Matthew 13:47-52 – Political Correctness, Anything Goes, All Roads Lead to Heaven…And Then There’s Jesus

Posted: December 26, 2015 in 40-Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 13:47-52
The Parable of the Fishing Net

We live in politically correct days. We can to be inclusive and not exclusive. Anything that smacks of excluding people is condemned. Gay marriage is celebrated and almost revered my mainstream thought. Anything that is even remotely perceived as being anti-African American is roundly squashed whether what has been said or done has merit or not. We want to rewrite history books to make the world seem more inclusive to our children. We want to tear down monuments to men who rightly or wrongly were pivotal in our nation’s history. We want to the world to be a place with there are no winners and no losers. We teach this to our children in sports today. There are many children’s sports leagues where we do not keep score and there are no championships to be won. We are becoming a nation that, in the interest of inclusion and in the interest of everyone being happy, we have forgotten that the world is not sitting around the campfire singing kum-bah-yah like we want them to. The world is designed for there to be victories and defeats. The world does not give trophies labeled participant. It is often through our greatest defeats that we learn our greatest lessons about life. We learn that sometimes no matter how hard you try with all the talent that you have sometimes you are going to lose because you come up against someone or a team that has more talent than you.

Certainly, in life outside of sports, there are injustices in this world that prevent others from participating on a level playing field and those are the things that we should fight for so that there are level playing fields. As Christ followers, we are to see every man as created in the image of God and there are things that we should fight against with everything we have to prevent. Racism, sex trafficking, poverty, and any other thing that prevents people from reaching their full potential as a child of God created with great value in His image should be our aim as Christ followers. At the same token, we should not participate in things that use the whole child of God thing to the exclusion of God’s Word about behaviors that are against God’s plan for man. At the same token, God’s Word says that we should work hard as honoring to God. God’s Word denounces laziness. In God’s Word, it realizes that God has talented us all differently and that we will not all excel at everything we do. Some areas we are winners. Some areas we are losers. God does not condemn those who excel. It celebrates them. God’s Word does not offer a helping hand to those who are lazy and not willing to work. God calls us to show compassion and give a person a helping hand but it does not say that we have to repeated reward those who will not use our helping hand to get back on their feet. God’s Word asks us to seek to give Him glory by obeying His Word and living holy lives that point to Him. God’s Word realizes that people make choices that have consequences. God’s Word realizes that we are humans and that we will make mistakes and it is from our mistakes that we learn and move on. God’s Word realizes that by our own choices, our free will, there will be those who reject Jesus Christ and those who will accept Him. God’s Word says there will be consequences for that choice. This evidence of real consequence is seen in Jesus’ parable of the fishing net. In Matthew 13:47-52, Jesus says,

47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
There are several lessons that we can learn from this parable. The first is that there are going to be winners and losers in the eternal battle. The second thing is that the key to victory is understanding who Jesus really is and not who we want Him to be. From this discussion, we will find that the choice of eternity and where you spend it is clear and it is up to us, with no takebacks, to make the right choice.

The reason that I opened up this blog with a discussion of political correctness is that it points out the head in the sand mentality that we have in today’s world. We do not want there to be tough choices. We don’t want there to be consequences to choices. We have become a world where we are more interested in preserving our houses that we cannot afford, the brand new cars in the driveway, the best clothes, the cutest kids involved in sports that reward their mere presence. We want our vacations at the beach. We want big Christmases. We want our toughest choices to be is to which credit card bill we are going to pay first. It’s all about us and we don’t want anything to get in the way of that. As a result, we don’t want to offend anyone because it might mess up the good thing we got going. We really don’t care about right or wrong. What we care about is working for the weekend and going to the beach in the summer. Rewrite the history books if you want as long as it does not bother my lifestyle. Political correctness points us to not caring. Political correctness points us toward anything goes. Political correctness points us away from tough decisions. Political correctness tells us even in religion that everything is OK. Believe what you want to believe. It’s kind of like every kid getting a participant trophy. As long as you believe something, you will get to heaven. All roads lead to heaven. We don’t want to tell you what you believe is wrong because it might offend you. The plain and simple truth is that all roads do not lead to heaven. Jesus Christ said that He and the Father are one and that it is only through Him that we can reach the Father. You have a simple choice here. Either you believe this or you don’t. Yes, you have the free will to make this choice. God gave you that free will so that you would not robotically say yes to Him. But the choice we make on this question is not one that does not have consequences. In our politically correct world, there are no consequences. There are no winners and losers. There are no fatal choices. Everybody wins in the end. We can have takebacks and do-overs, because there cannot be anything that has consequences. However, the reality of life is that there are consequences to actions and decisions. Your choice on Jesus is a win/lose question. It is the eternal choice with eternal consequences. The charge given to us as Christ followers is to do the hard work of telling the story of Jesus. However, because of free will there are those who will reject the truth found in Jesus. There will be winners and losers. There are no takebacks on this one. There are no family histories to blame. There are no socio-economic struggles to blame. There is consequence to this decision and it is yours and yours alone to make. Accept Jesus as the Son of God who died for your sins to make you right with God and be changed from the inside out by that decision through the work of the Holy Spirit. Winner. Reject Him and believe that anything we believe is OK and that a loving God would never condemn. Just believe in politically correct goodness and you are in. Loser. Eternal consequence that cannot be undone.

