One of the most compelling parables, told by Jesus, in the entire New Testament, is about His view of your having been a sinner for many years, perhaps too many to appear to be “redeemable.” Again, every man is a sinner; every man needs forgiveness, so no one is picking on you personally. This writer and every reader of these words is a sinner in need of forgiveness and the number of years that you have been an unredeemed sinner is of no consequence! Listen.
Matthew 20:1-16 (NKJ)
1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
2 “Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 “And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4 “and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went.
5 “Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.
6 “And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’
7 “They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’
8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’
9 “And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.
10 “But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius.
11 “And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner,
12 “saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?
14 ‘Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.
15 ‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
It does not matter how long you serve the Lord. It does not matter that you came to the vineyard to serve Him very late in life. From a human perspective, we can not understand this scenario, at all. We fail to see the breadth and depth of God’s mercy and patience. The fact that His hand is outstretched to you, if you have not yet been cleansed and made ready for the “marriage,” is in itself, a miracle of God. God wants to redeem you as His child, wrapped in the perfection of the Lamb of God, just as you, if you are an earthly father, want your child to be in eternity with the Father.
By the way, trying to get your act together in order to be “acceptable” to God, is an idea based upon a huge misunderstanding. If you think that you can “work” your way into acceptability and God will like you better without all of the baggage of sin you are carrying, you are wrong. Wrong to think you can defeat sin by yourself and wrong to think God only cares for the “righteous.” Listen.
Luke 15:7 (NKJ)
7 “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
Those who think they “need no repentance” are those who think of themselves as “just” persons. There is only One who is Just, One who is good and that One is our Lord and Savior, Our God.