Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler Jesus and you

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1 Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler Jesus and you Not for sale Free

2 Text Mark 10:17-31 Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler 17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 So Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother. 20 And he answered and said to Him, Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth. 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me. 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, Children, how hard it

3 is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. 26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible. 28 Then Peter began to say to Him, See, we have left all and followed You. 29 So Jesus answered and said, Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

4 Chapter 1 There is one question that everybody asks themselves: What happens when I die? Even the toughest person in the world has asked themselves this. Criminal, pastor, lawyer, president, king or queen. Even a self-proclaimed atheist has asked this question. We can be as tough as we want in public, but when the night gets quiet and we lay in bed, our heart wants to know the answer. No matter how successful or smart we are, we know we cannot evade the inevitable. Death levels the playing field for everyone. We all will die regardless of our background or our finances. We don t have to be scared and discouraged over it. The answer is in plain view. We just have to stop everything and ask, what does Jesus say? Jesus says He is God. He came born of a virgin. Lived a sinless life Was tortured Crucified Took our sins upon Himself Rose from the grave Returned to heaven, where He reigns as King of kings.

5 But how can we know we will go to heaven when we die? God says in Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. This is just one of many verses that tells us that if we seek God, we will find Him. The problem is, people don t want to seek God. They want to seek a god that conforms to their beliefs, but that s not what it means to seek God. Seeking God is putting our beliefs aside and seeking Him in His word. You see, our views keep us from seeing who God really is because the natural man thinks according to how he was taught in a fallen world. God, however, is not from a fallen world and He cannot be found when we think like fallen people. We must come to His Holy Bible with an open mind and no preconceived ideas. So, let s take some time to see what Jesus says. Let us put aside everything we think we know and just look at Jesus as He talks with His disciples and a rich young ruler. As we do this, let s remember we cannot pick and choose what we believe about Jesus and the Bible. We have to believe all of Him and His words or we receive none of Him. Once we pick and choose what the Bible says, we have no authority to speak, because if one person can pick and choose, then so can the next person. Before we know it, we

6 have a world claiming to follow Jesus but it doesn t match what Jesus said at all. So let s look at Jesus own words

7 Chapter 2 Mark 10:17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? Here is a guy that we would say today is longing for Jesus. Not only does he go out looking for Jesus, but the Bible says he came running to Jesus and he knelt before Him in the middle of the road. Today many would say this man truly came to receive Jesus. He humbled himself by running to Jesus and kneeling in front of Him. Today we would say, Wow, what a conversion! If this was to happen at church today, it would look something like this: The message is over. The Music starts. The invitation is given and a man runs to the front of the church and falls to his knees and says, Please tell me what I must do to have eternal life. We would say, Praise the Lord!!! Pray this prayer. As this is happening, people in the church are already shouting Amen! and getting ready to baptize the new believer in Christ.

8 But, as we see later in this text, Jesus was not in as much of a hurry to declare a new believer into the family. As a matter of fact, we see Jesus handle the situation totally differently. Maybe you are wondering why I have just described it this way. We have a lot of people in the church that think because they went forward crying and then prayed a prayer that they are saved from hell. Jesus on the other hand throws the brakes on that way of thinking in this text of the Bible. Not just in this text but in many others also. So, we have to ask ourselves, what is really going on here in this text? Let s read on and see what Jesus is doing in the following verses.

9 Chapter 3 Mark 10: So Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother. 20 And he answered and said to Him, Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth. 18 So Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. Jesus is asking a question. Actually though, Jesus is saying He is God. He is forcing the man to come to terms with the fact that He is God and His Word is final on this subject. The man needed to understand that Jesus was God and there was no way around what Jesus was about to tell him in this text. In other words, no one can come to Jesus until they have come to terms with the fact that Jesus is God and His Word is final. 19 You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.

10 20 And he answered and said to Him, Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth. Jesus starts by saying in these verses, You know the commandments. The man was a Jew; he knew the law and he was taught to keep the commandments. So Jesus says, You know how to have eternal life, keep the commandments. Note. Jesus came because no one can keep the commandments. The commandments were not to save us, but to show us how deep in sin we are. Notice though, the man says: Jesus I have kept them all from my youth. At this point Jesus could have called the guy out as a liar. Worse yet, You just lied to the face of God. But Jesus addressed it in a different way, which we will see in the next chapter. Now, though, we start to see this man s conversion unraveling. He lied to Jesus. The man could not even be honest with Jesus that he had not kept the commandments. We start to see that the man wanted eternal life, but he didn t want Jesus or His ways. Even though he knew in his heart Jesus was God. This why God says in the Bible many times, those that hear my words and obey are my children. You see picking and choosing what we follow out of the Bible actually shows a person not to be a follower of Jesus. The world calls people that pick and choose enlightened. Jesus calls them sinners that are headed to hell because their

