Are you caught up in a net? No, I’m not referring to March Madness or basketball nets. If you think you are not caught up in a net, you are mistaken. Moreover, there is no escaping this process, but you will exit the net. The question is where you will go after God sorts the contents of the net He has in placed around all of us. Jesus told His disciples they were fishers of men, trolling for souls (Matthew 4:19); however, not all souls will be admitted to Heaven. In Jesus’ parable of the net (Matthew 13), we glimpse the type of eternal catch He expects.
Habakkuk recognized how men resemble fishes, “You have made men like fish in the sea, like sea creatures that have no ruler.” (Habakkuk 1:14). In this parable, Christ reiterates that men, like the fishes in the sea, have no spiritual ruler in their natural state unless we turn to Him. As with fish, men tend to congregate in schools and shift their course based on the whims and the currents of the moment. Jesus recognized the world as a vast sea, full of men, good and evil, great and small, obedient and disrespectful, who will follow any current unless directed otherwise.
In this parable, Jesus compares preaching the Gospel to casting a net into the sea in order to obtain a catch. This exercise makes His disciples and ministers fishers of men, casting the Word of Jesus Christ and letting down the net to bring back souls. But there’s a “catch” to the catch – the net discriminates poorly. It gathers in men of every kind, just as a large fishing dragnet pulls in both desirable and undesirable sea creatures, along with dirt, weeds, trash, and assorted rubbish.
While the net is submerged in the sea, fishermen cannot tell what it contains. They cannot distinguish the good fish from the bad until the net is filled and drawn in. Without knowledge of the contents, the net must be retrieved with care, for surely there is much good as well as bad in it. Once the net results are visible and accessible, the fishermen can separate the good souls from the bad souls.
Jesus warns us – the net is filling even now. There is a set time coming when the net will be filled and the Gospel will be fulfilled. We are sure the net will not return empty (Isaiah 55:10). Sometimes the net fills faster than others, but until it is full, only God knows its contents. When the net is filled, the mystery of God will be finished, and the great and final separation will take place. Christians will be segregated from unbelievers and hypocrites. The “sheep and the goats” (Matthew 25:32-33) will go their separate ways. God will gather His own for safe-keeping while the others will be cast away into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15, 21:8).
Today the false prophets of the world tell us, “All good fish go to Heaven”. This is a lie and itself is the net result of listening to the one who lies as his native tongue, Satan (John 8:44). The parable of the net tells us the angels of Heaven will come to do God’s separation and will sever the wicked from the just. They will be under God’s command and will have His direction regarding who will be kept and who will suffer eternal doom.
All those in the net share a common feature – everyone is a sinner (Romans 3:23). Those who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, however, will be sanctified and saved while those who reject Him will be subject to everlasting misery and sorrow. Those who chose to follow God’s normal ways will be recognized and united with Him. Paul tells us the net result of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and Jesus tells us the net result of rejecting Him is the fiery furnace.
To which fate will the angels dispatch you? Those who make a normal choice will experience Heaven. All others will experience weeping and gnashing of teeth. The choice is yours. Whatever you choose, you will be subject to the net results of your choice for all eternity. By choosing Christ, you are guaranteed a place in Heaven.
“I’m Normal.™ I AM.”
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In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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