Matthew chapter 13, I've always liked this chapter. Jesus Christ goes through all these parables. The one that I want to focus on tonight is beginning in verse 47 where the bible reads, "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.”
In this parable it talks about the fact that when the net is drawn to shore and it has all kinds of things that are caught up in it, it says that the good are gathered into vessels but the bad are cast away. Now the term bad in the bible, when you see the terms good, bad often has to do with value. If you go back in the Book of Leviticus it will talk about a good house versus a bad house, good sheep, bad sheep when it’s talking about the estimation or the price of things.
When the bible says here that they’re gathering the good into vessels and casting the bad away he’s basically saying that they’re casting away worthless junk. The whole point of casting the net into the sea is to get something of value. They’re trying to make money. It’s business. They cast the net into the sea and they want to get something that they can sell, something that has a price associated with it. That which is bad is just worthless junk that’s getting caught up in the net and it really is of no value. It’s just to be thrown away, it’s trash is what the bible is saying here.
What we have contrasted is something of value with something that is just complete trash. He says in verse 49, “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.” There is going to be a difference in the end of the world between those who are wicked and those who are just. Just is also referred to in the bible as righteous. The righteous or the just represent that which has value in the net that was brought in. The wicked that are cast into hell represent that which has no value, that which is trash, that which is worthless being thrown away.
Now it’s funny, the thing that made me think about this is that when I was in Fort Worth over the last few days I was there to preach at Steadfast Baptist Church, but I was also just there to visit my sister and her family. I took my niece and nephews and we went to this little lake that was just right near their house. It was a little reservoir, just a small place. There was a lot of junk in this lake. It was a nice lake to swim in and we swam and had a good time, but there was a lot of just junk in the bottom of this lake.
The place where we had set up on the shore it seemed like the wind and everything was pushing toward that direction. It seemed like whatever had gone into this lake was all being pushed to this part of the lake and there was a big stump underwater near the shore and it seemed like that stump was just catching everything. There were literal fishing nets that were wrapped around this stump. There was all kinds of fishing line and fishing tackle and all kinds of things.
We spent hours at this lake on one day. We spent hours the next day, and we made a game of just seeing what we could fish out of this lake. We just spent hours. We pulled out literally probably 60, 70 empty beer bottles. We’re just finding all these bottles at the bottom of the lake and we’re just piling them up on the shore, just made a big pike of just bottles, cans. Then we also found just all kinds of fishing tackle, big giant fishing nets that we found. Then everything that was in those nets. We found all these little lures. Some of them were actually really nice lures that would’ve been expensive to buy, all these really fancy pieces of fishing tackle.
We’re just piling up all this stuff, all this stuff on the shore. At the end of it we basically sat down and we ended up throwing a lot of stuff away. Then we gathered the good. I told them, I said, “You know, this is how the kingdom of heaven is.” I explained it to them. But the bottom line is this parable does help us to understand the kingdom of God, it helps us to understand the difference between those who are saved and those who are not saved.
Now as we were gathering up the junk that we found in the bottom of the lake and some of it wasn’t junk, some of it had great value, but as we were just getting all this stuff and scavenging it out of the bottom of this lake one of the things that we pulled out a lot was these bottles. We ended up at the end of the day just throwing all these bottles in the trash because we really had no use for them.
But if we would’ve been living in for example Michigan those bottles would have a redemption value. Correct me if I’m wrong, those here from Michigan, but isn’t like 10 cents or something a bottle? I mean that’s a lot of money if you think about it. 10 cents is quite a bit, if you could gather up a whole bunch of bottles like this as easily as we did. I mean we’re just grabbing one after another after another. I mean there were a lot of them. We could’ve gotten way more if we wanted to.
But we ended up just throwing away. They had no value. They had no redemption value where we were in Texas there that I know of, so we ended up casting those away and just more focusing on the really cool fishing tackle and the net and different things. There’s a lot of the junk that ended up going in the trash.
Now if you were to flip over to Isaiah chapter 64, Book of Isaiah chapter number 64, because I think a lot of people could read this parable and they could misunderstand the parable, just like a lot of Jesus’ parables could be misunderstood. That’s even dealt with in the passage because Jesus flat out says, “I’m speaking onto these people in parables, I’m speaking to them in dark sayings.” He says, “Look, hearing, they’re going to hear but they're not going to understand. Seeing they will see but they will not proceed.” He says, “Unto you,” and he’s talking to the saved, he’s talking to his disciples, he says, “Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God but unto them is not given.”
