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Laborers in the Vineyard - Matt. 20:9-12

Lesson # Laborers in the Vineyard - Matt. 20:9-12
Study Material - Laborers in the Vineyard - Matt. 20:9-12

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Laborers in the Vineyard
Matt. 20:9-12

9 And [kai] when they came [erchomai] that were hired about [peri] the eleventh [hendekatos] hour [hora] , they received [lambano] every man [ana] a penny [denarion] .
10 But [de] when the first [protos] came [erchomai] , they supposed [nomizo] that [hoti] they should have received [lambano] more [pleion] ; and [kai] they likewise [kai] received [lambano] every man [autos] [ana] a penny [denarion] .
11 And [de] when they had received [lambano] it, they murmured [gogguzo] against [kata] the goodman of the house [oikodespotes] ,
12 [hoti] Saying [lego] , These [houtos] last [eschatos] have wrought [poieo] but one [mia] hour [hora] , and [kai] thou hast made [poieo] them [autos] equal [isos] unto us [hemin] , which [ho] have borne [bastazo] the burden [baros] and [kai] heat [kauson] of the day [hemera] . KJV-Interlinear

9 'And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. 10 'And when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; and they also received each one a denarius. 11 'And when they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12 saying,' These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.' NASB

People live varying lengths of time in life. Some live 100 years, some 20 years, and every length imaginable in between. Of course there are those who live much shorter lives but this is merely an illustration.

Our life on this earth is a physical life from physical birth until our physical death. In the spiritual sense, we do not get born again 'spiritually' until we believe in Christ. From that point we have a set amount of time on this earth in this physical life.

A young child can believe in Christ at age ten, and die a day later. That leaves him a spiritual life of one day. A hundred year old man can believe in Christ at age 100 and die a day later. He has only a spiritual life of one day. That same ten year old may believe in Christ and live until 100, and that gives him a 90 year spiritual life before entering into eternity.

The length of our spiritual lives varies from person to person. No two of us are exactly the same, though many of us will have similarities in the average length of our spiritual lives.

Salvation and its benefits are the same no matter how long your spiritual life exists on this earth. We may contend that we are better than others and therefore offer the common complaint, 'Not Fair!' when confronted with the idea that some unscrupulous type will receive the same salvation benefit as we. But then we do not set the terms of salvation.

I have used Hitler as a dramatic example. We all understand that he was a very evil man, but if he actually believed in Christ at some point in his life, then when he died, he went to heaven. We can presume that he went to Torments and there is waiting the Lake of Fire, but that is just the tendency in us to want him to suffer for all his evil.

God takes a very different view of life. 'Believe in Christ, and you are saved.' That is the criteria for salvation. It is available to any and all, even Saddam and his gang of thugs. Now that many of his evil doings, thefts, and abusive policies are more and more common knowledge to the world, it too, would be easy to think him undeserving of salvation.

Man does not set the terms of salvation. God alone sets those terms. Man did not pay the price of salvation, Jesus Christ alone did, and Jesus Christ paid that price for all human beings, rich or poor, good or bad, tall or short, fat or thin, etc., etc., etc.

And yet another view of salvation is presented by the Pharisees. Their belief is that they having had the scriptures for many centuries must be entitled to a 'better' deal then the gentiles, or even 'common' Israelites. But such is not the case.

Those who look to their own selfish interests and consider their commitment, consider their effort (working in the scorching heat) in their spiritual life, in their perceived spiritual life, do not see the fairness of the policy of God. They wish to superimpose their own standards on Gods policy and elevate themselves above the interests of all others. They seek to be first, and with their self centered attitude (grumbling), they lose track of Gods priorities in life, and therefore lose their position in their spiritual life. They slip into last place (loss of blessing), as it were.

Blessings from God, flow to those who comply with His standards. Those who pursue blessings based on their own effort (energy of the flesh), end up with nothing. See the Ten Minas and Ten Talent Parables for the distinctions between the spiritual production of folks.

Likewise, the Israelites had many privileges and opportunities throughout their history, yet they grumbled throughout. The gentiles on the other hand had many obstacles, yet turned to God even without those many opportunities that the Israelites had.

So in another view, those who are last in line in history (our Church Age) will be the first to receive their resurrection body and eternal blessings. We receive them at the Rapture. Jesus Christ was the first to be resurrected - the first fruits. We from the Church Age will be the first group to receive our resurrection bodies at the Rapture. The Old Testament believers will not receive their resurrection until after the tribulation - seven years after the Rapture. They had the greater and earlier time frame with the scriptures, but we will be resurrected first.

They grumbled and superimposed their traditions over the scriptures and lost the 'Kingdom', which was not to be until after yet another era of history was completed, our Church Age. On a dispensational basis the Age of Israel slipped into last place behind the Church Age. On an individual basis, each one of us will receive exactly the same terms of salvation as anyone else in history since Adam.

But when each of our lives is evaluated by Christ at His Judgment Seat, then those who advanced in their spiritual life will be in line for greater blessings, while those who pursued their own standards of life will receive few if any 'additional' blessings.

God is fair. God sets the policy. Mans efforts are not allowed to enter into the picture when it comes to the terms of salvation and additional blessings. People were not created equal. Some have high IQ's, some low. Some have considerable talents, some have none. To make salvation or even blessing based on mans characteristics would be unfair.

In the spiritual life all of mans attributes are canceled out and only mans volition is in view. Each person has but to 'want' to grow up spiritually, and God will provide the means. The playing field is leveled for all. On earth there is only one winner and many losers. In heaven everyone can be a winner if they only desire it and remain positive and consistent in their daily Bible study. God does all of the work in the spiritual life.

All man need do is accept Gods terms of salvation - 'Believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved!'

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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