Welcome to the Kerwin Baptist Church broadcast today. Our guest is a Christian who was a fisherman. To hear the Word of God he stood by the lake of Gennesaret and saw two ships standing by the lake. But the fishermen were gone out of them and were washing their nets. And he, obviously we're talking about Jesus here in these first three verses, and he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's.
And many of you would know him as Peter or Simon Peter. And prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he was a fisherman he had left speaking he said unto Simon, launch out into the deep and let down your nets, plural, for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing. Nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
Isn't that just like you and me? We let a person know why we don't want to do what they've just asked us to do. But I'll do it. Doesn't that sound like a teenager? This isn't going to work dad, but. So many things I'd like to say to that.
I'd like to now especially because my kids aren't in here. Notice verse six. And when they had done this they enclosed a great multitude of fishes and their net break. And they beckoned under their partners or the other fishermen obviously that were around which were in the other ship.
That they should come and help them. And they came and filled both ships so that they began to stink. I mean sink. That's a Dan Hotchris senior joke right there. He always said that when he read. He said if you had that many fish in those boats it stunk.
That's what he would always say. That it began to sink. Notice if you would verse eight. And when Simon Peter saw it he fell down at Jesus knees saying, depart from me for I am a sinful man oh Lord.
For he was astonished and all that was ever with him at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. So also was James and John the sons of Zebedee which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, fear not from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land they forsook all and followed him. We find here the call basically the bidding of obviously Simon Peter, James and John. What a wonderful story in God's word.
God always puts exactly the details that need to be in it. You know a lot of people talk about their fishing trips and the one that got away. These guys had nothing to say about that because they all got away.
They didn't catch anything. And I'd like to talk for us to look at this story today and look at some things considering this church and the parallels that this story shows us that obviously this is a true story. This is something that really happened to our Savior and how it applies to our church. Lord we love you. Pray Lord that you would help us today to launch out and to let down. And Lord those are two very good commands. And Lord if we would just forget everything else and quit trying to make things make sense. To make things happen. If we would just obey you.
If we would just be willing to launch out and let down our nets. Lord I pray that you would help us this morning as we try to rightfully divide your word in Jesus name we pray. Amen. As we look at this I like to lay things out. I got to look at things systematically so I can understand a passage.
So I kind of see three sections here. Number one I want us to consider this morning the vessel. The vessel. And we're talking about the boat that they got into there that day.
Now look at verse one. The Bible says that the people were pressing to hear what Jesus had to say. And he couldn't get to a place where he could speak to all of them at once because there were so many. So he saw these boats. Two boats sitting there that were empty. The fishermen who had been in those boats all night long had caught nothing. And so now they had taken those nets out of the boat and they were washing those nets.
So that salt water wouldn't obviously ruin those nets and different things and eat it up and make it disintegrate and things. And they were washing their nets. And then Jesus gets on one of the boats. And he asks for Peter and that's the boat. And by the way there was no accident in whose boat he chose that day. And he asked him to move out from the land just a little bit so that he could get further away so that he could speak obviously to that large enough crowd. Look at verse three.
And he entered into one of the ships which was Simon's and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land and he sat down and taught the people out of the ship. Now there's some interesting things that I see. Number one about this vessel or this boat I would say. Number one that it was a place of intimacy. Is it a fishing boat? A place of intimacy? Any of y'all ever smelled a fishing boat? You ever been deep sea fishing or anything like that? And imagine back in these days what do you mean?
Well this is what I find. Look at verse three if you will. The Bible says obviously that Jesus chose Peter's boat and he got onto that boat and then he began to preach to people. Up until this point, listen to me now I want you to get this. Up until that point that boat had been a place of frustration to Peter. He had fished all night long. He had done everything that he knew to do. He knew about fishing. He had been a fisherman.
He had tried all the tricks. And up until that point that boat had been a place of frustration. It had been a place of toil. It had been a place of labor.
