TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, April 25, 2019:
A snare; a trap; a piece of open mesh fabric used to catch or ensnare something such as fish.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which when it was full they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth separating the wicked from among the just and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
In this parable Jesus was teaching that the net is the Kingdom of Heaven and the gospel is the message of the kingdom. The sea is the world in all the depth of darkness and it’s unknown. The fisherman represents Christ and all of His followers.
Jesus continued teaching using this parable as an illustration by saying: When the net was full they came to shore and sat down and gathered the good into vessels and cast the bad away.
We need to note several things that Jesus was saying.
First, they worked hard spreading their fishing nets into the sea. Jesus compares the hard work of these fishermen to the hard work needed to spread the gospel message of the kingdom into the world of unbelievers.
Second, Jesus reminds us that there is a mixture of good and bad that are drawn into God’s visible kingdom here on earth just as there were good and bad fish caught in the net. There will be some people that will join the kingdom here on earth that are not sincere and have not genuinely accepted Christ as their Savior.
Third, Jesus said in verse 49 that there will be an end to the world. There is a set time in God’s plan when that climatic time will come. The fishing net has a limit as to how many it will hold and when it is full the fishermen draw it in. Someday the Lord will draw in the net, but only the Lord knows when He will draw the net.
Fourth, Jesus makes it clear that the good are those who are true followers of Christ and obey His commandments, and the bad are those who are hypocrites and not true believers but they will not be separated until the net is full. We cannot dictate who is part of the Kingdom and who is not. The Lord alone has the right to execute judgment when He casts away the bad. The sorting will be done at the last judgment. (Revelation 20:11-15)
Jesus ends this parable by reminding all who were listening that the unrepentant wicked, the bad, will be cast into the furnace of fire and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Verse 50)
Yes, judgment day will be a tragic day for all those who come before Jesus still covered in the guilt of their sins having never accepted Jesus and received His gift of cleansing atonement for their sins. This will include some who were regular in attending church, but attending church does not get one into heaven. It will include many who have done many good works, but their good works will not get them into God’s Kingdom.
After this parable Jesus asks the question, “Have you understood all these things?” (Verse 51). Having just warned of the coming judgment you cannot help but notice the urgency in Jesus’ question. It is an urgent question for each of us. Have you understood this parable? Judgment day is coming and none of us know what even tomorrow might bring.
Jesus warned us in Luke 12:40 that we must be ready because He will return at an hour when we will not expect Him.
Our memory verse for this week is found in John 14:27.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, do I give you. Let not your hearts be troubled neither let them be afraid.
Thank You for the spreading of the net of the Gospel that allowed our family to be drawn to You. May our lives be used by You to draw many into a saving knowledge of You.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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