The Eleventh-hour workers 1
By Adauto Rezende
The world evangelization
From the beginning of the church until the final harvest.
My goal of this study is to show a larger picture of God’s plan to fulfill His purpose, which is: To save an uncountable number of people that will populate the new heavens and new earth he had created:
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Revelation 7: 9-10
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth, “for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea." Revelation 21: 1
"See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” Isaiah 65: 17
God had called and anointed servants from every generation to preach the Good News to the world. It started around 33 AD in Jerusalem, with 120 Jews on the day of Pentecost up to now. Today, millions of believers are proclaiming the gospel, baptizing, making disciples, teaching the apostolic doctrine in all nations. During his ministry on earth, Jesus was always busy teaching and preaching the word, and training his disciples for the task they had to carry on after his resurrection. The Lord saw the extension of the mission and encouraged his followers to request from God… "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9: 36-38
Since then, this prayer has been done by many intercessors for workers. In the following parable, Jesus shared the divine calling of labors to fulfill His Great Commission to evangelize the world. Speaking of future rewards, he divided God’s timeframe in a daily working shift, which also could be understood as the church period on earth:
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Matthew 20: 1-16
Could our generation be the last hour in God's timeframe?
Could this generation be considered the eleventh-hour workers?
To answer these and other questions, we will bring important data that will help us to understand the major change in society today.
Who is my audience in this generation?
How many are they?
Where most of them inhabit?
What are their beliefs?
Let’s identify our hearers:
a) Today's World population
"World Population to hit 6.5 Billion on Saturday". February 24, 2006.
MSNBC World population prospects: the 2004 revision population database The Day of 6 Billion ─The United Nations Population Fund designated October 12, 1999, as the approximate day on which the world population reached six billion. It was officially designated The Day Of 6 Billion. This was about 12 years after the world population reached five billion, in 1987. The last 70 years of the 20th century, saw the biggest increase in the world's population in human history.
The following table shows when every billion milestones were met:
1 billion was reached in 1802
2 billion was reached 125 years later in 1927
3 billion was reached 34 years later in 1961
4 billion was reached 13 years later in 1974
5 billion was reached 13 years later in 1987
6 billion was reached 12 years later in 1999
Current projections by the UN's Population Division, based on the 2004 revision of the World Population Prospects database, are as follows. Year Population (billions).
(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia United States Census Bureau Leonard, David)
b) An urban society
In 1950, only two cities, New York and London had more than eight million inhabitants, by the end of 2015, 33 cities are expected to have more than eight million. Nineteen of these will be in Asia.
Two centuries ago the world was rural, with the urbanization of 4%. By 1900 this had increased to 14% with 18 megacities (more than 1 million), and two super cities (more than 8 million). In 2000 it reached 51% urbanized, about 20 supergiants, 79 super cities and 433 megacities. By 2100 the number of rural inhabitants, maybe only 10% of the world’s population. (Perspectives, Third Edition – Edited by Ralph D. Winter, Steven C. Hawthorne)
c) Part of the global village
Technology had changed today’s society. We are coming back to Genesis 11.
Internet - cashless society.
d) World spiritual conditions
The spiritual condition of today’s society had also changed dramatically.
Postmodernists and the search for the transcendent.
In a survey, look the answers of some children in primary age to the following question: “What do you think God wants you to do on this planet?”
“Plant a tree.”
“Look after the animals.”
“Remember to recycle.”
There was nothing about helping the poor, the orphans, nothing about obeying their parents, nothing about respect the elderly or to fear God. It was all about “mother nature.”
They are worshiping creation instead the Creator:
"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles...They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen." Romans 1: 21-25
New age movement – Star war “use the force” – Mysticism, the occult, ancient Celtic believes, astrology, witchcraft and so on.
Mother nature worship
Sin is no longer what the Bible defines but it is defined according to the false religion that they themselves created.
Sin and wrong most likely be interpreted as an offense against nature. Pollution is a sin against the god of
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” II Timothy 3: 1-5
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” II Timothy 4: 3-4
False Christianity, presenting false Jesus (cults)
“At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,…” Matthew 24: 10-12
The post-modern mind is:
“What kind of God are you describing to me?”
Is your God good?”
e) Social conditions
The social aspects of today’s society are also out of balance
The 2 kinds of places and 2 kinds of people with two different responses
1 - The Lord told us about two kinds of society. And they would be living in two different places.
a) A place of poverty, misery, calamity, diseases: “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places” (not all the places) Luke 21: 10-11-16-17
Where are these places? The third world countries
b) A place of abundance, prosperity, business, parties: “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Luke 17: 26-29
Where are these places? The first world countries
In conclusion, we are a latter day’s generation:
With an explosion of the human population
Most reside in urban areas
In a technological age
Religious pluralism and occultism epidemic
We will work fewer hours, however producing equal or more than the others. Where are we in God’s timeframe for humanity?
What is the definition of “Today”?
What is the major change in this present generation?
He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times" (Matthew. 16: 2-3)
To Him be all the glory!