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October 8, 2020 8:00 am
Life is a Grab Bag you have good days and bad. You have friends and enemies. You laugh and you cry but a separation is coming, says Jesus. When everything good will end up on one side and everything bad on the other people's thing is Dr. James Boyce looks at Jesus parable about a fishnet and checks out the consequences for the fish. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act likely the word judgment stirs up a lot of ideas, but its basic meaning is separation 22 different outcomes. As Jesus tells a parable about fish Internet we can't miss the two different outcomes for the fish. Let's listen now to Dr. Boyce in the second century before Christ, the great rival to Roman power in the Mediterranean world was Carthage. The Phoenician city state of the north coast of Africa that have been founded in 820 2B save it over the years. Ted grown in power to the point where it was now threatening Roman supremacy in the Mediterranean world. Romans were worried about it. People wondered what they should do one person in the Roman Senate. It was sure he knew what should be God's name was Cato the Elder he thought that Carthage had to be annihilated and so is said that from the point at which he first came to that conviction. He never ended his speech in the Roman Senate that he didn't end with these words, Kark Congo, the lender asked Carthage must be destroyed the Roman Senate wasn't anxious to do that. It meant a monumental and costly war. Eventually, Cato one is point repetition got through war was started as a result of the third Punic war, Carthage was eventually overcome and most of its people annihilated.
I introduce the message in this way in order to highlight what is quite obviously, one great characteristic of these parables of the kingdom from Matthew 13 that we been studying that's there repetition first parable. For example, talks about a sewer going forth to sow seed. Yet we move on to the second of the parables of that chapter and there we find the same image again. The Son of Man is gone forth to sow his seed. But after him, along comes the devil and he sows his seed, which in this case is seed that produces tears and among the wheat, and my understanding of the third and fourth parables is correct. You have a repetition of the devils work in those then as we saw in our last study. When we looked at parables five and six, we saw that they repeat virtually the same thing, it's no surprise that when we take the matter and that kind of a contacts to come to this last of the parables defined almost the same thing though. There's a different image is what Jesus says 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 of fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets but through 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 and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth that parable you see repetitions at once you have the separation. It's good fish from bad fish instead of wheat from tears, but it's the same idea. Here you have the work of the angels. Here you have the final judgment as a matter of fact even have a verbal repetition from Christ explanation of the second parable because in those phrases the end of the age and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth you have a direct link up of this last story with one gone before.
That's the case, we asked the question. Well, why is it here Jesus is not introducing anything new is a matter of fact he's doing exactly the opposite. He's eliminating a lot of the things that is mentioned earlier, all you have here is the ingathering the separation of the judgment buying that's our Lord's way of saying by way of warning look when you get to the end of all of this. Don't get hung up on the details. What I want you to remember is that things are not going to go on indefinitely.
As you know them now there is going to be a judgment that judgment is going to be in the nature of the separation.
Those who are God's people from those who were not in the end of the ungodly is going to be a terrible terrible thing in that day is that sobering. I think that's precisely what the Lord Jesus Christ intended. Let's look at those things. Two points really the fact there's going to be a separation and the fate of the rights of the unrighteous.
When Jesus talks about judgment as a separation is of course hitting at the essential nature of the judgment in the Hebrew language is also in English that were judgment refers on the surface to the things that judge Don's judge judges. The judge renders judgment. The reason the judge is called a judge for the Hebrew language is that one meaning of that Hebrew word mission fact means to distinguish or to separate judges, one who distinguishes between right and wrong judges one who distinguishes a proper application of the law, and above all the judges one who by his judgment separates the innocent from the gilding in the Greek language is even clear the record for judgment is crisis. We understand from the way we use that to the crisis is something in life that confronts you with a choice. You have to go one way or the other.
You can't going down the middle-of-the-road.
When the crisis is upon you. You have to choose and this is what Jesus is getting at.
He's saying, look here you have a mixture of things the day of God's judgment. There's going to be a separation. Now, as he spells it out as a number of characteristics. One characteristic is that that separation is absolute.
We always have mixture what Jesus is saying is the day is coming when there's going to be a separation of the separation is going to be absolute. Those who are God's people are going to stand on one side, and those who are the devil's people are going to stand on the other. There's going to be no crossing over. You're not going to be spending some are in heaven and winter in hell you're not going to be living in a border country somewhere in between going to be one of the other, we don't like to think about that that is what Jesus Christ teaches and wise is one of faces that now gives attention to this matter of salvation.