The bible talks about a parable in the mouth of a fool, one who would misuse or misinterpret a parable. Some would look at this parable and misunderstand it and think to themselves, “Oh good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell.” They would just look at the surface meaning here and say, “Well, that’s what this is teaching, be good go to heaven, be bad go to hell.”
Actually what the bible is teaching here when it talks about the good going to heaven and the bad going to hell, we have to understand that it’s not our own goodness that gets us into heaven. It’s Jesus who redeems us and gives us value. Like those bottles that we pulled out, they don’t have any value unless they’re redeemed. I mean that bottle as is you can’t really do much with it in 2015 America. It’s not like somebody is just really in the market for a lot of old dirty beer bottles, empty beer bottles, and they would have any real market value. No, but if they’re redeemed now they have value because you get 10 cents per bottle and then you can do something with that.
That’s the way it is with us. In fact, the word redeemed or redemption is used in the bible hundreds of times to describe this very thing where we who have no value are actually given value and we are made into something that has value that is good and meet for the master use et cetera.
Look at Isaiah 64, verse 6, it says, “But we are all as an unclean thing.” When it comes to our righteousness, we’re junk, we don’t have value in that sense. He says, “We’re all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Now flip over to Philippians chapter number 3, Philippians chapter 3. “All our righteousness are as filthy rags.” The bible says, “We are like an unclean thing.” It’s not that we are just this great treasure in and of ourselves where God’s going to say, “Oh, let’s keep this one because this is a really valuable nice item.” No, only through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus do we have any value.
Look at Philippians chapter 3, verse 9. It says, “And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Our own righteousness is when we keep God’s laws, obeying the commandments, don’t do the things that he told you not to do, do the things that he told you to do. That’s our righteousness.
Paul said that he wanted to be found in him not having his own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Why did Paul want that righteousness? Because he knew that his righteousness is as filthy rags according to the bible.
Now go to Colossians chapter 1. Right after Philippians is the Book of Colossians. Colossians chapter 1 verse 12 the bible reads, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Now what does meet mean? Meet means fitting or suitable or appropriate. God has taken us, which naturally would not belong in the kingdom of God. We wouldn’t normally have a place in the kingdom of heaven, but God has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints and light.
Verse 13, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” We’re not meet for the kingdom of God. We don’t deserve to go to heaven. We don’t belong there. But God through the redemption of the blood of Jesus has made us meet to be partakers of that inheritance.
Meaning that without Jesus, without that redemption through the blood of Christ we would be in the category of just being thrown in the trash. I mean when he says, “Look, we’re going to gather the good into vessels and we’re going to cast the bad away,” without Jesus you're going to be in that bad category. No matter how many good things you’ve done, you don’t have value spiritually speaking.
Look what the bible says in Ephesians chapter 1, just flip a few pages to the left in your bible, Ephesians chapter number 1, verse 4, it says, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”
You want to talk about people twisting scripture this is a scripture that’s often twisted. People will try to use this scripture to say that God chooses which people will be saved and which people will not be saved. It’s God’s choice. That is not what this says. Read it again. It’s so clear. Verse 4 said, “According as he hath chosen us,” and not other people. Now that’s not … It says, “According as he hath chosen us, in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”
What’s the choice that he made? He chose that the saved should be holy. It doesn’t say he chose which people would be saved and which wouldn’t. He chose that those who are saved would be holy, that they would be without blame before him in love, and he predestinated not which people would be saved but he predestinated that those who would be saved would be adopted as children of God. He decided that the destiny of every believer in Jesus Christ is that they would be adopted as a child of God. That’s why it says, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”
See there are people out there who think, “Oh we believe in predestination,” but this isn’t what they believe in. When they say predestination they say it’s predetermined who’s going to be saved and who isn’t and that man has no choice. That is a lie and a fraud. You say, “Well you're always preaching on it.” I’m going to keep on preaching against it because I hate it, and because it’s a lie. I love the word of God and I hate every false way. It’s a false teaching.
