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Fishers Of Men

Fishers of Men

 Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men Matthew 4:19 (NKJV)

I had the opportunity to preside over a funeral this last week, and it was a blessing.  Art, who was 74-years of age, was a friend of the family, and so I looked forward to doing his service.  Funerals can be very hard, and full of sorrow, but they can also be a time of joy.

They can be sorrowful because those left behind are experiencing the sense of loss and that pain that comes with it.  But a funeral service can be joyful as well, especially when that person who has passed-on, knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Because when they passed-on, their spirit is no longer living in that temporary tent that we call a body, but is instead, in the presence of God.

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 2Corinthians 5:6, 8 NLT

So I set my sights on giving a message that would pay honor to Art, but would also give those in attendance a glimpse of what he believed in, and what he was experiencing.  I laid out some of the scriptures that I had shared with Art 2 years ago when I had led him to the Lord.

I guess you could say that I was on a bit of a fishing excursion.  That's right!  I wanted to throw out as bait, the truth of Gods Word, and then give an offer of salvation to those who would be in attendance-those who might not otherwise hear the scriptures or attend a Church service.
I shared that we, as people, can have a propensity to follow our own feelings as we walk throughout life, and we can seek to fill our own desires, but in doing so, we might not end up not ever knowing the truth.  And, we might even be deceived into following a man made religion that distorts the Word of God and causes the follower to be lost.  I shared how proverbs 14:12 tells us that there is a way that Seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

I shared that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), and that this falling short was sin.  And that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:23).  I then shared what Jesus said in the Book of John about this.

 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 (NKJV)

I explained that the scriptures teach us that we cannot earn our way to Heaven, and that doing works or good deeds cannot save us.  I explained that we aren't saved by how much we go to church---but only by Grace (unmerited favor) through faith (Eph 2:8, 9).  I shared what God's Word tells us about exercising our faith concerning salvation.

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV)

I continued to share with them some scriptures in Revelation explaining what Art was experiencing right now in heaven, and then closed with Jesus statement as recorded in John 14:6, where He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."  And then I closed with an invitation to those who had not yet heard the message of salvation, or who had not accepted it yet. And then, while their heads were bowed down and their eyes were closed in prayer, I invited them to lift their hand up and identify if they wanted to know Christ, and be forgiven.

But guess what?  No one person accepted the offer.  That's right, an invitation was made in love and sincerity, and yet none were willing to accept.  I made a second offer and urged them to not let this divine appointment pass without accepting Jesus offer, and again, no one accepted.

Have you ever gone fishing before and not caught any fish?  Well, in some ways that is what I had just done.  But that's what fishing's all about. There is no guarantee when you drop your line in the water that you are going to see the fish on the other end every time.  After all, that is why they call it fishing, and not catching.  And that's the way it is for us when we are throwing out the Word of God to those in our lives.  We do it, and we enjoy it, because we are fishers of men.

That's exactly what Jesus offered to Peter and Andrew; to be fishers of men, and its what He offered to each of His followers as well.  

God supplies the truth of His Word and the offer of forgiveness of sin and eternal life as the bait, and we just lay it out there.  Some people have been waiting a long time to hear that truth and they will receive it happily and take a big bite.  Others will look and swim right past, opting to say, No thanks.

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you today to keep throwing out the Word, and do your part-Keep fishing!.  The fish cant bite on the right stuff if there isn't any good bait (Word) being thrown out.

STUDY QUESTION: What does Jesus offer in Matthew 4:19?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you fishing for men?  Are you throwing out the bait of Gods complete forgiveness and eternal salvation to those in your surrounding waters?

APPLICATION: Be a fisher of men and ask God to lead you in sharing the good news of the Gospel Message.  It will amaze you what the Lord does when you're willing to participate.

Father, Thank You for allowing me to be a part of ministry.  Thank You for allowing me to be a fisher of men.  I give all glory to You father for being able to share this great message and to offer it to those You have divinely led into my life.  I praise You and thank You in Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000