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Getting Rewards Right Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
August 18, 2021 1:00 am

Getting Rewards Right Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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August 18, 2021 1:00 am

In a parable, Jesus taught His disciples how rewards are handed out in the kingdom of God. What He taught seems quite unfair. In this message we look beneath the surface of Jesus’ words and discover life-changing truth that upends our innate sense of fairness.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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Erwin Lutzer

The reason for us to Jesus phone number for inability.

Jesus taught his disciples how words are handed out in the kingdom of God.

What you taught seems quite unfair today beneath the surface of the words of Jesus for some life-changing truth that opens our sense of fairness from the Moody Church in Chicago this morning to win with Dr. Sir teaching sauce make it across the finish line vasculature. The lesson we have to take from Matthew chapter 20 really does seem like a bad deal. I hope you could help us understand the date I have to tell you that in the year 1968 I studied Israel and standing before the tomb of Jesus.

The garden tomb.

There was a man who was responsible for the tomb and he preached a message on Matthew chapter 20 the parable that we are going to be discussing.

I remember the passion with which he spoke.

But also remember the point that you are making that it seems very unfair that here you have workers who show up late and are paid the same amount. But Jesus had a very important lesson to teach us. That's why I think it's so important for us to understand this parable and to move on from there. And by the way, we here at the ministry of running to win are so thankful for the many of you who support this ministry and you might want to become what we call an endurance partner, someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. You want more info go to RTW Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337 but now let's listen to the words of Jesus. Let's find out what this parable teaches us for today. I think it would be true to say that our society is obsessed fairness but actually the desire to be fair is in. Born in every human heart. Those of us who have had children know that if you're going to share a cookie with them, or if two children have to share the same cookie you had better audit right down the middle so that it is fair to look at it and they'll say is this fair is this side bigger other.

Now just imagine what it is like when you work for an organization. As many of you I'm sure do and you feel that the pay scale is unfair.

I remember a baggage handler at O'Hare, with whom I was speaking because we had a suitcase that was late and all those things.

He was complaining to me about the fact that those who were in his particular department and those who were the head of the airline. He did some investigation and discovered how much they were being paid and it seemed to be so unfair in comparison to what he was being paid. He said there they are in beautiful offices doing virtually nothing and he said look at their pay scale and he was angry because life is unfair or think of the situation in which you do as much work as somebody else and you get paid less per hour, and of course that is an issue that women have often spoken about and have tried to change the way in which employers and employees work together and the whole issue behind it is. Is it fair now. I think it's wonderful to work toward fairness, but I need to tell you today that if you insist on fairness. If fairness has become your idols, you will be angry you will be filled with envy and you will even be angry with God because a life isn't fair, Jesus told the story which I when you read it for the first time. It seems as if this can owning on fairness. I remember reading it as a child and I wondered what in the world.

Jesus was teaching because you read this parable and it seems as if he's saying it's okay to be on their Jesus in this parable is not giving us a blueprint for how to run a company, but what he is doing is he's after something else. In the parable that at first seems to be a parable that condones unfairness turns out to be life-changing.

If we understand its implications and its teachings. The parable is found in the 20th chapter the 20th chapter of the book of Matthew Matthew chapter 20, but we must understand the context of this parable Jesus in the previous chapter talked to the young ruler who asked what he would do have to do to inherit the kingdom of heaven about what I have to do to rule with you is really what he was asking a Jesus symbol so everything that you have and then come and follow me in, and you'll be able to have that eternal life that you're seeking. Of course that is not the gospel. The gospel is that eternal life is free. Jesus here is talking about something else that has to do with the offer of the kingdom of heaven and what it would take to be rewarded in the kingdom of heaven. But then Peter hears this discussion and Jesus said it is difficult for a rich man to be saved. A difficult because the oftentimes rich people depend upon their money and so this said generate some discussion and Peter being the most American of the apostles says in verse 20 7C we have left everything and followed you.

What then will we have now. Jesus didn't rebuke him for asking that it's okay to ask that question. But Jesus is going to shed some light on this whole business of rewards and what he's going to say is transforming. Indeed, but Jesus said that truly I say to you in the new world in the regeneration when the world is restored and the kingdom is set up, the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on 12 judging the 12 tribes of Israel.

That's to the apostles and then here's a promise to all of us. Verse 29 of chapter 19, and everyone who has left houses are brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my sake will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. That is to say, life and position in the kingdom, but many who are first will be last in the last will be and now comes the parable hope that you're able to follow along in the Bible that is there in the back of the seat in front of you. It's actually page 825. Let's go through this together and see what Jesus teaches about quote fairness, he says, for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of the house and went out early in the morning. That's 6 o'clock in the morning he goes out at 6 o'clock in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. The grape harvest actually begins to ripen and needs to be taken off as a crop in the end of September and after that rain begins. So he goes to a labor exchange board where there are people who gather every morning to see whether not they could get a job that day, day laborers and done, he negotiates the Scripture says, verse two, after agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, which is a good wage. He sent them into his vineyard and going about out the third hour. That's nine in the morning.

