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FIRST SHALL BE LAST
LAST SHALL BE FIRST
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FIRST SHALL BE LAST
LAST SHALL BE FIRST
Let's begin, shall we? How does the first shall be last and last shall be first statement affect Christians?
When Jesus left that place, a man came
running and knelt at His feet and asked, Good Master, what can I do
to inherit eternal life? Jesus answered, Why do you call me good?
There is none good but One, and that's God. If you wish for eternal
life, keep the commandments. The man said, Master, I've kept the
commandments since I was a child. Jesus looked at him with love and
said, You're missing one thing. If you wish to be complete, go and
sell all that you have and give it to the poor and you'll have
treasure in Heaven, then come and follow me.
The man grew sad at what Jesus said, because he was
rich. Jesus looked at His disciples and said, I tell you honestly, with
what difficulty will those who have riches enter into the Kingdom of
God. The disciples were surprised at what He said, and He added, It's
easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich
man to enter into the Kingdom of God. Still surprised, the disciples
said to one another, Who then, can be saved? Jesus answered, With men
it's impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
Then Peter said, We've left everything and followed
you, what will we have?
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which
have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall
sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve
thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that
hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or
mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake,
shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting
life. But many that are Last Shall
Be First; and the last shall be first.
Jesus says these words a
few times in the Gospels. But what do these words mean?
Let's go find
Let us look at other statements that
Jesus made where He used these words:
Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And
he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for
many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be
able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath
shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at
the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer
and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye
begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou
hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know
you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of
iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye
shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets,
in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they
shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north,
and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
And, behold, there are
last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be
FIRST SHALL BE LAST WARNING
LAST SHALL BE FIRST DANGER
Jesus used these same words to reveal to us a TRUTH.
If one does the math, He is saying that those who are living high or
deemed as upper class and elect NOT to choose Jesus shall be REPLACED
and those who are deemed as lower on the worldly ladder ... Will be
offered their place. He is referring to the Gentiles (Non Jewish
people) taking the place of many Jewish people that traded God up for
the worldly pleasures. This causes :
Last Shall Be First; and the last shall be first."
Jesus shares more with us:
And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them,
What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
But they held their
peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who
should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve,
and saith unto them,
any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and
servant of all.
We begin to see a pattern form when Jesus uses these
words ... This time the words are used to reveal to the Apostles who
were arguing about who would be the greatest of the Apostles, that
they should not seek to be highly respected in man's world but rather
lowly and humble because:
many that are Last Shall Be First; and the last shall be first."
Jesus shares even more with us on this
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 into his vineyard. And
he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle
in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the
vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went
their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and
did likewise. 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. So when even was come, the lord
of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and
give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
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, Saying, These last
have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto
us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 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.
Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is
thine eye evil, because I am good?
So the last shall be first,
and the first last:
for many be called, but few chosen.
Jesus is comparing
the workers in the field to the Christian Faith. Many that
have been Christians for quite some time find it difficult
to understand why God would let someone come in at the last
moment and be saved when they were Christians for many
FIRST SHALL BE LAST AND LAST SHALL BE FIRST MESSAGE
Jesus tells us of this same thought process in the
parable of the Prodigal Son:
And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them
said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that
falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many
days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his
journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with
riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty
famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and
joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him
into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his
belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave
unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired
servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I
perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will
say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before
thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one
of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But
when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had
compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And
the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and
in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But
the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and
put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his
feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us
eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again;
he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Now his elder son was in the
field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard
music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked
what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is
come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he
hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would
not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And
he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve
thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and
yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my
friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath
devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the
fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me,
and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make
merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive
again; and was lost, and is found.
The younger son represents the lost souls which are
children of GOD who are caught up in the world and God wants them
back. The older Son represents those Christians older in the Faith.
The older souls in Christ are oft times jealous that the younger in
Christ are being allowed back into the family. They want to try and
burden them with laws when they themselves were saved by GRACE.
This is not an unusual view as even old Testament
prophets did this. After being called by God to warn the people of
Nineveh, Jonah ran and hid and ended up being swallowed by a whale for
3 days and 3 nights in order for God to grab his attention.
Roman">Jonah reluctantly agreed to go to Nineveh and
prophesied as God had commanded. The people of Nineveh heard the Word
of the Lord and repented. God forgave them. But this angered Jonah and
he even said it would be better for himself to die than for them to be
forgiven tho he himself had just been forgiven and released from the
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And
he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not
this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled
before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God,
and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and
repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I
beseech thee, my life from me;
for it is better for me to die than to live.
Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?
The story goes on to say Jonah set up a lil camp on
a hill and awaited the destruction of Nineveh even after God said He
forgave them. The book has a VERY abrupt ending.
Are you like Jonah? Do you make it hard for the lost
children to return to God? If so, you best beware what Jesus is saying
many that areLast Shall Be First; and the last shall be first."
FIRST SHALL BE LAST SUMMARY
LAST SHALL BE FIRST CONCLUSION
These words are such
a great lesson. There are many people who go through their entire
lives with the good fortune of being Christian. Many from childhood,
were raised as Christians and others, early in life were adopted into
God's family. There are also many who don't find Jesus until they're
older, and some, don't seek Him until the very last hour. If you're
one who has followed the Christian path all your life, this parable
teaches not to be jealous of those lost sheep who weren't found until
the last hour. Be joyous for them. Praise His generosity. God is good.
He can do whatever He wants with His children. Be thankful for your
Here is the best way
to explain the words ...
Last Shall Be First; and the last shall be first."
And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted
in themselves that they were righteous, and despised
others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the
one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee
stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee,
that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust,
adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in
the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the
publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much
as his eyes unto Heaven, but smote upon his breast,
saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you,
this man went down to his house justified rather than
for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased;
and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
HUMILITY COMES BEFORE HONOR
First shall be last and last shall be first means
we must choose to serve and not be served.
First shall be last or last shall be first ... Which one will you be?
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