THE FISHERMEN’S NET
Jesus spoke the parable of the fishermen's net in order to teach his disciples that wicked Christians will be separated from AMONG the just Christians on judgement day. He said:
"Again, 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."
That parable gave a dramatic warning to every Israelite fisherman listening because from childhood he knew that the Law of Moses classified fish into two categories; they were either "clean" or "unclean". Part of his work as a fisherman was sorting fish; when he saw a fish with scales and fins, he would say "clean" to himself and would reject every other fish as worthless.
Jesus was showing his disciples that both fish and believers have two classifications. For example, fish are either clean or unclean and believers are either wicked or just.
The parable of the drag net teaches us that from among the MANY people who believe the gospel, only the FEW who live holy lives will be chosen for eternal life. ("For many are called but few are chosen." Mat 22:14)
Unfortunately, modern Christianity no longer teaches that Christians who commit willful sin will be culled from the kingdom of heaven. Instead, they have introduced the Satanic lie that a carnal (sinning) Christian will be saved from the "furnace of fire." Just as the serpent promised Eve, they promise the sinner: "Ye shall not surely die" when they tell them that a Christian who continues to break the Ten Commandments will still have eternal life - if he simply trusts in Christ.
This "Carnal Christian" heresy opposes Christ's teaching by saying ALL believers commit willful sin - some more than others (They are really saying there are no JUST believers; only justified rebels.) Those who teach this heresy say: "All believers will have eternal life because they believe, however " ...they add, "the carnal Christian will lose his rewards."
The truth is:
THE CARNAL CHRISTIAN WILL NOT ONLY LOSE HIS REWARDS
HE WILL LOSE HIS SOUL!
This deadly doctrine of the saved "Carnal Christian" is sweeping over Christendom like a plague and threatens the spiritual life of every believer who accepts it. Yet, the whole deception is based upon clever cliches, sophistries, and the misuse of a few obscure statements of the apostle Paul. Let's examine some clear statements of Paul with an open mind. In his letter to the Corinthian church, we read:
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." I Cor 6:9-10
In that letter, Paul was addressing Christians and warning them of a serious deception that was giving believers who sin a false assurance of salvation. Obviously, that warning did not apply to the masses of mankind who were condemned already for their sin. No, Paul was warning the "fish" inside the gospel net (who were all believers) that their lives must be permanently changed to meet God's standard for eternal life.
Without doubt, Jesus and Paul both say the carnal Christian will perish in the final judgement. Paul's list of the characteristics that identify an unrighteous person is enough to condemn many of the professing church as a bunch of unclean fish. In fact, some of the Christian TV "fish" are so rotten even the world thinks they stink!
How are most of the clergy dealing with this dreadful situation? Many pastors are simply "looking the other way" instead of correcting, rebuking, or disciplining their disobedient members. That is just another way of giving sinning believers a false assurance of salvation. To put it bluntly, many believers are being assisted toward the pile of unclean fish by their own pastor's ignorance or negligence. These pastors are not sent by God because God disciplines and corrects those whom He loves. Heb 12:6)
On the other hand, Paul is an example of a faithful watchman. His messages against sin were like a trumpet's piercing alarm. So piercing, that though they might not be appreciated, they couldn't go unnoticed. The awakened people could then prepare themselves for battle - the war against the works of their own flesh. Fearlessly, Paul sounded his warning: "they which do such things [the works of the flesh] shall not inherit the kingdom of God." See Gal 5:19-21.
...The carnal Christians of Rome knew they faced certain spiritual death when Paul gave this warning:
"For if you live according to the flesh YOU WILL DIE, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body YOU WILL LIVE." Romans 8:13.
Question: Who are those who "live according to the flesh"?
Answer: "For those who live according to the flesh SET THEIR MINDS on the things of the flesh." Rom 8:5
Question: How do you recognize a mind that is set on the flesh?
Answer: "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; IT DOES NOT SUBMIT TO GOD'S LAW." Rom 8:7
Question: What will happen to the mind that is set on the flesh and will not submit to God's law?
Answer: " To set the mind on the flesh IS DEATH." Rom 8:6
Here is a summary of what Paul said about carnal Christians: Those who live according to the flesh are those who do not submit to God's law and their end is eternal DEATH!
"If by the Spirit you [Carnal Christians] put to death the deeds of the body YOU WILL LIVE." Romans 8:13
Paul said: If by the power of the Holy Spirit, The Carnal Christian will put to death (stop completely) the sinful deeds of the body his end will be eternal life.
As we examine those words of Paul, we must acknowledge that the carnal Christian will perish on judgement day and be tossed into the pile of unclean "fish." He offered no hope to the Christian who did not cease from sin.
We need to ask ourselves: "What kind of a fish am I?"
Harold and Donna Kupp