Assemblies of God SearchSite GuideStoreContact Us

This article originally appeared in the January 17, 1948,
Pentecostal Evangel

The revival we need (May 27, 2001)

Revivals 65 years ago (March 18, 2001).

A 1908 Valentine's story (February 11, 2001)

We must tell them (August 11, 1997)

Christian = bigot? (January 21, 1990)

Touch Him where you can (August 28, 1983)

Paranoid Christians (June 7, 1970)

A code to live by (July 12, 1964)

The story of two sons (January 17, 1948)

Little talks with the office editor (January 1, 1916)

The Story of Two Sons

By Ernest S. Williams on National Radio Hour, "Sermons in Song"

Suppose you had two sons; and one had the habit of saying, "All right," but never doing what you asked: while the other son usually would refuse to obey at first but then would repent and obey. Which son would you appreciate more?

Jesus told the story of two sons who were just like that. "A certain man had two sons," He said. "And he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. And he answered and said, I will not; but afterward he repented and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir, and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father?" (Matthew 21:28-31).

When Jesus had told this parable and put this question to the people, they immediately answered, "The first" — that is, the one who said, "I will not," but afterward repented and went. My friend, have you ever felt the call of God, bidding you to become a Christian? Or, if you are a Christian, have you ever felt the call to devote yourself to some work for the Master?

Do I speak to some who, like the first son, have said, "I will not," when Jesus sought to woo you to himself that you might become a partaker of His salvation or a worker together with Him? And are you now a sad, disappointed soul as a result — disillusioned and bearing in your heart a silent, gnawing regret? If so, this parable should encourage you, for it shows that still it is not too late. If you will now do that which your heart said you ought to do, God will accept you. He will brighten your life, and His approval will be upon you. Don't go on in disobedience any longer. "Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?"

Perhaps I speak to some who readily promised the Lord an obedient life, but never have kept their promise. Are you like the second son, who said, "I go, sir," and went not? Perhaps you said, "Whatever God wants me to do, that I will do," but instead you have gone on doing whatever has pleased you, and you have utterly failed to give God an obedient life. You may even be boasting in your sonship, trying to make everyone think that all is well with your soul. Remember: God searches the heart. He knows if it is loyal and honest, or if it is careless and deceitful. Of this we must know. "Be sure your sin will find you out."

An old writer said, "The first law that ever God gave to man was the law of obedience; it was a commandment pure and simple. From obedience and submission spring all other virtues, as all sin does from self-opinion and self-will."

You know, God is looking for obedience. Too many of us think that lip service will do. What a world this would be if all who name the name of Christ lived in obedience to the will of God. And what assurance it would give when we pass from this present life into the life eternal.

Whatever may have been your past, will you not make this the hour of decision? Will you not, at this moment, ask God for forgiveness, if you have said, "I go," but have refused to obey? And if you never yet have said Yes to the will of God, will you now do so by joining in the old song, "Where He Leads Me I Will Follow"? Remember — "obedience is better than sacrifice." The Lord has said, "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." God bless you and help you to give your whole life to Him.

Ernest S. Williams served as general superintendent of the Assemblies of God (1929-49).
E-mail this page to a friend.
©1999-2009 General Council of the Assemblies of God