The Parable of the Net (Matthew 13:47-50)
47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 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. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Like the parable of the Weeds, the parable of the Net deals with false believers in the Kingdom. The false believers should not be uprooted but left to the Angels at the end of the age. Given time, these false believers may be converted (as yeast works itself through the whole lump).
Never the less, the Net parable offers a higher degree of complexity than the parable of the weeds given that good fish may be inside or outside of the Net.
This could only make sense in the context of Revelation with the New Jerusalem containing true believers who accepted the gospel in New and Old Testament times and the Nations who were not assigned to Hell but not given fixed tenure in the New Jerusalem either.
In eternity, the New Jerusalem will be surrounded by the Nations. The Nations are non-believers whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and hence were not condemned at the Great White Throne. Only believers who accepted the Gospel will be in the New Jerusalem.
The Good Fish who were caught by the Net will be in the New Jerusalem.
The Good Fish who didn’t make it into the Net will be the Nations.
The Parable of the Weeds is very similar to the Parable of the Net in that there are two types of people. The Wheat are similar to the Good Fish and the Weeds are similar to the Bad Fish.
In the Parable of the Weeds, the World and God’s Kingdom seem to be one and the same.
God’s angels will remove all the weeds at harvest time and throw them into the fire. Similarly, God’s angels will remove the Bad Fish and throw them into the fire.
The Parable of the Net differs from the Parable of the Weeds in that the Net which represents the Kingdom of Heaven only catches a fraction of the people in the world.
There will be people attracted to the Gospel who are both Good and Bad. Not all Good people accept the Gospel.
Everybody is a sinner but there are those of us who love Good and those who love Evil.
The Net represents the Gospel.
God knows how to deal with the Good fish who reject the Gospel.
The Nations in Eternity outside the New Jerusalem are most likely these people.
Good Fish who accepted the Gospel will be in the New Jerusalem.
Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.