Summary: Three men each making a statement regarding his commitment or lack of commitment to following Christ. Each wanted to follow Christ; none wanted to stop looking back. Their commitment can be described as limited, delayed, and insincere.
Don’t Look Back
Would you consider yourself a committed Christian? Realistically, are you a disciple of Christ or merely a follower of Christ? There is a difference. Three men each making a statement regarding his commitment or should I say lack of commitment to following Christ. Each wanted to follow Christ but none wanted to stop looking back. Their commitment to follow Christ can be described as limited, delayed, and insincere.
I. The Characteristics of Uncommitted Followers
A. A Commitment of Naivety and Comfort – limited commitment
1. Luke 9:57-58 “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever 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.
2. This man’s saw the crowds, and the miracles, and the enthusiasm of the people. It seemed like good thing to be closely associated with this Miracle Worker who was the center of all this action. He wanted to be a part of an exciting movement that appeared to be sweeping the nation. He wanted to be a follower of Jesus. The tragedy is that he failed to understand the sacrifice, the reproaches, the inconveniences that comes with serving Christ.
3. It’s popular today to be a Christian in America – Mega Churches, World-Wide television ministries, comfortable pews, world-class contemporary musicians, the prosperity gospel. No wonder that today in the U.S., about 79.5% of adults (247 million) identify themselves as Christian. It’s popular to be a Christian as long as it’s convenient and doesn’t mean commitment.
4. According to Lewis Loflin in an article entitled “Christianity in America”, “less than 1 percent of adults and teen-agers in conservative bible-believing churches could name the Ten Commandments. What is even more troubling, other surveys show less than 10% of evangelicals have read the Bible at all.”
5. There is a difference between being a Christian in name and being a true disciple. True Christianity is an all-out commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. True Christianity moves one from bring a spectator to being a disciple. Tue Christianity counts the cost and is willing to pay the price, no matter the cost.
6. Christianity is not so popular when we start talking about sacrifice and suffering; when following Christ begins to cost you something.
7. John 6:66 “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”
8. While we sit comfortably in our cushioned pews around the world each year an average of 159,960 Christians worldwide are martyred for their faith.
9. 2 Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
10. Jesus isn’t looking for admirers. He wants disciples who do more than simply talk the talk. He needs some followers who are willing to walk the walk. – Dr. Carlos Wilton, Committed to Christ, Don’t Look Back
11. True discipleship does not look back at what they have given up for Christ. True discipleship says with Apostle Paul, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” (Philippians 3:8)
B. A Commitment of Procrastination – Delayed Commitment
1. Luke 9:59-60 “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
2. I will Lord…BUT not now. We need to realize that our first duty is to serve God. Delayed obedience is disobedience.
3. John 9:4 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”
4. A farm boy accidentally overturned his wagon load of corn in the road. The farmer who lived nearby came to investigate. “Hey, Willis,” he called out, “forget your troubles for a spell and come on in and have dinner with us. Then I’ll help you get the wagon up.” “That’s mighty nice of you,” Willis answered, “but I don’t think Pa would like me to.” “Aw, come on, son!” the farmer insisted. “Well, okay,” the boy finally agreed, “but Pa won’t like it.” After a hearty dinner, Willis thanked his host. “I feel a lot better now, but I just know Pa is going to be real upset.” “Don’t be foolish!” exclaimed the neighbor. “By the way, where is he?” The boy replied, “Under the wagon.” (Source Unknown).
5. We may laugh at this anecdote but the truth is that there are millions laying under a wagonload of sin who need someone to carry the good news of Christ to them. But many who have been called to rescue them are sitting around procrastinating instead of proclaiming.