He saw others standing in the marketplace and said to them, you go into the vineyard to and whatever is right, I'll give you so they went going out again about the sixth hour the sixth hour would be noon, the ninth hours three in the afternoon. He did the same and about the 11th hour were talking here at five in the afternoon he went out and found others standing and said why do you stand here idle and they said because nobody is tired us. He said you go into the vineyard and they went into the vineyard, but now the day ends at 6 o'clock and it's time to be pay and now the intrigue begins when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last of the first that in itself is a great change wouldn't you pay the people who came at 9 o'clock in the morning or 6 o'clock in the morning first why pay the people who came at 5 o'clock first and then notice it even gets twisted here.

If there's a word like that. If not, I think there is now no notice he says and when those who have been hired at the 11th hour, that's five in the afternoon came shock.

Each of them received a denarius, a full day's wage well know when those who are hired. First, the 6 o'clock people six in the morning. They thought that they would receive more because after all, the man who worked only one hour gets a full day's wages leaving the area to run home to his wife and says mama Mia working to be able to have some steaks tonight.

Look at what this landowner gave me a full day's wage for one hours work, so those who come at 6 o'clock. They think that they should receive more but each of them also received a denarius and on receiving it. They did what often happens when employers ask employees for a meeting to discuss their wages, they rumbled at the master of the house saying these last worked only one hour, and you've made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat and the scorching heat of the day it ain't fair but he replied to one of them friend I'm doing, you know, wrong. Did you not agree with me for it in areas take what belongs to you and go and I choose to give to this last workers I gave to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose, with what belongs to me you begrudging my generosity last will be first in the first last question is how do we interpret this parable. Number one, there are those who say all the denarius is salvation and at the end whether you get saved late in life, whether you get saved early in life doesn't matter. Everybody gets to have an while it is true that whether you're saved early in life were laid. Everybody gets to heaven, but I can't believe that this didn't areas is the ticket to heaven, that it salvation. For one thing we don't work for our salvation. For another thing, I can't imagine waking up in eternity and begrudging the fact that there is some people there whom we think should be there every thought in heaven are you going to say that Jesus said Jesus I can't believe that he made no you know that guy will be saying I can't believe that he made it.

None of that.

I don't think that it salvation.

There are those who say well what it really means is that in the end, no matter how long you serve, whether you're faithful or unfaithful. You're gonna get the same. I don't buy that at all. I think the Bible is very clear that we're going to be judged very thoroughly. Years ago I preached a series of messages on that and that this thorough judgment is going to show that some people are going to be rewarded above other people and they are going to be given more responsibility in the kingdom because of faithfulness or lack thereof.

Those who weren't faithful are not going to receive the same reward everybody in heaven happy everybody contributing to the glory of God. But like a chandelier.

Some bulbs burning more brightly is not true that role going to be rewarded the same. Some people say, well, the only way to look at it is to think that the folks who came at 5 o'clock they worked so hard they did as much work as those who showed up at six in the morning is no evidence in the text that that's true. In fact, when those who came at 6 o'clock in the morning complained and said we have borne the scorching heat of the day the master didn't correct them and say no you're just a bunch of lazy people who didn't do anything all day. Now they worked hard. How then to interpret. I believe that what Jesus is trying to teach in context, is this the Jews who came to the vineyard early because they were chosen by God resented the fact that the Gentiles who showed up later were being blasted more than they thought God should bless people like that because you and I know that God sometimes over blesses certain people that shouldn't be blessed the way in which he blessed and so they resented the fact that that there were those who came to the vineyard late and lo and behold, God is giving them more than they deserve and I think that really the bottom line is this what God is dealing with here with Jesus is dealing with is the attitude with which we serve. And now I'm going to give you three lessons that grow out of this parable. I want you to write them down and each one has an important word that describes the way in which we should serve God, and now it is time for you to write.

I've been talking now you write. First of all number one we should serve God in faith without bargaining without bargaining in faith without bargaining, you notice that to you missed it. I think that one of the keys to this parable is verse two. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his you can just imagine that they were haggling. How much are you got a payment. I'm not going to step into this vineyard until I know up front exactly how much I'm going to get at 6 o'clock. Busy, so he agreed with them for a denarius a day. It's interesting that the others that showed up.

There was no agreement.

