Summary: In that final day, when the net filled with men’s souls, is pulled to Heaven’s shore, let me be a "keeper".


Matthew 13:47-51, "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. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord."

I believe that God’s net is already running this morning and there is no doubt that every man, woman and child is already caught in his net. We are just waiting for the moment when the net will be drawn to the shores of Jordan and then the separation will come.

I can remember a number of times, in fact it was the majority of times, when I would go fishing and come home empty handed, or perhaps with only one fish or two. There is always the really big fish that is just so elusive. He always strikes but never is caught. He may take the bait but somehow manages to give it back.

I haven’t had the opportunity to be a boat for a long time, but I have done a little pond fishing. I’m so “good” that I rarely go out without catching something, even if it is a “limb brim” or a “snag fish”. But really, I just about always do catch something. The problem is that not all are “keepers”.

I remember the last one like that. I saw it roll on top of the water as it hit that top-water bait I was using. Just a little slow twitch here, a little bob there, a short run, stop, short run, stop, over and over again. No fish alive can resist my method and this time was no different than the rest.

When that fish rolled and took off with my bait it felt like I had hooked at least a 5-pounder.

He was a real fighter and it was a struggle to reel him in. He ran all over the pond, and I though I would actually lose him from all the tension on line and the stress on the fishing rod, but I didn’t lose him. I fought him good, wore him down, holding tension on the line as I let him run back and forth tiring himself out, pulling in on the rod and then reeling slow so I wouldn’t break the line, repeating that over and again, until finally, in exhaustion, I had reeled him to the bank! I was in for the shock of my life. I wondered if I didn’t pull him out of another fishes’ mouth because it was so small that he looked like the bait had swallowed him. I remove the hook and cast him back into the water like so much garbage, thinking to myself, go grow up and send me your older brother.

It seems that I catch a lot of those type – the one’s that aren’t “keepers”. They start out well, put up a little fight, but when it comes down to it, they just aren’t strong enough, big enough or mature enough to be a keeper.

Now I don’t know about you but when God’s net pulls us to the shore, I want to be a “keeper”. The fish that I catch that get cast back into the water will live to see another day but those who are cast away from God’s shore won’t fare so well. They will be cast into outer darkness and go from the “frying pan” of this life, into the “fire” of eternity without God. I DEFINITELY WANT TO BE A KEEPER FOR GOD!

I see a lot of people who get caught in God’s net who seem to be keepers but I soon begin to wonder if they are going to make the final cut or not. Thank God that I’m not the one who will make that choice. If I were, I suppose all the fish that I liked would be keepers and everyone else would be trash fish.

But God is no respecter of persons and he will be absolutely just in his decision on who will be a keeper.

God is not going to look at your bright and shiny exterior color. He won’t care how much talent you have, or how beautiful your appearance may be. He won’t even care how much is in your bank account. All God will care about is what kind of heart do you have and whether you have surrendered that heart to Jesus Christ, his only Son.

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