Summary: There is a big difference between a fan of God and someone who is a true follower. Which are you?
Fan or follower?
Last week a tragedy struck Washington D.C. when one of the metro rail trains crashed into another train. That accident really struck me in an emotional way because I was just on those trains one month ago. While reading about the accident the thought, “that could have been me” kept going through my head.
Being a pastor I have to live in the world of reality more so than others in the sense that I deal with death all the time. And something I have learned very quickly in the last 5 years is that nobody is guaranteed anything in this life except death and taxes. The problem with death is that we never know when it will come. We all think it will be when we are old and gray. I doubt any one on the metro thought they were going to die that day. Death many times comes in shocking and unexpecting ways. I think of young people like Amanda Gallagher who passed away last fall just a few days after giving birth. Kim Aubuchon who tragically died in a car accident a month ago. While we were in Wisconsin this last week we met an awesome lady named Jen. Jen was married to Tim. Tim was 32 years old, healthy, worked out, had played football as an offensive lineman for the university of Wisconsin. Last year they were coming home from vacation. Tim was outside of his car in the driveway and in just a split second collapsed on the ground and died. Doctors say he had a hole in his heart. He died instantly.
Why do I bring all of this up this morning? Because I want you to think. I want you to evaluate. I want you to grasp that nobody is guaranteed another second on this earth. Nobody is guaranteed to be alive tomorrow. We live so arrogantly thinking that tomorrow is a given. Because we think like that we put off those things that are most important like our spiritual lives, our relationship with Christ. We put off opportunities to share about Jesus or to know Jesus more through prayer and study thinking, “Oh well there is always tomorrow.” I want you to ask yourself a question this morning and the question is, “If I died today would I die as a fan of God or a follower of God?” Have I lived my life in such a way that if I died today I would be proud of how I lived and loved for Jesus? Or have I lived my life more for me and put God in the back of my priority list thinking I always have tomorrow?
When we like something in life we are either a fan of that thing, or we are a follower of it. Parents go to support their children in their sports. They always start out as fans. They enjoy going to the games and watching their child do their best but sometimes some parents grow from a fan to an obsessed follower. They scream at the coach. They know the starting lineup of the team and might even spout off statistics. They travel all over to every game; they get mad at the kid for messing up. They don’t just watch the game but they coach the game from their seats. They get obsessed.
People can become obsessed with just about anything. Sports, family, work, money, hobbies, television, music, movies and even religion. At some point we stop becoming a fan and can quickly turn into obsessed followers. And without knowing it we can hurt our marriages, our families and hurt our spiritual lives.
Today I want to look at an example of this in mark chapter 10. It’s the story of the rich young ruler. Here we have an example of someone who wants to have a relationship with god like many of you but because he can’t let go of his obsession, the one thing in his life that he values more than anything else it keeps him from ever truly knowing god.
Mark 10:17-31 This is the only time the bible talks about this man. We don’t know anything about him except that he was rich, he was young, and he ruled over something. He had some sort of authority. We also know that this rich young ruler was anxious and excited to talk to Jesus because it says the man ran up to him. We know that he had great respect for Jesus because when he reached him he fell to his knees before him, then he even called Christ good. Of course Christ interrupts the conversation right there and says that only god is good so if this man thought Jesus was good then he would have to believe that Jesus is god.