10/19/2011

(Matthew 20:13-15)  “But he answered one of them, “Friend, I am not being unfair to you.  Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go.  I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you.  15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money?  Or are you envious because I am generous?”

How long have you been a Christian?  Maybe you are like me and have come from a long line of Christians and have believed in Jesus for as long as you can remember.  Maybe you became a Christian midway through your life when a friend, a family member, a future spouse or pastor invited you to church and you heard the sweet gospel message for the first time.  Or perhaps the Holy Spirit entered your heart near the end of your life and gave you that saving faith.  But no matter when in life you were brought to faith Jesus tells us in the parable of the workers in the vineyard that we all have the assurance of an eternity in heaven.

But do people who have been Christians for the majority of their lives receive a greater gift in heaven than those who haven’t been Christians as long?  Do they get a better “spot” in heaven?  Absolutely NOT!  Jesus tells us that no matter when you were brought to faith our gift is the same!  Jesus has the right to do whatever he wants with his salvation and he has decided to give it freely to us all.  He does not punish someone for being a Christian for a shorter time than another but he is generous to us all.  And so no matter when you were brought to faith, whether it was as a child or on your death bed, we all have the assurance that we will receive ALL of the blessings of heaven.  There are no conditions, there are no strings attached!  Jesus has given us all the same gift for making it through this life of trials and tribulations and that is an eternity with him in heaven!

Freely receiving the gift of heaven, just like you!

Pastor Schumann

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