9/1/2016 2:16:56 PM
Fishing in the Depths of Fallen Humanity
Evangelism was of utmost importance to our Lord Jesus. He began and ended His ministry with a call to spread the Gospel. From the very beginning of His ministry, His plan was to use disciples to make disciples. He called his first disciples, who were fishermen, to become fishers of men (Mark 1:17). Instead of continuing to cast their nets into the sea, He directed them to cast their nets into the depths of fallen humanity.
He gave them a new purpose for living with an eternal perspective because the difference between fishing for fish and fishing for men is profound. When you catch fish, they are alive, and then you watch them die. When you catch men, they are dead in sin, and then you watch them come alive in Christ.
The keys for effective fishing are similar whether you are fishing for fish or for men. Following are seven biblical principles for success!
1. Know Their Nature. As we fish for men, we need to know that the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him (1 Cor. 2:14). They are spiritually dead (Eph. 2;1). They cannot see the light of the Gospel for "the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Cor. 4:4). It is no wonder the disciples asked Jesus "Who then can be saved?" Jesus said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Mat. 19:24-26).
2. Be Properly Equipped. As we fish for spiritually dead men, we must be equipped with the Word of God, which is the seed that is needed to make them alive in Christ (1 Pet. 1:23). We also need to be equipped with doctrinally-sound Gospel tracts to give away after we share the Gospel.
3. Go Where They Are. Just as fish live in water and won't come to us, we must seek the lost because they are running from the true God. Many love the darkness or all that the world has to offer. Others are content in their apostate religions and will never seek the truth. This is why we go to Catholic Churches to evangelize on Resurrection Sunday and Christmas Eve.
4. Use the Right Lure. The only lure for catching fallen humanity is the Lord Jesus. He said, "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself" (John 12:32). If you use any other lure, you will only catch false converts.
5. Cast Your Line. This means sharing the Gospel and telling others about Jesus as He is revealed in His Word. Nothing can be caught until we do. "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Rom. 10:17).
6. Be Patient. Fishing takes time. Don't give up. Trust God to draw the lost into the Gospel net. Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him" (John 6:44). Wait on the Spirit of God to use the Word of God to bring conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11).
7. Reel in Your Catch. Reel them in by calling them to "repent and believe the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). Don't hook them and let them swim around without proclaiming the only saving response to the Gospel. Give them a sense of urgency! Today is the day of salvation; God doesn't promise anyone tomorrow!
May we all live with this eternal perspective. The only two things in this life that are eternal are the souls of men and the Word of God! Everything else will be destroyed in the end. In light of this let us spend more time seeking and evangelizing the lost for the glory of God. There is no greater joy than to see those who are dead in sin come alive in Christ! As we fish in the depths of fallen humanity, let us remember that God has only called us to be faithful, NOT fruitful. We can only take the Gospel from the Bible to the human ear. God must take it from the ear to the heart. Let us make our Lord's last command our first concern!