1. In Revelation 14:13, a subject is mentioned that receives a great amount of attention in the Bible -- the labors of Christians. 2. Since tomorrow is recognized as Labor Day, perhaps this is a good time to study a number of passages that relate to "Christian labor." 3. Let us first consider several . . .
I. PRINCIPLES INVOLVING JESUS AND LABOR
A. (Matthew 9:37-38) Jesus taught His followers to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into His harvest. 1. Jesus' work is described in vs.35. 2. However, according to vs.36, He had not been able to reach everyone. 3. In vs.37 Jesus made His disciples aware of the problem that existed. a. On the one hand, the harvest was truly plenteous. b. On the other hand, the laborers were few. 4. Jesus told His disciples to pray about this situation in vs.38. 5. (Matthew 10:1) Jesus selected the twelve, and He sent them on the limited commission (vs.5-8). 6. Their return is mentioned in Luke 9:10a. 7. Jesus sent 70 others (Luke 10:1-2, 9). 8. Their return is mentioned in vs.17. 9. Jesus wants us to pray for laborers, but He also wants us to answer His call to go and labor. B. (John 6:27) Jesus taught His followers to labor with proper priorities. 1. Earlier, Jesus had fed the multitude of 5,000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fish. 2. After Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee, the people searched for Him and found Him (vs.24-25). 3. In vs.26 Jesus revealed the reason why they had followed Him. 4. This led Him to give an important lesson in vs.27 about laboring for the right reason. 5. In addition to teaching His followers about labor, . . . C. Jesus had a sense of urgency about doing the Father's work (John 9:4). 1. Jesus had a mission to fulfill (John 4:34). 2. He realized His time was limited, and He was driven by His personal sense of urgency to fulfill His mission. D. After looking at these principles involving Jesus and labor, let us turn our attention to some . . .
II. GENERAL PRINCIPLES RELATING TO CHRISTIAN LABOR
A. (1 Corinthians 3:8) Each person will "receive his own reward according to his own labor." B. (1 Corinthians 3:9) "We are laborers together with God." 1. We must remember that God gives "the increase" (vs.6b). 2. Let us heed the warning given in Psalm 127:1 -- "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." C. (1 Corinthians 15:58) Paul concluded his discussion of the resurrection by showing that Christian labor "is not in vain in the Lord." D. (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3) In addition to their "work of faith" and "patience of hope," Paul was thankful for the "labor of love" of the Christians in Thessalonica [the necessity of love is stressed in 1 Corinthians 13:3]. E. (Hebrews 6:10) God remembers the labor of Christians (Nehemiah 13:31b). F. (Revelation 14:13) Rest is in store for Christian labor. 1. This message is comforting -- those who have died in the Lord are blessed. 2. They are able to rest from their labors. 3. Their works will follow them.
1. Now is the time to work as Jesus stated in John 9:4. 2. According to Revelation 14:13, there will be plenty of time for rest in heaven.