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THE FISHERMAN'S DRAGNET
This parable was told to Jesus' close disciples in private away from the crowd. People who have been instructed about the Kingdom of God have in their hearts a storeroom of new insight as well as wisdom. There is double beneift to those who know and utilise both the Old and the New Testaments. Jesus disciples knew this.
Many of the disciples were fishermen by trade and this provided an excellent study of Kingdom Truths. In the time of Jesus, fishing was a trade, a way to earn a living and not recreational fishing. Jesus told His disciples they would be fishers of men and He meant fulltime work. Fish are symbolic of souls being brought into the Kingdom of God, and are also a symbol of resurrection.
"The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by a fisherman, who casts his net into the water and gathers in fish of every kind, valuable as well as worthless. When the net is full he drags it up on to the beach, sits down and sort out the edible ones into crates and throws the others away".
EXPLANATION TO DISCIPLES "This is the way it will be at the end of the age- the angles will come and separate the wicked from the godly, casting the wicked into fire, and the godly enjoying the presence of God, forever". Matthew 13:47-50.
A drag-net is different from ordinary fishing nets, this type of net actually is dragged along the bottom of the sea, collecting everything in it path. A net ingathers many fish.
The sea is the nations of the world in which there is a mixture. Good and evil are intermingled.
The sea is fallen humanity as a representation, out of it was gathered every type of fish, the saved and the unsaved. There will be many associated with The Kingdom who are not true believers.
It is a parable of the present age, for there is a mixture in the Kingdom of God, and there will be a mixture until the Second Coming of Christ, when there will be a final separation of the righteous and of the wicked. It is Christ's discision of just judgement.
The fishermen do not have anything to do with the separation. Angels are the ones who come forth and separate.
Believers are to follow God's desires and tell others about His Truth, His goodness, grace and mercy but are not to say who does or does not belong to the Kingdom of God. The sorting will be done by angels who are qualified and appointed by God.
Separation comes before judgement. Only at judgement will true identities be known.
Some will inherit the benefits of the Kingdom of God and others are cursed to everlasting punishment, the doom that is prepared for the devil and his fallen angels. Eternal destinies will be settled. Eternity is limited time over which God is totally Sovereign.
The saved are those who have been made righteous in the eyes of God and have heavenly citizenship because of Jesus, and not of anything they themselves have achieved. Christ has given them the privilege of entering into the presence of God, by His grace.
The saved who do the will of God by believing in Christ, His Son will be received and are rewarded, but the self-righteous are condemned, the lost will be cast into the fire. The unsaved do not have access to God.
The uniqueness of this parable is the church's responsibility to spread the gospel message to society, some of whom will be redeemed and others will be found unredeemed by the harvesting angels at the end of the age.
This parable simply describes the situation as it is, a certainty.
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