In allowing for political correctness that all faiths can coexist and none of them are superior to others, we must reduce Jesus to something less than He is. In order for Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism to all be roads to heaven, we must make Jesus into something less than He is. We must make Him into a self-help guru. We must make Him into simply a man. We must make Him into pacifist. We must make Him into a hippie, peace-loving, non-judging wimp. We must throw out his claims of deity. We must throw out his parables about judgment. There cannot be all faiths lead to heaven. It is simply a logical inconsistency. The mere fact that each religion gives a different definition of how we can get to heaven makes this argument. All religions cannot be right and in conflict at the same time. It is simple logic. It is the order of logic that there is one correct answer for every question in life. We must use logic to deduce which is the right answer. Therefore, all religions cannot be right at the same time when each gives a different answer to the critical question of how we get to heaven. Only one can be right. All others then are proven to be the false answer. Christ claims to be the Son of God, and that no one reaches the Father except through Him. Bold claim. That’s not an all roads lead to heaven response. He claims to be the one and only way. That’s not kum-bah-yah. That’s not anything goes. That means that we have to make a choice about Jesus. When we make the right choice about Him, we see that He is the Son of God. He is God in the flesh that broke into human history so that He could become the perfect, sinless sacrifice for our sins. He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. The Old Testament points us to Jesus. The OT teaches us that we are expected to be a holy people but yet are a people who are incapable of being fully holy 100% of the time because of our sin nature. We all have it and we are condemned by it. It is because of our sin nature and the permanent taint that puts on us and our inability to be good 100% of the time during 100% of our lives that we are condemned to be separated from God in an eternally real place known as hell. It is from the Old Testatment that we learn that we need a Savior, a substitute to stand in front of God and take the punishment that we deserve for our sins. It is Jesus, as God in the flesh, that is the only way that redemption can happen. He was the only perfect, sinless one that can stand before God on our behalf as holy. No other is equal to Him. He is God so He is the only way. Not Mohammed. Not cultural Judaism. Not Buddha. Not the fanstasy gods of Hinduism. Only Jesus. Your choice. Be seduced by the sounds good/feel good political correctness of all roads lead to heaven or see Jesus as the culmination of God’s redemptive plan for man and that no other can be who Jesus is. Anything less is to call Jesus a lunatic or liar, to quote CS Lewis. As Christ followers, if we truly believe that Christ is the only way then we cannot just stand and say that believing in other religions is OK or that believing in nothing is OK. There are eternal consequences to the choice about Jesus. All roads do not lead to heaven. Then, we must take Matthew 28:19 seriously. When we make disciples, it means that we have developed relationships, lead people to the cross, and then helped them mature in their walk. We do not make disciples with hate. We make disciples with relationship and then pray to and trust in God to do Holy Spirit work in another person’s soul. We are called to make relationships by Christ. We are not to give up on the Matthew 28:19 calling that Jesus gave us. Sure, people are going to reject us. Atheists in their smugness are going to reject us. Those who believe in other religions or an amalgamation of religions are going to reject us. Does that stop us? No. It has been proven that people must encounter the Holy Spirit on at least 8-10 occasions before they will open their heart to Him. We must never tire of sharing who Jesus Christ really is and why this choice is the most important choice in life.

There will come a time, either at our own death or when Jesus returns, whichever comes first, that there will be the end of political correctness. There will be judgment. There will be winners and losers. There will be the point at which we cannot waffle on Jesus. We will be judged. We will be the good fish or the fish tossed aside. No takebacks or do-overs. Done deal. Your decision on Jesus determines your eternal future. We will find at our death or when Jesus returns that this question is the crucial one. There will be no excuses. No shoulda, coulda, woulda. Its either you did or you didn’t. What’s it gonna be?

Amen and Amen.

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