Why Is It That All Too Often, People Put Christ Last?

Contributing Writer
Why Is It That All Too Often, People Put Christ Last?

Why are people putting Christ last? In Luke 9:51-62, Jesus is teaching about the cost of following him, not the way to salvation. Let’s take a closer look at this passage, verse-by-verse, and then analyze why so many put Christ last in their lives.

Further reading: Matthew 8:21-22

Verses 61-62

The third man seems anxious but volunteered. However, his family had to come first. It looks like he did not want to have to sacrifice something. Jesus says no man can plow and look back. Plowing requires one to continually look forward. For a person to look back is not fit for Kingdom of God. 

What is it that Jesus expects from us? He wants nothing short of all-out devotion, not a weak half-hearted dedication. We cannot single out certain parts of Jesus’ teachings and just follow specific points. We need to acknowledge the cross alongside the crown, judgment as well as kindness. We should consider the consequences and forsake all the other things that have given us security. With our attention on Jesus, we ought not permit anything to occupy us from the way of living that He calls true and good.

Further reading: 1 Kings 19:20; 2 Timothy 4:10

Many people will say, “I am too young. I have plenty of time. I want to enjoy the pleasures of life. I need to make my fortune. I need to live life to the fullest while I can.” Or they might wonder what other people will say about them. They do not want to be singled out. They are more concerned with how they look in society.

What have they placed before accepting Christ?

How many of us have put people first? Some of us may be so busy trying to please our families that we neglect doing a work that God has called us to do. Do we put our finances first? Many people may not even tithe due to increased bills and responsibilities that they have incurred. But remember that tithes do not have to go to a specific church. Tithes go to God, not man.

Do we put our work or our jobs first? Some of us may have become more concerned about our secular jobs, so that we fail to promote Christ wherever we are. Some people may have to work on the day that they would normally have off for attending church. That does not mean that they cannot have or attend church on another day.

Do we put our time first? Some people may have things that they want to do for themselves that they neglect doing work for the Lord, much less spending time in prayer and talking with God. What have we placed before our service to Jesus?

They are not willing to accept man’s disapproval for God’s approval. People that put Christ last want to be accepted by society first before being accepted by God. They are not fit for God’s Kingdom because they are more concerned with the here and now instead of their eternal souls. They have put the world and worldly items before God.

Following Jesus is difficult and not agreeable all of the time. Frequently, it implies incredible expense and penance, with no prizes or security here on earth. We might observe that following Christ costs us our friends, family, recreation or personal time, money, belongings, or popularity. Yet, while the expense of following Christ is high, the benefit of being a Christian is much higher. Being a disciple of Christ is a venture that goes on forever and yields greater rewards.

If we intend on following Christ, we need to put aside worldly things. We cannot profess Christ and covet the world. We cannot serve both God and man.

At the judgment seat, what will happen to us then, knowing that we have put Christ last in our life? Is serving and worshipping Christ on our daily “to do” list? 

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Ralf Geithe

Chris SwansonChris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. He is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. You can check out his work here.