That guy you never expected to get in
Remember that story in the Bible about two guys who get jobs? The vineyard owner drives up and says, "Hey, I'll give you $200 if you come work for me today." The guy is grateful, "Wow, that would be great. I haven't had work for a month and my family could really use the money!" An hour before quitting time, another guy arrives at the field. "Sir," he says to the owner, "I'm looking for work. Do you have anything available?" The owner says, "Sure, there's plenty to do here. There's just an hour left today but if you can start now I'll give you $200." The first guy overhears the conversation and is ticked off. He can't help but say something to the boss. Surely he misspoke...or else he should be getting more money than the new guy! The owner assures him that not only did he present his offer correctly to each of them, that just because the other guy arrived later, it shouldn't bother him that they are getting the same deal. We all get the same gift of salvation no matter when we come to the vineyard. We might know that in our noggin', but then there's that person we all know.The one who is so mean, and crotchety, and rude, and stubborn. There is NO WAY they are getting in. Why even waste our breath? "Sal" had been to the hospital five times with heart failure. His prognosis was not good and his doctor knew he was probably not long for this world. The doctor asked Sal if he'd be interested in having him pray with him later that evening. Sal was not, definitely not, interested. Sal was a scary guy. A few weeks later, Sal was back in the E.R. with heart failure once again. It was bad. Against a strong desire to avoid offering up prayer to Sal again, his doctor nonetheless asked. This time, Sal said yes. The doctor shared the gospel and Sal accepted Christ. Sal changed. Sal got in. One month later Sal was back in the E.R. and died. Dr. Holdiman is the doctor who shared the gospel with Sal that day. Dr. Holdiman's advice: "When you share the gospel, if they reject you it's not you they are rejecting, it's God they are rejecting." Dr. Holdiman admits that he had three different people share the gospel with him before he accepted it. God doesn't give up on us easily, so be willing to share even if it seems hopeless to you. It's not hopeless for God. Plenty of people are going to come late so be prepared no matter what the hour.