There is nothing like the feeling of hooking a nice fish and having it fight while you reel it in. Fishing is fun-–especially when you are catching fish.
Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Just as fishing can get us excited, fishing for men is better still. There are few things in life that can compare to witnessing someone pray and receive Christ as their Saviour. Our theme this year is taken from Acts 20:20, “House to House.” Let us look at several principles for catching men in 2020.
1. The Command of Christ – verse 19 – Jesus said, “Follow Me.”
If we are going to be followers of Christ in 2020, we will be seeking to reach the lost. The Great Commission is found in Matthew 28:18-20 and, as believers, we need to be making Christ’s last command our greatest priority!
On the flyleaf of a well-known pastor’s Bible was written, “They will not seek―they must be sought; they will not come―they must be brought; they will not study―they must be taught.”
Curtis Hudson said, “The only alternative to soul winning is disobedience to Christ.”
2. The Casting of the Net – verse 18 – Peter & Andrew are “casting a net.”
The parable of the net and fish – Matthew 13:47, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind.”
We must cast the Gospel net before we can catch fish. They will not jump into the boat!!
If our Christianity is worth having, it must be worth sharing. We must share the Gospel before sinners can be converted.
Romans 10:13-14, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Just as a net is cast at the place the fisherman believes there is an opportunity, we must be sensitive to share the Gospel with the lost. Where there is an opportunity, cast the net.
Jesus met people right where they were. He knew what some Christians today still do not understand. We must get out into the fields, for they are white already to harvest.
According to one study, the Gospels record 132 contacts that Jesus had with people―Six were in the temple, four in the synagogues, and 122 were out with the people in the mainstream of life. We must be soul-conscious everywhere we go.
3. The Creatures in the Net
Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Every person needs the gospel.
When you fish with a net, no selection is possible. Nets gather every kind of fish.
It is impossible to send the Gospel to the wrong place.
Acts 10:34, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.”
Paul met people right where they were, and Jesus was a friend of sinners.
4. The Challenge of the Fisherman
Just as fishing has its challenges, reaching the lost for Christ has its difficulties as well.
A. A fisherman is exposed to the bad elements―To be tossed on the troubled sea.
The Bible says in Mark 4:37-40, “And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”
B. The work of the fisherman is hard labor.
Every year fishing boats capsize on the Bearing Sea. Men have to take turns gearing up to be exposed to harsh elements as they literally use baseball bats to beat the ice off the front of the fishing vessels.
Satan will do everything he can to discourage God’s people from becoming fishers of men. I like what Curtis Hudson said, “It is the Christian’s business to populate heaven and to depopulate hell.”
Just as you become more skilled by fishing with great fishermen, the more skilled you will become in leading people to Christ as you go with those who are veteran soul winners who are filled with the Spirit of God.
We must keep in mind that the only generation that can reach this generation for Christ is our generation.
I am reminded of what Christ Himself said in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
5. The Commitment of the Fisherman
To the committed fisherman, obstacles and challenges do not stop him.
Sometimes fishermen fish all night and take in nothing. However, they do not quit.
Luke 5:5, “And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word, I will let down the net.”
We must remember that God will always bless our labor. He gave us this promise in Proverbs 14:23a when He said, “In all labour there is profit.”
When people go soul winning during the week, God blesses on Sunday. Dedicated soul winners do not give up. They are committed to sharing the Gospel.
We will dedicate our time and attention to something this year―it might as well be that we seek to impact eternity for Christ.
6. The Catch of the Fishermen
Luke 5:6-7, “And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.”
God desires for us to catch a great number of fish. We cannot become satisfied with our past successes. We must be reaching to future as we seek to win the lost.
7. The Compassion of the Fisherman
Matthew 9:36 is a great reminder of Jesus’ compassion. He was “moved with compassion.” Compassion compels us to action. Also, in Jude 22 we see that our compassion is what truly makes the difference in the lives of others, “And of some have compassion, making a difference.”
Let’s make a difference for eternity in 2020.
8. The Crown of Fishing for Men – The reward of Victory.
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.”
I have a lot of great fishing stories and even pictures to show off, but that is not what I am living to pursue. The greatest moments of my life are centered around leading people to Jesus Christ.
Curtis Hutson once said, “We can never evangelize the world until the evangelized become evangelists.”
Christ’s last act before His death on the cross was winning a soul. His last command was to win souls, and His last prayer was for forgiveness of souls.
Bringing people to Jesus Christ is the highest accomplishment possible in our journey of life.
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In June 2000, after graduating from Golden State Baptist College, John Evertson answered the call to pastor West Valley Baptist Church in Woodland, California. After 19 years, God moved Pastor and Mrs. Evertson to Santa Clara. Pastor Evertson is instrumental in the church and serves as the Campus Pastor for Golden State Baptist College to help guide the future servants of God. Pastor & Mrs. Evertson have four children — Josiah, Jeremiah, Joy, and Joshua.