If you look up the most famous verse on predestination in Romans 8: 28, 29, 30, it says, “Whom he did foreknow.” He foreknew who would believe, who would be saved. “Whom he did foreknow, them also did he be predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” He pre-knows who’s going to be saved. He foreknows that and then he says your destiny is to be conformed to the image of my son, which is a great destiny.
He’s taking someone who is of little or no value, whose righteousnesses are as filthy rags, who are basically trash, and he’s basically redeeming us into something that has great value. It’s like where Paul says in Philippians 3, he says that when Jesus Christ comes, he will change our vile body, he’ll change our vile body, “that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
Now there are some preachers who will say things like we’re dirt, we’re worthless. But we’re not, unless we’re not saved. Yeah, when we’re in unsaved condition, yeah, we are trash. That’s what the bible teaches, we’re just basically like those bottles, just junk. But once we’ve been redeemed he has made us into something else. He’s given us value. Our value is in our identity in Christ which is why God forbid that I should glory saving the cross of our Lord Jesus. Everything that we have we owe to him. Who we are, he’s responsible.
It says in verse number 6, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Not because we deserve it. It’s all by grace. It’s just given unto us. It says, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sin, according to the riches of his grace.” Now why does he bring up the riches of his grace? Because he’s basically saying that we’re purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ.
What the bible teaches for example in the famous verse in 1st Corinthians 6, “What know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? You’re bought with a price: wherefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” That has to do with redemption where basically Christ has redeemed us. The money that he used to redeem us it wasn’t a dime, it wasn’t 10 cents to redeem that bottle and make into something of value. It was redemption through the blood of Jesus.
When the bible says here, in Ephesians chapter 1, “To the praise of the glory of his grace,” verse 6, “wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved, and whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace,” what it’s basically saying here is that God has the money to pretty much redeem whoever he wants. The riches of his grace are sufficient, the blood of Christ is sufficient to purchase anyone’s pardon, to purchase anyone’s redemption.
That’s why the bible is saying, “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” What’s why the bible says, “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” It’s not like there’s this limited number of slots in heaven where God says, “Well I’ve got enough money to buy this many bottles from you, but, you know, the rest of these bottles I just can’t accept because I just don’t need that many. “No,” he says, “I have an unlimited supply of spiritual cash here.” The blood of Jesus Christ is precious enough to where it can purchase whosoever believeth. He’s ready to redeem those who call upon him by faith. He’s ready to take them from being someone who doesn’t have value and redeeming them into something that does have value.
Just to give you a little sampling, you don’t have to turn to these. I’m just going to give you a sampling of some of the scriptures on redemption in the New Testament. It says in Ephesians 4 verse 30, “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you’re sealed unto the day of redemption.” The reason why it talks about us being sealed onto the day of redemption is that when Jesus Christ returns, when he comes in the clouds, that’s when Paul said he’s going to change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. Basically the down payment has been made on our salvation. The bible calls it the earnest of the spirit. Earnest means down payment.
We believe on Jesus Christ, we receive the Holy Ghost as the earnest of our redemption, and the bible says that we’re sealed by the Holy Spirit onto the day of redemption. When we believe on Jesus Christ the Holy Ghost lives inside of us and that’s that down payment and we are sealed onto the day of redemption, meaning that we can’t lose our salvation. Once we’re saved we’re sealed onto the day of redemption. We’re secure in that.
Then our salvation is complete when Christ comes in the clouds because right now our spirit’s been saved but our body is still the same messed up … There are people who have physical or health problems. Those don’t change when you get saved, contrary to what Benny Hinn or somebody might tell you. Even after you get saved you still have physical problems. But at the day of redemption, but at the second coming of Jesus Christ he’s going to change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. We’re going to be redeemed and we’re going to have a body, soul, and spirit that is conformed to the image of Jesus.
The bible says in Romans 3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:23 says, “Not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit,” remember that earnest of the spirit, the down payment, he says, “We have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body,” talking about the second coming of Christ.
Psalm 49:7 says this, “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him. For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth forever. That he should still live forever, and not see corruption.” In that scripture it’s being taught that the only way we’re going to live forever, the only way that our soul is going to be redeemed it’s through the blood of Jesus. No one can basically die for another person and get them to heaven, because we’re all sinners, we have to die in our own sin. Only Jesus could redeem us because he was sinless.