On the second when he makes is that that's a distinction that separation which is absolute is based upon something previously determined that his grounds would've already been established by the time the separation of the wheat and the tares comes around it's already evident which ones are wheat and which her tears would it's time to the separation of the good fish from the bad fish is already evident.
Which one are good and which ones are bad they don't become good or become bad at the point of the final judgment. I you say what is it that determines the sorting out all the answers given in the earlier parables who are the righteous, but those who come to God presenting their own moral good deeds certainly as the Pharisee did who beat upon his breast and said all Lord I thank you that I'm not as other man.
Why look on the moral, upright person I am.
I give ties. I hope the poor eyesight might do all the things that's expected, not people like that at all. It's not the way Jesus Christ is talking with a godly one. So, by the grace of God have receptive parts of the received the seed of the word. The gospel when the gospel is preached, they receive it when Jesus Christ is portrayed as Savior. They believe in him as Savior. They are the ones who changed by the spirit of God pursue that goal of the gospel is labeled a costly treasure. They are the ones that seek out the valuable Pearl at all cost ones lay everything aside in order that they might have the kingdom. When we say that is perfectly evident what's involved and you know in your own heart. Whether you are among those who been so talks by the spirit of God or not know whether you are one who was responded to the preaching of the gospel. You know that your one or not one who would willingly lay everything aside.
If the choice was presented in order that you might have Christ or whether these other things like the tears of the weeds or whatever it may be, long squeeze these other things out see Jesus is saying, don't wait for the life to come to make that kind of a choice because you won't have an opportunity to make Atlanta now is the time now is the day of salvation. The third thing about the separation is obvious, it's the fact that it's permanent once it's made you don't have the effects of that judgment reversed. Nothing to be more permanent than the separation of the good fish from the bad. Nothing could be more permanent than separation of the wheat from the tears tears are burn at the end of the matter. So Jesus says, look, this is an matter of the utmost importance. Talking about buying a car you can believe what General Motors says and by General Motors card. If you're unhappy with it now does make any difference couple years from now you buy another bottle is not a question of that. All were talking about a decision to be made in this life a response to Jesus Christ that makes it absolute difference. And furthermore, in the life to come is absolutely irreversible to support itself that says that no minister who is faithful to the word of God is going to tell you differently. No angel from heaven is going to come until you differently.
Do what you want now it's okay, you get a second chance in the hereafter. It's just not there.
That is not what the Bible teaches why Lord emphasizes the matter as he does saying the day of judgment, crisis is coming when the separation will be absolutes and irreversible writing. That's pretty grim but it's the case that there are even grimmer things to come, because having spoken along these lines, he now turns to speak of the torment and the suffering of the wicked. He says the angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. What is it that makes that so grim.
I think there are several things that make hell terrible.
One is the suffering is what Jesus speaks about here every so often in the question and answer. Someone asked me the question that I'm sure is been asked a million times. You believe in a literal hell fire. Well, I usually answer that. I don't know. I don't know when weather when the Bible speaks about hellfire is speaking literal language are not certainly that could be true, but I also know the Bible well enough to know that the Bible resorts to the imagery of fire to describe that which is beyond their understanding. It's not because the reality is less because the reality is more. I'm so glad that it's the Lord who speaks these things because how could a minister pocket any mere human being talk about the second thing that makes hell terrible though Jesus doesn't emphasize it in the passage. It's the memory of that which is lost lost joys lost pleasures, lost opportunities, I suppose it is here in the parable when he talks about weeping because presumably this is weeping for that which is lost.
