The Parable of the Dragnet (Matt. 13:47-49)
by Larry Cockerham


The Parable of the Dragnet

By Larry Cockerham

In the Parable of the Dragnet (Matt. 13:47-49), both the true and the false are gathered together during the course of this age by the gospel net, which is "cast into the sea" (Matt. 13:47). The "sea" in Scripture is a type of the nations. In Revelation 17:15 we are told: "The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." In this net are the fish, both good and bad, who represent both the true and false believers who compose what is called "Christendom." At the "end of the world" (Matt. 13:49) or "age" there will be a separation of the good and bad fish, which we find at the end of the Tribulation period prior to the setting up of the kingdom (See Joel 3:1-2, 11-12; Zephaniah 3:8; Zechariah 14:2-3; Matt. 25:31-46).

Those who are saved during the church age will be caught up at the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52); whereas, those both saved and unsaved will be separated at the end of the Tribulation period when the Lord returns at the end (Rev. 19:11ff). Lehman Strauss relates "The rejection of Laodicea synchronizes prophetically in time with the removal of Philadelphia. Philadelphia is caught up to be with the Lord, while Laodicea is cast out. The last two phases of Christian profession are both viewed in our Lord's last parable¦ The good fish are gathered but the bad are cast away (Matthew 13:48)."

Therefore, we note that the parables show us the conditions that will exist during the course of this age while the King is absent. The seven churches show us the internal or inward view as God sees them; whereas, the seven parables show us the external or outward view of the church as man sees her. The parables of the kingdom of heaven represent professing Christianity (Christendom).

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