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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012



Sermon of the Week for February 14, 2010

And it came to pass that as the people pressed upon him to hear the Word of God. Wait a moment! Let me stop right there before we go any farther. We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. But, faith does not come by hearing everything and anything. Jesus said, “He that hath ears to hear let him hear.” Hear what? Hear the Word of God. So they pressed upon Him to hear the Word of God.

Now it says He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, which is the Sea of Galilee. They pressed upon Him to hear His word. There was no way any synagogue could hold the thousands that came to hear the teachings of Jesus. Since the people pressed upon Him, Jesus needed a better position to speak to the people. He needed to be seen and heard to better advantage. So, He entered into one of the boats that belonged to Simon Peter and asked him to put out a little from the land. From this vantage point He was seen at better advantage as He preached to the multitude.

In this case the Lord was seen to great advantage even though it was a floating pulpit. He used many different pulpits during His life on earth. When He was crucified He used the cross pulpit to preach as He uttered His famous last sayings from the cross. He was lifted up in plain view. He could be seen to the best advantage. He would say later, “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.” He used a mountain for a pulpit when He preached the Sermon on the Mount. When He gave the Great Commission it was not given from the Temple or from a Cathedral, it was from a mountaintop in Galilee.

In this case the Lord in the boat had a floating pulpit, so He sat down and preached from a seated position. Sometimes He stood to preach and sometimes He sat. In this case the sitting position was the most comfortable, and besides, a boat makes a mighty shaky pulpit. Come to think of it, any pulpit is a mighty shaky place to stand.

Some preachers, to keep from being tossed overboard, try to preach a balanced message. One preacher said he had a problem. He had some conservative members and some members of a more liberal mind-set. By preaching a balanced message he tries to please each faction and that assures him of a firm footing in his floating pulpit.

The pulpit of the Ole Ship of Zion is always a shaky place to stand. It is good for the preacher to remember the advice of the popular song of some years ago. It said, “Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down, you're rockin' the boat.” The pulpit is indeed a shaky place to stand, and it is easy to rock the boat whether standing or sitting.

Now when Jesus came into the world He chose as Apostles the most unlikely group of men you could imagine. He did not go to the Temple and recruit the Apostles from among the Sadducees.

Much training was needed to prepare them for service and this story provides one of the incidents as to how the Lord taught them; not only them but also us. This story is their training ground or perhaps in this case, their training water. In this event He teaches them and us several things about following Him. The first thing He taught them and us is to completely rely and trust in Him.




Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. They had fished all night and had taken nothing. Peter was a fisherman, and he knew best how to fish, and when to fish, and he knew this was not a good idea. He said, “Master we have toiled all the night, and taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the nets.” In the gospel according to Luke, this statement is the first thing that Peter had to say. At thy word, I will do it. It doesn’t make any sense, but he did it anyway as an act of obedience. Peter would never give any better advice than that. At Thy word I will do it.

At Thy word is a great word. In Luke 1:57, “No word of God shall be void of power.” Some things the Lord may ask us to do may not make sense, but if it is His word, believe it, and do it. What great power in that word; they enclosed a great multitude of fishes so that the nets were beginning to break. At Thy word, Jesus also said in Mark 13:31, “Heaven and earth shall pass away but, My word shall never pass away.” So, whatever He says, do it. Then again consider, Jesus also said in John 12:48, “He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My sayings hath one that judgeth him. The word that I spake, the same shall judge him at the last day.” So what choice do you have? Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. Think too of the statement of Paul in Ephesians 6:17, “Take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The Word of God is your greatest defense against the devil, so whatsoever He saith unto you do it.

           Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Word of God is the picture that is shown in Revelation 19:13. John had described Jesus on a white horse arrayed in a garment sprinkled in blood and His name is called the Word of God. Add all this to the fact that John stated at the beginning of his record of the Lord’s ministry, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God, the same was in the beginning with God…The word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Whatsoever He saith unto you do it.

At thy word is a great word. Think of it. All Peter did was lend a boat to Jesus and he received in return a boat-full of fish. That was a mighty big return for a borrowed boat. A net full of fish, and later on called to be an Apostle, then the key note speaker on the Day of Pentecost, author of at least two New Testament books, and the great honor of dying on a cross, probably upside down. He received all these honors in exchange for a borrowed boat. The return for serving the Lord cannot be calculated. Whatsoever He saith unto you do it.

And then when Peter saw it he fell down at Jesus knees saying, “Depart from me for I am a sinful man O Lord.” A man is never taller than when he is on his knees before God. Remember the word of old Simeon about Jesus when He was eight days old? Simeon said, “Now lettest Thou Thy servant Lord depart in peace for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.” A person who feels he is not worthy to be close to the Lord, is closer to the Lord then, than he was before.

Now Jesus told Peter “Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” The fear nots of Jesus are comforting. The greatest fear not is recorded on the Isle of Patmos. John saw a vision of the glorified Christ and he fell at His feet as one that was dead. Jesus laid His right hand on him and said, “Fear not, I AM the living One, and I was dead, and now I AM alive forever more, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” Jesus has two keys. One key is the key of death. He is able to unlock every grave, every casket, every tomb, and every crypt. He also has the key to the spirit world. He can unlock every grave and unite it with every departed spirit both saint and sinner at the resurrection. What a comfort it was to John as a Christian and to us to hear Jesus say, “FEAR NOT.”

