Making Followers of the Greatest Life Ever Lived
16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
17 Then Jesus said to them, "Come after Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."
18 And immediately they left their nets and followed Him. (NKJ)This message was preached October 6, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at toulonbaptist.com
Do you like to go fishing? Some do and some don't, but many do. Now there are professional fishermen who have hundreds of dollars of equipment. And there is that little boy who cuts a willow stick and digs some worms and catches fish all day.
Now back in Jesus' day fishing was on a somewhat different scale. Fish were caught in nets by people in boats. Evidently these fellows had a good business. Some of them were second generation fishermen. Now the fishermen could not spend all their time fishing, for they had to clean their nets and repair the boat and oars, or sail. But fishing was their business.
- The most powerful attraction to a nonbeliever is seeing the life of someone transformed by the reality of the gospel.
- Although a verbal explanation of that faith is helpful toward facilitating a nonbeliever's decision to follow Christ,
- A verbal proclamation without a lifestyle that supports that proclamation is powerless.
- The most effective evangelists are the most obedient and committed Christians.
- They need not have formal theological training, a full-time position in a church or credentials such as ordination.
- They need a passion for Christ,
- a desire to make Him known to the world
- and the willingness to be used in any and all situations to help usher others into the kingdom of God.
- Evangelism is the bridge we build between our love for God and our love for other people.
- Through the work of the Holy Spirit, through us, God can complete His transformation of a person for His purposes and glory.
- We cannot give away what we don't have.
- Therefore, we must be in close relationship with God and must be open to being used by Him as a conduit of His grace.
- Effective outreach always involves sincere and fervent prayer that God will bless those efforts, although there is no guarantee of the nonbeliever making the right choice.
- Knowing, trusting and using God's Word is central to leading a person to a lifesaving faith in Jesus.
- When we intelligently share our faith with nonbelievers, it pleases God.
- Every Christian must be ready at all times and in all situations to share his or her faith in Christ with those who do not have a relationship with Christ.
- Evangelism is not meant to be limited by human convenience or preference. It is to be done with obedience and faith.
- The most effective evangelistic efforts are those that are simple and sincere.
- Evangelism that starts at the nonbeliever's point of felt need and ties the gospel into that area of need has the greatest capacity for capturing the mind and heart of the non-Christian.
- Outreach efforts that take advantage of the credibility, accessibility and trust of an existing friendship have a better chance of succeeding than does "cold call" evangelism.
- However, God uses all sincere and appropriate attempts to serve Him and to love others by sharing the gospel.