Here are some notes from the weekly NCF Church staff meeting by Grant Crawford compiled by Sabine Mahabeer.
“…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
The following bible passage is from John’s vision in heaven regarding the Last Days. He watches as heaven prepares for action.
Revelations 14:6 The Messages of the Three Angels
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.” And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
John is observing what is transpiring before his very eyes and hears the message that the gospel needs to be preached to every nation, tribe and language. And that action in heaven has a re-action on earth.
An action in heaven has a reaction on earth.
The promptings of heaven are to mobilise the church to get involved in what God is talking about, as we ought to (see Ephesians 6:20).
The Harvest of the Earth
Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped. Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.
Speaking about Gods’ wrath, reaping the earth with a sickle, angels and the mark of the beast may all sound quite melodramatic and daunting, but it is what John sees transpiring in heaven. And that action in heaven has a reaction on earth.
We are living out the purposes and the will of God. And at the very center of it stands the boldness to proclaim the gospel. This is why we go out into the mission field and preach the gospel. This is why we go out and reach out into our cities. This is why we go into schools and share Jesus with the children. Doing exactly that, fuels a lot of the other things we do in church.
In light of this Bible passage, we can be intimidated and pull back, or we can do what the Bible tells us to do, and preach the gospel boldly. Christmas is a great opportunity to do just that.
How about thinking of a creative way you can play your part this year and reach out to your community and your city, and help proclaim our eternal message of Jesus Christ?
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