Are you ready to have your life count for Jesus anytime, anywhere, at any cost, to do anything?
“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.” (Matthew 13:47-49)
Here Jesus provides a broader picture of the kingdom of Heaven. At the end of the age, not everyone will be admitted into His eternal kingdom. There will be a time of sorting, separating, or judging the good from the evil. He tells two other parables that expand on this principle: one about wheat and weeds (Matthew 13:24-30), the other about wise and foolish virgins waiting to meet the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13).
The parable about the weeds reminds us we have an enemy. While God works to draw all men to Himself, the enemy corrupts and destroys those who listen to him. The story of the ten virgins demonstrates the need to be alert, ready and waiting for Christ’s return. When the bridegroom took a long time to come, the five foolish virgins ran out of oil for their lamps and had to leave to buy more. They returned too late. Shut out of the wedding banquet, their pleas could bring about no change of heart.
We can’t skip over this aspect of the kingdom simply because it makes us uncomfortable. Though God invites all to enter His kingdom, not all respond. He calls us to righteous living, to stand firm in the faith – though others around us may falter – and to always look forward to Christ’s return so that we will be ready.
Thank you Heavenly Father for calling me into Your kingdom. Give me the courage and strength I need to be faithful. Amen.
Questions: Is this part of the kingdom of God difficult to accept? Why or why not?