Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fishers of Men

I couldn't help but smile at this lovely feel-good news story about a river rescue (link). At the same time it reminded me of the Biblical analogy between fishing and evangelism.

We need to be careful, of course, to remember that we do not fish with a baited (or lured) hook, but with a net. Recall the experience of the disciples who were fishing all night and caught nothing, but when they obeyed God's instruction and fished on the other side of their boat, they got a massive haul?

Evangelizing can be like that. When God chooses to put fish in the net, he does so. We do our duty: we put the nets in the water, but God brings in the harvest of fishes. Sometimes it is a slow night, other times it is a busy morning.

But there is another application of the analogy. Sometimes we hear non-Calvinists suggest that man is drowning in a river, and God throws him a life preserver. Let me suggest that if God wanted to, God could pull him in with hook and line, like the fisherman in the story above. If God wants to save a man, nothing - not even a little bit of foolish flailing on the part of a spiritual flounder is going to stop that.

Even more amazingly, God can do so with means such as a hook that fights the will of the fish, but rather by changing the will of the fish so that he loves the net. Speaking for myself, I've been netted by the Lord, and I've never been happier. I'm his willing slave, who delights to be in the house of the Lord.

Praise be to that greater Fisher, for whom we are under-fishers,


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