Saturday, March 19, 2016

Fishin Just Ain't the Same from the Balcony



We Christians interpret the words of Christ in the oddest ways. Now, before all you fine, upstanding, tithing, Sunday School attending members in good standing of the FIRST SELF-RIGHTEOUS CHURCH of ANYTOWN, US of A start to accuse this humble journalist of being judgmental, allow me the opportunity to offer the defense of the Word of God, yes indeed, the very RED LETTER words themselves spoken by none other than Jesus Christ Himself, and ever so humbly observed by this unworthy worm of a man, so undeserving of God’s Amazing, I said God’s AMAZING GRACE, CAN I GET AN AMEN!, simply and humbly observed in the behavior of our fellow FSRC’ers, just as Jesus observed it in the handpicked followers who denied him and ran and hid after Calvary, are you with me brothers and sisters, will somebody say AMEN! I humbly observe but Our Lord Jesus in these very red letters, that that saint of a man, Jerry Falwell himself blessed with a gift of $25 dollars to Liberty Baptist college and snowboard ministry, hallelujah, in the very same King James Version that Paul preached from, through His Holy Spirit gave me a message about reaching the lost and brothers and sisters we’re doing it all wrong, so if you ain’t wearing them now, while the choir warms up run on home and get you your steel toed shoes, because, well let’s just say now might be a good time to go put them on. Get the dirty, greasy, grimy work boot ones, too, not the fancy shop foreman or union steward ones that don’t get anywhere close to real dirt. Now don’t you go looking at me on that tone of voice. My work experience included 12 years on the automobile assembly line at the Oldsmobile factory in Lansing Michigan in a variety of capacities including, but not limited to pit body bolt banger, engine line water valve installation, housekeeping, paint inspection and repair, supervisor and others, and not too put too fine a point on it, but I’m gonna be mashing some toes today, and you better come back because sister Edith May Elizabeth Poole, out homely but single and efficient treasurer has already taken roll. Ya’ll Come back, now. Y’Hear?
18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him
Matthew 4:18-20.
There are several significant things I want you to see now that we’re beyond the frivolous part and into the serious part.
1.      Peter, then called Simon, and his brother, Andrew, were already doing the job when Jesus found them and called them. They were already fisherman. The concept wasn’t t=something they needed to learn. They understood what fishing was about. All Jesus did was change their bait and the type of fish they were going to go after, as well as the method of fishing and reason to fish. Before they fished to eat. Now they would fish to see men’s lives changed.
2.      All the responsibility was on Jesus. Peter and Andrew had to do two things which were really one thing. They had to trust Jesus, and they had to obey him. In fact, obeying Jesus was doing both. You might even say trusting Jesus was doing both. We sing that hymn:
Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey!
3.      They immediately went looking for fish. I think that’s the biggest mistake the 21st century church makes. We sit in the balcony, cast our lines into the pews below, filled mostly with Christ followers for whole it is our mission to disciple and try to reel in the already saved! Look what Jesus said to do:
a.       23 Then He said to them all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:23-27
b.       1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Luke 10:1-2
c.       18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20
d.      But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
In every single instance Jesus said GO. Never once did He say build building, make programs, advertise, give stuff away, build mega personality cults with multiple campuses and 1 pastor preaching to all of them via video with puppet pastors at each campus. Jesus spoke plainly, simply, directly, so much so an idiot like me could understand Him. I showed you five scriptures. In all five Scriptures Jesus said the same thing. Jesus said GO!
Now you are faced with a choice. You can keep going to that Field of Dreams (If you build it they will come – James Earl Jones) Seeker Church
“10 As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
Romans 3:10-12
Or you can start doing what Jesus said GO GO GO GO GO!
That’s what Jesus said.
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