Summary: This message challenges Christians to become actively involved in evangelism.

What Happens When Fishermen Don’t Fish?

Matthew 4:18-22 NIV

[18] As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. [19] "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." [20] At once they left their nets and followed him.

[21] Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, [22] and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

This is the gospel account of how Jesus enlisted four of the 12 disciples. One third of the team is called right here, right out of the fishing business. And the appeal Jesus used was quite simple. “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

These guys have been scouring the lakes in hopes of catching a few fish. But from now on they would invest their lives to something with eternal significance. They will become fishers of men.

The truth of the matter is that Jesus has called all of us to be fishers of men. And when we do that, we are continuing the work that Jesus began when He walked the face of this earth.

Luke 19:10 NIV

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.

Christ’s purpose in coming was to seek and to save lost people! His key objective was not to bring comfort, happiness, healing, contentment, wealth or power. His goal in coming to this earth was to seek and to save that which was lost.

John 20:21 NIV

Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."

We have been called to carry on the work of Christ.

This is not an isolated call that relates to just a few. This is an appeal to every believer. We all have a part. We all have responsibility.

Don’t worry! I am not here to beat up on you for not witnessing. I am not going to try to shame you into sharing your faith. My goal this morning is to remind you of God’s will for all of us and offer some simple strategies that all of us can follow as we obey Him.

The Apostle Paul was a great soul winner. He followed the example of Jesus. And he goes on to call us to follow Him as he followed Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Initial Observations:

1. If Jesus’ #1 priority was to seek and save that which was lost…

2. And we claim to be followers of Christ…

3. And Jesus called us to continue the work He began…

4. Then, we too must make evangelism our #1 priority.

We, like Peter, must become fishers of men!

But there is a problem.

Most Christians aren’t concerned with fishing.

Most Churches aren’t concerned with fishing.

The truth of the matter is that while most churches give lip service to seeing the lost come to Jesus, many have gone year after year without a single conversion due to the evangelistic impact of the church in the community.

If they were brutally honest, many churches would have to admit that they gave up on fishing a long time ago. Oh, they’re willing to accept a fish if it leaps into the boat by itself, but they’re not willing to cast their nets and work to pull them in.

Churches are playing musical saints a lot these days. People get mad at church A and go to church B. Can it be said with integrity that church B is really growing if is no true conversion growth?

Soul winning is not a priority in many churches and that sad reality is reflected in the lives of many Christians. Just take a look at the activities on the calendar, the priorities in the budget and the focus of their attention. Sometimes what we say and what we do are two different things. In far too many churches and in the lives of far too many Christians, we may talk about reaching the lost, but the sad reality is that few ever do it.

Let me share with you a Parable: A PLEA FOR FISHING:

Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry.

Week after week, month, and year after year, these who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing. Year after year they carefully defined what fishing means, defended fishing as an occupation, and declared that fishing is always to be the primary task of fishermen.

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