Young Fishermen

Prophecy says that a church is a woman.

Songs of Solomon 6:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. 9 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. 10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? 

Amidst all the different women or churches there is one that belongs to Christ. She has the sun and the moon and she is as terrible as an army with banners. Here is another description of the same woman.

Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

This woman is in a time of war as terrible as an army with banners. This woman began at the time of Christ. Jesus set up a church. Revelation 12:17 describes the remaining people of that original church. We can look to the original to understand how the remnant should be.

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Is the kingdom of God at hand today? Yes.

Mark 1:16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. 19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.

In this war time John the Baptist was put in prison and anyone who preached the gospel was persecuted as the kingdom of God was at hand and Jesus called people to leave what they’re doing and follow Him. They left straight away. These people were young people. John wasn’t even 20 years old. Today Jesus is calling His bride who will become as terrible as an army with banners to do the work.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God. 

Matthew 4:9 Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

This is the call of Jesus.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Jesus is calling people to yoke up with Him; to be labourers with Him. Not to do anything by ourselves but to be His disciples, yoked up together and locked in with Him. The effort is complemented one by the other. We can read an account of Jesus calling a rich young ruler.

Mark 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Jesus loved him and saw great potential in this rich young ruler. He put forward a requirement of sacrifice. If he would make that sacrifice then God could use all that potential but he wasn’t willing. This call that Jesus has to become co-labourers with Him requires a sacrifice.

The religious work which the Lord gives to young men, and to men of all ages, shows His respect for them as His children. He gives them the work of self-government. He calls them to be sharers with Him in the great work of redemption and uplifting. As a father takes his son into partnership in his business, so the Lord takes His children into partnership with Himself. We are made laborers together with God. Jesus says, “As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” Would you not rather choose to be a child of God than a servant of Satan and sin, having your name registered as an enemy of Christ? {MYP 47.2}

We have a choice to become co-labourers with Christ and enter into partnership with His business. It’s an apprenticeship. The kingdom of God was at hand. It was time for the gospel to go to the world. Jesus went to the young people saying come and follow me. His disciples left straight away and entered into an apprenticeship. He wanted the rich young ruler to enter into the apprenticeship also but he didn’t want to make any sacrifice. An apprentice only gets a small wage. Apprentices don’t get to have all the luxuries of this world. There is a prerequisite for entering into the apprenticeship.

Luke 14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 

Here we are in a war. The dragon was wrath and went to make war with the church of Christ. He is calling for people to count the cost of the war. We can either enter into an apprenticeship with Christ or have our names registered as the enemy of Christ. Young men and women need more of the grace of Christ, that they may bring the principles of Christianity into the daily life. The preparation for Christ’s coming is a preparation made through Christ for the exercise of our highest qualities. It is the privilege of every youth to make of his character a beautiful structure. But there is a positive need of keeping close to Jesus. He is our strength and efficiency and power. We cannot depend on self for one moment. . . . {MYP 47.3}

Christ wants everybody to come join His army but there is something that is required before than can join. Are you willing to sacrifice everything? Are you willing to take His command?

The Lord calls for young men and women to enter His service. The youth are receptive, fresh, ardent, hopeful. When once they have tasted the blessedness of self-sacrifice, they will not be satisfied unless they are constantly learning of the Great Teacher {6T 471.2}

The apostle Peter had this experience.

Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

In the Matthew account of this scenario Peter said, haven’t we given up everything? Jesus replied, you will get a hundred fold in the life to come if you have forsaken houses, land, fathers, mothers, family and wives. When He comes you’ll get more. Peter had given up everything. He was casting out his net when Jesus called him and he dropped everything. The apostles transitioned into a three year apprenticeship working with Jesus and in their physical labour before Jesus really called them properly into the ministry before He left.

The Lord will open ways before those who will respond to His call. Bring into the work an earnest desire to learn how to bear responsibilities. With strong arms and brave hearts go forth into the conflict which all must enter, a conflict that will grow more and more severe as we approach the closing struggle. {6T 471.3}

Energy and tact are required.

With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come… {Ed 271.2}

The Lord has appointed the youth to be His helping hand {7T 64.1}.

The church is organized for service; and in a life of service to Christ, connection with the church is one of the first steps. Loyalty to Christ demands the faithful performance of church duties. This is an important part of one’s training; {Ed 268.6}.

When someone enters an apprentice and they have a responsibility TO sweep the floor, can they go much higher if they whine, complain and throw the broom down and say this is boring? Small little tedious jobs, the humble small jobs regularly are an important part of one’s training when we first enter into the apprenticeship.

… and in a church imbued with the Master’s life, it will lead directly to effort for the world without. {Ed 268.6}

Does a small thing at home effect the whole world? Absolutely.

Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much:

God is looking at His apprentices thinking, who can advance to the next stage of learning? Who is faithful in the small duties? Who is self-sacrificing, ready to come up to the front of the battle?

There are many lines in which the youth can find opportunity for helpful effort. Let them organize into bands for Christian service, and the co-operation will prove an assistance and an encouragement {Ed 269.1}.

Organize for Service – Young men and young women, cannot you form companies, and, as soldiers of Christ, enlist in the work, putting all your tact and skill and talent into the Master’s service, that you may save souls from ruin? Let there be companies organized in every church to do this work. . . . Will the young men and young women who really love Jesus organize themselves as workers, not only for those who profess to be Sabbathkeepers, but for those who are not of our faith? {ST, May 29, 1893}.

This is what Jesus did when He came to this earth. He spent His whole ministry not just preaching and healing. He was training the whole time. He was baptized. Then He called His disciples. They were with Him for everything He did. Jesus was teaching them how to be committed.

Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. 1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

He sent His disciples out before Him. He didn’t go with them. Afterwards His disciples Jesus went into the towns. If we’re wanting Jesus to enter into people’s hearts, we must go before Him and be His forerunner.

Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

Jesus is telling his disciples to pray for more people to sacrifice themselves for God so they can enter into the harvest. Do we live in the harvest time today? Absolutely. The sifting of the wheat and the tares. May we take this call of the Lord seriously and commit ourselves to the Lord as well as calling for others. The more talent and skills there are for the Lord, true reform, to obey every word, the more skill there is to accomplish that, the greater the harvest will be. May the Lord help us to consider Jesus’ call and what He spent His whole ministry on with the young people.

Amen.

Posted on September 15, 2010, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes, Sermons For Sabbath and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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