It had been a place where nothing went right. And when he climbed on that boat it became a place of personal intimacy because he became close to Jesus. Do you know when Jesus gets on your boat it makes all the difference in the world? And can I say how this applies to a church? Do you know often times folks can be in a good church and they can work hard and they can try hard and they can run a bus route and they can teach a Sunday school class and they can work in Awana and it feels like they're working and working and working and not home, nothing. Do you know that church can be a frustrating place to some? Do you know that church can be a toilsome place where we're making so much effort and it feels like we're accomplishing so little? But dear friend let me tell you what makes the difference when Jesus is on that boat. It makes it turn from a place, I'm going to tell you something, I've had times, I've worked here six years before I went to full-time evangelism and now I've been back three years as the pastor and different things and I'm going to tell you something, over the years and all the things we've tried to do here and worked on and added and different things, I'm going to tell you something, there has been times that I was nothing but frustrated on this property. And there has been times that things I've done and things that they'll do sometimes and that's just people and I've hurt people before in my life, people hurt you, that's just the way life goes. But there have been times that I'm going to tell you something, it felt like toil and it felt like labor and it felt like work but I'm going to tell you something, I've also sat right here in this building and I have watched the power of God move on people's hearts and I've watched the power of God change my heart and my attitude and I'm going to tell you something, a place that at times has been so laborsome becomes the place of intimacy with my Savior.
What makes the difference is His presence. It might be that you're toiling and laboring but you don't have His presence. And you need to get back close to Jesus because Jesus will change your bus route and He'll change your Sunday school class and He'll change your attitude quickly. We can get to the point that choir can seem like a toil. And let me tell you something, last time I checked, it shouldn't be work singing for the Lord. But our attitude can make it toilsome and it can make it labor and it can become the point we don't enjoy it and I'm here to tell you what is missing is not the choir director and it's not the pastor and it's not the songs, it's the individuals. When you get God's presence in your life and you get a chance to get up and sing for God's glory, it's not labor at all. It's a privilege.
Do you understand where I'm going with this? That very vessel that had been laborsome was now wonderful. That very place that had been so hard was now the place that Peter changed his life. The place of intimacy. Notice secondly, and by the way let me just say this, why is church so special? Obviously because Jesus is here and we talk about the fact that this becomes a place of, this is where you get your instruction from God's word. What makes church so special?
Well it is the same thing that made that boat so special. Are you listening? I want you to get this. Number one, it's special because of who shows up. Who showed up that day? Jesus did. You know why church is special? Because he's here. Church isn't special because Daniel Hartree's here. God can get another preacher anytime he wants. This is special because the Lord's here.
Notice second thing, it's special because of what we do here. The opposite church. Well a sovereign God is praised. The son of God is preached. And the saints of God are perfected.
Is that enough? There's some wonderful things that go on at church. That's what makes it so special. Third thing is it's special because of what we find here. What is it that we find here?
Same thing those people found that day. Food for our souls. Freedom from our sins. Fellowship with the saints. That's what makes church so special. Are you all dead this morning?
Pray, bless God. We have fellowship with the saints. Maybe I should have added sleeping with the whatever. I don't know. Church is supposed to be a rest from your labors but not like that. Not sleep from your labors, rest from our labors.
I'm picking with you obviously. Notice the second thing, it wasn't just a place of intimacy but number two, it was a place of instruction. The Bible tells us that Jesus turned that humble boat into a pulpit from which he preached God's word. You know what church ought to be for us? A place of instruction. Last time I checked in the Bible especially in the book of Acts where the church obviously were given the history of it and how it was founded and how it was set up and all the things and practices that I don't find anywhere where church is supposed to be a place of entertainment.
I don't find anywhere to be comfortable. I don't find anywhere where church is a place for us so that we can further our business or gather friends. Church is a place to get instruction. Always make sure you're at a church where you get instructed from the pulpit. Not told what you want to hear. It was a place of instruction.
Number three, it was a place of irritation. Some of you are like, amen preacher. Point. You ever been irritated at church?
Don't even answer that. Look at verse five. And Simon answering said unto him, Master we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing.
Nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. Peter is obviously irritated here because he had been fishing all night long and he had accomplished nothing. These men were tired.
