THEY FORSOOK ALL
by Cooper Abrams
Peter, Andrew, James and John were partners in the fishing business on the Sea of Galilee. They had heard John the Baptist and had become his disciples and were expecting the Messiah. They knew the Scriptures foretold of His coming and anxiously were looking for Him. Andrew was first to hear Christ and he then immediately went and got Simon his brother, and told him he had found the Messiah. John 1:36-42.
Peter then goes to where Jesus was and Jesus immediately told him who he was and changed his name to Peter, meaning "stone." Jesus then after preaching to the multitude from Peter's boat turns to Peter and tells him to launch his boat out into deep water and let down his nets.
But Peter replied, they had fished all night but had caught nothing, but if Jesus said do it he would. The result was he caught such a large number their net was in danger of breaking. They called James and John who filled their boats also till the almost sank. Peter, understanding the miracle and that Jesus was truly the Messiah, fell at His feet and said, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Oh Lord."
Note the response of a sinful man when he sees Christ and believes. He admits he was a gross and habitual sinner. Jesus reassures Peter and says, "Do not be afraid, Peter, I will make you a fisher of men." Christ always comes as a friend, without scolding bringing salvation and purpose to life to replace the void of a life of sin.
7. In Luke 5:11, After they brought their boats to land the Bible says they forsook all and followed Jesus. Matt. 4:20, says "straightway or immediately" their left all and followed Jesus. They left the largest catch of fish they had ever had. They left their boats and their profitable occupation to follow the promised Messiah, the Savior of the world. To them it made perfect sense. There was nothing to be debated. No questions to ask. Jesus was the Messiah, the promised one and the natural reaction of a believer was to leave all and become His disciple and that is what they did.
True belief is a faith that brings salvation. True belief brings a total commitment to Christ!
I. FIRST: THEY HEARD THE MESSAGE THAT JESUS PREACHED.
A. What was the message?
1. Mark 1:14, says Jesus came to Galilee preaching the message of the Kingdom of God. John the Baptist preached as Matthew 3:2 says. ". . . Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus preached the same message as Matthew 3:2 records, "And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
2. Luke records the same truth in Luke 4:18-20. Jesus reading Isaiah 48:8-9,61:1-2, proclaimed that "this day this prophecy is fulfilled." V21.
3. Those that heard Him was filled with wrath! Why? Jesus said He was the Messiah, the one Isaiah and the prophets had foretold.
4. The Gospel is the Good News, that Jesus Christ the Messiah, the savior of mankind is here.
5. Paul in 1 Cor. 15:1f. ""For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
B. The message is that Jesus came to save men.
C. This is what the heard. John the Baptist and Jesus both had preached, "repent, the kingdom of God is at hand."
1. This message was to the Jews, their promised Messiah had arrived....so they should repent of sin and get ready for that kingdom.
2. Equally so we today have the same Gospel.
3. First: We are told to repent. WHY? To be a part of God's kingdom you must be forgiven for sin. You enter in to the Kingdom of God through a Spiritual gate. He did not say begin a series of good works, join something or do anything but repent and believe. He first said to repent of sin. That means to admit and turn from it! Repentance is admitting sin. Turning from sin comes after your mind is changed about it.
D. Peter, Andrew, James and John all repented of their sin. That was first. They received in their hearts the message that Jesus was preaching.
II. SECOND: THEY OBEYED JESUS.
A. The first step in receiving Christ is to Obey Him!
1. Peter was an experienced fishermen. Fishing with nets was done at night normally. The clear waters of Galilee the fish could see the net in the day time.
2. Yet, through Peter was an experienced and professional fisherman...He obeyed, what he could not understand or logically explain.
B. "At your word", "At your command." I will cast the net out into the deep. "Word" = a command (often refers to a command)
1. Note the trust in what Jesus said.
2. Peter first realized who Jesus was, then based on his belief that Jesus was the Messiah, come from God...he obeyed.
3. Peter had of Christ, healing a man possessed of a Demon.
Luke 4:36 "And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out." (Luke 4:36)
Verse 37, says "And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about." (Luke 4:37)
4. Verses 38-41, Jesus healed Peter's wife's mother who had a high fever. He healed many, in fact all that came to him. The demons that came out of the people, cried out that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of God.
5. Jesus preached all over Galilee. Verse 44.
C. Peter's believed and his actions proved his belief.
1. Jesus did not ask Peter to believe in the dark. Peter had ample evidence that Jesus was who He said He was, and being the Messiah, Peter knew that He must trust Him. He must do what Christ said.
2. My Friend God does not ask you to believe myths, or things that are not tangible. Biblical faith is not a leap into the dark. Biblical faith is based in credible evidence.