I do know that there is another parable that he gives parable of the rich man and Lazarus were. This is made very, very clear. Recall that story was a rich man and the beggar named Lazarus, the rich man it says enjoyed his sumptuous fairy dressed in fine linen and lived in luxury every day and it is Gates that was his poor beggar named Lazarus he didn't even have enough to eat. He looked at the rich man's table of the hope that just a little bit of bread would fall off the table so that he could have a mouthful time both died. Apparently, Lazarus was a believer, though his humble circumstances would not suggest that he was particularly favored by God, but he had been brought to faith when he died in faith, and so went to heaven and the rich man in spite of his very favored circumstances that actually bid without God. And when he died he died as he had lived without God and he went to an eternity without it. Jesus picks up the story says the rich man being in torment lifted up his eyes and looked far off and there he saw Abraham with Lazarus by his side and called our father Abraham send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tongue in order that my suffering might be less Abraham replies something which I think is one of the most chilling statements in Scripture. Abraham said, son, remember that in my day you dined on the best of food and you dressed in the best of clothing and Lazarus there suffered great want now he is blessed and you are suffering. Remember I think that must make. Hell, even more horrible than the suffering, whatever that may be to remember that insofar as an individual ever had a heaven you had that heaven on earth that heaven is now close to him her close to her forever is another element that also comes in that parable and I think is the memory of our responsibility to others in our guilt where those other people's concerns about 100 years ago there was a man who was greatly used and what was probably the last great spiritual awakening in England name was Brownlow North and he preached very effectively in Scotland and Wales and other places and one series of his revival messages are on this parable of the rich man and Lazarus development, phrase by phrase very effectively in one of these sermons I think toward the end of the series, he began to reflect on the second petition that the rich man made the first was that Lazarus like Tom with his finger to put in water and cool his tongue with the second was concerned not with him, but with his brothers and I parable you might know how and when he said will look then at least do this, send Lazarus back in order that he might by returning from the dead, worn my brothers but they not come to this place. I have five brothers I want to warn them. North begins reflect on that and he begins to ask why it is that suddenly this rich man in hell has a concern for his brothers, a concern which apparently didn't have what it was still on earth and he says it wasn't love for them. There's no love in hell. Nobody's thinking about anybody with them self and hell. Why is it then he asked that the rich man was so concerned and he said because it was the guilds and the dread knowing that one day unless God should intervene those for whom he was responsible on earth. I am my brother's keeper, whether I like it or not those for whom he was responsible on earth would be in hell with him and would increase his agony and misery by reproaching him for his failure to warn them as he should've done of the wrath to come.
North apply that in a very effective way. He said all you fathers fathers were responsible for your son's you go through a life in an ungodly way you pursue selfish pleasures. If you come in the end to a crisis, eternity, and by your example teacher son to disregard God. The day will come when he will be in hell with you and he will reproach you for the sin that brought them to that end he said all you mothers if you live in an ungodly way, if you live for the pleasures of this world if you teach your daughters to disregard the things of God by your example. The day will come when they will rise up and held the question of their face and say why didn't you warn me of these things that was your responsibility before God and he said all you ministers the greatest sin is yours to stand in the pulpit reflect on these things that have the word of God before you with the warnings of some of us to your profit in the distant place, but the warnings of the Lord Jesus Christ. There, in the pages that it is your responsibility before God to interpret to your people.
You failed to do that you preach another gospel.
If you say it's all right to get right with God by what you do, rather than by what Jesus Christ is done. If you say that salvation is in any other name than him. The day will come, your congregation will be united with you and Helen able Christian for all eternity is that I can't think of any misery so great is that of a minister shut up and help with his congregation and he was right. The Lord speaks these things and he speaks them for the sole purpose. Those were not sure the work of God is been done in their hearts might be restless until they find their rest in him. May God give us grace to do precisely what our Lord is commanded to seek him out to believe on Jesus as our Savior's not really hard.
You just have to admit your need that your center you have no hope. Apart from the mercy of God. Jesus is the Savior that he died to meet that need to get far more than you'll ever understand.
He's the one that did it. That's where salvation is to be found.
Then, third, and perhaps most important, commit yourself, that one who intellectually understand the your Savior. You do that God will have his way with you pass from death to life begin to bring forth fruit on the life eternal. Let us pray our father by your grace. Do not let it be said that there were people who heard this message of judgment in the way of salvation without shrugging their shoulders saying in opposition to everything that Jesus Christ taught. It doesn't matter I'll do it later. There's always another day read instead your spirit might so move upon our hearts, but not one might be able to shrug these things off, but rather lack such peace and have such listlessness that they cannot sleep I cannot live properly.
I cannot go about their other business until they settle this, the greatest of all matters and come to you, through Jesus Christ, and the way you yourself appointed to so work we pray the quiet of this hour, for the sake of Christ. You're listening to Bible study hour with a Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by. We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. Alliance broadcasting includes the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Aiken and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Barnhouse.
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