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"Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men" (Mt 4:19) We are saved to save others. We are Christians to make others Christians. We are born again to win others for the Kingdom. We are God's children to bring others into God's family. We are disciples of Christ to enroll others as His disciples. We are in the Church to church the unchurched. We are sanctified to show others the way of holiness. We are going to Heaven and we cannot meet our Lord empty-handed! One sometimes wonders why there is no joy in our Churches. People are long-faced and there is no excitement or enthusiasm or exuberance. The answer is simple. There is no soulwinning. When the shepherd found his lost sheep he called his friends and neighbors and said, "Rejoice with me!" So said the woman who found her lost coin and the father who found his lost son (Lk 15:1-31). Soulwinning excites Heaven with great joy! (vv 7,10). One who does not win souls is out of tune with Heaven. Dancing is not Pentecostal. It belongs to all soulwinners! (v 25). Von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), the Founder of the Moravian Church, said, "Our joy until we die is to win men for the Lord!" The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is not a ticket to enter the Kingdom of God but an ordination for soulwinning. The last recorded words of Christ before Ascension said exactly that (Acts 1:8). When Christ Himself was anointed with the Holy Spirit He went out soulwinning (Acts 10:38). The early Church filled the cities with the Gospel and turned the world upside down when they were baptized with the Spirit. The entire Church was a band of (p)reachers! (Acts 8:14). Paul's Epistles to Timothy are called pastoral epistles but he admonished Timothy to "do the work of an evangelist" (2 Tim 4:5). The devil will oppose evangelism tooth and nail because it plunders hell and populates Heaven. Throughout history he has been changing his tactics to sidetrack the Church from reaching the unreached. The Perfection doctrine has paralyzed many sincere Christians. As we keep on serving God, He will keep on cleansing us. We are sanctified to serve! Moses was cleansed and commissioned! (Ex 3:5,10). So was David (Psa 51:12,13), Isaiah (Isa 6:5-9), Jeremiah (Jer 1:4,5) and scores of others. We are sanctified for the Master's "use" and "every good work" (2 Tim 2:21). Don't become a doll in the showcase!
In Mark 1:14-22 and Matthew 4:17-23 we see this phrase used. In both cases, we see it happening right after Jesus begins teaching, "The time has now come, the Kingdom of God/Heaven is near! Repent and believe the good news." We also see immediately after that he continues, "teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom...." So we see that the context of the phrase is in teaching people, proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom of God/Heaven and calling people to repent and believe. Well, getting right down to the meat of the matter, Jesus used this phrase when he was at the Sea of Galilee, known then for its abundance of fish. He saw Simon and Andrew casting their dragnet into the water. And why were they casting a net? Because they were 'catchers (of fish)'. [The Greek word for 'Fishermen' here.... ] Jesus then said, "follow me and I will make you 'Catchers'-(of-men)" [... is the same word here for 'fishers']. In essence, he was saying, "Instead of catching fish, I will teach you how to catch men." Compare the same story in Luke 4:43-5:11 where Jesus was preaching to the people from the boat about the good news of the Kingdom of God/Heaven, then told Simon and his colleagues to let down their nets. After the large catch they made, Jesus tells them, "from now on you will catch men." Clearly we see a relationship between preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God and catching men. This is basic evangelism, to make disciples of all men (Matthew 28:18-20), immersing them and teaching them to obey all that Jesus taught. But we also see a relationship with preaching the good news and using a net. A fishing pole catches one fish at a time and if it is not good, you throw it back. A net catches many fish at a time, you keep the good ones and throw back the bad ones. This is also a lesson in *how* to catch men. See in Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8:1-15 where Jesus is again teaching about the Kingdom at the lake uses the parable of the farmer broadcasting his seeds. Some land on various soils but the farmer does not care. In the end he gathers the harvest from the seeds that grew to maturity. So being a fisher-of-men is about broadcasting the good news to many people about the Kingdom and through discernment of the Spirit, gather in the good ones to make disciples of them, teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded while letting the bad ones go. It is not about trying with one and if it does or does not work, move on to another. Do not drop a line with bait. Instead cast a net and see what you pull in.
The Word (Bible) is the bait. The Holy Spirit who captures a man's heart is the net. And the boat is the Kingdom of heaven in which you are trying to get men into. Are you a fisher of men? Have you spread the "bait" to anyone where they can be caught in the "net"?
My Pastor just taught on this yesterday at Bible study. In the Bible the LORD tells the disciples to be "fishers of men." At the time, the disciples were on a boat with the LORD fishing. He took up this opportunity, as he often does with the disciples, to teach them by using a metaphor. Peter was actually a fishermen, the LORD tells him to, not only fish for fish in the sea, but to fish for the hearts of men. Later on in the Bible, the LORD tells us that to be true disciples, we have to follow after Him and preach the word wherever we go, this my friend, is fishing for mens' hearts. "Fisher of men" is actually "Planting the seed," telling those who don't know the LORD about him so they can learn to follow after our wonderful, amazing, metaphor using God :) Hope this helps God Bless
To be fishers of men simply means to do all that you can to reach men for Jesus.
Just like Peter and other disciples were fishermen and would go out and fish to get their daily physical food, we are commanded by Jesus to go out and fish for lost souls that do not know Jesus. In this ay they will be inducted into the Kingdom by God when they hear the Gospel preached by His Diciples for the disciples' daily spiritual food, which is being Fishers of Men.
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