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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Gone Fishin’ to Catch Souls: A Lesson from the Epistle of Romans

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By Teresa Carr

The local church in my neighborhood began a creative project for winning lost souls for Christ. The ladies who headed the King Kids lead a children’s program theme called, “Let’s Go Fishing!!” The whole congregation joined in the songs, The Fishin’ Song (sung to the tune Jesus loves Me), Kings Kids Song (sung to the theme from The Brady Bunch), Jonah (sung to the theme from Flipper), and I’m Walking on Water (sung to the theme from The Greatest American Hero). You get the picture?  Rev. Richards gave an illustrated sermon in the Sunday night meeting about going fishing. Loaded with fishing cap and fishing pole she demonstrated each part of the pole end to end. When you go fishing you’ll need bait to catch fish, right? The bait is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The hook is Jesus himself. I heard someone once say that when you catch those “soul” fish give him or her to Jesus and he’ll clean ‘em up. Jesus in the scriptures (Matthew 4:18-20) asks us to follow him and be fishers of men, as he said to Peter, Andrew, John, and James. Let us be bold and unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s tell the lost the good news of his coming kingdom and his promise of a better tomorrow.

Winning lost souls is important to Christians because we will one day spend eternity somewhere when we’re called away from this world. This present world, which is cursed with evil, will end. Because God is very caring and loving he will have to intervene in human affairs before mankind destroys the earth and all the living. This will be done one of two ways. If we accept Jesus Christ as our savior whether we have died or still alive he will come to take us home to heaven to live with him until the time of the great tribulation has ended and we will return to earth to live with him. That is his promise. The highway to heaven known as “The Roman Road” is explained in the Book of Romans, and tells how to get to heaven. The road begins at Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes.” That why reading his Word and know about his wonderful plan is the greatest thing of being a Christian. God is our source for our journey to heaven. He gives power for salvation to all who believe. We need this power because we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). God loves us all so much that he provides a route: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). The second choice is that people who do not believe in Jesus Christ and do not accept him, as their Lord and savior will end up either after they die will enter into judgment. Those who are still living will go through seven years of the great tribulation, if they survive. If they haven’t received salvation by their choice they enter into eternal judgment. Those who have survived the great tribulation and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior will join Christ and the saints to live in the Millennium for 1000 years. Those that rejected Christ and His Gospel will be reserved for final judgment after the Millennium. After that, the unsaved dead will be raised to enter into the Great White Throne judgment. It is here all the unsaved and lost with the books opened of the deeds they’ve done during their time on earth and will be sentenced for eternity into the Lake of Fire. Those that will be at this judgment have made the list (you can read the list by going to, Romans 1:18-32; 2:1-2). I hope you who are reading this will accepted Jesus Christ and receive his gift of salvation so you will not have to go through this. You ask, If God’s loving and caring why does he has to do this? God is a just God and has to judge sin. He will take in account what each person did with his Son, Jesus Christ. What have you done with Jesus? If you want to know more about this subject and God’s plan for us, read my editorial on Heaven.

The highway to heaven is found in Romans10: 9: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” When the Apostle Paul wrote the epistle to the Romans he laid the plan of salvation out to every man, woman, boy and girl during that time. The Romans message has never changed. As your guide, it warns us that the philosophies of this world lead to a dead end. The only truth is God’s Holy Word, the Bible. We must accept it and trust it. It is available to us, all we have to do is believe by faith (Romans 10:8, 17). If you don’t you will be lost in a maze of lies and deception. In the letter to the Romans, Paul wrote of a serious problem that all of us have and can be successfully resolved. The problem is that we’ve all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23; 6:12). For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). Paul tells us that this eternal life is free. How then does one believe that you can obtain something of such value for nothing? If you asked this question then you absolutely correct. Eternal life is so valuable no one can afford it.

This comes down to the old story when God created man with a free choice of will to serve God or serve himself. Man made a poor choice and rebelled against God. God had already established the penalty for rebellion as eternity in Hell but He loved mankind and did not want to destroy him. The solution was God’s decision to send His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ into the world. It is written, that God commended his love for us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Jesus became a man and lived a sinless life for 33 ½ years and then he was hung on a cross by the Roman soldiers of His day. Christ shed his blood on the cross paying the penalty for each of us. This blood was the very blood of God to sufficiently wash all our sins away if we request it. Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb and proving Himself to be God Almighty in the flesh, He conquered death and hell and arose from the dead three days later. Jesus offers freely to all who will accept his death and resurrection as payment for their sins. Will you accept his gracious offer? Paul wrote speaking of Jesus: God has set forth a promise through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the mercy of God (Romans 3:25). His blood justifies us; we shall be saved from wrath through Him (Romans 5:9).

When we come to the end of the road in life there is a place that we recognize. There is a hill at the end of that road. It’s a place called Calvary; the place where Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us died to pay for the sins of all the world. When we’ve come a long way, some of us a long hard road. But Jesus said it wouldn’t be easy. Following Him won’t be must easier but to be saved from death and hell Jesus gave his life for you so that you will have a new life in Him. It is a step of faith as Paul wrote: For us also to whom it shall be imputed if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead (Romans 4:24). He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25). Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into his grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1-2). For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6). Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ: (Romans 3:24). That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:21).

When you come to the end of the journey and stand at the foot of the cross will you kneel before Almighty God and remember all the things in your life’s journey. We first remember we have to believe in God’s Word, the Bible, first reading Romans to guide us down the right path and read the Gospel of John about Jesus’ love for us. We see that we are guilty before God and that we need to repent or turn away from a life in sin to truly follow God’s will for us. God’s will is to protect us and give us a hope and a future, not to harm us (Jeremiah 29: 11-13). God himself, through Jesus Christ, paid for our sins with His own blood. This made the way for us to have eternal life. Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). I am the resurrection and the life he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26). All there is left for us to do is to ask for it. If anyone shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans10: 9-10). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).

If you want to make that decision all you have to do is sincerely pray a simple prayer like this one to receive eternal life.

Dear Father God in Heaven,
I realize that I am a sinner in need of salvation from the eternity in Hell. I know that because Jesus paid for my sins on Calvary’s cross. I can be forgiven. I can have peace with you. I now renounce my life of serving sin and myself. I ask you to grant me the gift of eternal life. I thank you that you have said, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That includes me.

Thank you for saving me from solely on what Jesus did on the cross. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Now, go tell someone you have received Jesus into your heart as your personal Savior. Be bold and honest in acknowledging Him as both Savior and Lord of your life.

God bless you in your brand new life!

Roman Road Tract. Little Red Book. P.O. Box 341. North Greece, NY 14515-0341
Mature Living. April 2008. LifeWay Biblical Solutions for Life.

©2008. Teresa Carr. Skyhouse Communications & Mega Grafx Studio.

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