Matthew 20:1-16
Why stand ye here all the day idle?

The title of the message comes out of \\#Matt 20:6\\.  The Lord asks a question
in this parable that all Christians are going to have to answer.  When it comes
to working for Jesus, why have we been idle.

This story we are reading is a parable. A parable is an earthly story with a
heavenly meaning. In order to understand a parable, we need to know what the
different elements mean. There are three elements in this parable.
    1. There is a vineyard
        a. The vineyard is lost people.
        b. God grows many things, crops, trees, animals; but he only cultivates
            people!
        c. God often compares His people to a vineyard.

Ps 80:8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen,
and planted it.

John 15:1  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every
branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

    2. There is a householder or a goodman of the house - There is only One who
        really cares about people, and that is God.  God is the householder.
    3. Then there are the laborers - These are the people God calls to care
        about other people.
        a. In todayís economy, those are the Christians!
        b. You and I are in this parable!

So we have the parable of God trying to hire people to help other people.  What
lessons might we learn from this earthly story?

    I. From this parable, I see that God cares about the vineyard.
        A. Remember that God is the one in charge and the vineyard represents
            the lost world.
        B. This parable is telling that God is concerned with the lost of the
            world.
            1. God is calling the lost of the world His vineyard.
                a. Being His vineyard, means the lost belong to God.
                    (1) The world is Godís vineyard and everything and every body
                         belongs to God.
                    (2) You may not be Godís by salvation but you are Godís by
                         creation and as such, God cares for you!
                    (3) You need to know that you are Godís, and God wants you.
                    (4) At the hotel, many lost things are found and left at the
                         deskóa pair of flip flops, a cell phone charger, a
                         video game card.  Most of them are never claimed.  After
                         a few days, they go into a box to be held for 30 days
                         and many of the things end up in the dumpster.
                    (5) Not so with you.  God has shown up and wants you back.
                b. Being a vineyard means it is the place that He works.
                    (1) Vineyards are not tourist spots.  They are for work.
                    (2) You may be lost and you may stay lost, but God is working
                         hard for your soul!
                         (a) God has given everyone a freewill and every person
                              gets to choose how he lives and where he spends
                               eternity.
                         (b) But God certainly has labored for your soul.
                              i. He sent His Son to die for you.
                             ii. He built churches and scattered them across
                                  the world to preach to you.
                            iii. He called preachers to go from community-to-
                                  community and door-to-door to tell you about
                                  Jesus.
                             iv. He put friends and family in your life to love
                                  you to Jesus.
                              v. He put the Holy Ghost all around you to remind
                                  you daily that He wants you.
                c. Being His vineyard means that God has invested something into
                    it all ready.
                    (1) Iím no farmer but I know vineyards donít just occur.
                         Someone has to invest for one to exist.
                    (2) Someone must invest of their money, of their time, of
                         their energy.
                    (3) God has invested much into this lost world to get them
                         to Jesus.
                    (4) Todayís sermon is one more investment God is making into
                         the vineyard to get lost souls to Jesus.
                    (5) I donít know about you, but I donít like working for
                         nothing.
                         (a) Iím not the brightest boy in the world but if I am
                              working a secular job and they donít pay me, Iím
                              going to look elsewhere.
                         (b) Donít you think it is about time God a return on
                              His investment?
                         (c) I read last week where Russia is considering sending
                              a space ship to intercept and alter the course of
                              an incoming asteroid.  US scientists donít see the
                              asteroid as a threat, but in 1908, Siberia was
                              struck by a asteroid blowing a crater into the
                              earth and toppling trees in a 830 square mile area.
                              The asteroid is expected to be in the earthís
                              neighborhood sometime after 2030.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2009/12/russia-plans
-space-project-to-prevent-asteroid-collision/1

                         (d) I donít know whether that asteroid or one bigger will
                              hit earth, but I know one thing, God has got to be
                              getting pretty tired to constantly looking after a
                              world that doesnít want Him anywhere in it!
                         (e) God just might decide to quit investing quite so much
                              into this planet and its inhabitants if they donít
                              change their tune pretty soon.
            2. God is diligently seeking laborers to work the vineyard.
                a. This is a large part of the parable.
                b. God has the householder goes into the town looking for workers,
                    not everyday but repeatedly everyday.
                c. In one day, the master went into town five times in one day!
                d. I want to make some comments in a moment about why the house-
                    holder wants to hire laborers instead of going into the field
                    himself, but let me say this much nowówhat he has out in that
                    field much be very precious to him!
        C. Lost Sinner, you must understand how much God loves you and wants to
            win you to Himself!  Why not turn to Him today?

