Summary: A challenege to share your faith to a lost world in need of Christ.
All on the Altar – Becoming Fishers of Men
Aug. 11, 2002
Intro: This morning I want to speak with you about something that all of us know as Christians that we are supposed to be doing, yet few of us, due to fear, ignorance, busyness, and other excuses and distractions, are actively involved – Witnessing.
Wait: Already some of you have tuned me out, but wait! This message is not designed to heap on the guilt or twist your arm, this message is intended to enable, equip, and encourage you… release you into becoming a fisher of men.
Text: Lk. 5:1-11
Setting: Shortly after his forty days in the wilderness, Jesus returned to Galilee to begin His earthly ministry. After being rejected in Nazareth, Jesus made His way toward the Sea of Galilee. Jesus began speaking to a growing crowd and then He got into a boat (Simon Peter) and began to preach. After preaching, He instructed the boats owner to cast his nets into the sea. A bit reluctant after a long hard night of striking out, Peter and Andrew cast their nets and took in a hall so great that they had to get help and still their boats almost sank. Once Jesus got their attention, He extended an invitation to them – “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Mt. 4:19
Note: The same call Jesus extended to Peter, Andrew, James, and John, He extends to everyone today who has received His call to salvation and has become one of His disciples. It is the call to be salt and light; to be His ambassadors; to be His herald.
We too are called to be fishers of men.
Quote: Too many Christians are no longer fishers of men, instead they have become keepers of the aquarium. Paul Harvey
Trans. While Harvey’s statement may be true, we need to ask why?
Idea: We all know that the Great Commission calls us to go and tell – no where in Scripture do you see the command to hang a sign that says come and hear.
Idea: This means that each of us are apart of something bigger than ourselves. We are part of a grandiose plan contrived in the heart and mind of the Father. He invites us, expects us, and wants us to be apart of His plan.
Trans: Understanding that we are all called, what do we need to fulfill His call?
I We Need to have a CAUSE – Jesus in You
Define: Witnessing is that deep-seated conviction that the greatest favor I can do for others is to introduce them to Jesus Christ. P. Little – How to Give Away Your Faith
Example: Woman at the Well – She went to her village after receiving the living water and proclaimed – “Come see a man who told me everything I have ever done.” Jn. 4
Blind man – I once was blind but now I see and Jesus is the reason. Jn. 9
Notice: Peter’s response to the teachings and miracles of Christ – “Go away from me…I am unworthy to be in your presence.” And Jesus responds to his brokenness with a call to join Him in spreading the news of His kingdom. Peter promptly responds.
Idea: Evangelism occurs when Christians are so ignited by their contact with Christ that they in turn set others on fire. It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church or Christian without evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as fire that does not burn is a contradiction. Elton Trueblood (Quaker) on comparing witnessing to fire
Truth: If Christ is in you He also should come from you.
Story: A mom and daughter were driving home after church one Sunday when the little girl began to ask her mommy some questions about the morning service. “Mommy, there’s some thing about the pastor’s sermon this morning that I don’t understand. He said that God is bigger than we are. He said God is so big that He could hold the whole world in His hands. Is that true? The mother assured her daughter that the pastor was correct. The daughter then said, “But Mommy, he also said that God comes to live inside of us when we believe in Jesus as our Savior. Is that true too? Again, the Mom assured her little girl that the pastor’s words were true. Then, with a puzzled look on her face the little girl asked, “If God is bigger than we are and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?”
II We Need to Make a CHOICE – You in Jesus
Idea: While Christ in me is my motivation, it is my desire to be in Christ – to be involved in the things of God and to be touched by God – that determines my influence and impact for Christ.