Thursday, February 19, 2015


And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”  (Luke 5:10b)
Maybe you are familiar with a simple little child’s card game called, “Go Fish.”  For Simon Peter, and the brothers James and John, fishing wasn’t a game—it was the way they survived.  Yet, Jesus told them He had a bigger fishing job for them—to catch souls for God!  Jesus has commanded us to, “Go Fish!”  It’s not a game.  This is deadly serious.  Every day people are slipping out into eternity without God and without hope!  What are some fishing lessons we find in our text? 
Fishing for people begins with CONFESSING OUR NEED (v.1-5).  These fishermen felt like complete failures.  Despite their best efforts, they didn’t have so much as a minnow to show for it!  How discouraging!  These weren’t sportsmen in a competition.  This wasn’t a hobby done for relaxation.  It was catch fish or starve.  When it comes to catching people for Christ in evangelism, it is a matter of life and death.  Churches all over America are dying!  They are failing to reach new people.  I am concerned that a certain lethargy has gripped us—that our passion for souls is not a priority any more.  Let us confess our need! 
We then move to CASTING OUR NET (v.5-6).   It was simply a matter of obedience.  They didn’t argue or debate.  They didn’t dispute or delay.  You won’t catch any fish until you respond to the command, “Go Fish!”  God’s command is clear—so we are either sinning or soul-winning!  I cannot guarantee that you will catch a soul for Christ the next time you share the Gospel, but I can guarantee you won’t if you don’t!  I’m not saying it is easy to reach a culture that is increasingly hardened to the Gospel, even hostile to it—but at least you don’t have to stand on the bank all day hoping for a bite—there are lost people everywhere!
The next step is in CONSERVING OUR CATCH (v.7).  We aren’t through with the work when we get them in the net—we have to bring them into the boat!  The church house is the spiritual boat for the people we catch.  Too often evangelistic churches fail at this point.  They may lead people into a decision, but do not direct them into the baptistery and subsequently connect them into the life of the church.  Otherwise we fail to conserve the catch.  Note that they signaled for their partners to come and help.  Here is a work that is too large for a few sold-out soul-winners.
This is a call for COMMITTING OUR ALL (v.8-11).  This is the essence of following Christ—forsaking all!  We hold back nothing.  Does it cost a lot of energy, time and money to reach people?  Of course!  But what is one soul worth?  Jesus implied more than the value of the whole world!  The first step up to being all God wants you to be is to fall down before Him and ask forgiveness (v.8).  Basically our problem is unbelief (v.9)  I wonder if we believe in the power of the Gospel?  Do we doubt the exclusivity of salvation in Christ alone?  For those who say they believe in evangelism, we are too often we are paralyzed by fear (v.10).  What do you need to leave behind?  Let us win the lost at any cost!

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