How to Keep a Fish Alive
There’s nothing like a little stress and business to thwart a good evangelistic effort. Many of us start off our days with good intentions. We know the great commisison, but sometimes we get too busy to share God’s plan of salvation.
The Great Commission: Matthew 28:18-20
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen (NKJV).
“Follow me,” Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “and I will make you fishers of men.” But are we really doing our job as fishermen? If the earth is our big fishbowl, and if God peeks in, how many of our fish would he find dead in sins? Are we doing enough to keep them alive?
We interact with dozens, maybe even hundreds of people in a single day. How many of them know we are Christians? How many of them have seen a glimpse of our faith?
It’s hard, sometimes. It’s hard to remember all the steps and all the relevant verses. So, here’s a little summary for you, to help you share your faith.
The Lord’s Plan of Salvation
- We are to HEAR the word of God, and let it be the foundation of our faith: Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
- We are to BELIEVE the Bible, particularly that Jesus is the Christ, our savior, and the Son of the living God, and that through his death, we obtain salvation from our sins: John 8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He,you will die in your sins.
- We must REPENT of our sins, meaning that we choose selflessness over our sinful desires, and choose instead to serve God and others. Luke 13:3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
- We must CONFESS our faith before men. Matthew 10:32-33 Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
- We must BE BAPTIZED for the remission (forgiveness) of our sins, not as a work of man, but as a symbolic showing of our clean conscience toward God (I Peter 3:21). Remission is like the cancellation of our debt, which Jesus paid with his own blood. When our body is immersed in the waters of baptism, we are symbolically renacting the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and we come out of the water a new creature. Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- We must REMAIN FAITHFUL, even in a world where we are constantly assaulted with temptation from the devil, and it feels we will always have to struggle against our sin. Remember God’s promises, which are new every morning. Revelations 2:10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Photo by Régis Lachaume (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons