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December 5, 2021 6:00 pm
Problems with you. Doug turn with me if you would to the gospel of Mark chapter 1 and really look at verses 14 through 20 this morning after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God and saying the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand repent and believe in the gospel, passing alongside the Sea of Galilee Saul Simon Andrew, the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea. They were fishermen.
Jesus said to them, follow me and I will make you become fishers of men and immediately they left their nets and followed him going on the low father, he saw James a son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets and immediately call them and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him pray. Heavenly father we come to you this morning with parts that are heavy Lord over some of our people are going through sickness other. We pray for her sister Johnny Presley is in the hospital and at this point in time on a ventilator. No Jesus you need your touch. We ask heavenly father that she reached down from heaven is our great physician that Lord you minister to her, help her to recover.
Pray heavenly father that you'd be with her husband, Randy, and comfort him. Remind him day by day Lord that his wife is in your sovereign hand that you take care of her cry. Heavenly father for others who are suffering with co-the Nancy Starcher and Ginny Bryce field and Eric and Rachel Hampton pray Lord for Jay Crestor's family now as they've experienced the death of his brother Don and I pray for Jay is this coming week.
He's gonna be taking part and speaking at that funeral service give him the ability to get through that difficult difficult time. Heavenly father's day.
We are privileged to take a look at how Jesus started his earthly ministry use, no gimmicks, no programs no advertising to call people to himself.
He just preached he commanded people to repent and he preached the pure simple gospel. In this passage we see his call to discipleship a two word call follow me and we see for me and drop everything that they're doing and walk away from their careers and their security and with holy excitement commit to follow Jesus, even to the cross, Lord the call to follow you is not relegated to the apostles you've called all believers to follow you, by the calling of Peter and Andrew and James and John light a fire under us today. May we follow you with a reckless abandon. My we hunger after what you hunger for May. We love what you love. May we minister like you minister to teach us to follow you, so that we will look like Jesus. Father keep my lips from era this morning. May this message exalt Christ edify this congregation.
What is the precious and holy name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.
You may be seated. After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. He was driven into the wilderness about the Holy Spirit and they are he was tempted by Satan for 40 days, folks.
Satan is a creature, he is a created being. God created he him as an angel. But when he sinned when he said I will lift myself up above the stars of heaven, I will be like the most high God. He became Satan, the adversary, the enemy of God is a powerful yes. Is he intelligent absolutely. Is he an enemy that we should respect without a doubt, but he is not God. He is a creature and we need to remember that he is not omnipresent he can't be everywhere at the at the same time, so most of our battles that we do in the spiritual Graham are not done with Satan himself, but are done with lesser spiritual beings, demons, when it came to dealing with Jesus.
Satan did not relegate the responsibility of temptation to a lesser demon. He took that responsibility himself and he gave Jesus everything he had trying the best that he could to defeat him. He jumped on him with both feet and it didn't happen. Just they are in the wilderness for those 40 days, but all the way through Jesus his earthly ministry. Hebrews chapter 4/5 verse 15. The Scripture says that Jesus was tempted in all points even as we are, but yet was without sin. So before Jesus would start his public ministry he was toughened and humanly and emotionally strengthened by the trials that he went through, and then when those trials were over. It wasn't long before he began his public ministry.
This is where Jesus started today as we look at it and his public ministry.
I will never forget the first time that I preached in a pulpit was at Calvary Baptist church in Charlotte and I had been a Christian only for four years I had not didn't have any seminary experience at that time I was going to go to seminary but it was going be two years on end of the future I taught Sunday school for a couple of years and I've been teaching a lot on Wednesday night. The Bible study there at the church. But the pastor, Rev. Thurman Stein came to me and he said Doug he said I want you to preach the sermon on Sunday morning answered me and he said yes you said God's called you to preach and you need to get started. I had heard people before say that when they got ready to preach that they felt like they had butterflies in their stomachs will. I felt like I had water buffaloes and mine.
I had never been that nervous before. But I got up to preach that morning and finally worked my way through that sermon and was a so glad to have finish it up and and when I walked off. I forgot that they had taken the the microphone it was hooked up to the pulpit and I just won't write often about hung myself in this three myself to the floor and congregation all got a big laugh.
So that was my start.
It was all I was nervous and I was praying Lord, are you sure this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Not so with Jesus.
