"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.
And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them out into his vineyard.
. . .
And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, why stand ye here all the day idle?
They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
. . .
And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
. . .
But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
. . .
So the last shall be first, and the first last; for many be called, but few chosen.
Matthew 20:1-2, 6-7, 9-11, 13-14, 16
I promise I tried to shorten it. :) This is an amazing parable of the laborers in the field. I think it means that Christ's Atonement really works... that whether you get on track in the beginning of your life, or the end of your life... you receive the same reward, for God loves all his children, and if repentance works, then that is good. I mean, obviously sin has other consequences that have to be worked though... it is hard work to try to go work in the fields in the eleventh hour... personal addictions to overcome, personal habits to break. I think that anyone who actually gets to the field and works with the Lord is going to be okay... and I think that's what this parable teaches us as well.
Keeping it short today because the scripture is so long... but read it. look it up and read the whole thing. and think... is this fair? hasn't Christ redeemed us all? aren't these our brothers and sisters? Do ANY of us "deserve" eternal life? No... but the laborer is worthy of his hire, Christ *makes* us worthy, and whole, and offers us eternal life... whenever we get there.