Shelby G. Floyd

Once Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17 NKJV). They made their living catching fish out of the Sea of Galilee. Therefore, they understood the figurative statement of Christ. He could make them fishers of men. They also knew the sea was the whole world, the fish represented all humanity, and the net was the gospel.

We Must Become Fishers of Men

Today, we also must fish for men. We like Christ, must endeavor to seek and to save the lost. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19: 10). We are fishers of men because the everlasting souls of men are worth more than the entire world.

We Must Lose Our Life in Service to Christ

Effective soul seekers lose their life in service to God and his kingdom. Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul” (Matthew 16: 25-26).

Paradoxically, when we lose our life in service to God, we save our life. Conversely, when we save our physical life, we lose our spiritual life. Therefore, if a man saves his physical earthly life, gains the whole world and loses his own soul, he will not profit in anything.

The Soul is Worth More Than the Whole World

The soul of man, made in the image of God, is worth more than the entire world. Therefore the salvation of the souls of sinners requires us to evangelize those who are lost. The only way that a soul can be saved from death is by converting that soul from error to truth, from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to the power of God. James said, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20). God’s people then are the agents in converting souls from death. And the means used to accomplish this end is the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sin Separates Men from God

Sinners are separated from God forever because of their sins and iniquities (Isaiah 59:1-2). The soul made in the image of God, unless converted to Christ, will be banished from God’s presence forever. This should motivate them to come to Christ, for apart from Christ there is no life.

There Are Few Laborers for the Harvest

Jesus had great compassion on the multitudes of people because he saw them scattered abroad as sheep without a shepherd. They were scattered because there were not enough workers to bring them to God. Jesus addressed his disciples, and said, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).

Today the fields are white unto harvest, but there are few laborers in that harvest to bring souls to God. If we are truly wise and intelligent we will work at winning souls for Christ. We have been won to win others. We have been saved in order to bring others to salvation. Solomon said, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).

Is there anything else that is better worth,
As along life’s way we plod,
Than to find some wandering soul of earth,
And bring him home to God?

I would rather find a soul that is lost,
And bring him home again,
Than to own what all earth’s acres cost,
Or all the wealth of men.

Wouldn’t I be glad when the day is done,
In breathing my latest breath,
To know some word of mine had won,
And saved a soul from death?”
–Author Unknown

Fishers of Men Teach Publicly and Privately

The New Testament church was a soul winning church. The apostles and the members of the church involved themselves in evangelism. In the book of Acts we read that Peter and John were in prison because they preached Christ and his kingdom to the population of Jerusalem. The opposition threatened and charged them not to teach or preach in his name any longer. “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5: 41-42).

We note that New Testament evangelism involved teaching in houses, and preaching publicly the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church today will grow as it once did, when private and public evangelism prevail! This demands the efforts of every member of the body of Christ.

Copyright © 2023 Shelby Floyd All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd, minister, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142