All throughout the Old Testament there are all kinds of scriptures about redemption, people being redeemed from their iniquities and God’s mercy bringing redemption and so forth. Go if you would in Matthew chapter 22. While you turn to Matthew 22 I’ll read for you from Galatians 4 verse 4, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” It’s not this thing that some people will try to teach where well Jesus came and showed us how to live so that we could work our way to heaven. He came and showed us a path of how to live right and if we live right we’ll make it into heaven.
That’s not what the bible is teaching. All these scriptures on redemption are saying it’s free, it’s by grace. You don’t deserve it. It’s just something were God buys you out of bondage. He buys you out of your worthless condition. He pays something for you, and makes you worthy. He makes you accepted and beloved. He makes you meet to be a partaker in the inheritance with the saints and the children of light and so forth. It’s not something that we earn. It’s something that is just given to us.
When you go back to the original parable before we get into Matthew 22 what’s it saying? He said, “Look, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that’s cast into the sea, and that net is just going to grab everything indiscriminately.” When you throw a net into the sea you're going to catch the stuff you want, but you're also going to catch stuff that you don’t want because you're just catching everything. That’s where you have to sit down and look at it and decide, “Okay, does this have value or not? Is this worth carrying home or not? Is this worth cleaning up and selling or not?” You decide whether or not it has value. You gather the good into vessels. You have a bucket or some vessel. In this case the vessel was the back of a van that we threw everything in that was good. You cast the bad away.
But you see we took all the beer bottles and we threw them in the trash. Why? Because there was no redeemer. Well the redeemer was all the way in Michigan and we were in Texas. There’s no redeemer, there’s no redemption. There was nobody that was willing to say, “Hey, let me give you 10 cents for that old dirty beer bottle and let me make something of that. It’s worth 10 cents to me because I can take that beer bottle and I can make something of value out of it.” That’s what the redeemer would’ve done. I mean these guys who do recycling, they’re a redeemer is what they are. That’s a fancier tittle than probably what …
I remember a guy came to our house and took a bunch of metal away and he gave me his business card and it said, “If you ain’t happy my name ain’t Scrappy,” because he was scrapping metal. But really he probably didn’t even realize. He’s a redeemer. He’s taking junk and he’s buying it and making something out of it. I mean that what’s the parable is teaching here, in the sense that hey we gather the good into vessels and cast the bad away. But it’s not that they’re good because of their own goodness. Because if we study the rest of the bible we understand that our goodness is only through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. If the redeemer weren’t there we wouldn’t have value. We only have value because of the redemption value.
Look at Matthew chapter 22 verse 1. It says, “And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king,’ which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, ‘Tell them which are bidden. Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.’ But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise. And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready,’ but they which were bidden were not worthy. ‘Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, bid to the marriage.’”
Of course this parable is about a king who made a marriage for a son. Obviously we know that the son here is Jesus and the man who is making the marriage for his son is God the Father. The people who are first invited are the Jews. He came onto his own, his own received him not. Because they received him not he sent forth his armies and destroyed those murderers and burnt up their city. We know that’s Jerusalem. He sent forth the armies of the Romans. They burned up the city, they destroyed them and cut off those miserable murderers and so forth.
Then it says in verse 8, “Then saith he to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready,’ but they which were bidden were not worthy. ‘Go ye therefore into the highways,’” verse 9, “’and as many as you shall find, bid to the marriage.’” Now doesn’t that kind of remind you of just throwing a net in the sea and dragging everything in? Because what does he say? Invite everybody. Isn’t that sort of like a net that just grabs everything in? He’s saying here go out into the highways and as many as you shall find bid to the marriage. Everything is being brought in.
It says, “So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found,” watch this, “both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.” Again, everybody is invited, everybody is called. It’s not just for the Jews. The Jews rejected it. He says just invite everybody, bring everybody in. He cast the net very broadly there as we would use the expression.
It says, that they gathered as many as they found, both good and bad, and the wedding was furnished with guests. “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment. And he saith unto him, ‘Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.’”
Now this parable has a lot of similarities with the other parable, doesn’t it? We have that use of the term good and bad and we have the same end result where somebody is getting thrown into the furnace of fire just like where the bad were gathered and cast into the furnace of fire in Matthew chapter 13.
