Summary: Knowledge is good, effort is commendable, and lifestyle is important. However, you can get all that right and miss Jesus.

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"If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost" (II Cor. 4:3). Mark 12:28-34

Is close always good enough? Not when you think about it.

• If 99.9 percent were good enough ...

• The IRS would lose 2 million documents this year.

• 22,000 checks will be deducted from the wrong bank account in the next hour.

• Telecommunications companies will misdirect 1,314 telephone calls every minute.

• 2,488 books will be shipped with the wrong covers on them each day.

• More than 5.5 million cases of soft drinks in the next year will be flat.

• Over 3 million incorrect drug prescriptions will be filled each year in the U.S.

• 12 babies will be given to the wrong parents each day.

• There are times when close is not good enough.

• As important as some of these items are, nothing is more important than one’s eternal destiny.

• Researcher George Barna has discovered the disturbing fact that “half of all adults who attend Protestant churches on a typical Sunday morning are not Christian.”

• He also points out that people who call themselves Christians but are not born again are “a group that constitutes a majority of churchgoers.”

• Barna’s findings are similar to those reported by Bill Bright, founder and fifty-year president of Campus Crusade for Christ.

• According to Bright, “Our surveys suggest that over 50% of the hundred million people in church here in the United States every Sunday are not sure of their salvation.”

• In addition to discovering that 50% of people in church are “lost churchgoers,” the Barna Research Group has also revealed that 44% of Americans are “notional Christians.”

• These 90 million notional Christians are people who describe themselves as Christians but do not believe that their hope for eternal life is based on a personal relationship with Jesus and the belief that He died and rose again from the dead.

• In parables of Jesus, we learn that a majority of people who are confident about their eternal security are wrong.

• In today’s passage, a layer to ask Jesus a question, but his attitude is open to Jesus’ answer.

• What was a scribe?

• The position changed in Jesus day from what it had once been.

• Once a military position to record history and record the king’s commands(2 Sam. 8:17; 20:25; 1 Chr. 18:16; 24:6; 1 Kings 4:3; 2 Kings 12:9-11; 18:18-37, etc.), it later became a theological position of pinning the word of the prophets (Jer. 36:4, 32).

• After the captivities, when the Jews were allowed to return home, there arose another need; to copy the Law.

• As scribes began to copy, they became very familiar with it.

• Being familiar and versed in the law opened an opportunity to teach the law to the common people.

• The scribes took on that responsibility.

• They were also viewed as experts of the law for consultation in legal matters.

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