In the last of the seven kingdom parables in the thirteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that is cast in the sea and brings in a haul of all kinds of fish. When it is full, the fisherman brings it ashore, then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in baskets and throw away those that are of no use. This is how it will be at the end of time, the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the upright” (13:47-49).
The kingdom, in this parable, is compared to a dragnet and the two previous parables in the Gospel of Matthew are the ‘treasure in the field’ and ‘the pearl of great value.’ The dragnet is clearly a picture of things that are valuable and profitable and of things that are not. Fish are used to describe people (and other things) and their value. We are told the fisherman ‘put the good fish into baskets and throw away those that are of no use.’ This is good counsel concerning many things, like our thoughts, past memories, abuse, hurts, wounds, pain and suffering. Keep what is good and throw away the rest.
The sooner… the better. Keep what is good (and ‘it’s not all good,’ though it is a popular saying to say that it is) and get rid of the rest.
“So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous.” Jesus