THEME: A Warning
Jesus’ parable tells us that the final separation of the saved from the unsaved is awning.
“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. “When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
There are three important facts about Jesus’ picture of the final judgment as a separation of good from bad fish. First, it is absolute. That is, in the day of God’s judgment the time for mixture in any form will be over. Now we have mixture all the time. We do some good things, but our good is always mixed with evil. We have the redeemed people in the church, but we also have those who are the devil’s children. However, when the Lord sends his angels to execute judgment those days will be over, and human beings will find themselves in one camp or the other. Either they will be with the blessed in heaven, having been cleansed from all sin by the redeeming work of Christ, or they will be in hell without Christ and without hope. No one will be partially in one camp and partially in the other.
The second fact about that separation is that it is previously determined in the sense that the grounds of the distinction will already have been laid on earth. What are they? Going back to Christ’s earlier parables, it is a question of whether one has received the good seed of the gospel, whether one has believed in Christ. It is whether one has laid all else aside to gain the hidden treasure or purchase the valuable pearl. You know whether or not you have done that. In which camp are you? If you are not in Christ now, you will be without him then. If you are with him now, you will be with him in the day of judgment.
Third, the separation is permanent.Nothing could be more permanent than the collecting of the good fish and the discarding of the bad. Nothing could be more permanent than the throwing of the tares into the fire to be burned. In that day the opportunity for repentance will be over. The day of salvation will be past.
I wish I could say that the reality will be different. But I cannot, for Jesus himself does not. There is only one person who will tell you that. He is the devil, and he has been spreading that lie for centuries. He has told millions that the day of reckoning is always far off and that there will always be time for repentance or religion or whatever at a later date. In that way he has lulled millions to sleep, and they now drift on, oblivious to their danger. They are like the man who fell asleep in his car in the garage while the motor was running. The fumes of death were about him, but he was unaware of it. He was asleep and perished.
Do not listen to the devil’s lies. He cares nothing for you. He is a condemned and evil being who, knowing that he must perish, takes his sole delight in drawing others after him to a common doom. Instead, listen to the Lord Jesus Christ, who speaks truth. He speaks it in this parable so you might know that judgment is real, separation is coming, and the time for repentance is now. Hear him! Believe him! Tum from anything that would keep you from Jesus and throw yourself upon him and his work only.
List three facts about the separation of the godly from the ungodly.
What does it mean in spiritual terms?
How does Satan lie to us about judgment?
Who are the unrighteous? Describe their fate.
Have you been tempted by the devil’s lies? How have you responded?
If you are not in Christ now, you will be without him then. If you are with him now, you will be with him in the day of judgment.