11 heart has never been enlightened. Jesus meant every word, not just for the people of old, but for today, tomorrow and for all time. When a person picks and chooses, they are no better than this rich young man. The person knows Jesus is God. The person knows He is the only way to heaven, but he or she does not obey. In other words, they have the head knowledge but their hearts have not been changed and given over to Jesus. So, that person is still lost and bound for hell. I am afraid we have many in the church in this situation. They think they are heaven bound for saying a prayer and following some of Jesus teachings. Yet they are headed for hell just as fast as the murderer on death row. This is one reason so many Christians in the church are getting hurt. They say the church hurt them, while most of the time they are being hurt by people in the church that are not even Christians. This is actually the fault of bad leadership in the church. Pastors and leaders have welcomed so many into the church family that have never repented fully and called them Christians. I would suggest that if you have been hurt in church, most of the time, it was probably by a person that is not even really a Christian. Just because leadership has welcomed someone in as a Christian does not mean that person is a Christian. This has happened through what I call cheap gospel: pray this prayer and you are saved. As we are about to see, Jesus didn t preach cheap gospel.

12 Jesus said repent and turn. Jesus said take up the cross and follow me. Jesus said deny yourself. Jesus said get rid of all you have and follow me. Jesus said not only hear but obey. Now Jesus could have done like many pastors are doing. He could have instructed this rich young man to pray a prayer and be saved. Oh, and because he is rich, he will help the church! But in essence Jesus said: not so fast I protect my people. I am not going to lie to you. I am going to show you that you don t really want me, you just don t want to go to hell. Jesus said, I am not going to yell at you for lying to me about keeping the commandments. But I am going to show you that your heart is not in this. At the same time, I am going to protect my people in the church. Your heart has not changed and you have not really repented. I will not allow you to hurt my people in the church, the only safe place they can go in this world. When we are in the church and a person hurts us, we go to them with Bible scripture. If their response is, I don t care what the Bible says, you have the first sign that you are dealing with an unsaved person.

13 Yes, there are problems in the church. However, when a person does not respond to Scripture or in love, you are probably looking at someone that has never been saved. If a person does not have love for others and love for God s Word, you are dealing with an unchanged heart. The one thing that should always shine through a Christian is the love of Jesus. If that is not the case, then that is a heart that has not been changed. At this point, church leadership needs to protect the flock. I am not saying that you need to kick a person out of the church. Like with Jesus and the rich man, if church leadership would sit this person down and show them why they are not a Christian and not allow them to have any type of leadership in the church, this person will usually leave the church. In some cases, it will open their eyes and they will come to a genuine conversion. The church has become filled with non-christians that think they are Christians. This is why the church has lost so much spiritual power and why so many churches have no effect on the world. In short, leaders have failed the flock by preaching a cheap gospel. We must get back to preaching that there is a hell and, if you have not truly repented and surrendered, you are going there. As we will see in the next chapter, the rich young ruler couldn t surrender everything and Jesus did not change the Gospel to make it easier for him.

14 Yes, the Bible is a grace gospel but not the way many are teaching it. Anything that does not involve true repentance and complete surrender is a false gospel. Pastors and leadership will pay a high price in the depths of hell for misleading people with a false gospel. As the Bible says let them be accursed that come to you preaching another gospel.

15 Chapter 4 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me. 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Verse 21 shows the heart of Jesus. Looking at him, loved him. The man came to Jesus wanting eternal life but not truly wanting Jesus. He even lied to Jesus about keeping the commandments, yet Jesus looked at him and loved him. Jesus knew he was not going to repent and follow Him, but Jesus still loved him. There is a lesson to be learned here. I have heard many Christians and pastors preach sermons saying, take heart, if you are persecuted they will be judged for it. I thank God that is not how Jesus lived. Jesus, even knowing this man would reject him, still loved him. I say, don t take heart that someone will be judged for hurting you. Do like Jesus and love them. Even if they never come to Jesus, we should be like Jesus and love them anyway. This way of loving people will save us a lot of heartache in the future. With the way this world is going, we are going to