   II. From this parable, I see that God cares about the Christians.
        A. Remember, the vineyard is the lost world but the laborers are Godís
            pool of servants.  In this dispensation, that would be the Christians.
        B. But Godís care of the Christians is seen by the householderís repeated
            attempts to enlist them into His service.
            1. I said a moment ago that I wanted to make an important comment
                about why the householder wants to hire laborers rather than go
                into the field himself.
                a. Remembering that God is the householder, we know that God does
                    not need to seek help to get work done.
                b. If God can create a world out of nothing, hold all the elements
                    of the cosmos in place with nothing but a thought, and know
                    the every thought and action of every human being, I donít
                    think He needs our help in the vineyard.
                c. Why seek it then?
            2. God seeks our help not for His benefit, but for ours!
                a. The best God has goes to the servants of God, not the sitters
                    for God.
                b. God wants to give everyone of us His best.
                c. Look how many times the householder went back into the city
                    looking for workers!  It wasnít for Him.  It was for them!
            3. Godís plan is for people to help people and them be reward for it!
                a. You cannot beat Godís compensation plan.
                b. He saves you, cleans you up, puts you into His family (God is
                    a Nepotist - He shows favoritism to His family), then He puts
                    you on His payroll, fills you with His Holy Spirit, does all
                    the work Himself, and then pays handsomely you for it!
            4. Unfortunately, God often finds those who want from Him and
                not those who are willing to do for Him.

Matt 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous,
but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth
labourers into his harvest.

            5. Consider this parable.
                a. Cities were small.
                b. All the workers needing work should have been in the market-
                    place.
                c. Why didnít all these men get work the first time the house-
                    holder went? or the second? or even the third?
                d. The answer is they didnít want the work.
                e. Maybe they wanted something easier.
                f. Maybe they were waiting to do as little as possible.
                g. Changes are they just plain were not there!  They were doing
                    their own thing!
            6. But the householder kept coming back!
                a. Why?
                b. Because even though Christians are working hard not to work,
                    God knows the best goes to those who will serve.

  III. From the parable, I see that the time of serving Jesus is short.
        A. In this parable, the work in question lasted but a day.
            1. I know this is a parable.
            2. I understand that the harvest on a farm last more than a day.
            3. But we should all likewise understand, the opportunity to serve
                Jesus is limited.
        B. The whole dispensation that we are in is considered but a day in the
            Scriptures.

John 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night
cometh, when no man can work.

1 Thessalonians 5:8  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the
breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Romans 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off
the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

        C. The opportunity to serve Jesus is short by the most gracious standard.
             1. The opportunity is short because Jesus could come very soon.
             2. The opportunity is short because you die anytime.
             3. The opportunity is short because this world is becoming
                 increasingly hostile to God.

   IV. From this parable, I see that it is never too late to start working.
        A. \\#Matthew 20:6\\ The householder was going out at the ELEVENTH
            HOUR.
            1. That would be about 5 PM.
            2. Needless to say, that is pretty late to get started working an
                outdoor job.
            3. The point is, "It is never too late to start serving Jesus."
        B. I do not say this to get you to put off starting to serve Jesus, but
            to impress upon you that you still have opportunity to serve.
            1. You are not too old.
            2. You are not too dumb.
            3. You are not too bashful.
            4. If you have life in your body, it is still not too late!

    V. From this parable, I see that God will reward you what is right.
        A. This parable does not get preached too much.
            1. In looking for notes and thoughts, I found very few.
            2. One book at looked at was a sermon outline book by a preacher
                from whom I like to get thoughts.
                a. He has a book of sermon outlines on Matthew.
                b. I noticed that he had preached a sermon from almost every
                    section of Matthew.
                c. The one section that was missing an outline was Matthew
                    20:1-16.
       B. The reason this parable doesnít get preached from very often is
           because most people donít get it.
           1. In the end, the household rewards those who had labored for
               an hour the same amount as those who had labored all day.
           2. In the last section of the parable \\#Matt 20:11-16\\, even
               the characters within it complain about that.
           3. Most people would agree with the laborers, that for the ones
               who had toiled all day to be rewarded the same as those who
               toiled but an hour is unfair.
       C. What they donít understand is that you and I are never rewardedÖ
           1. Öaccording to our labor.
           2. Öaccording to our accomplishments.
           3. To be honest, if we were, I would have to go find a bigger place
               to labor for I do desire to have some large eternal rewards.
       D. God rewards us on three things:
           1. obedience
           2. willingness
           3. effort
       E. Those eleventh hour workers may have been late in getting started but
           when they got started, they were just as obedient and willing as the
           early arrivals.
           1. When I was first called to peach, I felt as though I needed to get
               to work fast. I didnít want to go to Bible college.  I didnít want
               to be anyoneís associate. I wanted to get at it.  Thankfully, God
               used others to give me some education and guidance, but it was
               against my will.  The reason I was so anxious to get to work was
               that I feared the Lord would return before I got to do anything
               for Jesus!  I had a wise professor at college who one day
               explained the truth that Jesus is revealing here.  It is not what
               you do.  It is how obedient you were and how willing you were that
               God sees.  I may pastor at Green Pond, but I am willing to go
               anywhere and do anything that God wants me to do.  That means I
               can get as big of a reward as anyone and everyone else.
           2. By-the-way, you may not preach at all, but if you are willing to do
               whatever God tells you and you do whatever God tells you, your
               reward will be every bit as  big as mine.
           3. You say, I donít like Godís payment plan.
           4. That is the reason for the parable.  Jesus answers you in it.

Matt 20:13  But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong:
didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14  Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto
thee.
15  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil,
because I am good?

Here is the close.  There is too much to be done and the time is too short for us
to be standing around here all day idle.  If you are saved, letís get busy in the
field for Jesus!

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