By Pastor John Mateos Ong and Pastora Monique Lopez Ong
Matthew 13:47-50 says, “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind. When the net was full, they dragged it up onto the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates, but threw the bad ones away. That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous, throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Another kingdom parable
Net was let down in the lake
Caught all kinds of fish
Waited to be full
It was pulled to the shore
Sorters sat down and placed the good fishes in the basket
REPRESENTATION: - full net = when the gospel is preached all over
lake = world
fisherman = angels
good fish is the righteous and the bad fish is the wicked
basket is heaven, outside is hell
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Matthew 13:49 “this is how it will be AT THE END OF AGE...”
Many people are now asking if we are at the end. There are many talks about the end times. We do not know when the end will come. And no one should know, only God. But we have to be alert at all times. There will be no revelations of when Jesus is coming back and when there is, it is sure to be fake news. But you have to watch out for the signs of the times. But in 1 Chronicles, there is a mention of the 12 tribes of the sone of Isacchar who know the signs of the times.
In Matthew 24:3 it says, “Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world? ” Even the disciples were asking the same question.
What are the signs of the times that were mentioned in Matthew 24?
There are 7:
Many will come saying “I am Christ” and deceive many v5
Wars and rumors of wars v6-7
Famines, Pestilence and Earthquakes v7b
Persecution and Hatred of Christians, Betrayal v9
False Prophets deceive many v11
Love grows cold v12
Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world v14
For many centuries, many scholars have argued about these signs. They ask if these signs point to the end of age or to the fall of Jerusalem. Why? Because upon closer study of this chapter, the setting of this scene was when they were in the temple and Jesus said, “Do you not see all these thing (the temple)? Assuredly I say to you not one stone will be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down.” Jesus actually answers 2 questions, namely: 1. When will Jerusalem fall? And 2. When is the end of age? The signs that you are reading really points out to the fall of the temple. In verse 34 it says, “this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.” How long does a generation last? In Numbers 32:13 it says, “The Lord was angry with Israel and made them wander in the wilderness for forty years until the entire generation that sinned in the Lord’s sight had died.” More or less, a generation is 40 years. Jesus began His ministry when He was 30 years old, and His prediction was quite exact when He said that the temple will be destroyed by 70 A.D., 40 years after He began His ministry. Verses 4-14 were actually signs for the Jews during their time. If you put the pieces together and look at Matthew 24:15, it says, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains” What is the abomination of desolation? It is what happened on September 8, 70A.D., when Jerusalem was completely conquered by Titus and the Roman armies. They carried their idols and brought desolation because their commander entered the Holy of Holies so it was defiled.
When is the end of age? It was answered in Matthew 24 verse 23 onwards and they can be summarized in 4 points:
There is going to be a great deception. Verse 24 says, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” You cannot figure out the deception with your natural senses. 1John 4:2-3 says, “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” Keep your eyes open and on Jesus.
There will be a great shaking. Verse 29 says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Some scholars believe that this verse is not talking about a literal sun. Psalms 84:11 says that God is the sun. It might mean that our surroundings will grow dark, but it can also mean that people are going to settle and be happy holding onto religion than actually seeking the presence or the light of God.
There will be the second coming. Verse 30-31 says, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” There is a song that goes, “He’s coming on the clouds, kings and kingdoms will bow down.” We will not miss His return that the entire earth will see it and during this time, Jesus will get His people.
There will be a great surprise. Verse 36 says, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Jesus said it three times in Matthew 24 that when the end of days come, nobody but the Father will know about it. Verse 42 even says, “watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” And in verse 50, it says, “the master of the servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of.” Pray that when this time comes, you are ready.
Are you scared of Jesus’ coming? If you answered yes, the more important questions is WHY? 1John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” You are scared because you are not sure if you are ready. There are signs to tell you that the end is near. But these signs are meant to give you clues to get ready. Perhaps you have not received the perfect love of God.
There are two kinds of people in our parable, the wicked who will be thrown out and the righteous who will go to heaven. The question to be ask is how can righteousness be achieved? In Romans, the apostle Paul shared how this can be achieved.
-Law f Moses (Torah) (old covenant) - there are numerous commandments and laws that you have to obey to the dot for you to be deemed righteous
-Grace through faith (new covenant) - atonement made possible because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
Romans 9:30-32 says, “That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.” The Gentiles received this righteousness but the Jews chose the Law of Moses. But nobody can really keep it because man is sinful and no one is perfect. Jesus even said that it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle. That is why God sent Jesus Christ .
How can you receive righteousness by faith?
Receive Jesus. There is no greater joy. It is more than reciting the sinner’s prayer and saying that Jesus is Lord. He should not only be your Savior but also the Lord of your life. Baptism is a public declaration of your obedience to Jesus but it does not mean that you are saved. It is a commitment to follow Jesus and be like Him. Many people know Jesus but it is different when you have a relationship with Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” It was never your righteousness. It is all because of Jesus because He is the perfect sacrifice.
Reject sin. Darkness and light cannot be placed together. Say no to sin because God hates it. Sin separated God from His masterpiece. You can undergo deliverance to cut ties with satan. Seal entry points and get rid of all sins and flee from temptation. Lastly, protect yourself and be on guard. Make it hard for you to sin so you will not fall when trials come your way. 1 Peter 2:11 says, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,” Sin is not just physical. Any sin you commit in the physical affect the spiritual realm. Sanctification is a process and takes time but do not make it an excuse to prolong sinning.
Relationship with the Holy Spirit. When you receive Jesus in your life, you automatically receive the Holy Spirit and He dwells in you. You get clothed with His righteousness right away. Without Him, you cannot live a Godly life. The Holy Spirit helps you live through every moment. Be filled with Him, walk with Him and follow His lead. It is a continuous process. The more you eat of the word of God, the more you want and the more you see greater things. This is how you get baptized with the Holy Spirit. It will empower you to do great and mighty things for the Lord. Acts 1:8 says, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” The Holy Spirit will seal you and give you the confidence to do all these things. Mark 16:17 says, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;” The supernatural life will become the normal life.
So when is the end? We do not know. Are we righteous? By faith, we are, if we have Jesus. We have to work on being on the right path all the time. But Matthew 28:20, Jesus makes an encouraging promise and says, “Remember I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Things can go wrong and the world around you mail. There is no guarantee in this lifetime. But what can keep you moving forward is the fact that Jesus will never leave you until the time that He comes back. He gave you the Holy Spirit to lead and teach you. You underestimate the Holy Spirit inside you. The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is the same spirit that is in you.