A lot of people when they read Matthew 22:14, “For many are called, but few are chosen,” they don’t really understand what that means. But I think if you think about it in terms of Matthew 13 and if you think about it in terms of that net that’s cast out into the sea it actually makes sense. The many are called there is referring to the fact that they invited everybody. That’s the reference here. Many are called, go out in the highways and invite as many as you find. The many are called is that net that just drags everything in the sea. Everything is brought in, good, bad, everything gets caught in the net. Here he says many are called. That’s that net that’s calling and dragging everything in.
But it says but few are chosen. What does that mean “few are chosen”? Well think about it. What are the angels doing in the Matthew 13 parable? They sit down and they gather the good into vessels and they cast the bad away. Well here’s the thing, there’s a choosing that’s going on there, because there’s a choice of sitting there and looking at it and deciding is this good or is this bad. I mean is this something that’s going in the back of the van or is this something that’s going in the trash? There’s a choice there that’s being made. Okay, what are we keeping and what are we throwing away?
Well here’s the choice that God made. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. Even to them that believe on his name.” It’s not that God chose certain people, he chose a certain classification of people. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. Even to them,” just to clarify what he means, “even to them that believe on his name.” How do you receive Jesus? You believe on his name. What he chose was that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life. That’s the choice that he made.
It’d be sort of like if I said to my nieces and nephews, “Hey there’s a criteria on what we’re going to keep and what we’re not going to keep.” Like I told them this, “I said, look, you know, aluminum cans, they’re too dirty, they’re too broken, they’re too messed up, they don’t have a 10 cent redemption value, we’re going to throw those away.” But what if I gave them a directive and said, “Hey, all these beer bottles, we’re going to keep those because we can redeem those.”
It’s not that I chose well I’m going to take this bottle but not this bottle or this can … No, no, I said, “Look, we’re keeping the bottles because they have value. We’re throwing the cans away. We’re keeping the fishing lures that are made out of metal, but the fishing lures that are made out of foam and plastic or that are chewed up, we’re going to throw those away, we’re going to get rid of those.” There’s a choice made there of what’s being kept and what’s being thrown away. Now in this story here the guy who’s bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness is the guy who doesn’t have the wedding garment on.
Now here the bible says they gathered as many as they found both bad and good. It doesn’t say then they went through after they invited all the bad people they said, “Okay, now let’s get rid of all the bad people.” Then why would they’ve even been invited in the first place? He didn’t say we’re inviting both bad and good and then we’re going to get to the wedding and be like, “Syke, all the bad people are leaving, why did you even come? Or why were we invited?” No, the people that were sent away here are the ones that didn’t have the wedding garment on.
Now if you would go to Revelation chapter 19, because this idea of a wedding garment, being clothed in a garment that represents salvation, that represents redemption is actually something that’s brought up throughout the Book of Revelation. Remember, the parable on Matthew 22 is about a man who made a marriage for his son. The marriage feast is what these people are invited to.
Look at Revelation 19 verse 7. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” What are we talking about? The marriage for the son. Same story. It says in verse 8, “And to her,” because it says his wide had made herself ready, “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white,” watch this, “for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
Now think about this, the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. Now what did Paul say about his own righteousness? He said, “Not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” What did Isaiah say about our righteousness? He says filthy rags. See, if we were clothed in our own righteousness then we’d be clothed in filthy rags. But here the bible says that she is clothed in fine linen, clean and white. In order for us to be clothed in fine linen, clean and white, spotless, don’t tell me that’s our own righteousness, because our own righteousness would not be that clean, it wouldn’t be that white, it wouldn’t be that fine.
But what does the bible teach elsewhere in the Book of Revelation? Flip back to chapter 1 because this is a theme that comes up throughout Revelation. While you're turning there I’ll read from Revelations 7, verse 9 where it says, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and having palms in that.”
Look, are these people wearing the right outfit or what? What happened to the guy who didn’t have on the wedding garment? He’s cast into outer darkness. He’s cast into a furnace of fire. They go through the wedding. He doesn’t have on a wedding garment. “Hey, how comest thou in hither without a wedding garment?” He’s speechless. “Bind him hand and foot, cast him out.” He doesn’t have this.
