47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48 which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50 and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
We live in a world that often accepts who Jesus is and that he died for our sins. However, we also live in a world that denies a place called hell and the eternal punishment that goes along with it. In the teaching ministry of Jesus, some three and half years, he taught more on hell than heaven. Jesus is the one who made the doctrine of hell most clear to us. No, I personally don’t like the Bible’s teaching on an eternal hell but I just can’t read it any other way.
In this parable, Jesus speaks of life, of opportunity, of death, of eternal life and of eternal judgment. We have to remember that he is speaking using a common illustration of his audience. While most of us don’t know what a “dragnet” is, the original audience knew exactly what it was. From a boat, a team of professional fishermen would extend a net from a boom off of the side of the boat. As the wind carried them across the lake, fish would get caught in the net. When the net was full the fishermen would bring the boom over the side of the boat and pull or winch up the net filled with fish. In this method of catching fish you had no idea what kind of fish would be in the net. The fish market would have certain fish that were of value and certain fish that were of no value. The fishermen would then separate the fish, the ones with value from the ones with no value, sell the ones they wanted and discard the ones of no value.
So, Jesus said, is it going to be at the Day of Judgment. In life, God collects people of all kinds. In the day of God’s judgment he will make the determination of the people he will keep with himself and the people who rejected him and will not have any heavenly value. Those accepted will join God in heaven, those rejected will be cast from God and will find themselves in hell, the furnace of fire, where they will find the pain causing them to wail and gnash their teeth.
If you had heard Jesus teach this, what would it have caused you to do? What does reading this today bring to mind and what are you going to do about it?
Thank you for your prayers this week. Our service at Sunrise was well attended and the people were attentive to the Word of God from Psalm 3. At youth group last night we had ten teens and are thankful for the opportunity to touch their hearts. Andrew and Stefani prepared a lesson on depression and taught that “depression is a loss of hope.” Their peers receive them well.
Edna has a doctor’s appointment next Tuesday. They have her on anti-inflammatory meds and hope to be able to give her a cortisone shot. Pray for her continued healing.
Have a great day in the Lord,