How to become a “Fisher of Men”

Today I want to look at how to become a “fisher of men”.  Really what we are looking at is how to witness to those around us in our everyday lives.  It surprises me how many people I see either in person, at church or even on social media attempting to witness to people who are doing it wrong.  

Many don’t even realize there is a right and wrong way to witness to people.  Today, I want to talk to you about three common mistakes that many Christians make when trying to witness to those who need Jesus.

If you haven’t already, check out The Holy Spirit: The Strength to Witness post talking about how the Holy Spirit plays a HUGE role in witnessing to people.

Our Text

18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Matthew 4:18-19 KJV

Disclaimer

Now let me preface everything I say here today with this statement.  

You will never go wrong witnessing to people when you follow what the Holy Spirit would have you say. 

What is a “Fisher of Men”

If you didn’t grow up in church or around Christian settings, this term might seem a little odd. The term “fisher of men” comes from our verse today – Matthew 4:18-19.  Jesus was talking to two fishermen who were trying to catch actual fish.  

Jesus here was drawing a comparison between witnessing and ministering to people (like both Peter and his brother Andrew would do) to fishing. 

And as we will see today, there are a lot of good comparisons between the two. So without further ado, let’s look at some common “fishing” mistakes. 

Common “Fishing” Mistakes

Become a “Fisher of Men” by Yelling

Think about actual fishing for a moment.  Just imagine we are on the lake right now, maybe sitting on a pontoon boat.  You look down and see a catfish swimming underneath you. 

(Granted with Oklahoma lakes it’d be a miracle to see anything in the water. But I digress. )

So you see the fish swimming underneath you. You wouldn’t dare think about yelling at the fish to jump on your hook.  It would do the opposite of what you want and swim away from you! 

Now we understand that in the natural world, but we do it all the time when we try to witness.

Someone will start talking to you about their problems or start talking about religion and you say, “You just need Jesus.”  Or you start telling everyone around you how they need Jesus. 

Don’t get me wrong – they need Jesus – but they need the gospel preached to them in order for them to come to Jesus.  

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:16 KJV

Become a “Fisher of Men” with Explosives

For those who don’t know, Blast fishing is a type of fishing where people will throw explosives into the water.  The explosives detonate and cause the fish caught in the blast to float to the top.  Nowadays this is also usually an illegal way to fish.

This type of fishing usually goes right along with yelling at the fish.  Some Christians try to scare people into heaven.  They will talk about hell and condemnation.  They will preach what horrible people they are and sometimes even that God hates them because of their sin.  

Just like blast fishing some people may bob to the top … dead.  They may “convert” to Christianity, but we are not interested in converts out of fear for hell and neither is Jesus. You could be a person going to church out of obligation but have never received Jesus in your heart. It’s a heart changed through receiving Jesus that matters. 

The truth is that you don’t go to heaven because you are good and you don’t go to hell because you are bad.

You go to heaven because you have believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. And you don’t go to heaven because you didn’t.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:9-10 KJV

Fear and faith are opposites.  To be in fear is to not be in faith. God is love and not fear. When we yell at people that they are going to hell, we aren’t showing God’s love. In fact we are pushing people away from God.

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hebrews 11:6 KJV

You must believe in your heart and confess with your mouth to be saved.  There is no other way to God.  Simply going to church out of obligation or saying you’re a christian out of fear of hell won’t get you into heaven.

Become a “Fisher of Men” by Dressing like a Fish

Acting like a fish is the fastest way to become fish food.  Think about the catfish fishing technique called noodling where you use your fingers in place of bait.  Pretty soon you’re gonna end up sticking your hand in a hole with a snapper turtle and say goodbye to your fingers.  

The problem is we are trying to act, look, and smell like another thing.  

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10 KJV

But the Bible clearly says to be a friend of the world is to be at enmity with God. 

4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

James 4:4 KJV

Just like you won’t win them to Christ by yelling at them and forcing Jesus on them, you also won’t win them to Christ by being their buddy.

You cannot go drinking with your friends to be a “witness” to them.  You can’t act the same way they do.  

Have you ever seen two fish swim in a pond?  They hardly pay any attention to each other, but when the food gets dropped in, they are all over it.  THAT’S the key.

Feed the Fish

Continuing with this fishing analogy, the only way to consistently catch fish is to feed them.  In the natural world we might use worms.  

Preaching the truth of God’s Word – THE WORD – is the only way to see people’s lives changed.  

6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

Zechariah 4:6 KJV

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:16 KJV

God’s power saves any man from sin.  We can’t say or do anything in ourselves.  It is the power of the gospel that opens the eyes of men to their need for Christ.  

Yes people need Jesus, but they need the gospel preached so that the Holy Spirit can move to make them see that they need Jesus. 

Feed them by the Gospel

We are not convincers of men.  We are sent to feed men the gospel.  Just as when we want to catch fish we feed them.  

God has called each one of us to preach the gospel in our lives.  It is not by our might, nor our power, but by HIS spirit that we are able to do this. 

38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Matthew 9:38 KJV

The harvest is God’s not ours.  We are the labourers sent forth.  Pray that men’s eyes would be opened to the truth just Paul did in Ephesians 1:18 KJV.

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Ephesians 1:18 KJV

Check out More

Check out more on our Fresh Bread page and check back Tuesday for the next post in our series titled To Walk as gods on this Earth where we are looking at the authority we have because of Jesus.

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Salvation

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GOD wants a relationship with you

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2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

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EVERY man has sinned

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Romans 3:23 (KJV)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

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SIN separates us from God

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Isaiah 59:1-3 (KJV)

Behold, the Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

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JESUS came to remove sin and restore our relationship with God

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John 3:16 (KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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Believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth Jesus is Lord brings salvation.

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“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV)

 

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Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Prayer of Salvation

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