Parable of the Dragnet (continued) Part 09a

Mysteries of The Kingdom of the Heavens


Part 09a

Parable of the Dragnet (continued)



The saved individuals alone

Let us continue the study of this last parable of Mathew Chapter 13. This parable begins by events occurring throughout the present dispensation (v.47) and then gives an account of events taking place after this present dispensation has run its course, at the end of this age (v.48-50). As we have already seen, the persons dealt with in these parables are “the saved individuals alone” that is, only those who are removed from “the sea” via “the net.” And the subject matter of these parables is “the kingdom of the heavens.” At the end of this present dispensation, all of us who are saved throughout this present dispensation will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2Cor.5:10) and a separation will occur among us as we have seen in the examples quoted in the previous part of this series. It will be carried out by angels, and it will occur in relation to entrance into or exclusion from the kingdom of the heavens.

Overcomers and non-overcomers

This can be clearly seen in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. Only the saved individuals can be members of the church, which is His body. Those saved individuals are separated into two categories: overcomers and non-overcomers. The overcomers are promised entry and part in the coming kingdom, whereas the non-overcomers will not get these privileges. What will be the destiny of the non-overcomers? This can be understood from all the promises to the overcomers, the teachings in these parables and many other parts of the Scriptures.

The good and the bad among those who are gathered via the net

Once those removed from “the sea” via “the net” have been brought “to shore,” the picture in the parable relates a separation of “the good” from “the bad.” And once separated, the good are gathered into vessels, but the bad are cast away (v. 48). Exactly the same picture was presented by the Lord earlier, at the end of the second parable, the parable of the wheat and tares. There was a harvest, followed by a separation of the wheat and the tares. The tares were bound in bundles to be burned, but the wheat was gathered into the Master’s barn (v. 30).

The destiny of each of these two classes of believers

Now we should carefully study on what basis this bifurcation is made and what is the destiny of each of these two classes of believers. This separation will occur according to the decisions and determinations made at the Judgment Seat of Christ. These decisions and determinations will be based on our works which resulted from faithfulness (or unfaithfulness) to our calling. The class of believers who are found to be unfaithful and unfit to enter into the kingdom will suffer loss and shame. Harsh expressions such as, “bad,” “wicked,” “furnace of fire,” “outer darkness” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” are used by our Lord to describe their end. Most of the Christians associate these expressions only with the eternal punishment of the unsaved individuals. But we should look into the context in which these expressions are used and must understand their correct meanings. To deal with this parable on the basis of eternal verities, with the unsaved being cast into the lake of fire, is completely outside the scope of the subject matter seen in any of these seven parables. All the unsaved will rise from the dead only after the end of the coming glorious age, the Millennial Era. At that time they will stand before the Great White Throne and will all be cast into the Lake of Fire. They will be tormented in it throughout the endless ages of eternity, following the Millennium.

The saved alone, standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2Cor.5:10)

But in these parables we see the saved alone, standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ, at the beginning of the Millennial Era. Only one group of individuals (the saved) – though separated into two classes – could possibly be in view through the use of the expressions, “good” and “bad,” or “just” and “wicked” (vv. 48, 49). All had been removed from the sea; all had been removed from the Gentiles. Thus, no room could possibly exist for an inclusion of unsaved individuals in this parable. By the very nature of the subject matter (the kingdom of the heavens) and those being dealt with in this parable (those removed from the sea), only the saved could possibly be in view.

The actual meaning of certain expressions which are traditionally misunderstood

In the next part of this study of the Parables of Matthew Chapter 13, we shall see the actual meaning of the expressions, “Gehenna,” “outer darkness,” “lake of fire” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” used in these parables and in many other parts of the New and Old Testaments.