We have the preserved Word of God, to read of the promises that God has made to you and I. The evidence of creation, the evidence of the destructive course the world is on. We have the Holy Spirit illuminates our understanding that we might understand and be drawn to believe. We have a desire in our hearts to be at peace with God. We have the testimony of those whom God has saved and changed their lives.
3. First Christ tells us in the Bible believe in our hearts.
Next the Bible tells us to outwardly profess our faith in Jesus Christ to others and then tells us to be baptized and publicly identify ourselves with Christ and the local assembly of believers.
4. The Bible says that when a person is saved they are baptized and become a member of a local group of believers, who gather together to service the Lord.
III. THE BIBLE SAYS BELIEVERS ARE TO BE TEACHABLE.
A. Jesus's last instruction to His disciples was to teach.
1. Matthew 28:19-20, says that as Christ's local assembly we are to teach believers to obey (observe) what-so-ever (that includes everything) that Jesus taught his disciples.
2. Jesus taught them to be baptized, to join the local church, and do work in that church to do God's will. A Christ is a disciple of Christ. A disciple is a pupil of his teacher and Christ is our Teacher.
3. Why be taught? One important reason is that we might grow in Christ and experience the full benefit of being a Christian. God's plan is that his disciples be used to encourage and help others find Christ and grow in the Lord. You cannot teach or help others if you do not know yourself. Adults teach children. Christians must study and grow in the Lord into mature Christians to be able to carry out God's plan for our lives.
4. If you are not a learner, your will never be a teacher! The learners become teachers.
B. Peter Obeyed the Lord.
1. This principle is found in God's dealing with the Children of Israel. Deut. 4:1-10..
(1) God says I will teach you. Jesus in John 14:26 promised to send to believers the Holy Spirit to guide them in their understanding of the Word of God. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
1 Corinthians 2:11 explains, "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."
(2) Don't add or take away from My word. Matthew 7:13-23 records that Jesus warned about false religion and those who would come in His name and pervert His truth.
(3) We are taught that we learn to do as God commands. 1 Peter 4:17 says "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"
(4) The reason? That you might be a testimony before the world. Acts 5:32 tells us "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." A witness is someone who testifies to others of what they know.
(5) Only God's Word is the Truth. Jesus prayed to the Father and in His prayer he said, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17)
(6) OUR PART: Take heed to yourself. Diligently keep yourself. Teach them to the children. Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
(7) God's preacher's commandment is TEACH THEM. God tells the preacher in 1 Timothy 4:6 "If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
He further says in 2 Timothy 4:2 "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
(8) The Believer's commandment. The disciple of Christ is instructed to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).
B. You have to learn to obey God..
1. "Take My yoke upon you and LEARN FROM ME, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29)
2. You should never expect God to bless you if you will not be taught.
3. "And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful". (Titus 3:14)
III. THIRD: PETER GAVE HIS ALL TO THE LORD.
A. Peter forsook all!
1. Luke 9:57-62, Records that there were some who came to Jesus and told him they wanted to be his disciples.
a. Only true belief is a belief that forsakes all and follows Christ alone.
b. Many would like to have all that Christ gives to those who follow him, yet they want it without any commitment.
B. Peter, Andrew, James and John, immediately forsook all and followed Jesus.
1. Fishing was a profitable business. Fish were two to three times higher in price than any other type of meat in the Palestine.
2. They had boats and equipment. They had responsibilities....yet they put Christ first and thought it more important the work of serving the Lord.
3. Those who follow Christ...who accept Him as their Lord and Savior, they inherit, not only eternal life, but the fulfilled life.
The first step is to receive Christ as your Savior. Then He will show you the life He has for you.
C. What did they really forsake?
1. They forsook Hell for the joys of Heaven.
2. They forsook an empty life without God, for the eternal presence of God in their lives.
3. They forsook a life dominated by destructive influences of sin, for a life of victory over sin harmful result.
4. They forsook ignoring their Creator, to having Him lead their lives.
5. They forsook an spiritually empty life, for a life in which they fulfilled God's plan for their lives.
6. The list goes on and on.
7. They gave up that which is temporal and will vanish away, for that which is eternal reserved in the heavens for every child of God.
Quote in my Bible: "He is not fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose, Only one life t'will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last."
1. This morning you have heard the Gospel, which is God's promise to forgive your sins and give you eternal life.
Would you, right now, accept and admit you are a sinner, and ask God to save you?
2. When Christ said, receive me, and publicly stand up and let folks know of you salvation.
3. Were you Scripturally baptized? As God said?
4. Have you obeyed. Not just done what you could understand or logical accept....but obeyed all that Jesus said....
Because He, your Savior and God said it?
5. Have you then forsaken all. It Christ preeminent in your life??????
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