It is the Eleventh Hour
Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
If these two verses were not put together…..we would be in a desperate state.
The “heart” in the Bible speaks about our soul…..our personality, made up of heart, mind, and will.
Our hearts are deceitful, because they lie to us….making us “feel” things that may or may not be true.
But…..the Lord will search our hearts….and try our wills (reins)….and give us according to the tenor of our choices…..do we really want His Will….
Time is important.
We all make choices in things we can not change….
So, what can we do?
Matthew 20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard.”
The Kingdom of Heaven, if it is to be gained, is by One man.
The householder here;…..our Lord Jesus Christ;….and His call to come to Him….for salvation….and service.
(God’s call is always to Himself: it may be to Salvation, or it may be to a work, or it may be to get more knowledge of Himself.
But His Call is always to Himself.)
This parable is concerning the work Christ has for each of His.
Christ calls those who are part of the Kingdom of Heaven, not to sit around,…..but to labor in His Work in this World.
Will you see yourself here?
Now, within every believer, there is a “clock”, so to speak.
This clock begins to tick the moment we are born again. It is like a time clock for the Work of the Lord, for ourselves.
When Christ calls to the Work:
Some respond early, and go to work for Christ.
Matthew 20:1-2 “…a man that is a householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into His vineyard.
And when He had agree with the laborers for a penny a day, He sent them into his vineyard.”
(Back then, there were twelve hour days, and a penny was a good days wage.)
Some respond later, but still go.
Matthew 20:3-5 “And He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.
And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
Again He went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.”
But some stand idle all the day; they are inactive, and barren.
Matthew 20:6-7 “About the eleventh hour He went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that ye shall receive.”
Now, maybe they did not really feel that this Householder was calling them, when He had come before….after all, others went….wasn’t that enough?
But He meant,……all who would go to work for Him….should.
(We are all called as witnesses…if to nothing else. And every word of testimony for Him…..Jesus counts as fruit to His glory)
How can God’s people be idle…in a time when the world is surely dieing?
Maybe, because they are unaware that faith should lead to the total commitment of our lives to Jesus Christ as Lord.
Without any instruction that real Christian Victory, means complete abandonment or subjection of our self and person, to Jesus Christ.
So when the householder said, “Go into my vineyard”; Jesus was giving these the opportunity of doing that.
(How many times in our lives has He done so?)
Where were these “idle” ones, during the times He came before?
He accuses them of standing idle “all the day”, so they must have been there.
Yet they did not heed His call to go and work.
What about you? Has the Lord Jesus called for laborers, and you stood idle?
When others went, you were relieved that you did not “have to” go?
Yet the time (remember each of us have a clock, ticking) goes by.
Does the knowledge of our lack of fruit for Him, trouble us?
Now the day is almost gone.
Oh, if He would just call again; for the Kingdom of Heaven is wrapped up in the laborers He has called.
Then He does, rebuking us for our laziness, for our attitude of letting someone else do the work.
What will you do now?
Let this last opportunity go by again? For it is the eleventh hour…..shall we not go and work….even if it is just for this last bit of time?
Then at the end of times….when the work is done:
Matthew 20:9-10 “And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
But when the first came,……and they received every man a penny.”
Here is the “wages” of these workers.
(Not the wages of sin; Christ took those)
But in Him we receive the rewards of our obedience to His call; and our faithfulness…….even after we have been unfaithful.
Some labored longer; some a very short time.
Yet the householder, Jesus Christ, pays out the same wages to all.
Those wages are the reward for the faithful following of His call….of putting of yourself aside for Christ’s sake, and for the faithful love which follows Him.
In that day of receiving, if we have worked for Him……we will enter into His Joy, and into His courts, with praise.
Hallelujah, what a Savior! Who comes and calls again, in this eleventh hour!