Jesus achy start from day one. His ministry was perfect. Powerful and penetrating kit. Hughes described this way since Jesus had it all together perfectly sorry from the very first is low. God switches his word was perfect. Whatever he said was absolutely true, is exegesis of Scripture was flawless, his application of spiritual truth was the most penetrating and all of history as we see in such discourses as a sermon on the Mount is Athos the kind of person he was, was without parallel in the human race. The tone of his voice.
The expression on his face. The integrity of his eyes flowed with truth as path loss came from a heart absolutely convinced of man's need absolutely loving and absolutely determined there never has been.
Anyone is truly passionate as Christ in all human experience. Three points that I want to share with you in this passage today.
Number one is simply the gospel equipment. Verse 14 now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God is shared with you several times the gospel of Mark is the shortest gospel that we have and if all we had was the gospel of Mark. Then we would not have the sermon on the Mount, we would not have the parable of the prodigal son we will not have the story of Jesus healing the 10 lepers and and will only one of them coming back to thank him and we would not have the. The high priestly intercessory prayer the prayer of Jesus to his father concerning us, we wouldn't have all that but neither would we have something here that is left out of this passage and this passage, it would seem like Jesus went immediately to Galilee after his baptism are after is been tempted in the wilderness.
But that's not what happened.
What we find out from the other Gospels is, there was about a six months time where Jesus stayed in Jerusalem and he did not leave until after the arrest of John the Baptist. Now why in the world would John the Baptist be arrested in Mark chapter 6. We have a story says, for it was Herod who had sent and sees John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife because he had married her for John had been saying to Herod. It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife and Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put them to death.
She could not. I want you to picture this, John the Baptist goes to the king of Israel is his hair and animus gets right up and in his face and he rebukes him for his adultery and for his breaking up a marriage. He committed adultery with his own brother Philip's wife and stole that wife away and took her Herodias for himself. He did this not once but several times. He went courageously right up to the king the most politically powerful man in Israel got right in his face and rebuked him for his adultery and for breaking up a marriage.
Folks wire is the courage and preachers today. Why is it that preachers will call sin.
Sin all we can't do that today. You got to be kind and loving would have been kind and loving for John the Baptist to to let King Herod just go off in his adultery, as if he was never going to have to give an account for it me tell you something. This active John was a loving loving act because he was concerned about. Herod sold Anna and I want you to know that loving act send him to jail and then later send him to his own death will after John arrest John's arrest Jesus went to Galilee. Galilee is up in the northern region of Israel.
It is a place where the common people lived person and fishermen in Shepherdson and carpenters that live there. Jesus lived in Galilee was raised there grew up they are in stay there all of his life, till the time he was 30 and he stayed there and he worked there in that in this passage we are told that Jesus went from one town to the next and and he went preaching and the ministry absolutely exploded with power and spiritual fruit just absolutely blossomed.
Mark tells us that Jesus preached the gospel of God books the world hates the gospel because of its exclusivity. The gospel rejects every other religion and declares that every other religion is false.
The gospel says that Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life and that no man comes to the father but by him. The gospel proclaims. If there is no sin so great that the blood of Jesus can't wash away and there's no sin, so small that without the blood of Jesus, that person can't would be stopped from going to hail. It was a message that was so powerless, so powerful, so convicting so mesmerizing that it could not be ignored. Death is that mean that everybody came to Christ and heard the gene Jesus preach, absolutely not everybody listen and nobody was able to ignore it books the power of Jesus preaching was unbelievable. 1993 I went to's wrinkle South Carolina to Greenville theological seminary for a seminar and the speaker that day was Jay Adams.
I never heard him before.
I heard some really good speakers on going to seminary I heard some great preachers and in crusades.
I heard some very elegant men that work would share things from God's word that that were really really good, but this day Jay Adams was preaching or teaching on how Jesus taught only 25 of us that were layer.
We set around a big table 25 young pastors and Jay Adams began to expand on the word of God on how Jesus taught a talk for four straight hours and when he finished up couldn't believe he was finished, I it seemed like about 10 minutes. I me I was absolutely amazed at what had gone on their and I remember just going back with Steve Stout who wrote up there with me as a pastor friend of mine and this will going back since Steve, I don't think I've ever been as mesmerized by teaching and the word of God.
