Summary: This message is an exciting message that is designed to "Fire-Up" the Saints, and motivate them to forsake all for the cause of Christ.
Leaving Your Nets
(Math 4:18-23)(1Kings 19:19-21)
Christ, being led by the Spirit into the wilderness, fasted for forty days; where he is then tempted by the devil; overcomes him by the word of God, and is ministered to by angels. He dwells at Capernaum, and fulfills a prophecy of Isaiah, by preaching in Galilee, 12-17. He then calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John, to follow him, 18-22. He teaches in the synagogues, and heals the diseased; so that, his fame being spread abroad, he is followed by great multitudes, 23-25. His Mission: Make Disciples!
Introduction: Two thousand years of worldwide evangelism have passed since Christ commissioned His followers to go and proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom. Today, one third of the earth’s population declare themselves to be Christians. Whole countries—and even continents—are being loosed from pagan domination. The “Gospel of the Kingdom” is being proclaimed by every means known in every part of the world. People are turning to Christ and being filled with the Holy Ghost and Fire! I want to tell you these are exciting days to be living in! For I believe that these are the last days, for soon and very soon we are going to see King Jesus! For I believe that the trump of God will sound and the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout!
I. Reaching the Lost! What is it going to take to reach the rest of the 2/3 of the earth? Jack Hayford says, “A disciple is a believer who has become an ongoing follower of the Lord Jesus and of His methods and means of disciple-making.” Notice the progression: believer, follower, and disciple. Can you locate yourself in one of these three categories?
A. There are just two groups of people in this world: those who have heard the gospel and those who have not. If those who have heard (and believed) refuse to tell those who have not heard, God will render to each according “to his deeds.” Sobering! While people often debate about those who have died without hearing the gospel, Proverbs 24:11 & 12 reveals the soul-stirring importance of seeking those who are alive and have not heard! 11deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
B. We cannot go back to the last generation, nor can we reach the next generation, but we can serve this one. The only generation God expects us to be vitally concerned about is our own!
II. We Have Been Called to Leave Our Nets! Jesus offered them a proposition they could not refuse! Are You Ready For A Career Change! (This event chronologically speaking, took place after John chapter 1. These boys had already been converted! They already knew Him as the Messiah! But they went back to their old lifestyle! They had left Jesus and went back to the Sea of Galilee to continue in their old occupation. You guys know how it is? Jesus, you know how it is, the bills keep coming in, so I better get after it! Peter was probably feeling pretty good! Jesus had just changed his name from Simon to Cephas.
1. And then Jesus saw Andrew and Peter casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee.
2. Fishing was their lively hood! It was their job! Their sole occupation! However, Jesus was fixing to offer them another line of work with the same purpose: Catching men!
a. The problem with the Church is that we’ve tried to clean the fish before we caught! “Awe you can’t come in here looking like that!”
b. But Jesus said, “You catch em’ and I’ll do the cleaning!”
c. Buddy, I can handle that! That cleaning fish business just stresses me out sometimes!
3. Friend, Jesus has called us into the occupation of catching men for the Kingdom of God! For so long we’ve been in the wrong business! For so long the Church has thought the Preacher was the only one who able to catch men! “You know, he’s got a license to preach, so he must have a license to catch men.”
4. For so many years the Church hasn’t been doing Her job! But my friend, I believe God is raising up some laborers in this last hour that will get the job done! He’s enlisted you and I to change occupations! To get our priorities straightened out! To become His witnesses to this wicked, perverse and sin sick generation! Somebody say it’s time!
III. It’s A Cover Up!
A. James and John were mending their nets! They were trying to run from their eternal destiny!
B. They had already met the Lord and had even become a follower of Jesus Christ! But they were hiding behind some broken nets!
C. Friend, are you hiding this morning behind a fisad of brokenness! Maybe your running from the call of God on your life to ministry! But the heart of this message deals with all of us, and that is our occupation as soul winners! As Fishers of Men!