Within the Bible there is a parable which reads:
20:1 “God’s kingdom is like a man who owned some land. One morning, the man went out very early to hire some people to work in his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay the workers one silver coin for working that day. Then he sent them into the vineyard to work.
3 “About nine o’ clock the man went to the marketplace and saw some other people standing there. They were doing nothing. 4 So he said to them, ‘If you go and work in my field, I will pay you what your work is worth.’ 5 So they went to work in the vineyard. “The man went out again about twelve o’clock and again at three o’clock. Both times he hired some others to work in his vineyard. 6 About five o’clock the man went to the marketplace again. He saw some other people standing there. He asked them, ‘Why did you stand here all day doing nothing?’
7 “They said, ‘No one gave us a job.’
“The man said to them, ‘Then you can go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “At the end of the day, the owner of the field said to the boss of all the workers, ‘Call the workers and pay them all. Start by paying the last people I hired. Then pay all of them, ending with the ones I hired first.’
9 “The workers who were hired at five o’clock came to get their pay. Each worker got one silver coin. 10 Then the workers who were hired first came to get their pay. They thought they would be paid more than the others. But each one of them also received one silver coin. 11 When they got their silver coin, they complained to the man who owned the land. 12 They said, ‘Those people were hired last and worked only one hour. But you paid them the same as us. And we worked hard all day in the hot sun.’
13 “But the man who owned the field said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am being fair with you. You agreed to work for one silver coin. Right? 14 So take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same pay I gave you. 15 I can do what I want with my own money. Why would you be jealous because I am generous?’
16 “So those who are last now will be first in the future. And those who are first now will be last in the future.” Matthew 20: 1-16
I’ve always loved this parable because what Jesus is talking about is … within (his) world and within (his) teachings, Jesus shares that the only way to enter heaven is to enter by believing one thing and that is… For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
And, because of the simplicity of who Jesus is, he is sharing that some will be born into the world who arrive early. For whatever reason their heart, mind and spirit don’t need any more proof of his existence, so they believed him. Hence: They will not perish but have everlasting life.
Then there are those who spend much of their life looking for the truth of their life and half-way through (for whatever their reason) they believe Jesus. They believe that he is who he says he is and they too go on and live their everlasting life.
Then there are those who don’t feel the need to believe in anything greater. They don’t want to hear the stories that are written within the Bible. They don’t want to know who Jesus is or listen to who he says he is. Jesus is just a fictional character within the greatest story ever told, but then on the eve of their death a quiet spirit shows up and whispers into their soul and at that very moment they see him… feel him… believe him… and the next moment this same person is living an eternal life with the one who showed up early in life… the one who showed up 1/2 way through their life… and not one of them arrived late.
Now, I happen to believe that there is only one way to heaven. If you believe there are many, that’s fine. It’s your belief, and like I tell other people I’m not as brave as you to believe anything other than what Jesus says, because I believe him. And, if he says he’s the son of God, and there’s not another way to enter heaven than I believe that too. And, what I realized is I don’t believe it because I was taught that. Or because I was raised within a church that told me to believe that. I believe Jesus, because my spirit understands all that he shared during his time on this earth, and because when I read the stories I know the people within them. They are the stories of all of us. I’ve read 25 different versions of the Bible and within the New Testament all Jesus was looking for was the same thing we’re all looking for…
That one person who believes we are who we say we are…
Today I was asked this simple question, “If God didn’t give you the desires of your heart until you were on your death bed… WAS IT WORTH IT?”
“ONWARD BY FAITH!”