But the bible says here that these people are clothed in white robes. It says in verse 14, “And I said unto him, ‘Sir, thou knowest.’ And he said to me, ‘These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’”
How do you get a white robe according to the bible? Through the blood of Jesus. They’ve washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. Without the blood of the lamb they wouldn’t be in a white robe. Without the blood of the lamb they don’t have a wedding garment. Without the blood of the lamb they’re bound hand and foot and cast out into outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Without the blood of the lamb they’re not one of the chosen. They’re one of those that is cast away. They’re not one of the good that’s gathered into vessels. They’re one of the bad that is cast away as trash.
Look what the bible says in Revelation 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
Before Jesus comes along we’re not kings. We’re not priests. We don’t have great value. We’re not clothed in white ramen. No, we’re clothed in the filthy rags of our so called righteousness, we’re clothed in a garment that would get us cast into hell, and we don’t have value in the kingdom of God. We are as trash unto the kingdom of God. But it’s his blood that makes us into kings and priests before God and his Father, he washed us from our sins in his own blood.
Flip over to 1st Peter chapter number 1 if you please to the left of your bible. 1st Peter chapter number 1. Now a lot of times we talk about the term reprobate in the bible. It’s a word that’s very relevant today, just because we see Romans 1 coming to pass before our eyes in the United States of America. We look around America and it’s just a lesson in Romans 1 every day. You say, “Why does he talk so much about Romans 1?” Well because we’re living in 2015 America. If we were living in another country in another time we wouldn’t talk so much about Romans 1 because it wouldn’t be that relevant.
We ended up talking a lot about reprobate because reprobate is a term that God uses in Romans 1. It’s used in other places in the bible as well. It’s best defined in Jeremiah chapter 6, verse 30. The first time the word reprobate is used. A lot of times with a big difficult word the bible defines it for us the first time it’s used. The bible kind of acts as its own dictionary. You start reading at the beginning and you read through and he’ll define big words for you and help you understand what they mean.
The first time the word reprobate is used in the bible it says, “Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord has rejected them.” The illustration there is of metallurgy and refining metal. There’s the part of the metal that has value and then there’s the junk, the dross, that which is rejected. It says, “Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord has rejected them.” So what does reprobate mean? It means to be rejected. That’s why the bible says in Romans 1, “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not convenient.” Basically what he’s saying here is you rejected me. Now I’m rejecting you.
Now a person that is a reprobate according to the bible is a reject, meaning that that person, God is done with that person, God has rejected that person, God says, “I’m through with you.” Now here’s the thing. When we look at this parable in Matthew 13, there are people that are being rejected. He says, “Look, the good is being gathered into vessels. The bad is being cast away.” That’s happening at the end of the world though, isn’t it? At the end of the world he’s going to gather everything and say, “Okay, I’m going to gather the good into vessels and gather the bad away.” He says, “Look, we’re going to gather together first the tares.” Tares are weeds. He says, “We’re going to gather together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
See this parable of the net that’s cast into the sea is not just a unique parable. It’s actually ties in with a lot of other parables. It’s the message of the bible that’s being illustrated here. There is going to come a time where there are people who are rejected, where there are people who are bound into bundles to burn them. It’s said in Matthew 22, “Bind them hand and foot and cast them into outer darkness.” It’s said in Matthew 13 that “The bad will be cast into a furnace of fire. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
What do you throw in the fire? Trash. He’s talking about burning trash. Bind them in bundles to burn them. They’re trash. They’re not what. Look, a bunch of weeds that are harvested, they’re worthless, throw them away. That is what it is to be a reject. That is what it is to be a reprobate. Now what the bible teaches in Romans 1 and elsewhere though is that some people reach that reprobate status before the end of the world. He’s called them a reprobate them right now. Sort of like the people who in Jesus’ day blasphemed the Holy Ghost and he said, “You blasphemed the Holy Ghost and you have no forgiveness.” He said, “Neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
Or where he said, “Look, if you add to or take away from God’s word I’ll take away your part out of the Book of Life, out of the Holy City, out of the things which are written in this book.” These are unsaved people who lose their opportunity to get saved. They get rejected early. Sort of like Pharaoh, where Pharaoh, he made his own choice. He hardened his heart. He says, “Who is the Lord and I’ll not let you people go.” Then it says that he hardened his heart. But then later as you read the story it switches and it says God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.