Remember he told him he said go into my vineyard and whatever is right, I'll pay you and they trusted the vineyard owner to do right by them. And so as a result of their faith in his goodness he overpaid them. Remember the story in the New Testament about 10 the man by the name of Simeon who invites Jesus into his home.

He wants to check Jesus out to see whether or not he might get some benefit from believing in him or whatever and and as he has this feast of woman of the streets comes and she kneels beside Jesus and she knows that she is deserving of nothing who gets blessed most the person who is shrewd and calculating wants to find out exactly what benefits come to him or the person who says I have no benefits coming to me. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to buy cross cycling that elicits the generosity of God. Don't ever bargain with God, please don't don't say Lord if you give me this job.

I promise you I'm going to start to tie or Lord, I promise you I'm willing to go to Africa as a missionary. If you give me a husband now, you might want to also point out that if you think that way he's going to have to agree to go to.

I would think. Don't don't get into this business of saying God. If you do this all do this if you reward me in this way, I promise I'm gonna reward you. And that what none on the note, in faith believing that God will be generous and serve him wholeheartedly. There is a friend of mine who actually taught me preaching a preaching class at Dallas seminary's name is Haddon Robinson and he had a son by the name of Tori and he likes to tell this story. One day Tori when he was a boy he mowed the lawn in Texas. The hot Texas sun, and he came in and said dad he said I have mowed the lawn, which is to say, being interpreted penne so his father said to him, will Tori how much you think it's worth.

He said all I don't know he said is an Atlanta fathers trying to get the sun to name a price that he won't. Finally he said to him, why don't you give a price as to what you think it is worth for you to mow the lawn and then the boy said that his dad I would rather have you make the decision because I know you'll give me more than I asked for God is generous. Don't bargain with him before you go into the vineyard. Don't be a legalist and Sable thought, if I do this thing you that just just serve him in faith and he will do right by you. I can assure you there's a second lesson that we must learn.

Yeah, thank you. And that is we must serve him in submission is very important. Now this gets to our hearts. Sin is going to be revealed in your heart. Very shortly to get ready for our right serve in submission without and the serve in submission without an now you'll notice here that the folks who showed up at 6 o'clock they were envious because the ones who showed up at five got the same as they did, and there's nothing that elicits envy in our hearts more than the feeling that we are being treated unfairly and seeing somebody else being last more than we think they should be blessed, this is Pastor Luther.

I could tell you that Jesus Christ explodes the notion of fairness, the emphasis on fairness in our society.

Of course we should always strive to be fair, but life often is not there.

So in order for us to be able to serve the Lord with freedom. We have to be free from that sin of envy. Whenever I preach this message. I have to tell you it speaks to my heart and I believe that it speaks to yours as well. Would you like to help us here at the ministry of running to when we are in more than 20 different countries in three different languages. We ask that you consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Of course you need more info. So here's what you can do.

Go to RTW

Of course, RTW offers all one word RTW when you there.

Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 now perhaps I gave you that information to quickly.

So here it is again you can go to RTW Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and I know for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life. We listens to running to win on BBN 91.1 in South Carolina.

He says in a recent radio broadcasts dealing with David's sin with Bathsheba. You mentioned how God blessed David with wives plural if David's multiple wives were a blessing from God. How can we argue that the Bible defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. How could God bless someone with something that's against his plan bully. I want you to know that you have asked your question very well. You've pinpointed an issue that is been a matter of discussion really throughout many years, but first of all let me say that when we argue that the Bible teaches one man one woman marriage. We have to go back to the beginning Genesis, God clearly states that and also in the Old Testament book of Proverbs. For example, you have an emphasis on one man and one woman. Now it is true that in the Old Testament God tolerated polygamy and that this was done I think is a concession to the culture, but interestingly and perhaps I misspoke if you're quoting me correctly on a previous broadcast.

Interestingly, nowhere is polygamy approved by God explicitly one could argue that it was approved implicitly. Nowhere is that stated so in the Old Testament. It was something that God put up with.

But also notice everyone who had multiple wives, all of the difficulties that were created as a result, there is no easy relationships here. Brokenness fills the pages of the Bible in those stories where a man had more than one wife. And so what we need to do is to realize though that the original regulation of God confirmed by the way, in the New Testament in several different places is one man for one woman, and that has to be upheld within the marriage relationship is God's ideal and God's expected ideal, particularly during this era. Some wise words from Dr. Erwin lutes or thank you Dr. lutes are if you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to our and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to is running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life in God's kingdom chooses to give some more than others, more abilities, more money, better health, you might be asking is this fair next time I'm running to win more from Matthew chapter 20 will come to realize that it's the giver makes the call and not the receiver. Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin lutes or this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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