Why Stand Ye Here Idle?
by David J. Stewart
“...Why stand ye here all the day idle?” —Matthew 20:6
In Matthew 20:6 Jesus tells a parable, likening the kingdom of Heaven to a man who hired servants to labor. There was much work to be done and time was running out. The householder saw a group of people standing idle and asked them, “Why stand ye here idle?”
The Lord asks this question today to every believer who is sitting-on-the-premises, instead of standing-on-the-promises! Soul-winning is not a quaint suggestion, nor a commission for the clergy; it is a Biblical commands, a royal decree from our great King, Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:15, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Clearly, God wants all believers to have beautiful feet that bring the gospel to lost sinners. It is very interesting that the Bible does not call the believer's “lips” beautiful. No, rather, God calls the “feet” beautiful, because even the most eloquent and wise words are totally useless if one has lazy feet. The Bible teaches for believers to “GO YE” into all the world and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone (Matthew 28:19-20). It is with one's feet that the gospel is carried to the lost.
I've known believers who possessed a wealth of Scriptural knowledge, but never lifted a finger to win anyone to Christ. That is NOT Biblical Christianity. God isn't interested in deeper-lifer believers who never do more for Christ than fill 18" of pew every Sunday. I speak to saved Christians. Why stand ye here idle?
The Bible tells us in Proverb 11:30 that “he that winneth souls is wise.” Luke 8:15 tells us that believers with “an honest and good heart” win souls to Christ. There is no escaping the plain Biblical command to be a soul-winner. Certainly, we cannot make anyone get saved; but our duty is simply to preach the gospel. 1st Corinthians 3:7,“So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” The hardest part about soul-winning is getting past the “GO YE” part, because most believers are choked by the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life (Luke 8:14). Why stand ye here idle?
Are you idle oh Christian? Does the Lord ask you today why you are doing NOTHING for God? We ought to become so busy trying to win souls to Christ that we don't have time to focus on our problems, enemies, or hurt feelings in life. So many believers are busy criticizing the way the battle is being fought, when they ought to be out on the battlefield helping to win the war for the Lord. Someone has to be on the frontlines for God. Most believers are hiding within the four walls of their church building.
Years ago a Christian man sent me a video of himself preaching like Billy Sunday. It was impressive. He had stained-glass windows behind him in the back of his church, and he was preaching all alone. I wrote him back and said I would promote the video if he preached the same way, with the same fervor, and with the same message on a busy street-corner with hundreds of people passing by. I never heard from him again. You see friend, all of the Biblical knowledge, ministerial abilities, and prayer meetings in the world mean absolutely nothing if we don't “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).
God Said He Wants His House Filled
A church member once criticized her pastor for trying to reach a certain number of attendees on Sunday. She said that God is not interested in numbers. The pastor wisely replied to the woman, “God may not be interested in numbers, but He sure ain't interested in empty pews lady.” God said in Luke 14:23 that He wants His house “filled.” What are you doing to reach the lost for Christ? Are you idle, sitting on your blessed ASSurance? Well, get busy for God before it's too late, Jesus may return today!!! What will the Master of the house find you doing when He returns?
Come out of your church closet and start doing something for God! We can only work while it is daytime Jesus said (John 9:4). Once the Lord takes us home, then our opportunity is gone forever to win souls to Christ. Once the Rapture happens, it's over and our opportunity will be gone forever. You and I friend have a once-in-an-eternity opportunity, RIGHT NOW, to take a stand for God, proclaim the truth, and win lost souls to Christ Jesus with the gospel (Romans 1:16).
Believers who are idle now will weep bitter tears of regret in Heaven, when they fully realize that they never lifted a finger for God in this earthly life, and multitudes of souls went to Hell because of it. Is that what you want? Your degree of faith in God is measured by what you are doing for Him now. Whereas Noah spent 120 painstaking years building an ark by faith, most believers today won't lift a plank for God. Where is your faith? Everything that you sacrifice and give up for God in this life is by faith.
Our Reasonable Service
I'm not talking about salvation. Eternal life is a free gift, paid for by Jesus' literal, physical, precious blood (1st Peter 1:18-19; 1st John 1:7; Revelation 1:5). Salvation is receiving, not giving. I'm not talking about being saved. The moment that a person repents toward God to be forgiven of their sins by faith in Christ Jesus, their destiny is forever sealed. I'm talking to believers who are already saved. God forgave your sins and saved you. Your salvation is secure in the PROMISES of God (Titus 1:2). Romans 12:1 pleads with you to present, voluntarily, your life to God as a living sacrifice, to do God's will, which is your REASONABLE service. Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your REASONABLE SERVICE.”
God wants us to walk in the Spirit, and to preach the gospel, and to abide in the Scriptures. Since God saved us freely and eternally; God simply requests that we live for Him. It is NOT necessary for salvation; but is commanded as the honest and good thing to do (Luke 8:15). 1st Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” That price is Christ's body and blood given for us. Christ gave His all to redeem us from sin, death, and judgment in Hell. The honest thing for us to do is live for God.
This has nothing to do with the gift of salvation; but rather, it is God's reasonable expectation for those He has redeemed. God will not take away your salvation if you refuse; but souls will go to Hell that you failed to warn, you will give account to God for disobeying Him, and you will lose your rewards at the judgment Seat of Christ, facing the terror of the Lord for your wasted life here on earth (2nd Corinthians 5':11). 1st Corinthians 7:23, “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” It is a matter of gratitude on our part, and of wanting to do the honest and right thing. So many believers receive the free gift of eternal life and then forget about God. That is like the 10 lepers whom Jesus healed and 9 of them didn't even bother to thank Jesus. Most believers today are ingrates like the 9 healed lepers.
The World is Going to Hell
The world is going to hell in a wheel-barrow. Very few Believers are concerned about the souls of those around them. I heard a deadbeat, neo-evangelical, minister once make a horrible slanderous statement about soul-winners. He said, “I don't believe in shoving the gospel down people's throats.” He also said, “I don't believe in churches that put cows up on the roof to get people into church.” That man is a fool.
The Bible compels us to win souls to Jesus...
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverb 11:30)
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19,20)
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men...” (2nd Corinthians 5:11)
If a church promotion will bring lost sinners to church to hear the gospel, I say amen. If caring about someone enough to confront them about the eternal destiny of their soul makes me offensive, so be it. People do usually get offended when you tell them that they're on their way to Hell. If we don't warn them, then who will? If not us, who? If not now, when? If not here, where?
How To Win A Soul To Christ