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 blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This parable would have resonated with all the fishermen in the audience. They knew well the routine of letting down the net and bringing it up at the right time, full of fish. When they did this, they would then separate the good fish from the bad. Jesus used this story to explain how it will be at the end of time as we know it.
One day the angels will separate the “wicked from the righteous.” This separation will be based on one thing, and one thing alone: a person’s relationship with Jesus. Only through our trust in Jesus’ work on the cross are we declared righteous—right with God. Jesus paid for our sins in full, and that payment allows the heavenly Father to declare us, “Not guilty!” On the other hand, those who have rejected Jesus will be separated from God forever in hell, where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Hell is not a subject we like to talk about, but we must. Jesus addressed it often. It is real, and will be the destination of those who deny God’s existence, ignore His presence, or try to reach Him on their own. Without Jesus, hell will be the eternal judgment for sin. But God has made it possible for you to be counted among the righteous. Make sure of where you stand with God by praying the following prayer:
Heavenly Father, I want to spend eternity with You. I want to be counted among the righteous. I know there is nothing I can do to make that happen on my own. My best works on my best day cannot make me right with You. So I trust in Jesus as the One who paid the penalty for my sin on the cross. I trust in Him as the only One who can make me righteous. I trust in Jesus alone for my eternity with You. In His name. Amen.
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