Several New Testament Parables given by Christ to His Apostles influenced how and why I wrote the three novels in The Prodigal Band Trilogy. One of these is from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter Twenty, verses 1 through 16. It is called “the Parable of the Laborers of the Vineyard.” It is cited below, from the copyright-free public domain King James Version of the Holy Bible, the PDF version.
To sum up the message: The “householder” (God) “hires” “laborers” (missionaries) to reap new fruit (believers on Christ) within the vineyard (the world), beginning with those hired early in the morning (that is, early in the life of the “laborer”; children, teens or those in their twenties), then hired mid-day (“laborers” in their thirties), then later (“laborers” in their forties or fifties), then later (sixties and seventies) then the “eleventh hour” (those on their death beds or close to it…I actually know a couple of folks who accepted Christ as their Savior days or even hours before they died or ‘passed on’!). I myself, while I (with one exceptional time period I described in an earlier snippet) believed in God and Christ, never fully committed to God and Christ until I witnessed a miraculous event while in my mid-forties. The “laborers” in question are those who not only accept Christ but tell the world about why they should consider accepting Christ as well (and EVERY Christian author, fiction or non-fiction, needs to partake in this however God guides them!). That is, these “laborers” are on their “mission of God,” an expression I use often in the trilogy. The final verse, 16, says the last (to accept Christ) will be first (as they will die shortly) and the first shall be last (as they have a full life ahead of them, God willing), and that “many are called but few are chosen.” And among these “few” there just might be those that prior to accepting Christ led extremely evil lives! And the “few” that are “chosen” are “chosen” for a reason; for one thing, among these “few” that are chosen are those that “choose” to be “chosen.” God is calling the entire world, basically, but only few will choose this “calling.” The “payment” of course, is eternity with God in Heaven. And it doesn’t matter to God at what point in the lives of the “laborers” they do become workers for God, and it shouldn’t matter to one who works his or her entire life for God gets the same reward as one who works for God at the end of his or her life—so it shouldn’t matter to anyone working for God, either. Below is the parable.