Daily Spirit & Word: 734: The FISHERMAN’S MIRACLE.
When The Fish Jump INTO the Boat.
How does SIN Separate Mankind from God?
People are BLIND = Cannot immediately see their need of Jesus.
People are DEAF = Cannot HEAR when you tell them the Good News.
Need to be shown HOW they’ve become SEPARATED from God.
Good morning my friends, we’ve got a wonderful thing happens once a month in West Norwood: The West Norwood Feast. It’s a GOLDEN Opportunity for us as Christians, to build significant and purposeful relationships with our community. We’ve been commanded by the LORD himself to GO into the world to share the good news, that’s brilliant and so many of us are being obedient to that command here in St Luke’s, in many different ways. However, once a month we don’t really need to go out and go fishing, because it’s like the FISHERMAN’S MIRACLE, the fish are jumping into the boat, i.e. The Community is coming to us.
THE FISH ARE JUMPING INTO THE BOAT
A TRUTH We’ve Discovered:
94% of people want to go to Heaven.
How have we discovered this TRUTH? Because every week we go out into the streets and engage with people who don’t go to church, and we ask this question: “Do you believe in Heaven?”
They want to go to Heaven on their own terms, i.e. without the NEED of being religious.
How do we know? Because we ask them, “Do you think you’ll get into Heaven when you die?”
Again 100% of people, who believe in heaven, HOPE they’ll get in, and 94% think they’ll be good enough for heaven.
Most say things like this:
- “You don’t need to go to church to be a “good” person.”
- “You don’t need to be a religious person to get into Heaven, you just need to be good”.
- “If there is a God, then He’d be a good God and let people into Heaven”.
This my friends, is the ‘religion’ of the vast majority of people in the world.
They believe in a god that will let anyone into heaven, regardless of how they’ve lived their lives, because most of the time, they’ve been good, i.e. Their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. So they’ll be good enough for heaven when they die.
They don’t know it, but in believing this, they’ve broken the Second Commandment: They’ve made a god to suit themselves, which is Idolatry. Because their god is not the God of the Bible: It’s a world-wide man-made god. Their god is tollerant of sin and will allow the sinful to get into Heaven. However, we know that they don’t know or understand that God is Holy, Righteous and Good.
WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW OR UNDERSTAND:
My friends, most people don’t know or understand this truth; “How sin actually separates mankind from God”. (or more pointedly, how their own sin has separated them from God forever and forfeited all hope of heaven).
They are convinced of their own goodness in God’s sight. It’s like they are wearing: Dark Glasses and Sound Excluding Headphones. (i.e. they won’t see and can’t hear: The Bible says, they are BLIND and DEAF: DEAD in their transgressions and sins).
So like the miracle of the BLIND man being healed and the DEAF man being able to hear, we need a way to ENABLE them to see and hear this truth.
First: Let’s Check Your Own Compassion Level:
You are out having a picnic at Beachy Head: (Beautiful White Cliffs & Lovely Green Grass): You are sitting eating your sandwiches and drinking your juice. You notice a BLIND MAN: He’s walking along towards the edge of the cliff tops, tapping his white stick. Oh and by the way, he’s wearing PINK Headphones.
If you were watching a Blind Man walking along with big pink headphones on his head, tapping his way with a white-stick towards a three hundred foot cliff, blissfully unaware of where he’s heading, what would you do? WHAT WOULD YOU DO? You know that if he keeps going he’s going to tumble over the edge and die. What would you do?
(BTW: Josie Nystrom: Thank’s for being prepared to act this out in church on Sunday: You are a STAR).
That’s right, YOU’VE GOT COMPASSION, you would run as fast as you could and grab hold of the blind man and stop him in his tracks.
- Shouting at him wouldn’t work, because he can’t hear you.
- Showing him the cliff won’t work, because he can’t see the danger.
So you’d just grab hold of him.
Your NORMAL human compassion kicks-in and you act automatically to stop anyone from falling to their death: right?
Firstly: For you to be able to LEAD people to Jesus from today onwards, I’m going to explain what happened in the Garden of Eden. How mankind, because of Adam’s sin, got separated from God, and remained separated until God came down to the Earth in Jesus and made it possible for us to come back into Heaven (Paradise, The Garden of Eden) and be with Him again.
Secondly, God has given us a WAY to GRAB PEOPLE: Hold them and show them their DANGER.
Thirdly: Have COMPASSION: Remember, they are BLIND and DEAF: The People of this World who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord: They can’t see and they can’t hear so they don’t KNOW the Danger they are in.
We KNOW that if they were to die in their sins, they’d face God on Judgement day and be sent to Hell.
Surely we’ve got the same kind of COMPASSION for the lost souls of this world as we have for a blind man walking towards the edge of a cliff?
Listen to your NORMAL Human Compassion and think about their ETERNAL Destiny.
The GARDEN of Eden Explained:
(How SIN Separates Mankind from God).
To Demonstrate: I need: an Adam, an Eve, God and the Serpent (Devil). (Demonstrate Physically). A fruit tree and an apple (piece of fruit). Light Sabre: Flaming Sword. & Jesus. An Cherub and someone to be Jesus.