In this case Jesus said fear not from henceforth thou shalt catch men, for Peter was amazed at the catch of fish and Jesus was saying, Peter, do you think this is something? You haven’t seen anything yet! Just wait till the first Pentecost after the resurrection. I will make you a fisher of men. Peter must have thought about this event on that day when the gospel was preached for the first time and the Church was born.

This miraculous catch of fish was a type of what happened on the first Pentecost after the resurrection. On that day the big fisherman used the only bait that can be used to catch men and that was the story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He told them they had crucified the Lord and they were convicted of their sin and asked what they must do? He told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise and to your children and to all that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto Him. They then that gladly received his word were baptized and there were added unto them in that day about 3,000 souls and they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.

At last Peter knew what it was like to be a fisher of men like the Lord told him when He said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” In fishing for fish you draw a live fish from the water to die. In fishing for men you draw a man who has died to sin from the waters of baptism to live. Paul says that we arise to walk in the newness of life. There is a gospel chorus that tells it like it is:





Ladies and Gentlemen, I urge you to learn the lesson Peter learned that day by the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Nevertheless at Thy word I'll do it. Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught. And now in this training water of the Apostles there is a second lesson the Lord taught them and us. He taught them that He is the God of supply.


After the Lord finished His message unto the multitudes, He said, “Launch out into the deep.” The Lord will never be beholden to anyone. No one will ever be able to say to the Lord Jesus, “Lord, it looks like you owe me one. Lord, look what I did in your service; I'm one up on you.” The Lord will never be indebted to any of us. He borrowed Peter’s boat and now He pays him for it. He is the God of supply.

The Apostles learned this lesson well. When they stood on the Mount of Olives and were told to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, there is no evidence that they asked Him, “Lord, where will we ever get the money to go everywhere? Who will pay the bill?” They had learned that He was the God of supply. Any eleven people in most any church service will have more money in their pockets than the eleven had with them when they stood on the mountain top and Jesus issued those orders of world conquest. They did not ask Him where the money was coming from because they were talking to the risen Lord and they knew if He could raise the dead, raising the money was a minor problem.

I have learned by experience in many years in this radio ministry that the Lord is the God of supply. As a graduate from High School my preacher gave me a pocket New Testament with this verse written on the inside, “My God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” That was said at the start of my journey. At the end of my journey someone could write under that verse another verse, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Jesus is the God of supply.

Remember that when they caught the fish that the nets were beginning to break. Luke tells us that when the nets began to break, they beckoned unto their partners that were in the other ship that they should come and help then. And they came, and filled both ships so that they began to sink. Launch out into the deep.

We have all seen at one time or another, the swimming pool at a motel. Usually at one end of the pool is a small wadding pool for the small children where they play with their wubber ducks. Quack, Quack. Can you imagine a deep-sea diver with his oxygen lines laid out; his compressor is in place, he puts on his diving suit, his helmet, and then bravely marches out to sit in the wadding pool to play with his wubber ducks? Quack, Quack. This is the impression of the modern-day church.

The Lord has supplied all the equipment. We have the Bible. We have the money, the manpower, we have the Holy Spirit, we have our marching orders from the Lord and we are content to pittle around the wadding pool, pwaying wit our wubber ducks, Quack, Quack. Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. Our bungled way of fishing for men can be summed up in these lines: Tangled in nets of wild philosophy, Heaving the lead into unplumbed infinity. Caught in the backlash of ideas ill cast, Baffled we stand by the shore at last. Snagged barbs, snarled lines, torn sails what fishers we! Teach us Thy skill, O Man of Galilee.

Launch out into the deep and let down your nets. Now, this in conclusion.




Are you tired of wading on the shoreline of service week after week? Are you tired of being an amateur Christian? Launch out into the deep.

As you stand on the shore and look out into the deep it is good to remember these quoted lines: There is a time and tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Omitted all the voyage of life is hound in miseries and in shallows. And we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures. So, Launch out into the deep.

Notice that Peter did not have to go very far at that moment to launch out into the deep. He went right back out to the place he had been all-night and taken nothing. You can launch out into the deep right where you are. Did you ever get into really deep water in serving the Lord? For a basic beginning, why not start with the reading of God’s word? Compare the amount of hours spent before the television to the little or no time at all with the Word of God and you have a vivid example of pitteling around at the wadding pool of life pwaying wif our wubber ducks. Quack, Quack.

Launch out into the deep of the Word of God at the Garden of Eden where they ate of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and sail through to the Paradise of God where the tree of life grows on both sides of the river that flows from the throne of God. Launch out into the deep.

Launch out at the patriarchs and keep sailing until you reach the Apostles. Launch out at the prophecies and sail on to the epistles. How deep did you ever go into the evangelistic ocean of the book of Acts? The Sea of Galilee was about twelve miles long and almost eight miles wide. But we don't have to fish in such narrow confines. Because of the miracle of electronics: there is no limit to the vast area of Gospel Ocean where we fish for the souls of men. Launch out into the deep.

All night they toiled, those men of Galilee, Casting their heavy nets into the sea.

And taking nothing when dawn stained the sky, They made for shore, prepared their nets to dry. Launch out into the deep. A voice they knew dispelled their gloom, their courage winged anew. Launch out. His words in this grim day become a challenge to vast depths the soul may plumb, Where love and service, comfort joy and peace shall overflow the cup and still increase. Launch out. Let down the nets. That voice again Brings hope to lift the troubled hearts of men. Launch out into the deep and let down your nets!