Sermonette for Saturday

For the kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. Matthew 20:1

Two young men had a good idea for a business, and went about developing their idea. They hired a few good workers to help them as they got started. Because they believed their ideas would grow into a large enterprise, the owners of the business urged the workers to make plans that would work well as the business grew. Those early employees established working conditions and policies that were designed for large numbers of workers. As the company grew, those conditions and policies proved to be very valuable, protecting the company from the growing pains that affect many expanding enterprises. When the business became a huge, international organization, the owners paid tribute to the excellent foundation laid by those early employees. Our text reminds us of the early members of the kingdom of Heaven.

The great organization that we refer to as the Body of Christ had some excellent early workers. The disciples did some stumbling and struggling during the Lord’s years of ministry, but they learned their lessons, and were ready to assume leadership roles when the day of Pentecost was come. Their doctrines and teaching and guidance were of immeasurable help to the early Christian companies. The early missionaries and preachers provided the initiative for the Great Commission to take the Gospel to the world. The apostles such as Paul and the writers of the Gospels gave us the New Testament Scriptures. We owe much to these early morning hires in the vineyard of Christianity.

But there is another group of early morning hires who are important to those of us in God’s Assemblies. During the centuries since the early days of Christianity, many of the precious truths of the gatherings of the Lord’s people were lost to the evils of clerisy and the darkness of Rome. Even the great reformers such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin remained embedded in the religious systems and practices of their day. But in the early 1800s, a few godly men began to see the error of the established churches and began exploring the Scriptures for the truth concerning God’s plan for the gatherings of His people. During the next few decades, these men identified those principles of Scripture that applied to this great subject, and established Assemblies that matched the pattern of the Word of God. Despite occasional upheavals and schisms over the years, the work of those early labourers continues today. The principles that they rediscovered are the basis for the operation of your Assembly.

We ought to read about those early pioneers, so that we might appreciate how much we owe to the early morning labourers in the vineyard of God’s Assembly. -Jim MacIntosh

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