When Jesus called out to Simon (Peter) and his brother, Andrew, he told them He would make them ‘fishers of men.’ This is a much-quoted verse and I think it’s one worth delving into.
I see so many “Christians” today spewing out words that are, technically, in the Bible, but the context in which they’re quoted is completely off-based and often downright hateful. And it’s all in the name of God (or so they say.) But here’s the thing: God called us to be FISHERS of men, not men-repellers.
How are we to “lure” people to Christ when we are scaring them off with our words?
It’s interesting to me that Jesus used fishing as a metaphor for getting people saved. Let’s take it step-by-step.
Matthew 4:19 says,
And He said to them “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.
So how exactly does fishing work?
Well, you go quietly to where you want to fish, so as not to scare them off. Then, you bait the hook and cast it. Finally, they bite and you hook them.
And how does this apply to winning the lost?
Just like you can’t scare a fish into a boat, you cannot scare people into salvation. The “Repent or go to hell.” speech just doesn’t work because they don’t understand the sacrifice of Christ. Is it true that if we don’t accept Jesus we will not live with Him in Heaven? Yes. But we have to show them His love if we want people to embrace that.
You’d never yell, “Cannonball!” And jump into the water where you’re fishing, because it would scare off the fish. Likewise, you can’t simply threaten a person with Hell and expect them to embrace God.
Offer what they’ve been searching for.
For fish, it’s bait. They swim around in search of food, so we offer them worms. The unsaved are searching for grace. They’re searching for unconditional love. They’re seeking acceptance. And they’ll ask for it in the most unloveable ways. They don’t know that what they’re really searching for is Christ. But you do. Show Him to them.
Tell them what He did on the cross. Show them what he has done in your life. Speak honestly and from the heart. Speak from experience. Show them what the Bible says about His saving Grace IN SPITE of ANYTHING they’ve ever done or said or been.
Are they ready to experience these things? God wants SO badly to give them the grace, mercy, RELATIONSHIP, and unconditional love they need. In fact, He already has, 2000 years ago on a cross. All they need to do is accept it. Tell them.
Afterward, don’t just leave them on their own. Pray with them. Pray for them. Check in on them. Don’t leave your “fish” lying out of water. He needs fellowship. He needs guidance. He needs help. Lead them to the living water and show them how to stay in the word and never go thirsty again.
God used fishing as a metaphor for a reason.
Love to my loves,