As I was today and I said I know this might almost sound blasphemous.
I think what I experience today was just a little teeny bit of what the people who heard Jesus experienced absolute power. Absolute truth that just ripped your heart and did something to you down on the inside books. When Jesus preached you might not like it but you listened you had no recourse but to listen the gospel of Jesus penetrated hearts.
What do people say about it.
I said Jesus doesn't preach like the others. He doesn't preach like the scribes and the rabbis he preaches with authority and they said we have never heard preaching like this before, so put yourself in the picture and I want you to feel the excitement. Everybody's talking about this new preacher, you can just feel it in the air right .2 is the time. Look at verse in verse 15 and say in the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand repent and believe in the gospel. So what did Jesus preached to preach repentance and faith. Word repentance is a Greek word med annoy it means to make a U-turn you turn from your CNN you turn to Christ is what John MacArthur said here.
He said Jesus's message stands as as an example for all who would seek to preach and teach faithfully today. Preachers are not called analyze the culture to get politically charged speeches or design new gimmicks for persuading the audience resins. They are called to proclaim the same message that Jesus himself preached the good news of eternal salvation that comes from God.
RC Sproul said much of what passes for evangelism today concerns me.
People say if you want have a personal relationship with Jesus.
Then come forward to this altar. Raise your hand sign the card or pray the sinners prayer all those techniques together add up to cheap grace because what is noticeably absent from these attempts to evangelize is any serious call to repentance.
No one can enter the kingdom of God without repentance without fleeing from sin and putting his trust in Christ alone. This is how our Lord himself did evangelism.
He announced the gospel.
Then he said, in essence, your response must be to repent and believe. How did Jesus say it.
Jesus said the time is fulfilled. In other words, his coming to the earth and starting to minister of the gospel marked the turning point in salvation history and what is that mean does that mean in the Old Testament that God save people in a different way that that was like Moses and Joshua and Daniel and David and and those boys that that I got saved back the end by keeping the law.
No they didn't. Nobody got saved by keeping the law because nobody is ever The law, but one and that is Jesus Christ himself. They get saved in the in the Old Testament. They got saved by repenting of their sin and acting in faith in what in the future Messiah to come. So here comes Jesus on the scene and and what is Jesus say these are the time of waiting is over.
I am the Messiah. I have come I'm going to live a perfect sinless life. I'm going to perfectly keep the law of God, and then I'm going to die is your substitute. My blood is going to wash away your sins past, present and future. Then I'm going to impute to you the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
And then I am going to be resurrected from the dead on the third day to break the curse of death owns you and you will have eternal life. Does that not excite your soul. That's what Jesus is saying. So he says the time is fulfilled, the word time. Here's a Greek word, care us and it doesn't mean calendar time or clock time. That's the word from us this work Carol Ross means this care. Us is means at a fixed point in history for an event to occur.
This is what Paul was talking about in Galatians chapter 4 verse four and five. We says, but when the fullness of time has come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons. In other words, Jesus ministry took place according to God's sovereign timetable of perfect timetable. This was the hour for which the world had been waiting. This is the hour when the Old Testament prophecies were coming to pass that the new King was initiating his kingdom. The folks over 4000 years have passed by since the gospel was first presented when was the gospel first presented in the garden of Eden and it was presented as God the father spoke to Satan, and we call this the first gospel or the proto-blue and jelly on and what did God say to Satan, God said this now will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring you will bruise his heel.
But he will crush your head, so Jesus proclaims his ministry by say in the kingdom of God is at hand. Third .3 the call to discipleship. Look at verse 16 to 17 passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, file a million.
I will make you fishers of men. Jesus was walking by the sea of Galilee.
If you have never seen a sea of Galilee is absolutely beautiful when I was there 1977 I remember I God pointing us to the Sea of Galilee and saying that is the most beautiful body of water on the face of the earth. He said I think that God made the seven seas for everybody else, he made the Sea of Galilee for himself the Sea of Galilee has several names in the Scripture.
It's called the sea of Tiberius sometimes called the Sea of Chenoweth sometimes suck all the sea of goodness or it the word chin with is a Hebrew word and it comes from the root word for heart Gordon Nesser. It is a Greek word and the root word.
