Monday, April 18, 2011

Punching Your Timecard

Have you ever thought about people who make "deathbed conversions?" People who are dying and, with their very last breath, genuinely give their lives to Christ.

Doesn't seem fair sometimes, does it?

Here we are, trying to live Christiany lives and be all Christ-like, while they get to live like hellions and still get into Heaven under the gun! It's so not fair!

Yeah, that's not true. It's totally fair.

Go read Matthew 20:1-16. I'll wait.

This passage is fascinating. All the workers, no matter how long or how short they worked, received a denarius. That's what they were promised, and that's what they got. Even though everyone got what they were promised, the ones who worked longer were jealous and angry. Shouldn't they have more? They did more work!

This whole eternal life thing is kind of like that. When we give our lives to Christ, that's the reward. That's the promise. We're all promised the same thing. We don't get a note that says, "OK, Rachel. You've clocked a lot of hours. Since you gave your life to me when you were ten, you're going to get two eternal lives. Betsy over here was 65 when she gave me her life, so she only gets the one. She's a less good and faithful servant than you, Rachel."

Yeah, that doesn't even make sense.

There's just the one reward. And waiting until the last minute comes with its own set of troubles:
  1. You don't know when your dying breath will be. You could be living your life like a crazy person and thinking to yourself, "Aw, I'll give my life to Christ when I'm done having fun." But you could die before that happens. Not all of us will have the time afforded by a long, slow illness. Some of us will have quick, sudden deaths that don't afford us the time to make things right with our Creator. You're gambling with your soul on that one.
  2. I've gone through some pretty rough patches in my day. There was a time I walked away from my faith in my early 20s—still saying I was a Christian but not resembling that remark in any way. When I finally came back to Christ a few years later, the guilt was crushing. I can't imagine that compounded over a lifetime. The earlier you give your life to Christ, the more freedom you'll feel throughout the course of your life. You'll feel guilty at times, but that's the Holy Spirit showing you when you need to repent. But you've got grace now. The guilt can't crush you when you've got God's abundant grace as a cushion.
Can a death row murderer get into Heaven? Yes. Is it possible Hitler is there? I guess. Doesn't seem fair sometimes, but we have to believe that God is just—the Bible says it like a million times. He doesn't want anyone to perish, but he wants all of us to come to repentance. He loves even the most unlovable among us.

Which is a good thing. I've done some pretty unlovable things in my day. I'm glad we all have a shot at Heaven—and I'm glad he wants all of us there.

Have you ever been angry with people who have found Jesus later in life?

10 comments:

  1. Hi Rachel. I suppose its abit like the prodigal son's brother. Bit nose out of joint. I agree with all you've said. I dont have a problem worrying about random people who get into heaven at their last breath. Its those who have hurt me or my family. They're the ones who if they make it could dent my frame. But if I pray them into heaven, maybe I will be delighted? That sort of covers the whole pray for your enemies thing. I have been praying for a certain enemy and it does not take long for anger and hurt to turn to pity and sympathy, and then onto a desire to 'get them into heaven?'I'm at feeling sorry for them now instead of wanting to run them over if I see them. (metophorically of course)
    Great post
    God bless
    TKT

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  2. If ever I get angry because someone who found Christ later than me is treated the same I hope I'll look back upon my own human failures and remember how God accepted me when I was broken.

    I don't concern myself with that frankly because holding negative thoughts such as these would detract me from living God's will and sharing His love.

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  3. I love this truth. thanks rachel.

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  4. Wow, totally relate to #2... And last Saturday my small group discussed this passage as it related to contentment (whining, actually, which is what the dudes who worked all day did a bit of there). It's a good reminder to be content with focusing on my own walk and commitment and let God be God with others how He chooses.

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  5. My uncle accepted Christ the day before he died. I am so thrilled to know that I will see him in eternity! He payed an earthly price for the life he lived, and died early of alcoholic liver failure. It is just so thrilling to know that he is whole again.

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  6. Powerful thoughts here, Rachel. I love this line (and the truth it's based on): "But you've got grace now. The guilt can't crush you when you've got God's abundant grace as a cushion."

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  7. I wouldn't say angry-I would say sad. It reminds me of people who only resolve differences at the end of their lives and don't have a chance to enjoy that relationship.

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  8. Hi Rachel!
    Did you think I fell off the face of the earth? No, I'm still here and I finally came by to let you know that.

    My 95 year old uncle gave his life to Christ just months before he died. He was cantankerous, at times hostile, but I was so happy when he accepted Christ. I know that we are ALL saved by grace. None of us deserves it.

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  9. Once again, you have given me a lot to think about! Sometimes I let myself think I am more deserving than others. *hangs head in shame*

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  10. Grace, grace and more grace. Some say there should be balance between grace and the law but there can never be too much grace. We aren't under the law anymore according to God's Word but under grace. So no matter when or under what circumstances a person comes to Christ it gives me joy. Praise God He gave me a second chance, heck praise God He gave me A single chance to accept His Son as my Savior. I am one of those "who has been forgiven much" so I love much and try to extend grace to all because i cannot judge the fruit of another.

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