Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 10: The Net
Based on Matt. 13:47-50
"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was
cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind; which,
when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and
gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So
shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come
forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall
cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and
gnashing of teeth."
|Sorting the Good & Bad Fish.—Davis Collection.
The casting of the net is the preaching of the gospel.
This gathers both good and evil into the church. When
the mission of the gospel is completed, the judgment will
accomplish the work of separation. Christ saw how the
existence of false brethren in the church would cause the
way of truth to be evil spoken of. The world would
revile the gospel because of the inconsistent lives of false
professors. Even Christians would be caused to stumble
as they saw that many who bore Christ's name were not
controlled by His Spirit. Because these sinners were in
the church, men would be in danger of thinking that God [p. 123] excused their sins. Therefore Christ lifts the veil from the
future and bids all to behold that it is character, not
position, which decides man's destiny.
Both the parable of the tares and that of the net plainly
teach that there is no time when all the wicked will turn to
God. The wheat and the tares grow together until the
harvest. The good and the bad fish are together drawn
ashore for a final separation.
Again, these parables teach that there is to be no
probation after the judgment. When the work of the
gospel is completed, there immediately follows the separation
between the good and the evil, and the destiny of each
class is forever fixed.
God does not desire the destruction of any. "As I live,
saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the
wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.
Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye
die?" Eze. 33:11. Throughout the period of probationary
time His Spirit is entreating men to accept the gift of life.
It is only those who reject His pleading that will be left
to perish. God has declared that sin must be destroyed as
an evil ruinous to the universe. Those who cling to sin
will perish in its destruction.
Click here to read the next chapter:
"Things New and Old"