People Harvest People; Thoughts on Fishing for Men
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 28:19
Throughout my ministry, I have been blessed to be a part of divine appointments with lost people put together by the sovereign hand of God. In such encounters, I have shared my faith in Christ, and many times God has graciously penetrated their dead heart, and saved them from their sins. In those moments, it is overwhelming to watch God open their eyes to the gospel and call them to be one of His children. But what is most overwhelming is the thought that God chose to use a dirty and broken vessel such as myself to proclaim of His message of salvation. It is a wonderful feeling to lead someone to the Lord. It’s not a feeling of pride where you gloat about what you have done. You actually have done nothing, and God has done everything. Rather, it’s a thankful heart that God would allow you to be a part of something He was doing in the life of another person.
You may find it interesting to know that it is estimated to require one thousand laypersons and six ministers a year to lead one person to Christ. It was also estimated that ninety-five percent of the Christians today never lead a soul to Christ. This is the reversal of Jesus’ strategy of New Testament evangelism found in Matthew 28:19. Also, a Christian Research Group in a nationwide survey asked this question: “Please describe your goals in life.” The survey found that almost nine out of ten adults classified themselves as a “Christian,” by the following definition, “I am personally committed to Jesus Christ and have confessed my sins and I believe that I will go to heaven when I die because of God’s love and grace through Christ.” That is certainly a strong definition! Yet not one of those who said they were Christians declared that their life goal was to be a “fully committed follower of Jesus Christ and to participate in making Christian disciples.” This ought to be disturbing to each and every one of us.
When I was in college, a Christian student told me that he did not feel “led” to witness. After I pondered upon his ridiculous words, I decided that he needed to get the “led” out and start sharing his faith! Consider our text above. Matthew 28:19 is known as the great commission or great calling. It is the heartbeat of our mission while here on earth. It is not to be approached like a suggestion from God; rather it is a commandment from God. Contrary to the opinion of the student in college that I was talking with, it is not only the duty of those who have surrendered to full time Christian service to share their faith, it is also the duty of every born again believer! If you are saved, then you are called to share tour faith. Who was Jesus speaking to when He said these words? He was speaking to His disciples. What is a disciple? A disciple can simply be defined as a follower of Jesus Christ. Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? If you are a Christian you are. And if you are a Christian, then you are His disciple. Your job description as His disciple calls for the verbalization of your faith in Christ to those you come in contact with. Too many Christians get to the first word of the great commission and struggle. It says “go!” Know this; the harvest is plentiful (Matthew 9:37).
Years ago farmers would bring in what they called “harvesters” to help with gathering. Today, when the harvest is ready the farmer will use machines to gather the harvest. You can use machinery to bring in crops, but it takes people to harvest people. Your role in the great commission cannot be substituted. If you are a Christian, then you are called to be fishers of men! Ask God today to help you glue your hands to the gospel plow (Luke 9:62), and not look back!
– Pastor Eric