The word "idle" is the English translation of the Greek word ἀργός and is an adjective. The word describes someone who is inactive, not working. It is the antonym of, opposite of "working" (adj). As in a "working (ἐνεργής) laborer" vs a "non-working (ἀργός) laborer."
In Matthew chapter 20 verses 1-16 we read about the Lord telling a parable about laborers/workers in the vineyard. He begins the parable by saying, "For the kingdom of heaven is like....", so those who are listening can safely apply this earthly allegory to their spiritual lives.
The main point of the teaching is that all who enter the vineyard and work for the Lord will receive the same pay when they are finished. But in the course of the parable many other important truths are revealed. The point I want to highlight is the very fact that if someone is inactive, idle, and not working, this person has not yet received and/or obeyed the call from the Lord. Or worse, they have gone astray, are being disobedient and/or have fallen away back into rebellion against GOD. (The Lord touches upon this fact in The Parable of the Two Sons Matthew 21:28-32)
When we become inactive (idle) after being made "hot" when we were first converted, we are then considered to be lukewarm. We then become fitting recipients of the Lord's rebuke in Revelation 3:15, 16 (“I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!”). Before we knew Christ, we were all "cold" (dead, spiritually). But when we were made alive (“quickened”), we were energized and began to move around and heat up. The more work we do by being joined to and walking with Jesus, the more we heat up. And when we heat up enough, we boil over, which is the very root of the definition of the word zealous (1, 2, 3). This is right where we want (and the Lord) want(s) us to be! It's where we are obligated to be! (1 John 2:6)
The Lord is willing to allow anyone and everyone to go to work for Him. When He hires us, we enter into an agreement with Him. Just like in the Parable of the Vineyard Workers. The master of the house hired (entered into an agreement) with the workers. Another word/synonym for agreement is covenant. So, you can probably see how this parable so aptly describes the kingdom of heaven. God has talked to us in very simplistic terms. But that is not how we will understand these terms. We will understand these terms if and when God allows us to understand them. And Jesus praised God the Father because God revealed the mysteries of the kingdom to babes. But hid them from the supposed wise and prudent. (Matthew 11:25, 26)
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"For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13
Please see diagram regarding this powerful statement.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers (ἐργάτης) for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace ἀργός . He told them, ‘You also go into my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around ἀργός. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here ἀργός all day long?’ ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.” — Matthew 20:1-7a
(Continue main message): When the owner of a business wants to hire someone for money, the thought of that payment energizes the worker into doing work. We're talking about long hours and very hard work. They think of all the things they are going to buy with that money. With the Lord, it is much more powerful and we receive a payment that can't be compared to a day's wages. When our understanding is enlightened to what God is offering us, many things happen. But the main thing that happens is we become energized to do God's work. The gifts of God, His love to us, the faith He gives us and most of all, His holy Spirit. All these things energize us! "The word of God is ALIVE and FULL OF ENERGY." (Hebrews 4:12a) The Greek word is ἐνεργής (adj) and the noun form of that word is where we get the English term ENERGY. Paul says God's holy Spirit is the source of energy which results in all the varieties of spiritual gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:6). Paul again says, "Does God lavish His Spirit on you and (in turn) energize (energetically produce) miracles among you because you practice the Law, or because you hear and believe?" Think about how power plants energize whole cities. Now think about GOD who energizes the power plants. And think about the fact that He WANTS to, DESIRES to energize us to do His incredible work that He has for us through faith in His Christos SON!!
So why do we stand around IDLE? Have we not been ENERGIZED by God through Faith in His living LOGOS, THE Anointed Son of God? The bread of LIFE? This energy is available to us FOR FREE!
When we are hired by God it will be through the gift of faith in His Son. THE Christos (Anointed, Messiah) Son of God who is Creator, Lord and God over all. When we are hired by God to work in His vineyard, we are entering into covenant with God. The covenant is to accept the incredible, ineffable love God has shown to us by coming down to this world and dying for us. Us acknowledging this miraculous fact will enable God to cleanse us of all prior sins. That makes us a clean container for Him to enter into us via the giving us of His holy Spirit which is also called being "born again", anew, for a second time, fathered from above, made a new creature, receiving the Spirit of adoption and THIS makes us actual witnesses of God's reality. And in due time, God will make us able ministers of the new covenant.
Now, this powerful experience changes us forever. Because it is when God enables and energizes us so we can then begin the work God has for us (i.e. to work in His vineyard for payment). At first, like any beginner of a trait or job, we are unknowledgeable and quite sloppy. "Carnal" and spiritually immature. But as we go to Him every day and yoke up with Him and learn of Him, we will become skilled workers. We GROW. As this is what God has showed us from the beginning. God's energy and life makes everything alive and causes it to be fruitful. That is "good" as God says (Genesis chapter 1).
“I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used when he raised Christ from death and let him sit at his right side+ in heaven.” ~Ephesians 1:19-20 (CEV)
When God's Spirit enters us, the same will happen. God's Spirit (Christ in us) will push us and provoke us to do what we are supposed to do (Ezekiel 36:26-28). And what we are supposed to do is all we can to convince the world of its spiritual condition and what God has done to fix it. Yes, and we can only do that if we are actually participating with God in His work and according to His rules. And If we have entered into and are not breaking covenant, but are seeking to love Him with all our heart. Because not only is that the "first and greatest commandment" (Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-28), but that is what we agree upon when we enter covenant with God through the confession that we are sinners in NEED of a Savior, and that Christ's shed blood and death upon the cross was the payment made for us to redeem us to God. God in Christ gave all and we give all in return. It is only natural. And yet, supernatural.
“I ask the glorious Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will make you wise and let you understand what it means to know God. My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and you will understand the hope given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all God's people.” ~Ephesians 1:17-18 (CEV)
Dear heavenly Father, please let these powerful words of Yours be burned forever into our hearts. With the result of us being energized so we may bring You the glory due to You. We ask only through the work You have done in and through Your Christos Son Jesus, our only hope. Amen
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You can be saved!
God loves the people in the world so much that He came down to die for us. If God is opening your heart to His message and you feel convicted for your sins which have separated you from a holy God and you feel the need to be forgiven, then say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully converted to the Christ in 1997!
Say, "My Lord and my God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe Jesus the Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and is now on the right-hand side of God listening to this prayer. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You in, Lord Jesus. Thank you, God, for saving my soul and I vow to serve you with all my heart which is the first and greatest commandment. Amen."