Summary: Many have come to the Lord. Some have left satisfied. Others have left Sorrowful.
From the Desk of Pastor Toby Powers
Truth Baptist Church
How Did You Leave When You Came To Jesus?
Intro: A rich young ruler came to Jesus asking him what “good thing” he could do to inherit eternal life, and the truth is that there is no “good thing” that one can do to inherit eternal life! Jesus asked him about keeping the commandments, and the man replied that he had kept all those the Lord mentioned. Still, the commandments the Lord mentioned were the ones dealing with man’s relationship with man. This man’s sin was not against his brother; it was against God. Jesus had not asked him about the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” This rich young ruler had a god in his life! That’s why Jesus said for him to go sell all that he had and give to the poor and follow the Lord. Selling everything does not save a sinner; giving to the poor does not save a sinner; FOLLOWING JESUS OF ITSELF DOES NOT SAVE A SINNER (that’s religion, and Judas proved to us that it does not redeem a soul). This man had to get rid of his god (repentance), and, by faith, follow Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Yet, he went away sorrowful because he would not put away his god and follow Jesus. Verse 21 says that Jesus loved him. Jesus knew that he had another god, yet he still loved him. He loved something more than what he loved Jesus. You must love him enough to be willing to get rid of all else to have him. This man went away sorrowful (Matthew 19:22). He went away grieved (v. 22). My question for you this morning is HOW DID YOU LEAVE WHEN YOU CAME TO JESUS? He left sorrowful because he would not follow the instructions of the Master. If he had really gotten saved, he would not have rebelled against the teachings of the Lord! When the wise men came to Jesus, they went home a different way. I too left a different way (II Cor 5:17-18, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”). I still believe in a conversion experience that changes a person’s character. Many have claimed to have had an experience with Christ, but there is no demonstrable change in their lives. A baby is not born in the world full grown, but it is born fully human. It is the same with the believer in Christ; you are not born again as a full-grown Christian, but you are fully Christian. There is a demonstrable change in your inner man that begins to work its way outward. How did you leave? When a man is truly saved he leaves the feet of Jesus:
I. New Condition: “I once was lost, but now I am found!” I am saved; therefore, I am redeemed, regenerated, reconciled, reborn, justified, sanctified, glorified, purified, pardoned, forgiven, cleansed, washed, rescued, born again. I was in danger and distress, but I have been delivered and am now different for time and eternity. I have received all the benefits, blessings, and bestowments that come with knowing God. I’m not working on it; I’ve already got it! Thank God I’m saved!
II. New Character: produced by a new attitude, a right attitude. I will illustrate with 4 people in the Bible:
A. Attitude- Zacchaeus: Luke 19, he had heard about Jesus, his works, and that he was coming his way. Of all the trees that Jesus could have walked under, he walked under a Sycamore tree where Zacchaeus was! Notice his new attitude:
1. Toward the Savior: he started with repentance not demands or negotiation. HE CRIED, “LORD.”
2. Toward the Suffering: he cared not about those who he stole from.
3. Toward the Scriptures: he had never cared about stealing until now. No rebellion in a newborn.
B. Affection- Woman at the Well: John 4, She had a new character shown in a new attitude characterized by a new affection. She was no longer a harlot; she had a greater love. A love toward God that is pure. Worldly love is selfishly geared toward getting, but the love of the Christian is aimed toward giving! (I Cor 13:4-7, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”)