The Two Sons
By David J. Stewart
Matthew 21:29, “He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.”
The Lord tells a story about two sons, one who had a bad attitude and refused to obey His father; but he afterward repented and obeyed, going out into the field to work in the harvest. In sharp contrast, the second son had a good attitude, saying that he would obey the father, but he never went to work in the field.
Many professed Christians seem to have a wonderful attitude, but they never lift a finger for God. Other Christians may seem rude, harsh or unfriendly by their uncompromisingly stand against sin, but they are getting the job done. Someone may smile and be nice to you, but refuse to help you when you need it the most. Yet, another person who is grumpy, insulting and doesn't seem to like you will come through and befriend you greatly in time of need. You never know when it comes to people. Don't judge people by their attitude. The Bible says that open rebuke is better than secret love (Proverbs 27:5). When all is said and done, our attitude doesn't mean anything, good or bad, if we fail to fulfil God's will for our life.
A Lesson About Salvation: A Good Man Lost, But A Bad Man Saved
Although there are many applications of the story of the two sons, within context Jesus uses this story to teach about Heaven. The Pharisees said all the right things in public. They dressed like religious people. They acted like religious people. Outwardly they seemed very moral. However, they failed to obey the Word of God concerning faith in Christ. On the inside they were very immoral and filthy, saturated with hatred, dishonesty and lusts. Jesus said that the Pharisees and scribes were as whited coffins filled with rotting dead man's bones. Matthew 23:27, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.”
In sharp contrast, the harlots and publicans had horrible attitudes, living in open sin; yet they were saved and on their way to Heaven by faith in Jesus Christ. The reason why is because the harlots and publicans realized their sinful condition and need for the redeeming Savior. The self-righteous Pharisees trusted in their own goodness and keeping of the law. But the sinners in town knew they were sinners, and many believed on the Lord and were saved by faith in the Gospel. The lesson which the Lord is teaching is very clear, that is, many good people are going to Hell, and many bad people are going to Heaven! You see, no one gets to Heaven because they are good. No one is good. We are saved by GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS through faith that is in Christ...
Romans 3:20-24, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
The Lord teaches us to look beyond the outward appearance. Biblically, there will be murderers, adulterers and thieves in Heaven, because they've repented toward God by faith in Christ Jesus. Yet there will be religious people, ministers and devout churchgoers splitting Hell wide open, because they've never been born-again. Jesus plainly commanded in John 3:5-7, “Ye must be born again.” There are NO EXCEPTIONS! Most of the changes that we see happening in churches today is nothing more than behavior modification. Salvation is NOT reformation, nor is it rehabilitation, nor is it education, nor is it legislation; but rather, REGENERATION!!! YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN!
There are many people who join a religious group and become falsely secure in their membership. They are trusting in some manmade organization to get them to Heaven, instead of trusting upon the Lord. There are many paths to destruction in Hell, but there's only one path to eternal life, and that is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Salvation is God's free gift to mankind, paid for by the precious blood of His dear only begotten Son. All of the entertainment in today's apostate churches is a demonic smokescreen, a deception, leading people astray into social meetings, Country clubs and Rock concerts instead of the New Testament Church. A Biblical church is centered around the preaching of the inspired Words of God, and not upon music or entertainment. Most people despise Bible preaching these days.
Many people join a church to find balance in their life, so they get RELIGION! But religion is NOT salvation! The son with the optimistic and good attitude failed to do the will of the Father. There are a lot of goofy positive thinkers today behind pulpits, like Joel Osteen; but he ignores the Doctrine of Christ (the virgin birth, Christ's deity, Jesus' literal blood sacrifice, Christ's bodily resurrection, Jesus' sinless life, the Lord's Second Coming, et cetera). You'll never hear Joel Osteen warn his congregation that they'll burn in Hell if they don't get saved. In typical apostate form he gives some wishy-washy invitation after his aired show for viewers to receive Jesus as Lord of their life. Joel Osteen has marketed his big cheesy smile, while letting the world go to Hell in unbelief. More people have gone to Hell under the excuse of ecumenical cooperation and love than probably any other reason.
Doctrine Of Christ Is Missing From Today's Preaching
We hear a lot of theological garbage from televangelists. They're not getting the job done for God. They are helping Satan to blind men's eyes from the light of the Gospel that saves. We are living in a stiffnecked and untoward, crooked, generation of pleasure-seekers. 2nd Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” That's the Rick Warren crowd. That's the Pat Robertson crowd. That's the Joel Osteen crowd! The Doctrine of Christ is missing!!!
I have met many Roman Catholics with good attitudes, who are kind and decent people; yet, they were still unsaved and headed for the Lake of Fire in their many sins...
Matthew 21:28-31, “But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
The world's churches today are filled with self-willed and self-righteous unsaved people. They have churchianity without Christianity! They have religion without truth! God the Father is willing to forgive the vilest sinner who will repent toward Him by faith in Jesus, the Christ, to be forgiven of sins. Repentance is a matter of acknowledging our sinnership and trusting upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.
Our churches are filled with empty positive people these days, who do absolutely nothing for God. I've visited Baptist churches where they had a band. The congregation closed their eyes, put their hands in the air and enjoyed some emotional experience as they repeated over and over today's apostate music... praise, praise, praise, love, love, love, blah, blah, blah. This is Rick Warren's nightmare come true... The Purpose Driven Strife! That's Warren's satanic philosophy... remove the old hymns and mourner's alter and instead bring in all forms of entertainment. Who would have thought that the very churches intended to keep our nation righteous would be subverted by Satan and used instead to destroy our country. America's pulpits are dead! Billy Sunday saw the churches dying 100 years ago...
“It would be a godsend if the Church would suffer persecution today; she hasn't suffered it for hundreds of years. She is growing rich and lagging behind. Going back.”
SOURCE: Billy Sunday, The Need for Revivals, From "Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message,”
by William T. Ellis, Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1914
That was 99 years ago when Billy Sunday spoke those powerful words. Today, in 2013, the churches are GONE!!! Today's churches follow the sinful world, asking people what they want to get them to come to church. Joel Osteen gives people what they want... a non-offensive, smiling, friendly, everything's ok, apostate minister. Osteen makes excuses for his apostasy. God is looking for some real preachers who will cry aloud against the wickedness of this rotten generation, not drive his kids to a Miley Cyrus concert.
The father was not pleased with the son who had the good attitude, because in the end that son dropped the ball and failed to fulfill his duty. The rebellious son afterward repented and went to do his father's will, thus pleasing him. It matters not how sinful you are my friend, God will forgive and save you if you'll receive Christ's death, burial and resurrection as full-payment for your sins. And likewise, it matters not how good you may think you are, you will burn in the fires of Hell forever if you die in your sins without Jesus Christ.
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