WHY are YOU here? How can YOU help – and what is it that you are supposed to be DOING anyway??
Mark 1:17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
Everyone knows this scripture. But do you know what it MEANS? In detail? What does a fisher do, exactly?
He puts a lure down. Something the fish want. He doesn’t catch every fish in the sea on his lure. Only those that are interested in what he has to offer. Some days, the fish just don’t bite. Other days, they do. But he is still fishing the same way, with the same bait. Remember this analogy, we will come back to it later.
When you tell people that they are wrong, and need to REPENT, the vast majority will simply hate you for telling them, justify themselves in their own minds, and go their own way. These are the fish who didn’t take the bait.
On the other hand, some few will be interested, and nibble – and so you give them answers to their questions, until they either join the masses who rejected the truth, or repent. Ultimately, of these who are interested, some take the bait and remain true to it.
You might call these groups Called, Chosen, and Faithful if you like. The name isn’t important to us at the moment, only YOUR PART in helping to haul in the fish.
To show exactly what I mean, I’m going to quote two verses, where very similar things were spoken, and show the different reaction of the people…
Acts 2:36-38 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Notice the reaction these people had to being told they had sinned and killed their creator! They took the correction, and it pricked their heart, and they repented!
Acts 7:52-54 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
Stephen said almost the identical words to them that Peter had said, saying they had killed their creator. These men were also pricked in the heart, just like the men in Acts 2! But THESE men killed Stephen for saying the SAME THING that Peter had said earlier, whereas Peter’s audience had repented.
What can you learn from that?
Remember, Peter and Stephen were fishers of men. Their job was to present the truth – plain, simple, clear truth – and CONDEMN evil, and accuse sinners of their sin! When they did this, if they did it well, it would PRICK the hearts of the sinners, which would make them make a choice! Either to repent, or to kill and hate the person accusing them!
THIS IS ALSO YOUR JOB AND MINE! But it is NOT the job of the false prophet! OUR job is to find out WHAT SIN is separating God from someone, and TELL THEM WHAT IT IS! This is by far the most HELPFUL thing you could possibly do! And what is the job of a false prophet? How do THEY handle this commission??
Lamentations 2:14 Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment.
False prophets IGNORE SIN, and don’t SHOW the REASON God is punishing a person, or a people, when SHOWING THEIR SIN is the ONLY HOPE THAT PERSON HAS OF A BETTER LIFE!
Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
If you don’t correct God’s children, you HATE them, you don’t LOVE THEM! If you don’t CORRECT SIN WHENEVER AND WHEREVER YOU SEE IT, in ANYONE, you’re not following GOD’S way of helping people, but following YOUR OWN way and the way that you’ve learned from Satan and his ministers!
So YOUR JOB is to find the SIN in a person! Find out WHY they are unhappy and FIX their problem, or at least TRY, by telling them what it is! Now some will love you for this. Some will hate you for it. That is part of the job.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
But here is the beautiful part! You win either way! When you rebuke a sinner, and he hates you, God calls you blessed (Luke 6:22). When you rebuke a sinner, and he repents, you have saved a soul! Or as Paul said, God loves what you’ve done whether you save them, or they perish, you ALWAYS WIN IF YOU CONDEMN EVIL!
Because it is THEIR CHOICE to repent, and if you PRICK their conscience, and get inside their head and SHOW THEM THEIR SIN and they harden their heart and REFUSE to change, you’ve done your job! Paul restates this in another place…
2 Corinthians 4:1-4 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
IF YOU preach the GOSPEL of Christ, the Gospel HE PREACHED, which is REPENTANCE, and that gospel is HIDDEN from someone, and they REFUSE to see it, it is hidden to them that are lost! You have offered them a choice, and they rejected it – and as far as they are concerned, you have done your job! Then it is time to move on, and as they say in sales, knock on a few more doors!
But whatever you do, you may NOT alter the truth you speak, tone it down or change it to be easier on your audience!
Jeremiah 48:10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.
When Peter condemned the men of Israel, HIS SWORD DREW BLOOD! But he COULD have said it nicer – he COULD have said “Oh just belieeeve on the Lorrrrd Jesus and be SAVED!” That would have been much nicer!
But had he done that, he would have been ALTERING the truth of God, SOFTENING it so it wasn’t as hard to handle, AND HANDLING THE WORD OF GOD DECEITFULLY by KEEPING HIS SWORD BACK FROM BLOOD!
When you do the work of God, YOUR SWORD HAD BETTER BRING FORTH BLOOD by condemning sin! God has pronounced a curse upon anyone who dares to alter His truth to make it easier on sinners!
At the risk of repeating myself, I’m going to say this one more time – your job, your ONLY REAL JOB, is to present a choice to people. You do this just as Christ, Peter, Stephen and the prophets did – by showing them their sin as clearly and purely as you are able. Then they must choose.
John 3:18-21 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
The PURPOSE OF LIGHT is to show EVIL DEEDS! From the very lips of Christ Himself! And this light, this CONDEMNATION OF EVIL came into the world by Christ, and the people that TRULY FOLLOW HIM follow in his footsteps and SHOW EVIL up for what it is! And men are condemned when they SEE that light, and CHOOSE darkness instead!
In effect, God has put you on a quality control detail. YOU are sorting mankind into two categories. Those who want to change, to reject sin and darkness, and those who LIKE their sin and hate YOU for making them uncomfortable!
Regardless of how they choose, you have done a wonderful thing when you have separated them! It is unfortunate for the sinner that they chose evil, for now, but you know there is hope for them yet some day in the future. And you have done YOUR part. Here is another example, this time of Paul sorting mankind…
Acts 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
It is important to notice that he taught them ALL the same thing. ONE TRUTH is all we have. We don’t have one version for this person, and another version for someone we don’t think can handle that! By no means! We have ONE truth, and ONE God to preach, and people who hear can take that or leave it! And I cite Paul, Christ, Peter and Stephen to prove that.
Acts 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. [Again, notice the division. There will ALWAYS be this division… except in those cases where there are none who believe!] …And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Do you remember the time when Christ offended the Pharisees? He acted as if it was a good thing! He had just condemned the Pharisees for THEIR TRADITIONS. And His disciples were terribly upset!
Matthew 15:12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
Now what did Christ – your PERFECT EXAMPLE of how to handle EVERY situation, do? Did He apologize to them? Did He show the slightest sign of remorse? Far from it! He had done a GOOD WORK!
Matthew 15:13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
He was condemning sin, and IF HIS HEAVENLY FATHER HAD PLANTED THEM, they COULD NOT have been offended by Him condemning sin! Likewise, YOUR JOB is to condemn sin, EVERYWHERE and in EVERYONE you see it!
When you do this, you will help people MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE! This is the only TRUE HELP any man can do for another! What can you do that can possibly compare with giving a man a closer relationship with God?
Unfortunately, we live in an evil time. A time when man doesn’t WANT a relationship with God. And that’s ALL THE MORE REASON TO KNOCK ON DOORS! Find ways to correct sin in more people at once! That way you can find the few who DO want light instead of darkness, who are more precious in this time than ever before!
Jeremiah 18:20 Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.
Jeremiah lived in a time much like ours today, same people, same response. They hated him, but he was just doing his job – to discover the sin that was keeping the people from having contact with God.
You can expect the same response he got – IF you do it right. If you AREN’T hated, there is a good reason – you aren’t condemning sin! Because if you DO condemn sin, you WILL be hated.
John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
So find a way to do that. Find a way to condemn sin. Use your imagination. That is what YOU can do to further the Gospel – preach the Gospel Christ preached, which is that man should repent in order to inherit the kingdom of God!