Summary: what if we get to Heaven and find out God let everyone in?
Better Late than Never
1. What if we got to heaven & found out God let everyone in?
Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Republicans, Democrats,
doctors, dope pushers, lawyers, merchants, murderers. Everyone!
I think I would go WAIT A MINUTE!
2. What about our faith? Our belief in Jesus? Didn’t Jesus say “no
one comes to the Father but by me?” What about the really rotten
people - the Hitlers, Stalins, Saddam Hussein?
3. We act shocked that God doesn’t understand our way of thinking.
Doesn’t God know that those who’ve hurt others should be hurt in
kind? Cause & effect? Labor/wages? Study/grades? Hard
work/success? Doesn’t God understand concept of fairness?
4. Not fair young couples do right thing-go to college, marry, begin
family, wait for home, income, all the rest. Not fair bogged down
debt of ins./hospital bills when those who do none of these things,
don’t wait for education, marriage, income, have babies & rest of us
pay for them. Not fair.
5. Not fair middle class citizen of U.S. pays more taxes than IBM,
Microsoft, AT&T combined. Not fair. Some of us work fingers to
bone to provide home for our families, gov’t provides home to those
who don’t work. Not fair.
6. Not fair congress votes to give themselves annual pension of 100K
when avg. gov’t worker gets maybe 12K.
7. Not fair all of us here committed to this church, sacrifice to give
money to church, give up free time to give energy to church. We
struggle to live as God wants us to, then God forgives worst sinner
at last moment of life, never done anything for anyone. Not fair.
8. Tell Cody life’s not fair. Fairness concept God threw out door
when Jesus was nailed to cross. God said instead of fairness, we’re
gonna operate on mercy. Mercy basis of relationship with God.
9. What if we got to heaven & found God let everyone in? Decision
has already been made. Too bad, some will decide not to come in but
that decision will be theirs, not Jonah’s, not mine, not yours.
10. Grape harvest ripens end of Sept. Right behind comes rain. If
not harvested before rains, ruined. Frantic race. Landowner go to
marketplace pick you, you, you, you, & you. Agree am’t to work for.
End of day - paid. No surprise, thought unfair. read Matt. 20:12-15
Then Jesus said-verse 16. What if we get to heaven.......
11. Gospel of Matt. like that. Matt. perfectionist,
stickler for rules/regulations. Action/consequences. Go to church/be
reminded of rules, do what Jesus would do, read bible, pray for
others, take vitamins, keep nose clean, you’ll be ok. Grace? yes but
get out of line, God will get you. Matt. was probably a hall monitor.
12. Unskilled labor-bottom of socioeconomic scale. Hard work to
work in vineyard. terraced hillside. dig tiers, stones,good soil.
Grapes slow to ripen, cuts short time for harvest. Hectic time.
13. Pay = to Roman soldier. Higher up social ladder. generous.
14. Marketplace-emp. office. came early to get job. Later trusted
owner to “do what was right” Rural comm. Man of word.
15. Mr. Gallo illustration.
16. We can understand complaint. Real problem- “you have made
them equal to us...” Not dissatisfied with what they got. Envious of
what others got. Thought they deserved more. Thought better &
worthier. Thought they should have been first. But they were last,
not only in order, but in perceived value.
17. We have hard time being happy when something good happens
to someone else. Why should someone not go to church for 40 yrs.
get same benefits as someone working in church longer than that.
People at Easter/Christmas get same treatment as us? Not fair.
18. Mickey Mantle story. Deathbed confessions. Peace with God.
Found God. Got religion.
19. What can we learn from this parable? 2 great lessons.
A. All service ranks the same with God. It’s not the length of service
but the intent. God does not look on the amount of our service,
rather that when we gave all we had in service. Millionaire as
opposed to poor woman who gave last 10 dollars.
B. Serving is by grace and salvation is by grace. No one serves God
unless he or she is saved, and we can do nothing to earn that
salvation. If someone is a Christian, he or she was saved by grace,
meaning on the basis of what God has done in Jesus Christ, not on
the basis of what that person has done. If God dealt with us on the
basis of we had done, we would have been sent to hell. God saves us
20. 6 am worker or 5 pm worker. Saved at 12 or deathbed
confession. It doesn’t matter. Any worker is welcome, even if they
can only give an hour to the work.