Today let’s look at Matthew chapter 20 about the parable Jesus taught about the Kingdom of heaven.  There’s a lot we need to look at here about the attitude of our heart.  And it’s been this way for a long, long time, for Jesus dealt with it over 2,000 years ago.
Mat 20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
Mat 20:2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
Mat 20:3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
Mat 20:4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
Mat 20:5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
Mat 20:6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
Mat 20:7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
Mat 20:8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
Mat 20:9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
Mat 20:10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
Mat 20:11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
Mat 20:12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
Mat 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?
Mat 20:14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
Mat 20:15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
Mat 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Exactly what do YOU come away with after reading this?  Think about it for a while.  Now there will be those who have served God from an early age, perhaps been on many mission trips, given up comforts and material goods, all in the name of keeping an uncluttered life so as to be able to keep their focus on serving God.  And there are those who are saved and converted somewhat later in life, who have wholeheartedly served God since then, and then there are those who will be saved on their deathbed.

We may find it hard to believe, but there will be some who have served God their whole lives will be upset that they gave up so much to serve Him, while the drunk driver receives salvation as his last dying act in the back of an ambulance.  I mean, after all, is that fair that BOTH receive the same gift of eternal life?  Well, after reading that parable, I find that God indeed is NOT FAIR.
How can it be fair that Jesus was crucified, who did no sin, to pay for the sins that I committed, or that YOU committed?  It isn’t fair.  How can it be fair that you or I receive eternal life, when all our sins call for eternal death for us?  Again, not fair at all.  We have EARNED death and hell, and yet God saw it fit to lay OUR punishment upon Christ Jesus.  UNFAIR!  UNFAIR!   How can God be just in that?

How can God then be fair in giving the repenting drunk salvation, and not take note of the servant who “bore the burden and heat of the day” as Jesus spoke of?  The answer is very simple:  the LORD once told me, “Jerry, don’t confuse my gifts with my rewards.  My GIFT to you is an abode in My Kingdom, but if you want any furniture in your abode, you must work for it.” WOW! That put it in terms I could well understand.  You see, I used to fix furniture for a living, so that really struck home for me.

The King James Bible says in John 14:1-3:
Joh 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

The Greek says In my Father’s house are many OFFICES, or ABODES, or DWELLING PLACES.  Sorry, it doesn’t mention MANSIONS.  But what good is an empty office, or abode, or dwelling place without “furniture”?  Jesus said He goes and prepares a place for you.  Now, will you move into an empty dwelling, or a furnished one?  Remember, the dwelling place is His GIFT to you, and you can’t earn it.  You can only earn the “furnishings”.  So the drunk who received salvation on his deathbed will have an empty dwelling place, while the one who has served will have furnishings according to his or her service.   I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have an empty dwelling place in God’s kingdom than the alternative address in the warmer climate.
This last verse of the parable really gets me to asking God to search my heart and help me have the right attitude:
Mat 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Did you see that?  MANY CALLED BUT FEW CHOSEN? Only those whose heart is right toward God will be CHOSEN.  That means, you will have no problem with those who slide into the Kingdom of heaven by the skin of their teeth, while you yourself have sacrificed much for the LORD.  Why?  Remember the FURNITURE?  Yeah, because all who are chosen will receive the very same GIFT; that is eternal life, and it is God’s to give, can He not do with His as He desires, without us giving Him a hard time over it?  You see, God indeed DOES know your heart.  So, will you be one of the chosen few?

Truthfully, I don’t care whether I’m last or first, just as long as I’m chosen.  Whatever changes God needs to make in my heart in order for me to be there, I am most willing for Him to make.  As I taught in a previous letter, according to the words of Jesus, FEW will be chosen.  Let’s have a look at what He said and go from there:

Luk 13:18  Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?
Luk 13:19  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
Luk 13:20  And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?
Luk 13:21  It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Luk 13:22  And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
Luk 13:23  Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
Luk 13:25  When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
Luk 13:26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
Luk 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
Luk 13:28  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
Luk 13:29  And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
Luk 13:30  And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

I’m writing a long letter today, because this is a very serious issue, and time is short.  Rather than me writing my opinion, which really doesn’t matter anyway, I’d much rather show you what Jesus said, for He is the one who died and was resurrected to buy your salvation.  These scriptures are no laughing matter.  MANY who think they will be saved will NOT be.  The word MANY used in verse 24 translates to “the majority of” in the Greek.  Now THAT’S SCARY!  Why would Jesus say, “I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”?

Many of those people sit next to you at church each week, they say the right stuff, look right, but JESUS said He doesn’t know them.  There must be a reason.  Ask yourself, Is He talking about ME?  If your heart tells you “YES”, then you have the unique opportunity to get it right with Him right now.  I can’t save you, my friend, only Jesus can.  He said in John 14:6, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. He is not A way, but rather THE way, the ONLY way, and THE life.  You don’t have to please ME, but you DO have to please JESUS in order to be one of His chosen.

As I said earlier, first or last, it makes me no difference: I just want to be in His kingdom.  But what about you?  Will YOU be there? Is His offer to save you and give you a place in His kingdom worth more than anything else you could ever desire?  Only you can answer that one. Jesus is very particular who will be in His kingdom. There are only a FEW spots available, given according to our love for Him.