You’ve heard them, I’m sure. Some well-intentioned but thoughtless man of God will stand before a gathering of the Lord’s people and in urging us to evangelize our communities will overstate the case.
“Jesus told us to become fishers of men! He did not tell us to be keepers of the aquarium!”
And, almost invariably, the statement will be met with a chorus of ‘amen’s.’
The only problem with that is it is not so.
In fact, it’s totally wrong.
Jesus did not send His disciples just to reach lost sheep–He certainly did that–but commanded that we are to “feed my sheep.” In John 20, He gave that command to Simon Peter three times.
In Acts 20:28, Paul tells the pastors of Ephesus that they are to “shepherd the church of God which he purchased with his own blood.”
And here’s another one, the one that set me off this morning.
In trying to motivate church members to get into the community with the gospel, the WIBT preacher* will say, “The Bible in no places commands the people of the world to come to church. It does, however, command us to go into all the world with the gospel.” (*Well-intentioned but thoughtless)
That’s so true, it’s almost totally true. But it’s missing something critical.