Peter was tired. They were frustrated. They were defeated. They had done everything in their power to be successful but verse two tells us that they had already left their boats. They had already given up. They were already washing their nets. They were already washing their hands of the whole situation.
And then now Jesus shows up and tells them to go right back out and go to work. Irritation. Can I say that that day, that boat had become a place of irritation to Peter.
Nothing had gone right. Has church ever been that for you? Have you ever felt that nothing went right? Do you ever get frustrated? Do you ever get irritated? By the way, the more you get involved and the more you do, the more chance there is of that happening.
And I don't say that for you to say, well then I'm not going to get involved. Dear friend, if you go and work at the grocery store you're going to get frustrated with people. I was going to say the post office but we have some people that work for the post office and they get picked on all the time for going postal, you know, so I'm not even going to talk about that. Any job you have, you're going to get irritated. Any job, any place you go, any church you go to, there are going to be people and things that irritate you. You're going to feel like you're working hard and you haven't gotten anything for your labor and you don't feel like it. Anything's working out.
It had become a place of irritation. Now listen to this. I want you to get this. When you and I come here week after week, we sing, we pray, we preach, we testify, we shout, we go home and we come right back again the next week and we do it all over again. And sometimes we don't feel like we're accomplishing anything. Or maybe that's just me. Unfortunately my wife has to hear it all. And I'll be like, Julie I've spent two and a half months the first year talking about evangelism and I don't know that anybody's doing anything more to witness or pass out of track or anything.
I hope that they are. But I'm going to tell you sometimes you feel like man, you make the efforts and things and I don't see the fruit, I don't see this happening, I don't see this taking place, I don't see whatever. And a lot of times while you and your ministry and how you're involved, you can feel like man I've been working the nursery forever and not one parent thanks me and they're always complaining about everything I do and man I've been doing this and nobody ever says anything and I've been working the sound and nobody ever says hey, great job on the sound today. But if something messes up in the sound system buddy, the entire church does this.
I can get up here and I can study and I can pray and I can preach and I can say 10,000 words correctly. But if I get bumbled on one word the entire church, you can't talk today. He wasn't listening.
He wasn't catching any fish. Do you know when God's people start getting irritated? When people aren't getting saved. All of a sudden you let them start catching some fish. Peter's attitude changed totally. You start catching fish, that boat that you hated so much a minute ago.
Now you love it. And I'm going to tell you something, you start getting irritated at church, complaining about this, complaining about that and I hope it doesn't go on here but I know how churches are because we're all that way, we're all flesh and we're all human. I tell you what'll take care of complaining and bitter spirits and attitude and all that stuff is for you to get on your feet and go win somebody to Christ. You get excited when people get saved. All of a sudden people aren't getting saved, everybody getting negative. People quit getting saved, now we're complaining, this don't work and you know why? We're frustrated because we're not catching any fish.
Now I know you think it's me when I say that but I'm right about this. Number two, consider the vessel. Number two, consider the voyage. You know what is interesting? Peter and these other men knew how to fish. They were professionals.
They had stuck in and out all night long. And you know what, sometimes you and I around here, we know how to fish, don't we? Yeah, we know the verses. Yeah, we know. And oftentimes we know but what we're missing and lacking is the present.
The presence of God. All I know is when that boat didn't have Jesus, they caught nothing. And the moment Jesus stepped back in the boat, they had more fish than they can handle.
Let me put it this way. I want you to notice as we look at the voyage that they took, look at verse four and five. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering unto him said, Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing. Nevertheless, at thy word I will let down the net. We're gonna talk about that in just a minute but I want you to notice first the command. He said launch out and let down. Launch out into the deep.
You gotta go where the fish are and you gotta let down the nets. Now what I find first is this, there was nothing wrong with the boat. All of a sudden when we stop seeing people saved, everybody wants to blame the church. Everybody wants to blame, well it's because we do this and because we don't have this and because. There was nothing wrong with the boat.
What was wrong was the fisherman. It's amazing to me how a building gets blamed for everything. Because everyone wants to blame the church. Well what's the church? It's the people. And if you're in the church, when you're blaming the church, you're blaming yourself. That would be like me. Let me tell you the problem around here is the hottry family. That'd make a lot of sense, wouldn't it?
