8. Eleventh Hour Workers

In Your Bible Read This

Matthew 20

Here Is Your Memory Verse

I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121.1

Afterwards Talk About This

Would you risk being an eleventh-hour worker? If God called you to go into his vineyard but you did not know where the money was coming from would you dare to go?

Something To Do Before Next Time

Write a drama sketch illustrating the full story of Lazarus and the rich man, and see if you can rehearse it and present it in the churches. Put a sting in the tail about Christian beggars.

Written Diploma Work

Talk to different pastors and evangelists and ask them in confidence to tell you their stories of God’s faithfulness to them. Write a two page report.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse

Luke 15.31

Spend a Minute to Change the World

Pray For Ethiopia – 53,000,000. Nilotic peoples ruined by famine, wars and Marxism. One of the oldest nations, Christian from 4th century, now 58%.

Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.

Why Eleventh Hour Workers?

In, Matthew 20, 1-15 is the story told by Jesus about workers who were hired at various times of the day. Some were hired at dawn, others later in the day and all were promised their wages. But the workers hired at the 11th hour, the end of the day were simply told to go and work in the vineyard with no promise of wages. They had to trust that their master would be fair, and they were not disappointed.

God Is Generous And Willing

The master says, “I am generous,” Matthew 20,15, reflecting the true nature of our Heavenly Father. In the parable of the prodigal son, Luke 15, 11-31, when the elder brother displays such a bitter, mean attitude, verses 28-30, the father again reveals God’s generous and kind heart, verse 31.

According to God’s prophetic clock it is 11.55 p.m. and at 12 midnight the Lord Jesus returns. So many of the eleventh hour workers that God calls to the final harvest will have no fixed wages either, but no-one will be disappointed. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do. You can learn from others because many have walked down this 2000 year old road of faith God is very experienced at keeping his people and what has been done before, will be done again. Ecc. 1.9.

How Does An 11th Hour Worker Live?

It is very expensive to live in today’s world, but living is not the point. God’s standard is that we have enough for ourselves and a very great deal more to give to others. 2 Corinthians 9,8-11. It is possible and here are some of the popular options –

You Can Pursue The Classic Model

Basically this is, “My church provides everything for me so that I can go.” This is the classic western model of paying church leaders and supporting missionaries. Their work has touched more than half the world in the last 200 years and we thank God for the churches who made it possible.

But there is a big problem because this model is not possible in most developing world churches. They have ample manpower for missions but very little money is coming in to pay their willing evangelists, pastors and missionaries.

So not everyone can look forward to being sent out with a salary. In any event there would never be enough for all the willing men and women who want to serve the Lord in the developing world. What else can they do?

A Popular Alternative: The Lazarus Model

Lazarus in Luke 16, 19-22 was a beggar who was covered in hurts and sores and spent every day watching for a rich man to come out of his door. Now Lazarus believed in God because when he died he was taken to Abraham’s bosom, but the rich man did not believe and when he died he went to hell.

What Do Beggars Get?

Sores and wounds from unjust neglect. They are despised, people avoid eye contact with them. In any event beggars only ever get a few coins thrown at them.

Is It Really Worth It?

A lot of pastors especially in the developing world have also adopted the Lazarus method of fund raising. They write letters to people in the West telling a sad story and send photos to add to the arm-twisting. They portray Christ with his hands out begging instead of with his arms outstretched to redeem a world of men in their greater need. Their Jesus can save the world but cannot afford a meal for his servant.

One Day The Beggar Died

Luke 16.22. If by any chance he is still alive in your heart, put him back in his grave where he belongs. Today.

By the way can you spot the deliberate mistake in this verse from Psalm 121. It is amazing how many people say it like this –

“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the West, the owner of heaven and earth? “

Did you spot the mistake? Our help only ever comes from the Lord. So it is eyes off the West, and off anyone else and eyes fixed on Jesus, from where our help will come from. In any event not one of your stories may move the West to help, but one word from Jesus will.

The Hireling

You can meet this man in John 10, 11-15. This man takes the job of shepherd, or pastor, for the money and the title, not because he cares for the sheep. He is a false shepherd because when the wolf of adversity comes, he runs away and leaves the sheep to perish. Many good churches have been ruined by such men.

Join Us And We Will Buy You A Bike!

Some big churches tempt village church pastors to join them for money. Only hirelings ever take their flock to another master, so if anyone comes with an offer like that, tell him that you are not for sale. There is not enough money in all the world to buy a real man of God.

Where Will You Find The Money?

We will talk about this in detail soon but here is an important principle to really learn by heart. In John 5,1-9 you will meet a man who had been disabled and in-valid for a long time. When asked, he gave three common reasons to say that he could not do anything or go anywhere –

  1. I have no-one to help me.
  2. I am trying, but
  3. Someone else always gets the blessing ahead of me. (NIV)

It was true for him, and it may be true for you, and it is true for many more people too, but like him you also have Jesus speaking to you. He heard the Lord, obeyed, got up and walked out into a useful life by the grace of God.

To Close Pray for the World’s Most Unreached Peoples by Name

Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.

Laos

People Name Language Population
Hani Hani 30,000
Lor Lor 10,000
Pacoh (Bo) Pacoh 21,000
Shan (Thai Yai) Shan 24,000
Sila Sila 22,000
Tai, White (Thai Trang) Tai Don 38,000
Thai Nung Nung 2 47,000
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