Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Have you ever gone out in a boat and gone fishing – whether it was on a pond, a lake, a river, or the ocean? Of all the fish you caught, how many of those fish were ones that just jumped into your boat? I’ve heard that sometimes fish do jump into the boat, but I’ve never personally seen it happen. And of those who have seen it happen, I’m sure that the amount they caught with a net or fishing pole is more than the amount that jumped into the boat. It would be silly for a fisherman to expect that he would catch a great number of fish by just waiting for the fish to jump into the boat.
Jesus said he would make us fishers of men, but we act like that silly fisherman expecting the fish to jump into the boat. In most every church, we hear the people being implored to invite the lost to church services. Please do not misunderstand what I am about to say – I am thankful and praise God each time a lost person is saved in a church service. In fact, I was saved at the end of a church service. Whenever and whereever a lost person is saved is cause for rejoicing. However, one reason our churches are becoming weak is because we are expecting the fish (the lost) to jump into the boat.
Jesus commanded us to go and preach the gospel – not to invite the lost and let the pastor preach gospel. We are not to be witnesses solely by how we live – we should be opening our mouths and preaching to them about sin and salvation. God intended the church services for the saved. Read Ephesians 4. Church services are for the perfecting and edifying of the saints – not for the salvation of the lost. If church members invite the lost to services, then the pastor feels inclined to preach a salvation message rather than a message that is aimed at helping the saved grow. God’s plan for the perfecting – for the growth – of the saved has been circumvented.
One may say that there are three services in the week and only the Sunday morning service is an evangelistic one so that leaves two for the perfecting of the saints. Most people eat three meals each day and if one of those meals is missed, the person notices – he or she doesn’t have the energy – the strength – he or she normally would. So it is when a saved person is cheated out of one of the three services in the week.
God clearly defines the job of a pastor -to feed the sheep, to perfect and edify the saints. It is the job of every Christian to go and preach to the lost – not just the pastor. Because of our laziness, we’ve stopped going and started inviting. We’ve stopped fishing and started waiting for the fish to jump into the boat. We’ve put our responsibility on the shoulders of the pastor. We no longer think it is our job to preach the gospel. Because of our laziness and our placing our responsibility on the pastor, our churches have become weak – the saved are not being fed as they should be.
It’s time we become fishers of men. It’s time we get out our fishing nets and our fishing poles and go into all the world and preach the gospel.
Fish don’t come to you – you go to the fish.