Summary: A sermon examining the tragedy of "almost" surrendering to Christ.
Almost! - (The story of a man who almost had it all)
I read a story about a 62 year old man named William Hyatt. He was found in the Mojave Desert with his face and his hands buried in the sand seeking water. His car had broken down, and he had walked 22 miles through the Desert until he died. He crawled on his hands and feet the last 2 miles and he died in the sand. Just over the hill a ½ mile was the Saratoga Spring that could have saved him. He was almost there and yet he missed it. What a tragic situation!
The verses we have read here in Mark chapter 10 describe a situation that is even worse. We are told of a man who was on the verge of attaining eternal life and a home in Heaven but he made a choice that cost him eternally. His choice brought about some eternal consequences.
There are countless individuals throughout history and even today (possibly some here right now) who will make the same devastating choice. You have the opportunity for everlasting life and a home in Heaven... but are you willing to forsake the things of this world and trust Jesus as your Savior? If not, you will find yourself in the same situation as this young man. I want to look at his story and perhaps you can learn from his error.
As we examine this man's choice I would like to preach on the thought "Almost!". The first thing that I would like to consider is that:
I. This Man Lived A Remarkable Life - v17 ¶And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
This young man seemed to have a lot going for him. In fact, he possessed many of the things that others seek to attain in this life. Through the scriptures we are given some insight into the life and character of this man who is often referred to as "The Rich Young Ruler". The first thing that we are told about his remarkable life is that:
A. He Was Young - Matthew's account of this story tells us that this man was young. He had his whole life ahead of him.
Solomon encouraged men to turn to the Lord in their youth. - Ecclesiastes 12:1 1 Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.”
I know many people who turned to the Lord late in life and would give anything if they could go back and live all of their days for their Savior. This young ruler had the opportunity to spend the rest of his days serving the Lord. Not only are we told that he was young, we also see that:
B. He Was Successful - In Luke 18:18 this man was described as a "ruler". It is believed that he was a leader in the synagogue. Being described as a ruler tells us that this man was one of influence and power. Scripture also tells us that:
C. He Was Wealthy - Here in Mark we see that this young man "had great possessions".
Some people have the mistaken idea that it is sinful to have lots of money and many possessions. That is not necessarily the case. The Bible does not say that "money is the root of all kinds of evil". It says that "the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil". (1 Timothy 6:10) You having money isn’t evil, but when the money has you... there is a problem!
This man didn't just have power, possessions and prestige.... it seems that he was a decent human being. Notice that:
D. He Lived A Moral Life - He boldly proclaimed to Jesus that he kept all of the commandments. This man looks Jesus in the eye and says "I honor my Father and Mother", "I do not commit adultery", "I do not kill", "I do not steal", "I do not bear false witness", "I do not defraud others". Jesus knew all there was to know about this man and if you will notice, Jesus did not rebuke him when he made these statements.