By: P.T. McClure
“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee withersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but
the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and
preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, no man, having put his hand to the
plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Notice in verse 59 and 61 where both men said, “Lord, but first.” There is a contradictory commitment in their words. The men confirmed their commitment to follow Jesus and even called him Lord. However, no sooner than they declared Jesus’ Lordship, something else took first priority and over road his Lordship. I call this a “Contradictory Commitment.”
Jesus rejected this kind of double standard commitment. Jesus’ words are some of the hardest words I’ve read: When Jesus responded “Let the dead bury the dead,” to the man’s request to first bury his father shows just how strong Jesus feels about this business called COMMITMENT.
ARE YOU BACKSLIDING?
Let me ask you, has there been a time in your past when you were closer to God than you are now? If so, then you are “backsliding.” Quite strong, I agree. I’m not saying that you may be lost, at least no yet.
But could we not agree that backing up on our commitments will lead us wrong or inevitably lost? Jesus said, “No man having put his hand to the plough, and LOOKING BACK, is fit for the Kingdom of God.” Jesus said if we are “looking back” that it would effect our spiritual character, causing us to be “unfit.”
The subject “looking back” is a matter of weakening our commitments and lowering our standards. Who would argue that America has lowered her moral standards? Marriage commitments are all but a joke in our Nation. Parental commitments to children has been reduced to allowing them to do as they wish. Even our newly elected President’s wife, Hillary Clinton suggests that children’s right must equal their parents starting at age seven. Recent statistics has revealed that 65% of all crimes committed in America are committed by school age children. Newsweek did up a full news study of guns in school. Police have witnessed that crimes by teens are becoming so heinous that they are more dangerous than adult crimes.
Drugs, alcohol, and violence are a household word in homes throughout America. Sex and perversion are the “norm” of society today. Condoms are now being distributed openly and freely on college campuses as well as many elementary and high schools. “Christian” America no longer permits prayer at ball games, graduating ceremonies, parties or any school functions.
Homosexuality is being promoted as “perfectly normal” according to the likes of Stanford University as well as 95% of all universities. “Alternative Lifestyles” is the politically correct term to call Sodomy and filthy abomination (Bible terms.) Our country has BACKSLIDDEN into a licentious, immoral society. I ask, are we, the Church, following America? Ask yourself, have you lowered your standards? Have you
weakened your commitments?
When Eve continued talking with the wrong crowd, it lead her to sin. When the mere imagination of the world was evil, it ended in a flood of judgment. When Lot just pitched his tent TOWARD Sodom, the next chapter tells us that Lot was IN Sodom. Lot’s wife just merely “LOOKED BACK” and she turned into a pillar of salt. Jesus preached a three word sermon, “Remember Lot’s wife.”
We better remember the United Methodist, the Assemblies of God, the Church of God, and the rest of the denominations who merely “LOOKED” back. Now they are worldly, decreasing, and dying. Remember Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggert, and many of our own, who in the name of evangelism LOOKED to the world and are now destroyed.
This is no hour for the Church to “weaken” our commitments, or loosen our standards. This is the moment for the Church to bow her back and stand up right. We can not hold the Bible in one hand and embrace the
worldliness in the other. Jesus is the first and Last as well as the Lord. We either serve the Lord Jesus Christ or the world, we can’t serve two masters.
(The above material appeared in the December 1992 issue of The Apostolics Newsletter.)
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