The Kingdom of Heaven is Likened Unto a Net

Matthew 13:47-50

This net is literally a “dragnet.” [Describe the “dragnet” as used by the fisherman.] This illustrates the work of the professing church today. The net is cast into the sea of humanity and great numbers of people, saved and lost, are gathered in from the waters of the nations. In the professing church today there are the professors and the possessors. Some examples include: the Andersons, Mary Angy, Terry Murphy, and Betty Bios. These individuals are examples of profession without possession. When the dragnet is full, the fishermen draw it in and commence to separate the good and the bad fish. Matthew 13:49 tells us, “So shall it be at the end of the world” or rather, the end of the age.

There is a great day of separation coming when the wheat and the tares will be separated and the good fish and the bad fish will be separated. The good will be gathered up at the Rapture, while the wicked will be gathered up and cast into the furnace of fire. The conditions of this place are described for us. There will be “weeping and wailing,” because of their suffering. In Luke 16, we see a depiction of this suffering, “Being in torment he lifted up his eyes […]” The gnashing of teeth would depict their hatred against God and Jesus Christ. Their attitude will be one of continual tears and bitter regret.

After He had finished speaking, Jesus asked His disciples, “Have ye understood all these things?” Do you understand these things? Jeremiah 24:7 says, “And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.”

Read Matthew 25:1-13 and describe an Eastern wedding. The Lord took this well-known custom to illustrate this important spiritual truth. In Matthew 25:1, the “kingdom of heaven” is likened unto ten virgins. [Describe the bridesmaids - explain that there were the foolish and the wise.] Matthew 25:3 reveals that the foolish took their lamps, but took no oil. In Matthew 25:12, The Lord said to them, “I know you not.” The wise had oil in their vessels. This illustrates the spiritual truth, that one part may have the Holy Spirit, while the other does not.

At the birth of the Spirit within us, we are sealed by the Spirit and receive the indwelling of the Spirit. [Describe the regeneration that took place at the Reformation.] The professing church is marching down to meet the bridegroom. They all appear to be the same, yet there is a vital difference. Some have oil in their lamps, and some do not. Some have never been born again (Note: the devils believe and tremble).

The religion needs the new birth. Such an example of this new birth is seen through the life of Saul of Tarsus (see Philippians 3:4-6). In 1 Timothy 1:15, Paul describes himself stating that Jesus saved him, the chief of sinners. The un-churched need the new birth. In Isaiah we find the verse that says, “Come let us reason together,” which is referring to God’s attitude toward the confessing believer.