The bible talks about people’s eyes being blinded and their heart darkened, their heart hardened, them being given over to a reprobate mind. That’s what that means. When you think about what a reprobate is, that’s all it is, it’s saying that, “Look, God’s already decided hey this person is not going to be redeemed, this person has no value, this person is trash.” That’s just happening early in that case. Hopefully that helps you understand the word reprobate but that’s what it’s teaching.
Now look if you would at 1st Peter chapter 1 verse 18. It says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Now flip back if you would to 1st Corinthians chapter 6, 1st Corinthians 6. In 1st Peter 1 there he says, “You weren’t redeemed with money. You were redeemed with the blood of Jesus.” But it’s liken to money, it’s liken unto for example a bottle that’s being redeemed. That’s something we can all understand because we grew up with the bottle where we flip it over and it says 10 cent Michigan redemption value.
The bottle doesn’t have value in and of itself, but it has redemption value, meaning that if you redeem it it has value. Otherwise … Look, do you have use for a bunch of empty dirty beer bottles? No, they’re worthless, they’re junk, they’re trash. It’s only the redemption that gives them value.
This is what you have to understand, that we as human beings we only have value if we have received the Lord Jesus Christ, our savior. That’s what gives us our value. It’s nothing for us to boast or be prideful about, because we would be junk eventually as well. Eventually we’d be trashed. Eventually we’d be cast into the furnace of the fire if it weren’t for the grace of Jesus. Not our own good deeds.
That’s why the bible says, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, less any man should boast.” I mean how can we boast about being redeemed? Somebody else paid for it. If that redeemer had not been present we’d still be trash, we’d still be … I mean, look, just the other day there was no redeemer at that lake. Nobody wanted to give us 10 cents a bottle. We threw them all in the trash. We gathered up 60, 70, 80 bottles and we threw them in the trash. We did not recycle them.
My sister Ronnie made the comment. She said, in our family that we were brought up we recycle when we’re paid to recycle. You know what I mean? We don’t just recycle for the sake of recycling. Where is the redeemer? We want to get paid to recycle. We ended up just hauling them and throwing them in the trash that was there. But hey, less you pontificate the green one, we at least, at least we cleaned up the lake a little bit, at least we took the bottles out of the lake and put them in the trash. That’s progress.
Now hopefully some bum came along later that day and finished it for us by taking them out of the trash and taking them and getting them recycled. Maybe getting a bunch together and taking it on road trip to Michigan or whatever. I’m going to tell myself that that’s what happened, but you know what, either way, guess what, not everybody gets redeemed, not every bottle gets-
Look, the redeemer is there. Michigan is there saying whosoever will let them come to Michigan and receive 10 cents per bottle. But you know what? A lot of bottles are getting trashed. You know what? It’s going to be same way at the end of the world. Not every bottle makes it to Michigan. A lot of them are getting trashed, a lot of them are getting shuttered, thrown away, garbage.
1st Corinthians 6, verse 19, it says, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” What’s the moral of the story here? We’ve studied the bible tonight. We’ve understood these parables. We’ve understood these dark sayings and understood what it means when it talks about gathering junk out of the sea.
Or it could even be a fishing operation where you bring in a bunch of fish. Some of the fish are good for eating. That’s the good. Then some of the creatures that you bring in that net they’re not as good of eating and so they’re cast away, they’re bad, they’re not worth anything, they don’t have value. Whatever it is, whether it’s fishing lures that we were gathering, whether it’s bottles and cans that we were gathering, whether it were living creatures or plants that we were gathering. The good are gathered into vessels, the bad are cast away.
What is the meaning of this parable? What do we take away from this when we read all these scriptures about redemption and we understand, okay, I understand the parable about that marriage feast and what it means that all the good and bad are invited, but only the ones who redeemed are staying, only the ones who got their robes washed and made white in the blood of the lamb are welcome to stay. The rest will be cast out.
What’s the point? Well here’s the point. Is that we don’t have anything to glory of. That’s why the bible says in verse 20, “You're bought with a price, therefore glorify God.” We can’t glorify ourselves. We’re not on this earth to glorify ourselves. A lot of people on this earth they live their life as if they’re here to glorify themself. Their whole life is focused on making money to glorify self. We ought to make money to live and to pay our bills.
