Sweat Equity and the Kingdom of Heaven

In my Christian walk I have encountered a difference between each brother/sister, and a same-ness.  Can one Christian be more saved than another?

We are the same in at least one major factor.  We share in the blood of Christ.  I am not speaking of death on the cross, I am speaking of the blood of the living Christ that flows through Him just as it flows through each one of us.  This precious blood gives us everlasting life and unites us unquestionably, and irrevocably one to another.  Just as our physical blood is active and essential throughout our body, the precious blood of Christ is active and essential in our souls, cleansing, bringing us precious spiritual oxygen, and ensuring our life everlasting.

Each Christian is different and unique in that we experience this blood in our souls in different ways, and at different times of our life.  In the beginning of our Christian walk, we may have trouble sensing this commodity, if it can be called that.  As we mature as Christians, we may sense the essence of God with enough for ourselves and enough to share with our brethren.  Yet, we experience the same God through the blood of Jesus Christ.  We are all welcome to salvation, the realization of God working in our lives.

Some may ask how I know this.  Or they may ask for scripture to back this up.  I would point to the parable Jesus told of the day labor workers.  In Matthew 20:1-16 Jesus says:

“The kingdom of Heaven is like this.  There was once a landowner who went out early one morning to hire laborers for his vineyard and after agreeing to pay them the usual day’s wage, he sent them off to work.  Going out three hours later he saw some more men standing idle in the market-place.  “Go and join the others in the vineyard, “ he said, “ and I will pay you a fair wage”; so off they went.  At noon he went out again, and at three in the afternoon, and made the same arrangement as before.  An hour before sunset he went out and found another group standing there; so he said to them, “Why are you standing about like this all day with nothing to do?”  “Because no one has hired us,” they replied; so he told them, “Go and join the others in the vineyard. “ When evening fell, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, “Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with those who came last and ending with the first.”   Those who had started work an hour before sunset came forward and were paid the full day’s wage.   When it was the turn of the men who had come first, they expected something extra, but were paid the same amount as the others.  As they took it, they grumbled at their employer:  “These late-comers have done only one hour’s work, yet you have put them on a level with us, who have sweated the whole day long in the blazing sun!”  The owner turned to one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unfair to you.  You agreed on the usual wage for the day, did you not?  Take your pay and go home.  I choose to pay the last man the same as you.  Surely I am free to do what I like with my own money.  Why be jealous because I am kind?”  Thus will the last be first, and the first last.”

I would love nothing better than to give a full explanation of the above parable; however, I will allow the symbolism of the vineyard, (the production of wine) and the blood of Christ to suffice.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there is equality, and there is sweat equity involved with salvation.  Yet, in the eyes of God, through Christ, our compensation is the same.  I take comfort in this fact every hour of every day.

W.S.

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