From a very early age, I was blessed to be able to go “fishing” with my Dad. As you can see from the photo above, we went fishing and caught several. Dad was preaching in Orangeburg, SC at the time and I found out many years later that this was not just “recreational” fishing! You see, when the end of the month came around, Mom would sometimes say to Dad, “Dick, you are going to need to go fishing, so we can have something to eat.” We never suffered for lack of food. God provides what we need, if we are seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness first (Mt. 6:33).
Jesus spoke to Peter and Andrew, who were fishermen by trade. What impresses me is that when Jesus said, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men….that these men left their nets immediately (i.e. at once, NIV) and followed Christ! Oh that I, and possibly you, might have such great faith! (See Mk. 1:16-18)
Those that fish for fish use live or artificial bait to lure the fish to the hook. Jesus and His disciples (including those of us today who are doing personal evangelism) are fishing for the souls of men and women who wish to be saved in the day of judgment….to be with the saved of all time in heaven forever! There are “no gimmicks, no bait, no trickery” in the spreading of the gospel as far as God’s Will is concerned.
Throughout the New Testament, like in the book of Acts, we see that the simple message of the gospel of Christ was proclaimed in love, and the audiences were invited and encouraged to respond accordingly. This resulted in men and women believing and obeying the gospel of Christ for the remission of their sins. We are to do the same today…and we will see the same result.
Some think we should “modernize” the approach…by even admittedly luring folks in with a social gospel, or church-sponsored recreational activities, or even by putting “coffee shops” in the church’s meeting house! Is this what God authorizes? No, we are to preach Christ and Him crucified to a lost and dying world, in view of “righteousness, self-control and judgment to come” and those with good and honest hearts will respond positively… while others simply choose to either put off or totally reject the invitation of God! (See Acts 24:25; Acts 2:38-43).
Wanna go fishin’ ?
(See Mt. 28:18-20; Mt. 4:18-22)