But there are people out there who want to make money to glorify self so that they can be a big shot, drive a fancy car, wear fancy clothes and show off. There are people who want to perform great athletic feats in order to glorify self. There are people out there who want to start a church, not to preach the gospel, not to get people saved, but to glorify self, and then therefore they preach lies and they become the next Joel Osteen, the Rick Warren, and they glorify self.
There are people out there who glorify themself in all manner of ways through boasting and through a life that’s a self-centered kind of life. But the bible is saying, “Look, you're bought with a price. Glorify God, give God the glory.” We have nothing to glory up. We would be junk. We would be trash were it not for the redeemer. Not only does the redeemer have to exist. That’s not enough. We had to be brought to the redeemer.
What about all the bottles that never make it to the redeemer? They don’t get redeemed. It’s like a spiritual [soiling 45:23] expedition would be like digging out the bottles out of the dirty lake. That’s like the soiling. Going into the lake and digging out the bottles. Fishers of men, going out and fishing through all of that stuff and then getting it to the redeemer, bring it to the redeemer, take it to the redeemer. That’s our job.
If it weren’t for the redeemer we’d be nothing. If it weren’t for the fact that somebody got us to the redeemer we’d be nothing, we’d be rejected, we’d be trashed. We have nothing to glory up. We’re to glorify God in our body and in our spirit which are God’s. Not only do we realize, hey, he gets the glory, we don’t get the glory. Salvation is by grace, it’s not by works of righteousness, which we have done. But then the second thing that we realize is that we’re bought with a price.
We’re bought with a price. That means we don’t belong to ourselves anymore, we don’t just have total autonomy of just well it’s my life, I’m going to do what I want to do. No, we’ve been bought with a price. God has a purpose for our life. He didn’t redeem us so that we could just be this amazing bottle that everybody could look at be glorified. But rather that we could be put to use for his purpose to bottle whatever liquid he wants to bottle with it, and to fill that vessel with what he wants to fill it with, and to use it for what he wants it.
Look, we should be surrendered to the plan of God. We should be like the clay in the potter’s hand where he’s going to redeem us and make us into what he wants us to be. He’s going to take that raw material of that bottle and he’s going to fashion it into a nice new bottle according to his desire, his design. He is the potter. We’re the clay. It’s up to him what he’s going to do with us. We should be willing to give our life unto him.
Look, that’s not salvation, because a lot of people say give your life to Jesus and you’ll be saved. Wrong. He gave his life for us. That’s how you get saved. That’s salvation, is that he gave his life for us. But here’s the thing. Now that we’ve been saved, now that we’ve been redeemed we need to realize that we’ve been bought with a price. It’s not automatic. Oh you're saved, you're automatically going to live for God. No, no, he says, what? He’s saying, “No, you're not,” that you’ve been bought with a price. A lot of people don’t think of it that way is what it’s saying here.
I mean look what it says, verse 19, it says, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” What’s he saying? A lot of people don’t realize that they’re not their own. A lot of people still think that they can do whatever they want with their life. Look, just because you're saved doesn’t mean that God’s getting the best use out of you. We need to realize that he owns us. We need to realize that he deserves our best. And we need to present our bodies a living sacrifice. He’s not going to come and take it himself. We need to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service.
Once we realize hey, our only value is what God gave us through the redemption of Christ, that will take us down a notch so that we’re not prideful, so that we’ll be humble, and glorify God instead of glorifying ourselves. Then secondly, we realize that the purpose of our lives is not our own purpose, but he owns us now and we need to bring glory to him and use our lives for his honor and glory. Like the song goes, “Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to the.” We need to realize that we’re here for his glory, not for our own glory, his plan not our own plan, his purpose not our purpose.
Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father we thank you so much Lord for the redemption that is in Christ Jesus through the blood Lord, and we thank you so much for taking us and instead of just casting us aside as worthless junk Lord you’ve made us into something that’s not worthless. I don’t feel worthless tonight Lord because I know you’ve made me into something that you could use. I don’t believe that I’m preaching to a building full of worthless people. But I believe I’m preaching to a building full of kings and priests because you have redeemed us. Help us to glorify you and in Jesus name we pray, amen.