The scene of casting a net
Matthew 13:47-50; BCBC/IOUC; 2/28/2021; Rev. Paul Wang
Why is it “the scene of casting a net”? Because we almost do not see the net nowadays, and very few people cast a net, right? May I ask: How is your situation today? Do you have a net? Did you cast it? With the situation you are in, how can you not check on it? Let’s see the first point:
Cast into the sea and gather
Have you ever thought about why the kingdom of heaven is like casting into the sea, not into a pond? In order to think clearly of the truth, it needs God to activate us with His wisdom, agree? First, the authority of casting into the sea. To cast the net into the sea, are you certain in your heart? Why did Jonah disobey God’s authority and run into the sea? Why did he not go to other people’s fish ponds to catch some small fishes and hold on to his own authority? With Jonah’s understanding about God, how could he not know that once he went to the ocean, mankind’s authority would become ineffective. So do you not go casting a net for fishes? then God would ask a huge fish to swallow you into its tummy and taste you. Do you want it? Having seaweed wraps around you, and you just could not move at all, do you want to try it? The gospel mission has been entrusted to us. If we share it, the reward will be given. If we do not share it, woe to us. Don’t always think about yourself, and only wait till you have confidence and then share the gospel. I am sorry, the authority is not in your hands! God is the one with sovereignty. Our responsibility is to cast the net whether in season or out of season. As for other parts, just leave them to God.
Second, gathered by whom? Don’t think how great the net we have, or how good the evangelical conference we held，or how much preaching gift our pastor has. If God does not gather all kinds of fish, what kind of fish do we cast for? Please note that God’s work is “all kinds of fish”，and it’s not because of the certain professional elite you are. To shepherd people with different backgrounds according to God’s gathering is from the good will of God. cThis is the truth that God’s people must understand! In recent years, there are many geeks in the society, and it is difficult to blend into the church，also they are hard to fit into the body of Christ. Please remember, it is God who gathers by Himself, it is Him who chooses a different variety of people to different churches. It is not by one’s own will to “gather”， and then discriminate against those who hold different views， and only choose one’s own preference.
Lastly, cast by faith! Peter did not understand why he cast the net and could get any fish for the whole night. Until God said, try to cast the net on the right side. TAt the end, he caught 153 fishes. May I ask you: Was Peter’s effort in the past all wasted? Of course not! Casting a whole night without any result is exactly the experience of our life. Isn’t what we do in our life the purpose of meeting God? Jacob, from birth to escape, from one escape to another escape, till he met with God at the ford of the Jabbok, right? Therefore, the theme of casting a net, for people like us who cast the net in essence is to meet with the Lord. After the Apostle Paul believed in God, in the same way, till after he received the vision of Macedonia, He then met with God in the mission. How about you? Blessed are the ones receiving this truth, since they for sure will receive the freedom. Let’s see the send point:
Cast the false away and keep the true
This is the truth I received when I wrote the sermon this time. On one hand, while God was waiting for the wheat to be ripped and to remove the tares, At the same time, God does His choosing at any moment. First, the net needs to be filled up. The meaning of “fill up” is as many as possible, agree? How many fishes to catch for a church? How many people share the gospel? What is the guideline? Today’s verse gives us a principle, that is to “fill up”. How many empty seats in the church? How much development potential for a church? Just go and fulfill the index that God left for us. ， Can you do so? There is no church that can share the gospel to all the people, but each church must fill up the net given by God. The size of the net is given by God， to fill up the net is the church’s mission statement， and it is for every brother and sister being faithful to God.
Second, what people need to fulfill is faithfulness. What does this mean? Jesus says, When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down. (Matthew 13:48)” Just think about this, if brothers and sisters do not share the gospel with all the effort, the net of the net would not be filled up. If we all do not invite people to come to the church to worship. how would people come? Even though they come to the online church, they also need people to invite and be accompanied, right? Therefore, a church’s worship situation is how faithful the brothers and sisters fulfilled. When we invite people to the church, it seems like a lot of people, and we thought it has been filled up, we also need to pull them up on the shore. We not only need to pull them up, but also need to sit down to accompany the church’s new friends and do not make them feel lonely, right?
Lastly, God will choose by Himself. Of course, all the ones who come to the church need to face God. This is what we always heard in the church, right? But we do meet all different kinds of people in the church, we just cannot deny it, right? This is God’s wisdom of choosing, can you understand? Don’t forget, it is God Himself who gathered of “every kind”. This means that the people you met in the church, including the ones you like, you don’t like, the ones who like you or dislike you. They are all gathered by God, what can you do? To accept them because of God, to love them, to co-work with them, to serve together and to share the gospel with them. or to cast them away, or to cast yourself away. Maybe finally you settle down in one church, but you will also meet all kinds of fish. Whoever cannot dwell in a church at the very end, is the one cast away by God. Let’s see the third point:
The consequences are worrying
From the scene of casting a net to see the consequences of the last days are worrying because of God’s wisdom; also, the Holy Spirit testifies with our heart that we are God’s children. First, the last days are near. Nowadays’ COVID pandemic, with the size of scale, the magnitude of spreading, the depth of the harm, and the consequences from it are all unprecedented， right? The current situation and prospect of internet development, has made the gospel widely spread a fact. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom， wars and famines are not far away from us. The universality, openness, destructiveness of heresy are far beyond the past generations. Pastors and ministers were arrested and framed,churches were persecuted, and believers who were martyred for God have become more and more common.
Second, wicked from the righteous. What is “wicked from the righteous”? The bible says, “The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous. (Matthew 13:49) ” Aren’t we called the righteous ones by God because of our faith? Don’t worry, when the end of time comes, cangles will come to the church cto separate the wicked among us. Who are the wicked? They are the ones who buried one talent under the ground. Jesus called him, “You wicked, lazy servant!” He is the one Jesus says He does not know, including the one who does not dress when attending the wedding, the lamp oil is not prepared, and not willing to forgive others. May I ask: Is this you? If so, now is the time to repent, are you willing to?
Lastly, be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Maybe you do not take is seriously, right? No matter what the Bible says, how the pastor preached, at the end you still do not care about it! Today there is a bible verse to remind you：“ and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:50) ” Instead of weeping during that time, why not just weep now! Please sahed the broken and contrite tears， angels will collect your repentant tears with a golden bowl. Because if there is a sinner repented, thousands and millions of angels will all be cheered for this!
Dear brothers and sisters, what do you see from the scene of casting a net? Do you see God’s sovereignty? Do you understand God’s choosing? Do you understand the consequences of the last days? Then go to share the gospel quickly! Yes, there will be all kinds of difficulties and challenges when we share the gospel, and Satan would not want to give up. However, God is our great king! He is our shepherd, we shall not want! The Holy Spirit is our help in any circumstance, what else are you afraid of? Actually, there is one thing that needs to be afraid of, that is, maybe someone among us has no relationship with God, and does not truly believe in Him. Is this you? What I want to say is, this is the only terrible thing!