I'm the hottry family. So a lot of times you and I, what we think is, well it's the church's fault. Well this needs to change and I tell you why, preacher. We need to change this at church. And we need to change that at church. And we need to go to what everybody else is doing nowadays at church. And we need to do this. If we do that, then maybe we'll be, no let me tell you something, dear friend, there's nothing wrong with the boat.
It's us. Second thing I want you to notice is that they needed to go where the fish were. You know a lot of times we've got all the things, we've got the buildings, we've got the practices, we've got the ministries, we've got all this stuff, but we're not going to where the people are. Jesus said hey, you're not going to catch much fish sitting here by the bank.
Now you might catch a few, but you're not going to get nets full. He says you've got to launch out into the deep. You've got to go to work again. It's going to take toil and you're going to have to get that boat all the way out there, but you've got to go to where the fish are. We gather ourselves in church and we talk about how wonderful we are and how conservative we are and how we're church people and bless God we look good, act good, smell good, and the problem is we are not going out to where the fish are. Some of us have got to get out of church.
Now don't just take that little clip and print it, alright? We need to get out of our pew and go work. We've got to go to where the fish are, at work, in the neighborhood, and whatever the case might be.
We need to get each other saved and we need to go out and while we're fighting each other, and I'm not saying here, you understand, I'm talking about in general, in churches, while we're bickering amongst each other, people are dying and going to hell because we're in here bickering in the boat instead of taking the boat out to the deep. Does that make sense? I want you to notice there was nothing wrong with the boat. They needed to go to where the fish were.
Notice this third thing. A net will never fill up with fish until it is first let down. You know what is interesting? They didn't have those nets in the boat until Jesus took them out there in the water and they just waited and all of a sudden the fish started jumping out of the water into the nets in the boat. For some reason that's sometimes what you and I think is going to happen. Well we just have programs at church, we're just going to sit back and they'll just come. The Bible says go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in.
I don't know about you but our churches in general, we're having more things but we're reaching less people because we just think we have these things then the people are just going to come on their own. Dear friends, we still have to go out and reach people. The net doesn't fill up on itself.
You've got to let the net down. I don't know if that makes sense to you or not I hope. I want you to notice not only his command but notice secondly the concern. Look at verse 5. Peter said basically this. He said alright, now we've worked all night and we've taken nothing and I don't know if that's all he said I'm sure if he said something else we would have been told but I'm sure in his mind he's thinking I'm the fisherman you're the preacher. Little did he know at that point that he's talking to the man that made the fish and made him. I'm sure he's thinking alright you know what I've got nothing else to do I'll go ahead and I'll take you out and you tell me to do this because I just watched how you handled all those people and think about this whole time. The whole time Jesus was preaching to those people Peter had a front row seat.
He sat down in that boat listening to him preach. He said I've done it. I've taken it out. We've done nothing but nevertheless I'll go out.
The concern. When Peter hears God's command listen to me he reminds Jesus that they had already done that and had caught nothing. What he is saying is this Lord we've already tried that and it didn't work and does that not sound like church? There will be people sitting there that have been in church their whole life and they say well we used to do that and we tried that before and that didn't work. And can I say there are going to be times in the future here at Kerwin Baptist Church that God as clear as day I believe is going to lay on my heart Daniel you need to do this at this church and you need to institute this and you all need to take this on and you need to make this effort and I can get up and I say alright folks listen this is what God's asked us to do and I believe we need to do it. And there might be people that will sit there and say oh we've tried that before and it didn't work. Boy have I heard that a thousand times since I've been pastoring. Well we've tried that before. Yeah but if you do that and you've had a lot of people come in there will be people in a lot more trouble.
Well if you do this there will be more people asking for money. Not once do you hear hey there will be more people saved. Well what happens a lot of times just the same attitude Peter has the whole point should have been catching fish. But Peter wants to say I've tried that before and nothing happened. He might have tried that before but he tried it without the Lord. I will say this there is nothing more powerful than when God commands you and God comes along. When you obey God and his presence is there you can't stop that.