It comes from his heart. The Sea of Galilee is formed in the shape of a heart is 13 miles long and 7 miles wide and eight, 690 feet below sea level. The Sea of Galilee is the lowest body of water on planet Earth never ever thought about the difference between Galilee in the Dead Sea.
Very different Sea of Galilee. It is a freshwater lake and it is absolutely beautiful but it teams with life and has plant life.
It is all kind of fish has many different kinds of fish. One of the primary, fish that it has is called St. Peter's fish with pellet tilapia today that I send it out all over the world and Josephus says that in Jesus day when he walked the shore. There were at least 250 shipping arch boats, fishing boats that were around the shore of the Sea of Galilee submitting many fishermen with that.
Were they are and that they used fishing as a lucrative business.
The Dead Sea is about 30 miles south of this of the Sea of Galilee, and that the density is not freshwater. It is filled with salt minerals as you ride toward the Dead Sea. You'll smell this real pungent odor and its odor of sulfur and there's nothing live in in the Dead Sea. No plant life, no fish, nothing very buoyant.
You can see people out in instant post of the middle of the water in there up to about their chest is inherently doing that. The water just holds you up. I walked out into the, the Dead Sea, and when I came back out. I looked at my legs and they look like somebody painted white. Just absolutely covered with salt, so what is this such a a a stark difference between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea will the Sea of Galilee has the Jordan River flowing into it.
So that's an aunt. That's the inlet and that water comes from the mountains where there's snow and rain that slows down and flows right down the the Jordan River and flows right into the into the Sea of Galilee.
But there is also at the bottom of the South and Sea of Galilee and outlet in the Jordan River flows right out of the and it goes all the way down to to the Dead Sea and there's an inlet where the water comes into it, but there's no outlet, not at all between a powerful picture.
This is where there is an inlet and outlet there is life, plant life, fish all this teaming life layer when there's an inlet and the outlet at the Sea of Galilee. But where there's just an inlet in there's no outlet.
There's nothing but stanch and death. Note that is a picture of us is the way it's supposed to be blessings of God in and then blessings of God out to others life from God and to us in life of God out to others fruit of God into us and fruit of God out to others will. That's where Jesus is is at that beautiful Sea of Galilee. Verse 16 tells us that as Jesus was walking by the sea. He saw Andrew and Peter.
And this is not the first time he seen them on the day of his baptism several months before they asked when John the Baptist pointed at Jesus and said, behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.
Andrew was there and Andrew heard that he went and talked to Jesus after talking to them just a little bitty when he got Simon his brother and he brought them back and they talk together that day, but this is several months later Jesus walked right up to these two and says to them a says to them. I want you to follow.
Throw away your secular occupations and come right now and follow me. But fish and it was the predominant meet in the ancient world sold most of the people ate and so these fishermen that would go out and catch these fish they had a very loose Andrew Peter had their homes. They are in Capernaum, James and John were working with the homes they are taped. It had not.
They made a lot of money and things were going well with them. So Jesus is first to Andrew and Peter and says follow me and I will make you fishers of men. I want you to pay rapt attention for just a minute to do to how Jesus calls these men to be his disciples. Was this a general suggestion no.
Was it a hopeful question like, hey, maybe you guys would like the opportunity to be on my team. Was it that no this was not a request from Jesus. It was an absolute command. Jesus was not asking for them to express their opinions or or to to give him their thoughts. Jesus was saying get up. Leave your nets leave your boats leave your security walk away from your homes and follow me for ever. While I'm your pastor, what if I were to come up to you today and getting your face and say to you, you can start teaching Sunday school skull start right now and you go teach Sunday school for the rest of your life right here Grace Church, or if I were to save you.
We need some help with money not visitation you can be here Monday night. You're gonna be here every Monday night, until you die. What would you say so what might be a good idea but not to be a little pushy. Well when Jesus commanded Peter Landry to follow him. They did not see it is pushing us they saw.
It is his power, his authority in his right John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and said, behold the Lamb of God, the taketh away the sin of the world. Jesus was not an ordinary preacher is no ordinary rabbi. It was no ordinary religious leader. Jesus Christ was the Messiah, the son of God Jesus called you to be his disciple brothers and sisters. It was the greatest privilege that you ever had and when Jesus called Peter and John to be his disciple. It took them about two seconds to count the cost and they got up and they followed him immediately. John MacArthur said the implication of this command were extreme and unmistakable abandon everything, including your careers as fishermen and follow me. It was a unique, nonnegotiable, all-encompassing mandate from the king to his first chosen subjects. We look at that today we say was that well now I'm glad he didn't do it like that anymore. That would be tough. Now we will all we have to do is just believe we just have to believe in the facts of the gospel that Jesus died on the cross and that he rose and the dead and and that's that's all the deals we are saved by grace and and and not to worry about all this other stuff.
