When Jesus began His ministry here on earth, He started by gathering together 12 followers called disciples. These disciples became the foundation stones of the church and the sustainers of Christ’s ministry on earth. Jesus made it very clear from the very start that what He was calling these men. The call that Jesus had for the disciples in that day, is the same call that He has for you and me today.
“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:18-19 NKJV
We are to be a Christ follower. That’s what a disciple does, he follows.
“From now on you will fish for people.” Luke 5:10 NIV
There is an emotion attached to sharing your faith and it is primarily a negative one. The emotion that we feel about our own salvation is so different than the emotion we feel about sharing the Gospel. The emotion about our own salvation is positive. The emotion about sharing the gospel is negative.
Last week’s post was explaining what the gospel is. In John 3:16, we clarified what the gospel is. The way to heaven is NOT trying to be good. The way to heaven is trusting Christ to save you. Saving faith is trusting in Christ alone to save you.
This week’s post is about why it’s important to share the Gospel. As a follower of Christ, you need to develop an unshakeable conviction about the importance of sharing the gospel. Then, in the next two week’s posts we will teach you how to fish for people.
The unknowns scares us and that creates some negative emotions. But understand this:
Jesus followers fish, that’s what they do.
Jesus followers fish for people. That’s what Jesus calls, saves and empowers us to do. So why don’t we do it?
Three Reasons we Don’t Fish for People
1. We don’t know we’re supposed to fish.
We make the mistake of thinking that someone else is supposed to fish for us.
2. We don’t know how to fish.
One of the goals of this series is to help you learn how to share the gospel.
3. We’re afraid to fish.
One of the reasons why you might be afraid to share the gospel is you don’t want to be one of “them”. In your mind, you’re thinking of the stereotypical image of an evangelist. Maybe a person on a street corner yelling through a bullhorn, “Repent or you’re going to hell!”
Now I’m sure that these types occasionally win people to the Lord. It takes all kinds. Maybe it took that kind of approach to break through your shell and win you to Jesus. But that’s not what wins most people.
Now, think of the person who actually did lead you to Christ. How would you describe them? You would probably use adjectives like kind, caring, generous or prayerful. They fished for you, not by throwing a stick of dynamite in the water to drive you to the surface to get caught, by putting together a lure that was attractive and even helpful to you as a person.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Are you a whoever? Have you believed in Jesus Christ for eternal life?
You may know Jesus was the Son of God. That He came at Christmas, healed some people, preached some sermons, walked on water and did miracles. You may even know He died on the cross and He rose from the dead at Easter. But do you really believe that Jesus did those things for you? How will you respond to what Christ did for you?
Four Reasons to Fish For People
You have a sphere of influence. There are people in your life everyday and they are the fish that God wants you to catch.
1. Fishing is fun.
What a thrill knowing that you played a role in changing someone’s eternal destiny. To know that someone is going to heaven because of you is an exciting thing.
“I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10 NIV
You make the angels dance and the devil cry when you fish for people. How fun to see someone struggling with the meaning of their life and to tell them you have an answer to their problems? There is no problem that isn’t made better by bringing Jesus into the picture and you could be the one who does that. We have what people are looking for! We have the hope of a better life.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 NIV
2. Fishing is necessary.
This is serious business. This is the difference between heaven and hell for the people in your life. For you as a believer this is not an optional thing where you can take it or leave it. It’s one of the five purposes of your life. It’s why you were made. It’s why you’re here.
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’” Romans 10:13-15 NLT
Sometimes we think, “Why doesn’t Jesus hurry up and come back?” But we’re not waiting on Him, He’s waiting on us.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NIV
You’re waiting on Jesus to come back and Jesus is waiting on you to share the Gospel. Then the people in your fishing pond can come to Christ so Jesus can come back. The challenge of the Great Commission is not to figure out when Jesus is coming back. The challenge of the Great Commission is to get people ready for when Jesus comes back.
3. Jesus asked us to go fishing.
If you’re going to call Him “Lord” then you need to do what He asks you to do. All 4 Gospels and the book of Acts end with that “ask” from Jesus. The first five books of the New Testament end with that “ask”.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19 NIV
“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'” Mark 16:15 NIV
“With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations…” Luke 24:47 NLT
“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21 NIV
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NIV
We’re to tell people everywhere. Sometimes we get hung up on, “Where is God going to send me?” God has already sent you. He sent you where you are right now!
4. We were all fish once.
So you’ve pictured the person who led you to the Lord. Now think back and picture you. Where were you, who were you when Christ found you? Where would you be, who would you be today if they hadn’t it? We fish because we were all fish once.
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all…” 2 Corinthians 5:14 NIV
Christ didn’t just die for you. Don’t selfishly hold onto the Gospel. We MUST share it with others.
Are you a whoever?
Maybe you’ve gone to church for years, you know Jesus is the Son of God. Maybe you know all of that but the question is: Do you believe that He did all of that for you?
“…whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life.” John 3:16
You have to make a choice, a personal choice to believe in Christ.
Have you done that? If not, then do it today. If you have more questions or would like to let us know you have made this decision, email us at church@RockBrook.org.
Check back and review what we talked about last week. Of the four statements from John 3:16, is there one that you took to heart anew this past week? If you’ve trusted God with salvation, you can trust him with anything. What did you trust him with this past week? What is a doubt that you’re struggling with right now?
Hear the Word
Read: Luke 15:10, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, 2 Corinthians 5:14
Being fishers of men is God’s agenda for our lives as followers of Jesus. This is God’s plan to reach all His people. We have the honor of playing a critical role in God’s plan for people to know Him and spend eternity in Heaven. There was a time when we were the fish, and someone took the time and effort to share the love of Jesus with us. Sharing our faith is not only a call from God that we have to do, but also a daring adventure we get to be a part of. If you’ve never played a role in helping someone come to know Jesus, then you’re missing one of the greatest thrills in this life. According to Luke 15:10, even the angels rejoice when one sinner turns to Christ. When we follow Jesus, He makes us fishers of men.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Matthew 4:18-19 NIV
- How did you come to know Jesus? Who is the person most responsible for you coming to Christ?
- As followers of Jesus we are called to be “fishers of men”. Whose salvation are you persistently fighting for?
- Inviting others to church and sharing the love of Jesus can seem hard and scary. What is something in the past or present that is holding you back from sharing your faith? Identify ways to replace those lies with truth.
Tell Someone Else
In this series we’ll do some coaching and equipping so you can confidently share your faith. However, if you know John 3:16, you know enough to tell someone what you believe. With whom can you share John 3:16?
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