I don't care how dumb that idea sounds. Brother Joe's told me about some of the Sunday promotions they had here. Lord if we tried to do that some of those things nowadays. Y'all look at me like I'm nuts. Oh they had things and different things.
They got pictures and stuff. Now to me I look at that and think that sounds great. Anything that's different and fun and exciting at the house of God.
Let's do it. But not everybody feels that way. As soon as you say hey let's have a such and such Sunday and we're going to invite people in there will be people saying yeah we did that years ago we tried that didn't work too good.
Well thank you for ruining my party. So preacher what are you saying? I'm saying sometimes when God asks us to do something we got to do it. Even if we've tried it and we failed. If God said take the boat out again we got to take the boat out again. If God says let down the nets we got to let down the nets.
Y'all agree with that? I want you to notice the third thing we're going quickly. Not just the vessel not just the voyage but I want you to notice the third thing that we have to learn from this is I want you to consider the victory.
Look at verse 6 if you will. When they had done this they enclosed a great multitude of fishes in their net singular break. Now I want you to consider this victory and the first thing under this I want you to understand number one is the miracle involving the fish.
Notice this victory that they had. The first thing there was a miracle involving the fish. Look at verse 6 and 7. Look at verse 7.
They beckoned under their partners which were in the other ship to come help them because there were so many fish. Now what is interesting here is if you look at the passage that and I know some of you know this but there might be some people who haven't seen this passage before. I want you to notice that verse 4. Now when he had left speaking he being Jesus said unto Simon launch out into the deep and let down your what? That's plural.
There's an S on the end of that word. Jesus said Peter we go out there I want you to let down your nets. Plural which means all the nets you have I want you to let them down in the water. The Bible says in verse 6 that their net break. The Bible also says in verse 4 that Peter and the men let down their net singular. So you got to understand what's going on here.
Jesus because he knows what's about to happen. He says hey let down every net you have. But Peter almost to say well I don't know if this is going to work. After all I am a professional fisherman.
Card carrying I can see this. I'm a professional. The Bible says he let down a net. And the Bible says there were so many fish in that net that the net broke.
Do you know what? That net would have never broke if he had let down all the nets. But he didn't obey exactly what God said and his faith was not strong and he didn't believe and so he let down the net and there were so many fish it broke the net. So now he has to call all his friends to bring in their boat and bring their nets and I don't know if you've ever thought about this and I don't know I'm just saying this is just speculation. But if he had let down all of his nets Peter and his crew would have gotten all the fish. But because he didn't let down all of his nets he just let down one he had to bring in the other fishing crew to help and they got some of the fish too. That means they got to sell it and they got the money from it and they got to eat it where Peter could have had it all but he didn't obey God. Consider the victory the miracle involving the fish.
You know what's amazing? Think about this. They had been fishing all night long when the fishing was good and now Jesus makes them go out at the worst time of day to go fishing.
Now think about this. They were fishing in the wrong place at the wrong time of the day and they experienced success. Before without Jesus they had gone out fishing at the right time of the day in the right place and they got nothing. That's a miracle. I'm going to tell you something. Some of the fruit that God allows you to bear in ministry. Look at brother Joe and all the things God's done at this church all the years. I can't tell you how many times there's been things. I had good motives.
Man I didn't do it right and I wasn't very good at it and I wasn't very proficient at it. The fruit does not come because you and I are good at something. The fruit comes because of Christ. The miracle involving the fish and that's something.
I want you to notice secondly the miracle involving the fisherman. Look at verse 8. When Simon Peter saw it he fell down at Jesus' feet. Here's the man that just doubted who bucked up against what the Lord had told him to do. Not only that he disobeyed. Jesus had said put down all your nets.
He just put down one. Here's an individual that had just done that and now he falls down on his knees and he says depart from me for I am a sinful man. Now he is humbled. By the way humility makes the difference doesn't it?
Humility is when you realize it's not because I'm a fisherman and it's not because I know how to fish. It's because God's in the boat. It's the only reason I have anything. It's because of God. God bless you.
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