16 be hurt a lot. We can pull out our self-righteous attitude and say, you will be judged, or we can love them. Note that Jesus loved him but probably did not have any further contact with the man. The man went away and yet Jesus loved him. Loving someone does not mean you have to follow them around and be the center of their life. You can still love someone that comes to you without allowing them to turn your life upside down. You can still love someone while standing for what you believe. Love does not mean you are always there to bail them out. Love does not mean you have to allow them to use you as a punching bag. Love means you love them because God created them. Loving them does not mean you have to go along with the sin in their life. You can love someone even if you never see them again. Love takes place inside you. Just like hate takes place inside you. Verse 21 One thing you lack Jesus says one thing you lack. Now obviously this man lacked a lot more than one thing. Rather than play word games with the man, Jesus went right to the most obvious thing: his wealth. This man was not willing to admit that he was a sinner that broke the commandments. In other words, he felt he was a good guy and deserving of eternal life. So Jesus says if

17 you re so good, sell all you have, give to the poor, then come take up the cross and follow me. Jesus was showing this man his own heart. He had refused to see that he needed a savior, so Jesus was showing him how badly he really did need a savior. Jesus was not rushing to get another member in the church. No, Jesus was here to save souls not worry about church attendance. He would rather have one less person following Him than allow that man to think he was a Christian when he didn t even truly want a savior. This is not the only time Jesus chased off people. We find in the New Testament Jesus had thousands of disciples and then He preached a sermon they did not like and He was back to His core group of 12. Churches need to do like Jesus and preach the real Gospel. The fake Christians will either come to Jesus or leave the church. A non-christian should never be comfortable in a church for long. If a non-christian can come week after week and feel no drawing from the Lord, then that church is not preaching the Gospel and is in serious trouble. Christians should feel at home in the church, sinners should not until they come to Jesus. I would like to write on carnal Christians in the church, but this book is about salvation, so I will save that for another book. Verse 22. And come take up the cross and follow me. We see

18 a person has to admit Jesus is God and He has the final word on the subject. a person has to admit they are a sinner and repent. a person has to surrender to Jesus a person has to take up the cross and follow Jesus. That is what true repentance looks like when we come to Jesus. For the rich young ruler, this was too much to ask of him. Being sad, he turned and went his own way. Notice Jesus did not run after him. He did not bargain with him. He did not try to take away the sadness. As much as Jesus loved him, He would not compromise the Gospel for the man. Instead Jesus let him go his own way. Jesus was showing the young man and the disciples that he would allow Jesus in his life but not to be Lord of his life. The young man was not denying Jesus as Lord but he wasn t willing to make him Lord of his life either. Just because a person is not denying Jesus does not mean he/she is saved. If a person will not make Jesus Lord of his/her life, Jesus is saying there is no salvation. Now we must note that there are things in a Christian s life that need to change. Does that mean that person is not saved? No. A true Christian will see sin as God shows it to him/her and by God s grace. A Christian will act on God s conviction to

19 get rid of that sin because that person truly gave his life completely to Jesus. We have to remember there is no sin we can conquer on our own. Only Jesus can conquer it. Coming to Jesus is saying I repent. I cannot change but I need You to change me. Change any part of me that needs to be changed, Jesus, I give it all to You. In time Jesus will work with a person on all of the things that need to be removed from that person s life. However, that cannot happen until a person is willing to say, Do whatever you need to do in me, Jesus. The rich man could not say that, so he went away sad.

20 Chapter 5 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. I can t imagine what is going through the disciples minds at this point. They are standing in the middle of a road and they just saw Jesus fail at being a good evangelist. Jesus could have easily talked that man into being some kind of a follower and donator of money to the ministry. What was Jesus thinking? Standing in the road Jesus turns and says, It s so hard for those that have riches to get to heaven. At this point the disciples are confused and astonished so Jesus says this time, it is so hard for those that trust in earthly riches. You ll notice Jesus clarified in His second statement that He is not referring to just millionaires. Jesus was referring to anyone that trusts in earthly riches. By wording it this way, Jesus was including everybody in the world. All of mankind has something they trust in other than Jesus.