Read Genesis Chapter 3. Genesis 3.
(Act it out: Demonstrate HOW Mankind Got Separated From God).
- God said, “Don’t touch or eat or you will die”:
- Eve was tempted first, then gave some to Adam.
- They hid themselves, because they KNEW they were NAKED.
- God came looking for them. (He knew what they’d done, but wanted to confront them with the truth).
- Eve blamed the Serpent (Satan).
- Adam blamed both God and his wife.
- God banished them all from the Garden of Eden.
- Put flaming swords in the way… (Question: Why did God put a flaming sword between mankind and Eden? Answer: Because man wants to get Eternal Life without going to God).
What is SIN?
1 John 3:4 (NIV) “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”
Another translation of the Greek says; “Sin is TRANSGRESSION of The Law”…
The LAW spoken of in the verse above is The Commandments of God. When we sin we break God’s Law. The punishment for breaking God’s law is DEATH and Banishment from God’s presence or access to the tree of life. (Example: See Adam and Eve in Genesis 3)…
What Is The Punishment For SIN?
The Bible tells us: “The soul that sins it shall die” Ezekiel 18:20.
And: “The Wages of sin is DEATH”… Romans 6:23.
A person who sins is acting as if there are no commandments, i.e. without any laws. Or as if God has not said that it’s wrong.
This is a perfect picture of what life is getting like in our world today, people doing whatever they like, as if there is no moral law against it or as if God had not declared in the Commandments: You shall not steal, you shall not lie, you shall not covet, you shall not….
When Adam sinned the whole human race became infected with SIN. It’s in our blood, our nature and our character. We sin from early years all the way through our life. Every day we sin in some way. In our natural born state as human beings, we are sinful. King David said, “I was sinful from birth”… When was the first time in your own life that you became aware of your own sinful condition? For me it was when my brother and I stole some lead. We both knew we were doing wrong, then it was stealing sweets from Woolworths. When we stole those sweets we blamed Woolworths for making it so tempting, by putting them right next to the exit doors. Just because we were tempted to steal, it was our own greed that was driving us, not Woolworths placement of those sweets. One act of stealing, in God’s eyes, makes me and my brother into thieves. We are guilty of stealing. The punishment for sin: is death, because we’re guilty of offending God, not Woolworths. Whenever we sin, our conscience is crying out to us to STOP: But we ignore our own, God given, Conscience. Over time, with repeated offences the conscience gets quieter and quieter until it becomes almost undetectable by our soul. It’s like our conscience becomes seared or dies. However, a miracle can happen, we can have our conscience re-awakened and revived, by Hearing God’s LAW. Suddenly when we hear the Ten Commandments the Conscience comes back to life again and warns us of the impending dangers of our sinful actions, thoughts and choices.
What’s The Cure For SIN?
God came down in Jesus to rescue us from Satan, Sin and Death, Eternal Separation from God in Hell. (Hell is God’s place of banishment for rebellion against Him. Away from God’s presence for all eternity is going to be terrible, all you need to do to know what it’s like is read or listen to the words of Jesus on the subject).
- But BECAUSE of HIS LOVE: God so loved everyone in the world, He doesn’t want a single soul to perish forever in Hell. So that’s why Jesus came to die in our place upon the Cross.
- Forgiveness for our sinful rebellion is possible. It’s free for us, but it cost God dearly.
Question: How can we GRAB HOLD of the Blind and Deaf?
- They can’t see.
- They won’t hear.
Satan has both blinded them and made them deaf to the Gospel. (i.e. those who’ve never repented and trusted in Jesus).
2 Corinthians 4:3-5 (NIV) They Can’t SEE.
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. (They are Blind)
4 The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
Matthew 13:14-15 (NIV) They Can’t SEE or HEAR.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ” ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused (hard); they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn (Repent), and I would heal (Forgive and Cleanse) them.’
Thankfully God has given us a WAY:
It is POSSIBLE: To open blind eyes and unblock deaf ears.
With two great tools: To open eyes, unblock ears and in the process to soften hard-hearts.
1) The Conscience: God given moral compass. (Some people’s conscience is dead, but we can bring it back to life again).
2) The Commandments: God has written these upon their hearts. (They KNOW the truth deep down inside their souls).
With these two great Spiritual weapons, we can enable the blind unbeliever to see and the deaf rebel to hear. We can grab hold of them and stop them falling over the deadly cliff of death into the pit of eternal Hell.
Their own Conscience will bear witness to the TRUTH within their hearts. It will do so long after we’ve finished talking with them. Because, with the help of the Holy Spirit (Who’s job it is to bring conviction of sin), they’ll be brought out of the darkness into the light of understanding.
John 16:8 (NIV) “When he (Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:”
Only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction of sin. All we have to do is get people’s hearts ready for the Holy Spirit to do His work. He’s already bringing conviction upon many people in the world today, because you’ll have been praying for them before you even go and speak to them.
God has chosen you and me, those who believe in Jesus Christ, to work with Him (Holy Spirit) in bringing the world to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
Here’s HOW Jesus did it: It’s called THE WAY OF THE MASTER.