Is that really true. It is true that we are saved by grace through faith plus nothing is God that does that. It's God that brings us to himself.
He asked God that regenerates us salvation is not just a hit belief, it was James who said they said this, you believe in one God, them do as well. The demons also believe in Trimble Brothers and sisters, let me tell you something if you have been regenerated if you've been born again. Then you have been called to be a disciple of Jesus. And what did Jesus say about his disciples. He said if any man be my disciple living denying sale take up his cross daily and follow me. While or does that mean that every true Christian is going to do what Peter and Andrew that we got to just abandon our careers to follow Jesus know Jesus, to encompass all to do that he does not call us old Jesus told Peter and Andrew that when they followed him. He would make them fishers of men. In other words, he would give them the ability to share the gospel they would go out they would share the gospel and with many of these people. They would hear it.
God would do a work in their heart, and then they would follow Christ as whale they would be fishers of men.
Verse 18's tells us what they did immediately they left their nets and followed him in Jesus walked on down the shore little bit there was James and John a Walton them said two words follow me, follow me. That's it. And they turned around they gave their nets to their dad, Zebedee, and they took off with Jesus. Verse 20 says that Zebedee was still in the in the boat. Can you imagine this elderly man hates. She's thinking he's got it all together. He's thinking well what I meant to do now is I'm gonna retire got two boys to take my business on everything's going to be great and then Jesus speaks to words to them, they hand the nets to Zebedee is a dad. We love you tell mom would love her to leave and were gone sharp dissent not excite your soul.
I tell you what that that blesses my socks off. I will follow Jesus. That way, quit worrying about what people think. Quit worrying about security. Quit worrying about fitting in with the culture and just follow Jesus because there will they were apostles were not apostles. They had special gifts and special callings say a special purposes.
That's true, they were called to be apostles.
You're not an apostle, there are no apostles today, but you are a disciple if you been regenerated. If you been born again, he has called you to be his disciple and if yours disciple. What did Jesus say man be my disciple living denying sale take up his cross daily and follow me. Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon entitled how to become fishers of men. He said this when Christ calls us by his grace we ought not only to remember what we are, but we ought also to think of what he can make of us.
It did not seem a likely thing that lowly fishermen would develop into apostles that me in so handy with the net would be quite as much at home in preaching sermons and corrupting converts one what is said how can these things be. You cannot make founders of churches on the peasants of Galilee is exactly what Christ did and when we are brought low in the sight of God by sense of our own unworthiness.
We may feel encouraged to follow Jesus because of what he can make of us.
All you see in your sales. At present, nothing that is desirable, you and follow Christ for the sake of what he can make out of you do not hear is do you not hear his sweet voice calling to you and say and follow me and I will make you fishers of men as temptations arise in your life this week and that's going to happen on to think of two words follow me next Sunday you wake up somehow know that going to church today. Follow me.
Jesus you're here at work and you get an opportunity to witness to somebody that you know needs the gospel, but you feel, nervous about that. Jesus said, follow me. You're on the computer and you hear about a website that's kinda just discount. I may be little bit shady. You think maybe I can go to that website and is going to thrill my flesh. This will be so much fun. Jesus said, follow me as a needy person that you know you realize that that person is in great need and you feel like you probably need to help some. Jesus said, follow me. But those are not request that is a command from our Lord's prayer. Heavenly father. This passage was deeply convicting to me. It forced me to look squarely at my commitment to follow Jesus. I've been called walk holy before God in this world I have failed way too often it is a calling to Donna sale myself is way too much alive. Lord help us to see that following Jesus is not turning over a new leaf is not a commitment to be a better person. If you desire to be like Jesus by dependence on Jesus as we prepare for the Lord's supper. We pray that we would experience your spiritual presence in such power that we would know that we've been with you and you not only culture, apostles to follow you. You called all your children to follow you in the precious name of Jesus that we pray. Amen