TEXT: Matthew 4:18-22:
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.
20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “keep the main thing the main thing: and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,’ and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to ‘pray without ceasing’ for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 98, day 465 since Jan. 1, 2016.
David Platt said, “Radical obedience to Christ is not easy. It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.”
As Matthew tells us about Jesus’ calling of His disciples, we learn some important truths about what it means to be a follower of Christ. We learn, first, that Jesus takes the initiative to call us to Himself. He pursues us even when we are not pursuing Him. But, as He calls us, it may require us to leave our current occupation. Peter and Andrew were out fishing when Jesus called them. They expressed their commitment to Jesus by leaving that occupation behind.
Then, we see that the call to follow Christ may involve leaving current relationships. Matthew tells us that Jesus “saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.” Family ties were very important in first century culture, so it is significant that the writer mentions that these disciples left their father. Sometimes, in order to follow Jesus, one has to let go of relationships with family members, coworkers, or friends. Some people who want to continue in their sinful lifestyle will not want to see you turn to Christ. Either you must let them go or let Christ go, but it is sometimes impossible to hold on to both.
Finally, we see that the call to follow Christ demands an immediate response. The Bible says that Peter and Andrew “straightway left their nets, and followed Jesus.” James and John also “immediately left the ship and their father.” They did not say, ‘Lord, let us finish this haul of fish.’ Or, ‘We’ll come and follow you once we sell this latest catch in the market.’ They dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. Many believers have had a similar experience. When they meet Christ, their life is instantly changed. They stop living their own life and beginning walking in the new life with Christ. In fact, Jesus told some people who wanted to first attend a funeral or go and say goodbye to their family that they were not yet ready to follow Him.
Just as Jesus called these disciples, He is calling you today. If you choose to answer the call, it may involve leaving your occupation, your family, and your current lifestyle. Are you ready to answer the call?
Will L. Thompson wrote:
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling—
Calling for you and for me;
Patiently Jesus is waiting and watching—
Watching for you and for me!
Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading—
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies—
Mercies for you and for me?
Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing—
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming—
Coming for you and for me!
Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised—
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon—
Pardon for you and for me!
Are you ready to come out of darkness, let go of sin, and give your life to Christ so you can enter His kingdom? Allow me to show you how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “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.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “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… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.