December 14, 2013 Jesse Digges

The Eleventh Hour Workers

The Bible speaks about certain events that will take place simultaneously, setting the stage for the Lord’s return. The Jewish people would be gathered from a scattered position among the nations back to a renewed Jewish state. Following this re-gathering Sudan (Cush), Libya, Iran (Persia), Jordan and Saudi Arabia (Edom, Teman, and Midian), Syria and Iraq (Assyria and Babylon), and Turkey would carry a common hatred of the Jews. Eventually they will be united under one head that will lead the charge to destroy Israel (Psalm 83; Ezek. 37-39; Hab 3). In 1948 the Jewish state was reborn with millions of Jews making aliyah and literally re-gathering to the land of Israel from all the different nations of the world in which they were scattered for nearly 2000 years. Today the nations described above are Islamic territories, which are increasingly hostile toward the Jewish state. Cries for the Mahdi are sounding in the Muslim world as they anticipate the coming of an Islamic Caliphate that will unite a fractured Islamic world and help them re-establish Islamic rule over Jerusalem and the world.

Jesus spoke about another fundamental sign that would precede his return. He said, “the gospel must be proclaimed to all nations!” and then “the end will come” (Mark 13:10; Matt 24:14). In 2010 a strategic gathering of the top missions leaders in the world, representing over 150,000 missionaries in the world, met in Tokyo. They came out with an amazing prediction, “Beyond any doubt, an unprecedented opportunity lies before us to see the Great Commission fulfilled. If current world conditions hold stable, it is very probable that this could happen in the next ten to fifteen years. Remarkably, this is almost exactly two thousands years after this assignment was given! Dare we not give it our all in this final stretch?” (http://www.gnms.net/vision.html)
Jesus tells a parable in Matthew 20 about a master who went out to hire servants for his vineyard. Finally, at the eleventh hour he hired more workers and said “you go into the vineyard”. Could it be that this is the time for the eleventh hour workers? Many agree that missions is in a new phase of leadership and what was mostly a project of the Global North (Europe & North America) is now being spearheaded by those in the Global South such as India, Africa, and South America. Ben Naja makes this point and its implication for the missions movement in his book Releasing the Workers of the Eleventh Hour. He says, “At the beginning of the twentieth century, 94% of all Christians lived in the Global North. By the year 2000, 71% of all Christians were living in the Global South… this shift has dramatic implications for world missions.” Out of this harvest God is raising up a new, multicultural missions force; could they be the “Eleventh Hour Workers”? I believe so! Naja continues, “the harvesters in the Global North are rapidly being joined by their fellow workers in the Global South. By the year 2025, four out of every five missionaries will be from the Global South.”
We believe this is the time for the eleventh hour workers. The Lord of the harvest is enlisting and sending out a new generation of multicultural workers into the last ethnic groups of the earth that need the gospel. Believe with us, and pray, for the release of 10,000 African missionaries into the harvest of sub-Saharan and North Africa.

Jesse Digges

Jesse Digges is co-founder of Send56, a ministry which exists to serve the African missions movement. He has worked as a full-time missionary since 2008, developing prayer centers and discipleship schools for training and sending African missionaries. He is a regular contributor on the Send56 blog, a Bible teacher, and an evangelist. He resides in East Africa with his wife Rachelle and their three children, Hadassah, Bethany and Jadon.

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