Fish II: What and When

Photo by  Tri Nguyen

Photo by Tri Nguyen

In my first blog,  I shared about how Jesus has been challenging me to go fishing.  Simply put, fishing is all about sharing Jesus. I wanted to write a follow up blog sharing some more details of what we have been called to share and when we should share the Gospel.

What to Share

This past week I preached from Acts 4:1-22 about defending the Gospel (WATCH or LISTEN to sermon). The first element of our defense of the Gospel is exaltation. What should we share: Jesus, the name above all names.

Today you can find many different methods or techniques for sharing about Jesus. Some people use materials. Others walk through one book like Romans. Some people use various themes like spiritual laws. Regardless of the various methods, there is only one Gospel.

Here is how Vintage Church summarizes the Gospel:

Our Condition

  • All Man is Sinful and completely separated from God.
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

God’s Provision

  • It’s All About Jesus.
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
  • Salvation is from God’s grace alone, through Christ’s blood alone, by the Holy Spirit’s work alone.

Our Response

  • Repent and by faith, surrender to Christ.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
  • Repent: Turn from sin
  • Faith: Turn to Christ
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
  • God tells us to call out to Him to be saved.
  • Response Question:  Will you give your life to Jesus?

When to Share

There is no doubt that as you read through the book of Acts, you find the early church going out at certain times to share about Jesus. However, you also find many examples of the church sharing about Jesus spontaneously. Much like a fisherman who prepares to fish and then goes out to fish, I believe that we have times of preparation and times of fishing.

My Bumpa (grandpa) is a huge fisherman. He tried his best to get me excited about it, but I loved a basketball a little more than the fishing pole. Observing him as a kid and hearing fishing stories helped me understand how real fishermen fish. Sometimes he would get up real early. Other times he would go out at sunset. Sometimes he would use live bait and at other times he would use a ton a fancy lures. Sometimes he would get in a boat and at other times he would cast out a line from the beach or rocks.

How does a fisherman catch fish? He fishes (See my first blog Fish, Part I). Because of the reality that Christianity is on the decline around the world, I have a strong conviction to answer this question of when to share in the following way:  ALL THE TIME!

Our problem right now is not that we are fishing too much. It is the opposite problem. Of course Jesus alone saves. But He has called us to fish. We need to work hard to have the bait ready, the equipment working well, investigate and pursue the best spots, and go fishing. My dad illustrated this parallel truth about fishing and evangelism: A fisherman does a lot of things, but he can’t make a fish bite. That is the work of God.

No matter where God has you in life, if you know Jesus you have the greatest message in the world. Every opportunity is from God, whether it is going out and strategically planning a time of fishing with your friend, preaching the Gospel from the stage at a church, or going on a mission trip specifically to share Jesus with unreached people groups. My plea with you is to not stop there. Make sharing Jesus a lifestyle. Every opportunity is from God. This world desperately needs Jesus. You have the greatest message in the world. Go fishing!

In a few weeks Vintage Church will be walking through Acts 8. Based upon that sermon, I will write a third blog about HOW TO SHARE.