65. Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets with which one formerly fished for men of wealth.
The good news of salvation through Jesus Christ draws people into the church by the grace of God. Luther is saying that we need to fish for men with that good news and people will be saved.
That same good news is saving people today. All of mankind has a God shaped hole in their lives. We were created to be in a relationship with our Creator. However since our fall into sin all of mankind is born without God, and we all eventually come to realize that we are missing something, something that could make us whole. People will search all over for the right thing to fill that hole. When the church is busy proclaiming the love of God through the gospel, in sermons and in service to others, people are touched by the Spirit and they come to believe that God loves them and has died for them and they become whole again.
It is interesting that when the bible talks about fishing for men, it does not talk about fishing with a pole and one line for one fish, it talks about fishing with a net to catch large amounts of fish. We are to use the gospel as a net. Throw it out there where a great many can be touched and caught. Net fishing does not discriminate it goes for all the fish that are within its area. The salvation of God is for all people, and they need to know. In this way the church is spending its treasure, not building up its treasury.
Luther was saying that the church should spend its time preaching the gospel not preaching indulgences. We need to preach the same gospel; it is the only thing that can fill the hole in people’s lives.
Come Holy Spirit and fill our hearts and minds with the good news of God’s salvation. Give us the courage to live and preach the gospel to all people in order that they might be saved. Give me today the opportunity to speak to someone about the love of God for them.