““But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.”
Matthew 21:28-32 NKJV
The latest and the loudest
I love the energy of new believers, especially these days when the Gospel has all but run through all the low hanging fruit, and those coming to the Lord now are more ensnared by the sinful lives they have led. When they do get saved, their testimonies are brash and loud, as they have fresh memories of the sin that had entombed their souls.
Often they were the ones who, for years, rejected the Gospel, preferring to remain in their sin and the status quo. From where they were, breaking away seemed all but impossible.
When the breakthrough comes, the life of debauchery has begun to cost them, and they are as the walking dead, waiting for their end time so that can have some relief. At some point they realize that there is no peace, even after death, for the sinner is destined for hell.
In Matthew Chapter 21, Jesus sparred with the religious establishment upon His entry into Jerusalem, on His way to the cross. They cross-examined Him, seeking to find openings in His arguments, thus justifying themselves. But they failed time and time again. Jesus talked about the two sons.
I was like the first son. I had grown up with Christian mother, who hauled me off to church every time the church house was open, hoping that the Lord would get ahold of me. I walked away, like so many young people, and pursued what I desired in the world.
In the fullness of time, the Lord drew me, saved me, cleansed, me and pressed me into service in the vineyard. I was the one who said no, but relented and went.
Sadly, many churches are full of people who have quickly said yes, darkened the doorway of the church, even landed on a pew. But, they have no moved at all beyond that point. While their early outward actions give them impression of obedience, their onward inward lives do not reflect the hearts and minds of servants of the Lord. They have become the chosen frozen.
They have said yes, but have not gone, biding their time sitting in the pews having never told anyone about Jesus, let alone having even left a tract at a restaurant table after having a meal.
When the latest and loud meet the chosen frozen, there can be conflict, with those who profess to be upright and pious mocking the brash new believers. They, in their righteous pride, are doing the work of their true father, the devil.
The early disciples were as brash as they come, as they were unlearned men who took on the establishment. Thought they did not have the academic letters, they had been with Jesus.
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”
Acts 4:13 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, the Lord has invited us to go into the vineyard for the harvest. Let us be like the son who, when asked hesitated, but followed through. Let us not be the one who merely seeks approval, says yes, and does not go.
The Lord did not save us to occupy the pew, but to serve, to pray and to go forth with the message of Jesus. You might be one like me, nearing the end of the journey, unable to do the work of the young. God has given me an overwhelming desire to lift others up in prayer. He has also given me the ability to write about Him, communicating His love and faithfulness.
The Lord has work for all of us.
Ask the Lord to bring to mind what your life was like before Jesus, or what your life could have been like had you never encountered the Lord. May we be as fresh as the latest new born Christian, and my we be just as loud and brash.
I have to admit, that I was more than a little obnoxious when I first came to the Lord. I witnessed loudly to anyone who would hear, and more than a few Christians distanced themselves from me. I was labeled “out of balance,” or “Holy Joe”, but I was as the Lord intended. I will not know until eternity how many people I was able to reach in those early days.
If I had it all to do over, I would be every bit as brash and loud. Let us all shout that JESUS SAVES!
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!