Summary: Jesus taught us exactly what it takes to enter the kingdom: Childlike faith, empty hands, and the gospel of Jesus!
HOW TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD
MARK 10: 13-25, 32-34
1. Illus. of traveling home from NC
• When looking at 11-12 hours of travel, interested in best way.
• Some told us, “take I-85 all way to Atlanta” while others said, “take I-95 and pick up I-20.”
• Either way was ok, because in end got where we wanted to go.
2. If you ask someone, “how do you get to heaven?” you will also get various answers.
• Live a moral life.
• Be baptized and become a church member.
• Do more good stuff than bad stuff.
• Be born again
3. Only one right answer, and it is vitally important that we pick that right answer. We’re not talking about going to Gadsden, we’re talking about where we will spend eternity!
4. There is hope in the confusion. If anyone can tell us how to get into heaven, surely it would be Jesus!
5. Mark is a topical gospel. Here he links three events from life of Jesus that have a common theme: they all three deal with requirements for entering Kingdom of God.
6. If we want to enter the Kingdom, we must heed the instructions of Jesus about how to do so.
7. What does Jesus tell us about entering the Kingdom of God?
I. WE MUST ENTER THE KINGDOM LIKE A CHILD
1. Children were always attracted to the Lord Jesus. In this case, the children were swarming over Him and the disciples began to get onto the parents and say, “get these children out of here.”
2. See vss 14-15.
3. Children come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties. However, all children have certain basic qualities in common. I think it was these basic qualities Jesus was referring to.
4. Children believe what they are told
Illus. of my dad (was a teenager before I figured out that he didn’t really pitch pro baseball and work for CIA. He told me Steelplant was his “cover.”
We lose that as adults. When we are told, “you’re a sinner,” something in us responds, “no I’m not!” When we are told, “Jesus the only way,” something in us says, “there has to be another way.”
We have to come with a heart willing to believe what the Bible tells us!
5. Children have a marvelous capacity to trust.
Illus. of Abby C. (would walk right off roof of car without care in world. Knew her brother and dad would catch her.”)
Somewhere around teenager-dom we lose that. We decide we don’t really trust anyone.
To enter the Kingdom, we have to be able to come with a child-like trust and faith to Jesus!
II. WE MUST ENTER THE KINGDOM EMPTY-HANDED
1. See vs 17- same question as before. See vss 18-21. Sounds suspiciously like salvation by works. It almost sounds like Jesus is saying, “if you lead moral life and stack up a few spiritual brownie points, you can earn eternal life.”
2. Key to understanding is found in vss 23-24. Here was a man who was trusting in his riches to get him to heaven. And why not? Money had always gotten him anything else he had wanted! The finest of foods, the most luxurious of houses, the best education. Now he had the attitude, “God, surely you are going to accept me and give me eternal life because of my riches.”
3. Here’s the point. Before this young man could grab hold of the cross and be saved, he had to empty his hands of anything else he was trusting in to get him to heaven!
4. Illus. of song, “Rock of ages”
• Story is that Francis Toplady was once caught in terrible storm back in horse and buggy days, and had to find shelter in cleft side of huge rock.
• Decided Jesus was just like that, wrote a song about it called “Rock of Ages.”
• Once verse says this, “in my hands no price I bring, simply to thy cross I cling.” No efforts to save self, simple trust in cross.
5. That’s exactly what Jesus is teaching us in this story. We are to empty our hands of all efforts to save ourselves, and simply trust in the finished work of Jesus.
6. What do you have in your hands today? Is it:
Money? Text today
Self-righteousness? Isaiah 64:4
Works? Ephesians 2:8-9
II. WE MUST ENTER THE KINGDOM BY THE GOSPEL
1. See vss 32-34
2. Jesus tells His disciples that He is going to Jerusalem, and there will be crucified, and on the third day rise again.
3. This is the gospel. The only way people can enter the Kingdom is by the gospel!
1. Can’t get into Kingdom unless you come empty-handed, trusting the crucified and ressurected savior with a simple, childlike faith.