What’s Next?

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away”—Matthew 13:47-48 (NKJV)

Within the human heart, there’s a longing to know what the future holds. We see evidence of this from the archeological ruins of countless civilizations that sought to predict the world’s destiny to the prognosticating publications littering our checkout lanes at the local grocery store. From one extreme of human history to the other, the more things change the more they stay the same. Mankind just wants to know what’s coming!

In Matthew 13, the eternal Son of God lifts the veil of time for us to see into the future. And He has a specific focus for doing so. This chapter consists of a series of parables revealing the time ahead and conditions of God’s kingdom. He shares this information because He wants His followers to understand what to spiritually prepare for as the future unfolds. 

Jesus prepares His people. And one way is through parables, like the one about a large net like those used to dredge bodies of water. The net in this parable collects things that are both valuable and worthless. Valuable items are kept while worthless items are discarded. This is a fairly simple concept for anyone to grasp. But watch how Jesus connects the image of this net to the future: “So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49-50 (NKJV.)

If you want to know what’s going to happen at the end of the age, Jesus gives us a piece to the puzzle. At that time, as Christ returns to earth to establish His kingdom, angels are going to separate everyone alive into two groups. There will be the “just,”  those who are right before God through faith in Him, and there will be the “wicked,” those who have rejected God. And just as there was a separate fate for the valuable and worthless items in the net, a much different fate awaits the just and the wicked at the end of the age.

Through this parable, Jesus reminds us of some very important things: He knows what the future holds, He is in complete control of the future, the just will be taken care of, and the wicked will be justly dealt with.

While we can’t know everything the future holds, those are four things that are very good to know. In fact, if that’s all we knew (and we know much more from Scripture), it would be enough! So, as you’re faced with uncertainty today, be reminded of this parable and remember what it reveals about the future, and more importantly, about our Lord!

DIG: Why did Jesus share this parable?

DISCOVER: What does it reveal to us about the future? How can this parable encourage you today and every day afterwards?

DO: As you pray today, thank the Lord for being in control of your life. 

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.