Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
– HOW WE MEASURE SUCCESS: “This isn’t working; I quit.”
How did the disciples measure: “God, however you want to use me.”
Disciples Fate: This we know: Judas betrayed Jesus and hanged himself, and James the son of Zebedee, was executed by Herod about 44 AD (Acts 12:2).
PETER and PAUL were both martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified, upside down at his request, since he did not feel worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
ANDREW went to what is now the Soviet Union. Christians there claim him as the first to bring the gospel to their land. He also preached in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, and in Greece, where he is said to have been crucified.
“Doubting” THOMAS. Tradition has him preaching as far as India, where the ancient Marthoma Christians revere him as their founder. They claim that he died there when pierced through with the spears of four soldiers.
PHILIP ministered in North Africa and Asia Minor, where he converted the wife of a Roman proconsul. In retaliation the proconsul had Philip cruelly put to death.
MATTHEW the tax collector and writer of a Gospel, ministered in Persia and Ethiopia. Some of the oldest reports say he was not martyred, while others say he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.
BARTHOLOMEW had widespread missionary travels and various accounts of how he met his death as a martyr for the gospel.
JAMES the son of Alpheus, is one of at least three James referred to in the New Testament. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that he was stoned and then clubbed to death.
SIMON THE ZEALOT ministered in Persia and was killed after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god.
MATTHIAS was the apostle chosen to replace Judas. Tradition sends him to Syria with Andrew and to death by burning.
JOHN is the only one of the company generally thought to have died a natural death from old age. During Domitian’s persecution in the middle 90′s, he was exiled to the island of Patmos. There he is credited with writing the last book of the New Testament–the Revelation. An early Latin tradition has him escaping unhurt after being cast into boiling oil at Rome.
Recommended Reading: If You Bite & Devour One Another by Alexander Strauch
1ST Lesson: Truth
They died for the truth – NO ONE DIES FOR A LIE
Truth must be reinforced, encouraged, and nurtured.
“Truth either grows or withers depending on whether you feed or starve it.”
IT MUST BE HEARD!
If you’re dying spiritually, feeling distant from God; if darkness and depression are reigning in your heart…maybe truth has fallen.
ISAIAH 59, 9 “We look for light, but there is darkness! For brightness, but we walk in blackness!10 We grope for the wall like the blind, And we grope as if we had no eyes; We stumble at noonday as at twilight; We are as dead men in desolate places.11 We all growl like bears, And moan sadly like doves; We look for justice, but there is none;For salvation, but it is far from us…”
2ND Lesson: Perseverance
Perseverance is directly related to Commitment to the truth
2 Peter 1 [NIV]: 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Many never experience this “Divine power” because they lack PERSEVERANCE.
a] The calm is just beyond the storm…
…the rest is just beyond the battle.
b] In our deepest trials is when God does His deepest work
c] How do we persevere? Truth must be reinforced, encouraged, and nurtured.
3RD Lesson: Humility
The disciples were powerful because they were broken.
“The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay.”
When facing conflict are the works of the flesh revealed?
Conflict, Challenges, Criticism, and Struggles reveal the heart.
Galatians 5:19 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy [quarreling / hostility]…”
There is no hope for unity, productivity, and power in a flesh driven church until repentance takes place.
4TH Lesson: Honest Self-examination
“Many are living with problems of one kind or another. I suspect if we knew the truth, we would discover that in numerous cases the trouble is rooted in rebellion” (K.P. Yohannan; Touching Godliness).
Take the K.P. test in his book
REBELLION IS DEMONIC [the character of Satan; not God]
Rebelling against authority; Rebelling against truth; Rebellion against God