OPENING UP THE COMMANDMENTS:
(Practically Grabbing Hold of the Blind and Deaf Before they fall into Eternity).
Here is explained HOW to use God’s two great tools to bring people out of the darkness into the light.
Start where people are: That’s what Jesus did.
They (most of them) all want to go to Heaven.
Ask them, “Are you or Do you think you are good enough for heaven?”
Most will think they are or hope they are good enough.
Ask, “Have you heard of God’s Ten Commandments?” Even if they haven’t heard them, they are written upon their hearts anyway, so their conscience will remind them.
Ask, “Do you think you’ve kept those Commandments?”… Most think they have.
Begin by asking, “Have you ever told a lie?” Explain that a liar can’t get into Heaven.
Then proceed through all Ten (if you need to). Most times you won’t need to go through all TEN of the Commandments, because you’ll notice that the Holy Spirit is working on their souls, their conscience also bearing witness. When they stop trying to justify themselves, you’ll know they are ready for the GRACE of the Gospel: The Good News of Jesus Christ.
NOTE: The Old Time Preachers: The Apostles, Jesus Christ, George Whitefield, Charles Wesley, Spurgeon, Moody, J.C. Ryle, etc: all called the COMMANDMENTS (The Law) the preparation of a soul for the Gospel. The preaching of the Law opens up a heart, ploughs the hard soil-hearers, and gets ready for the seed of the Gospel to be planted.
Once you’ve explained the Commandments, and God’s Holy Standards of Righteousness, you don’t need to spend very long at all on the Gospel. The GOOD NEWS.
It’s like a good doctor explaining a patient’s need for treatment. He won’t spend very long on the cure, because once he’s explained the symptoms and what will happen if the patient is not treated, they’ll be ready for the cure. “Give it to me, please, Doctor. Give me the cure…”…
When you are like a good doctor and explain the patient’s need for a cure, then I’m sure you are going to see many of those fishes jumping into the boat all by themselves 🙂 Once they know the danger they are in, they’ll jump into the net of Salvation.
The CURE for Sin’s Curse: Death and Hell: New Life and Heaven.
Jesus came and died in their place upon the Cross, so they don’t need to go to their death with their sins still on them, they can be forgiven, cleansed and given a new life, if they will believe in Jesus, trust that His death was for them, turn in repentance (forsaking sin) and receive Him as their Lord and Saviour. (SEE The GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ).
Here in West Norwood in London, we’ve been given a Golden Opportunity, when the World comes to us once a month for the FEAST, let’s be focused and be ready to make the most of God’s amazing golden opportunities, and build significant relationships with those He is already drawing into His Kingdom Family. With His help and tools we can open up blind eyes and deaf ears.
Be strategic, look for the people who’s hearts He’s already softening:
- They’ll be the ones He’s drawing to Himself,
- They’ll be open to hearing the Good News about Jesus.
- They’ll be ready to discover a new way of living.
- They’ll be frustrated with their life so far.
- They’ll be aware they can’t live-up to their own standards.
- They’ll be being convicted by the Holy Spirit of their need of Jesus.
They may not be instantly ready to repent, because it may take several times to hear God’s good news and the whole Gospel, but there will be AN OPENNESS. Remember how stubborn you were, before you finally repented and trusted in Jesus Christ? It took a while to convince you of your own need of a Saviour, so don’t ever give up on someone, keep praying for your loved ones every day. God cares more about their eternal welfare than you do, He’s patient, because He doesn’t want a single human soul to perish in Hell. (2 Peter 3:9).
Remember: Adam and Eve, they show us how the great divide happened, how mankind’s relationship with God was broken, and in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, we find the cure for man’s sinful rebellion, sin, wickedness and waywardness. Like the compassion we have for the Blind Man, let’s be filled with the same compassion as our Lord Jesus Christ has and go out and save those He’s calling into His Kingdom family. Amen!
The People of this World need our COMPASSION not our CONDEMNATION.
Have a wonderful week, keep fishing for men and women.
Remember to have compassion because they are blind and deaf; don’t shout at them they can’t hear you, don’t try and show them, because they can’t see their need of Jesus yet, but rescue them and with the tools God has provided to open blind eyes and unblock deaf ears; Their Conscience and His Commandments, and the Holy Spirit working on their souls, together let’s make them aware of their spiritual condition: let’s go fishing for souls in the sea of life. Hopefully, with God’s help, we’ll be able to catch a few fish before we’re taken back into our Eternal dwelling place. Amen!
Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men” Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17… i.e. When we come to Jesus, He makes us want to catch fish.
“If you don’t want other people to be saved, then you are NOT saved yourself. Be certain of that.” Charles Spurgeon.
The people of this world need our compassion not our condemnation.
They are Blind and Deaf: But you can, with God’s tools and help, open up their EYES and EARS…
Be blessed in Jesus,
The People of this world are BLIND and DEAF: S.O.S….
They need our compassion and kindness, to be shown their need of a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. They are headed for a fall into Eternity, so let’s get the same kind of compassion as Jesus Christ has, and save some souls. There is an S.O.S. but they don’t know their danger, because if they did they’d cry out “S.O.S” … “Save Our Souls”…