entering closed nations to build schools, clinics, and agricultural projects . While there, they share the Gospel message.

Other believers are entering nations as teachers, medical workers, and literacy instructors. Modern communication devices are beaming the Gospel message beyond closed borders . Teams of international intercessors are penetrating the entire world through prayer.

Within "closed" nations local believers are assuming responsibility for the spread of the Gospel in their own countries through underground evangelistic networks. So called "closed countries" cannot be used to ignore your responsibility. The harvest cannot be stopped by governments. Your enemies are not political leaders.

Your concern is with the principalities and powers behind these things which are opposing

God’s worldwide purpose:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

Catch the vision of an unlimited world . Look at the harvest fields. Weep over the cities as Jesus did. See the world through the eyes of God . His vision is global and His purpose is eternal from the foundations of the world.