A 'sea of unsaved souls' is beginning to churn and cap as the waters (people) of many nations prepare to rise up against
the God of Israel and the Son of the living God. Anti-Semitism and anti-Christian sentiments are resounding in many
quarters of mankind's spiritual emptiness, freelance terrorism is now known throughout the market place and brother
now comes against brother. The false peace agreement(1) between Israel and enemies of Yahweh will soon come under
the pen and the prophesy of that event will be fulfilled. It has been said that 'a rising tide raises all boats'. This certainly
is a true statement as long as all boats are in the water. As we gaze across the waterfront of modern day Christianity,
we observe many craft in virtual dry-dock. These 'spiritual' vessels do not appear to be undergoing change or
noticeable improvements, but rather are land-docked and seem to be waiting until more favorable conditions are
eminent. Jesus said, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' and in the morning,
'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but
you cannot interpret the signs of the times."(2)
We have heard that 'no man will fill his nets with today's catch while they hang to dry on the boom-spar'. "Once again,
the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the
fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad
away."(3) "The church's responsibility is to cast the gospel message before all society, realizing it will attract all types
of people, some of whom will be found unredeemed by 'the angels at the end of the age'."(3) Simon Peter said to
Christ, "we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything" and Jesus said to him, "Put out into deep water, and
let down the nets for a catch" and "they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break".(4) The
churches which are not full to the brim (pew overflow) must not be casting the gospel message into "the deep" waters ...
rather, are apparently content to fish the shallows (over fished safety zones). Until we joyfully and purposefully set out into 'the
deep waters' it is doubtful the great end-time harvest will be gathered in as soon was we are anticipating. It is in the
deep water that fish school in vast numbers, and the un-churched community seems to 'pool' and 'school' in areas
other than Wednesday night services, some exceptions albeit. In Matthew we read, "The kingdom of heaven is like a
king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son".(5) Those he invited did not attend and he in turn invited others
from the highways and byways. The king's servants had to endure great danger and affliction to fulfill his second call
to bring in guests for the wedding banquet.(5) Fishing for souls in the end-time move of God and His call to bring in
guests to fill His house will most likely not be in the shallows !
There are examples today of local churches experiencing unprecedented attendance. At the same time registrations at
'church growth seminars' has never been higher, with congregations struggling to stay alive in the 'church shopper'
phenomenon occurring across the nation. Circulating 'shoppers' from one church to the next is not church growth!
Building the Kingdom of God is not synonymous with the 'empire building' strategies we observe in some mega-church
settings becoming prevalent today. "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see
the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep."(6) "The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God."(7)
Let us put out from the shallows to search the deep things of God and not be reticent to enter the 'great waters' of the
unsaved. Let us put away any appearance of an entertainment-embellished gospel, archaic rituals and/or exclusive rites
and be 'determined not to know any thing ... save Jesus Christ, and him crucified'.(8) Christ bids us 'to come' for it is
the power of His Spirit that draws and woos the unsaved and not the trappings of man. Our boat can rise with the
incoming tide of the Spirit-of-the-Harvest while in the shallows, yet unless we are 'in the deep waters' with Him ... our
catch will continue to be less than optimal - if not shameful!
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
(1) [Dan. 9:27] (2) [Matt. 16:2-3] (3) [SFLB-Note, Matt. 13:47-50] (4) [Luke 5:4-6] (5) [Matt. 22:1-14] (6) [Ps. 107:23-4] (7) [1 Cor.
2:9-10] (8) [1 Cor. 2:2]