Gone Fishin' With Jesus
by Dennis Michelson
Introduction: As I prepared this message I thought back over some of the great "fishers of men" I have known. God has surely been gracious to let me rub shoulders with the likes of: John R. Rice, Bill Rice, B.R. Lakin, Jack Hyles, Jerry Falwell, R.G. Lee, Lee Roberson, Jack Cornelius, J. Harold Smith, Bob Jones Jr., Bob Jones III, Oliver B. Green, Jack Green, David Wood, J. Don Jennings, Fred Brown, Al Smith, Lester Roloff, Ron Comfort, Jack Van Impe, Percy Ray, James Crumpton, J.O. Grooms, Russell Anderson, Curtis Hutson, Bob Kelley, Hyman Appleman, Harry Bollback, Jack Wyrtzen and James Robison, just to name a few.
Two of the best "fishers of men" I have ever known were Charlie Thompson and Jerry Pirkle. Of course the best of them all is the Lord Jesus Christ. He said "follow me and I will make you to become fishers of men." Let's follow Him and see how he does it with three different people.
THE RICH YOUNG RULER (MARK 10:17-22)
1. Concern of the Ruler (10:17)
2. Character of God (10:18)
3. Commandments of God (10:19)
4. Character of the Ruler (10:20-21)
Outward righteousness (10:20)
Inward covetousness (10:21)
5. Conclusion from Scripture (10:22)
THE CROOKED TAX COLLECTOR - ZACCHAEUS (LUKE 19:1-10)
1. Searching Sinner (19:1-4)
2. Seeking Savior (19:5)
Knew his name - "Zacchaeus"
Knew his heart - "come down"
Knew his need - "I"
3. Satisfying Salvation (19:6-10)
Compliance of the sinner (19:6)
Counterfeits of salvation (19:7)
Change of the sinner (19:8)
Completeness of the Savior (19:9)
Confidence of Salvation (19:10)
THE PROFESSIONAL RELIGIOUS LEADER (JOHN 3:1-8)
1. His Religion (3:1)
2. His Reasoning (3:2)
3. Lord's Requirement (3:3-7)
4. Lord's Revelation (3:8)
5. Lord's Result (John 19:38-39)
Conclusion: There are three fishing lessons we can learn from these three stories -
1. In each one there was prior preparation.
Ruler - "What must I do"
Zacchaeus - "Sought to see Jesus"
Nicodemus - "Came to Jesus by night"
2. In each one Revelation preceded decision.
Ruler - "Take up the cross and follow me."
Zacchaeus - "Make haste and come down."
Nicodemus - "You must be born again."
3. In each one Revelation demanded a decision.
Ruler - "Went away grieved."
Zacchaeus - "Received him joyfully."
Nicodemus - "At the first came to Jesus by night."
We must go fishing in the ocean and not simply hang around the aquarium. We should only press for a decision after presenting the Revelation of what God has said about Himself and the sinner.
We should never "alter the altar" and that means sometimes - as in the case of the young ruler - it is better to let them walk away lost than to have them under a false sense of delusion and security. "Lord lay some soul upon my heart, and love that soul through me. May I humbly do my part, to win that soul for Thee."