When Heaven Goes Fishing, It’s High – The Delta Discovery, Inc.

When Heaven Goes Fishing, It’s High – The Delta Discovery, Inc.

By Tad Lindley

In the past, the high tide line was filled with rotting salmon bodies. Anglers rated their catches highly, with the result that the better fish were kept, and the less desirable ones were discarded. The whole business is illegal and against traditional values, but the money is used for commercial fishing and that changes people.

High scores

Suppose commercial fishermen have set a limit of 200 fish. They catch three types of fish: kings, chums, and reds. At good year prices, kings are $1.25 per pound, friends 25 cents, and reds $1.05. Obviously, a fisherman who sells 200 kings will get paid much more than a fisherman who sells 200 friends.

Unfortunately, when we cast a net into the sea or river, we bring in all three types of fish. The financially minded fisherman will handle this situation in stride: he will keep fishing, throw the buddies overboard to later wash up on shore, and keep the first 200 Kings and Reds to sell to fish buyers. It makes perfect economic sense, but as mentioned before, it is illegal, and strongly contradicts Yup’ik values.

Heaven goes fishing

Since Jesus lived in a fishing culture, fishing is often mentioned in the Bible. When he saw Peter and Andrew casting out their net, he said to them: “Come after me and I will make you become hunters of men.”. (Mark 1:17) In Luke 5, after they had drifted all night and caught nothing, Jesus urged them to try drifting again, and when they did, there were so many fish that the net sank. Then after his resurrection, Jesus called from the shore, while the disciples were fishing and came up empty-handed, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship and you will find.” (John 21:6) When they set up the net, the plugs sank again and were loaded to the surface.

Heaven will score high

It would be nice to think that heaven would be above the highs, and that everyone would be saved. Many preachers today seem to believe this. How many funerals have we been to where the dead lived like hell, never repenting of their sins, never serving God, but somehow being condemned by man to be saved? I wish it were the case that all people would be automatically saved, but heaven would be set so high.

Jesus said while speaking to the people: “Once again the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into a lake and all kinds of fish were caught from it. And when it was full, the fishermen pulled it ashore. Then they sat down and gathered the good fish into baskets, and threw away the bad fish. This is how it will be at the end of the age. And the angels will come and separate the bad from the righteous And they will cast them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”. (Matthew 13:47-50)

are you a friend?

None of us wants our soul to wash up on the shore of the lake of fire. Here’s a quick check to see if you’re a soulmate. Now, the effects of a corrupt nature are evident: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, tantrums, selfish ambition, strife, factions, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and similar things. I have told you in the past and I tell you again that people who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21) If you are involved in any of these activities when the Lord comes or you die (whichever comes first), you are sure to get a high score.

From friend to king

The good news is that if you are engaged in a sinful lifestyle, for example, or living with someone and not married, or enjoying partying on the weekends, Jesus can change you. In fact, that is what His death on the cross meant: the purchase of our salvation (Acts 20:28). You see, Jesus doesn’t want to elevate anyone. He waits patiently, hoping that we will repent of our sin. In the Bible, when people repented of their sins, they were baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of those sins (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5, 22:16).

Because all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27). Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) You may be a friend today, but as a new creature, you can become the kind of fish that Jesus seeks to catch.

Pastor Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.

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