Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


Fishers of Men


Matthew 4:18-22


Introduction:

·         Jesus said we are to be fishers of men!

·         Our church building used to be an old fish market. At one time we owed over 1 million dollars and now we are nearing the finish line, praise God!

·         We are all to be in the business of fishing for men! God is still in the business of saving souls! Just this past Wednesday we had man visit here and get saved!

·         If a church does not evangelize it will soon fossilize!

 

I.                    Follow Me

a.      The first call is to follow Christ. Before we can become the master fishermen that God wants us to be, we must become master followers!

b.      You can never be a true leader, until you first learn to truly follow Christ!

c.       Mark 3:14- “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.” Everything we do with and for men must be preceded by our time with God!

                                                              i.      I cannot preach until I have first been with Christ

                                                            ii.      SS teacher/Children’s church worker

                                                          iii.      If you are a parent you cannot do for those children what you should do without following Christ

                                                           iv.      We rush for shortcuts and get the work done without spending time with God! The sad thing is we succeed, having left Christ out.

d.      This is actually the second time Jesus called Peter and Andrew. In John 1:35-42 they were called to salvation, here they are called to service! The first took place in Judea, this in Galilee.

e.      Jesus called these men to leave their professions and follow Him with a full-time commitment.

f.        God is still calling men for full time ministry today! But few are answering the call

g.      We know that God places special callings for full time ministry, but he also has a general call for all believers to preach, declare, teach, share the gospel with every creature!

h.      The immediate response of these disciples is a great example to us. Then the first disciples did what all disciples of Jesus should do: they followed Him.

i.        Following Jesus means leaving some things behind.

                                                              i.      Family/friends, luxuries/pleasures, etc.

                                                            ii.      Count the cost- Christ is worthy of leaving it all behind! “I’d Rather Have Jesus”

j.        John 8:31- “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” Be a disciple indeed! Not just a pseudo-disciple, not an artificial, or insincere disciple!

k.       How long are we to follow Jesus?

II.                  I will make you

a.      Jesus makes us into fishermen

b.      Mark 1- “I will make you to become”

c.       This means He will construct and fashion us into fishermen. He will produce this quality within us. He will make us ready and prepare us for this work.

d.      Our responsibility is to follow Him, His responsibility is to make us fishermen

e.      He doesn’t call only the super-talented, and super-spiritual! Illustr- tongue tied woman but she baked excellent cakes! (McGee)

f.        The transforming power of the Gospel! Our flesh says we can’t do it. Christ says, I can through you!

III.                Fishers of Men

a.      We spend so much time theorizing, and hypothesizing, that we never get to evangelizing!

b.      There is too much theory, and we need more practice!

c.       We must put the G-O- back in the Gospel! Illustr- Barber who got convicted about witnessing

d.      You will never catch fish if you never go out into the water, and draw the net.

e.      We go according to the Lord’s leading and power- See Luke 5:1-11

                                                              i.      Expectant faith, leads to obedience

                                                            ii.      Divine initiative- faith- divine enablement. Faith lies in the middle and grabs hold of both truths!

f.        Different bait for different fish- scriptural, yet innovative strategies

g.      See I Corinthians 9:19-23. We should not think Paul changed his doctrine or message to appeal to different groups, but he would change his manner of approach. He had Timothy circumcised, participated in purification rituals, etc. In Acts 17 he is preaching to Greek philosphers in Athens and starts with what they know and move what they don’t know

h.      Like regular fishing we must use the proper lure, endure discomfort, be patient

i.        Sometimes it seems the more we pray, the harder their hearts become! Don’t be discouraged! Just keep fishing as the Lord leads!

j.        How can you fish? Personal testimony, Gospel tracts, inviting to church, etc.

k.       Find lost people and build relationships with them! Show them Jesus! Pull them to Jesus!

l.        John 4- Jesus had to go through Samaria!

                                                              i.      Go where the fish are

                                                            ii.      Casual conversation, turned to spiritual application

                                                          iii.      He led her to an awareness of her spiritual need

                                                           iv.      In John 4:28-29, we read that the woman trusted in Him and began winning souls herself!

Conclusion:

·         It is God’s desire for us to be fishers of men!

·         Notice the progression- followingŕfishing. If we are not fishers of men it is because He has not made us fishers of men. If He has not made us fishers of men, it means we are not following Him!

·         I heard a preacher comment that in many churches we have replaced fishing for men with being keepers of the aquarium

o   We spend so much time going after backsliders, and weak believers

o   We spend so much money dressing up ourselves and our buildings!

o   We spend so much energy getting offended, gossiping, criticizing, instead of soul-winning!

o   So, we have a nice aquarium, but we are not fishing for lost men

·         Some have replaced evangelism with activism, or humanitarianism.

·         Jesus was a preacher and teacher who healed, more than He was a healer who also preached and taught. This is the priority of Jesus’ ministry as stated in Matthew 4:23.

·         Today, we still have this call to fish for men, and win souls.

o   From above- Great Commission

o   From below- Luke 16:27-29

o   From without (this sinful world)- Romans 8- Creation is waiting, eagerly anticipating

o   From within (we must be moved with compassion)- Christ, Jude v.22