21 Jesus was saying He will not play second place to anything. He will be in control of our lives when we come to Him or He won t be in them. Jesus cannot regenerate a person that is holding on to something when they come to Him. We have to come to Him and say, It s all Yours. I can t do it myself but I want you, Jesus. I surrender all of it to You. We see with the rich man, no one can come to Jesus if they are not letting go of all they put their trust into. At this point the disciples are as astonished as many of you are right now. How can anyone be saved, Jesus? the disciples asked. In Chapter 6 we will discuss what Jesus says. It has been said to give Jesus a try, however, that doesn t work according to Jesus. When we come to Jesus, it s not to give Him a try, it is a total surrender. Jesus does not want a part of you, He wants all of you. Jesus never said He will give you partial eternal life. Jesus never said He will partially give you freedom from sin. Jesus never said He will give you peace in only a part of your life. No, Jesus says He will give our whole life peace, joy, everlasting life, abundant life, freedom from sin. Jesus isn t concerned about changing part of us. Jesus didn t die for part of our life. Jesus died and rose again for our whole lives.

22 You may be thinking, He is too demanding. Truth is, Jesus loves us so much He knows as long as a part of us does not surrender, He cannot rejuvenate us. Jesus loves you so much He will not settle for anything less than freeing and restoring all of you. Jesus is not in love with only a part of you, He is in love with all of you. Sin got you to where you are and Jesus is not willing to let it take you any further when you belong to Him. You see Jesus hates the sin that is destroying you and He will not share a residence with sin. No doctor would cure only half of your cancer and leave the other half. Jesus will not salvage half your life and leave the other half. Jesus only does full restoration. You see, we have a lot of people in the world giving Jesus a try, but far fewer who are really repenting and surrendering. That s why Jesus says the road is narrow and few there be that find it. Too many churches are teaching this type of salvation but this is what Jesus was making clear to His disciples 2000 years ago. Don t you dare teach a lesser gospel. I just showed you by example that it has to be complete repentance. If a person wants to come to me, they have to give me control of their whole life.

23 This is why He told Nicodemus, You must be born again. You have to repent of everything you have known and have been and then be born again in me and my way of thinking. Like the rich man, many think they are not really that bad. Jesus is saying, you have no idea how bad you really are. How deep in sin you are. In other word s we think we are on a ship that needs a few light bulbs changed. God is saying the light bulbs are the least of your problems. Your ship has gone under and you are about to lose your last breath. Jesus is actually saying that you are only getting these lasts breaths now because of my grace giving you a chance to repent. Yes, that is how bad sin is and how much it is controlling our lives before Jesus saves us.

24 Chapter 6 26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible. Maybe right now you feel like Jesus twelve disciples, then who can be saved? This is the first understanding that you cannot come to Jesus knowing all the answers. You cannot come to Him by being in control. You can only come by faith. That is why Jesus talks about faith so much. We can t even take the first step towards Jesus without faith. I remember talking to a man that wanted to brag about how good a Christian he is. He told me when he got saved he spent 2 hours confessing every sin he ever committed since he was a boy. Two things bothered me about that conversation: 1. He was bragging on what he did to confess his sins. 2. He was saying he knew every sin he ever committed against God before coming to Jesus.

25 Truth is, he didn t know every sin he committed against God. He was thinking in the mind of the flesh and what he considered sin, not what God considers sin. While he was saying how good he was at repenting that day he never even realized he was sinning in his pride. Listening to this guy you would think he was saved by his repentance not by Jesus grace. Repentance never comes out arrogance and pride. Repentance comes when we are broken, humbled and in need of complete saving. Before repentance there is no good thing we can bring to Jesus. That is how far sin has spread in us. True repentance looks like this: Jesus I repent of anything that has been against You and Your ways. Please forgive me and use me for Your will in life. The disciples were asking, since we are so blind and corrupt and possess nothing good for Jesus, how can we come to Jesus? Jesus says, you can t come to me on your own, it s impossible. I have good news for you, with God it is all possible. This why the Scripture says the Holy Spirit has to draw you. The Holy Spirit has to open your eyes to how bad you really are in sin. The Holy Spirit has to show you how righteous God is.

26 In our sinful state before Jesus, we all have ideas on what is good, what is bad and what is righteous. Those change depending on how you were brought up. what you have been taught, who you hang around with, etc. With God though, He says holy and righteous is what I am and unless I open your eyes you won t even come close to seeing how bad off you are. So, what is Jesus saying here? He said in Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. In short, the rich man looked like someone seeking Jesus. He ran down a public road and fell at Jesus feet. Truth is, he was looking for everlasting life not Jesus. That is the point of everlasting life. Without Jesus and all He is, there is no everlasting life. 1. Have you sought Jesus with your whole heart? 2. Have you repented and surrendered all to Jesus? I pray that you have. If not, will you seek Him today? I am not asking you to be a part of any particular denomination. I am just asking, where do you stand in regards to your life with Jesus? If you will find Jesus, repent and follow Him, then you will find and receive everything.

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