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Jesus Is Gone, Lets Go Fishing!
By: Brother Craig J. Moss
(Evangelist C.J.Moss & Backyard Ministries)

(All scripture reference is from the King James Version of the Holy Bible)

That may sound humorous, but it is not! Sadly it is the mindset of the typical Baptist Church. It is so difficult these days to find a good body of believers, because the Church in general has "dropped the ball" so to speak. We are so caught up in programs, and compromise these days that we seem to forget the purpose for the Church. Brothers and Sisters, we are here to represent our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We are his spokesmen, his mouthpiece. We are supposed to be salt in the earth, not pillars of salt. We are supposed to be able to shine the light of the Glorious Gospel Of Christ to a dark and dying world. We are not supposed to just exist in that dark and dying world until Jesus comes back. More and more people are becoming discouraged and defeated, both the saved and the lost people. If the saved people are as discouraged and defeated as the lost people, what do we have to offer them? Are we going to win the lost, or should we simply throw our hands in the air and give up? perhaps we should just go fishing! This message is to all of those who have decided to do just that. I am here to tell you: "Come back to the Saviours feet".

Turn with me if you would, in your King James Bible (also known as the Authorized Version) to the "Gospel According to John": Chapter 21; verses 1-13.

1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.
2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

Let's take a look at the situation that this passage deals with: v.1 This verse simply states what is about to happen through the next few verses. Sort of an introduction.
v.2-3 Peter Says "I go a fishing."Just as they would with any other man of faith, the others followed. Remember that when you decide to step out of the will of God, somewhere there are others who look up to you and will follow you in your fall. Whether it be your brother, sister, son, daughter, friend, or even in some cases your own parent. Perhaps you don't even know the person, but they are there. These guys followed Peter, after all he demonstrated great faith that day that he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water to meet the Lord (Matthew 14:29), he must know when it is time to give up. And give up is what he did. You might even say that he was backslid. In v.7 we see "he was naked" (naked: from the greek "gumnos", meaning: nude - absolutely or relatively.) It is safe to arrive at the conclusion that Peter, the man of great faith, was either completely or mostly nude in his boat. He went back to fishing, which was what he had done before he met the Lord. Does this sound familiar? How many of us changed when we met the Lord, but are now finding ourselves discouraged, and picking up those things, or those bad habits that we used to do before we met Him? Some of us used to smoke, drink, cuss, take drugs, listen to the wrong kinds of music, hang out in the wrong types of places, with the wrong types of people. Then one day we met the Lord, and through our growing process in the Word, we put all those things behind us, and became new creatures. But now, we are becoming, or some of us may even have already become discouraged. Those cigarettes are becoming appealing again. The alcohol is causing temptation. We get angry and those little cuss words are slipping out. Perhaps we are looking back and simply desiring those things that we had left behind. We go to the store and find ourselves enjoying the rock music playing over the PA system. We find ourselves pumping our flesh full of lust for sins gone by. We even begin to wonder if we ever really were saved. Satan has attacked us, and we were unaware of his attack. We just gave up. Discouraged and defeated! No Victory!!!! They were so far from Jesus, that v.4 says, "Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus." They didn't even recognize their Lord and Saviour. How many times is Jesus standing there before us, but we do not even realize that it is Him. There was a very similar situation in Matthew 14:25-26. This is such a fine portrait of the Church today! Jesus can be there walking up and down the aisles of the Church, and we don't even realize that He is there, In alot of cases we would even go as far as saying that, "There was a strange spirit about the service today." The truth of the matter is that God was at home in His Church, and His people were so defeated that they didn't recognize Him. This is not the portrait of the Church that we would like to paint. Sadly though, it is so.

Now for the encouraging part of the message. It doesn't have to be that way! But and if it is, listen up! The next verse I want you to notice is v.5. "Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No." Notice first how Jesus addressed them... "Children" Even though they were discouraged and defeated, Jesus called them "Children." He didn't call them "lost sheep", "backslid", "sinner", "cold on God" or any of these other titles we like to put on each other when one of us is discouraged or defeated. He didn't come and tell them how hellish they were living. He didn't ridicule them. He simply called them "Children." The relationship was still there, it was just the fellowship that was missing. This takes us to John 15:5-6 "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." Note in the passage above, "He that abideth in me". This represents our walking in fellowship with Jesus. "and I in him". This represents Christ abiding in us, which happens at the point of salvation. It is a one time work, never needing to be redone. That is why the very next verse says "If a man abide not in me", but says absolutely nothing about Christ not abiding in him. This is because it has already been established that Christ abides in them. Hebrews 13:5 says "...for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." If Jesus ever came in, He will never leave, He said So and He cannot lie!!! 2 Timothy 2:13 says "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself" Even when we lose faith, if you ever were saved, He abideth faithful! The second part of John 21:5 that we need to look at is that Christ asked them, "have ye any meat?", and all they could say was "No." Notice the last part also of John 15:5 "...for without me ye can do nothing." They couldn't prosper in that old lifestyle, because they were not abiding in Him! They had become "Withered". Their lives were cast forth as a branch, ready to be burned up before their very eyes.

In John 21:6-7 "And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea." Jesus revealed who He was simply by repeating the same miracle He had done earlier on in Luke 5:4-6 "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 said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake." When Peter heard that it was Jesus, the Bible says he covered his body and jumped into the sea to swim to Jesus. Remember they didn't have the luxury of motor boats, their boats were slow. Peter apparantly didn't desire to wait. He no doubt realized his condition, and knew that he needed to get to Jesus right then and there. Church! We need to have that same desire! When we realize that we are out of fellowship with Jesus, don't wait until Sunday or some day to get to Jesus feet, get there right away, and be as willing as Peter was in John 21:11 to jump right to whatever Jesus tells you to do next. You will hear like they did "Come and dine," The Master calleth, "Come and dine!" You too will no doubt realize that It is the Lord! Church, wake up! Come back to Jesus! Have you left your first love??? Jesus is calling "Come and dine."

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