Summary: An envangelistic message based on the popular game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire"
"Is That Your Final Answer?"
It’s amazing what catches on and what doesn’t in our culture, isn’t it? ABC’s game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" became a smash hit last year and a rating champions-so much so that they run the show several night a week. Regis Philbin has become a superstar. Phrases like "Is that your final answer" have become part of everday conversation. "Millionaire" has become an industry of its own-did board games, computer games-and did you know that there is a Millionaire online store where you can purchase clothing items. Regis even has his own line of shirts, did you know that?
Who Wants to be a Millionaire debuted last August for a two-week run on ABC. It was such a success, however, that it ran again in the fall for the November sweeps period and attracted 26 million viewers on its first night. "Is that your final answer" is a legal question Regis asks because the ABC lawyers don’t want to take any chances with lawsuits. Remember the controversy during the coin toss at an NFL game last year. A player called both "heads and tails" and the referee only heard one call. You can’t do that…you must have a definitive answer…. will it be heads…. will it be tails…what is your final answer?
This morning I want us to use that question, "Is That Your Final Answer" to help us all make sure we have the right final answer spiritually. The right "Final Answer" might win you a million dollars on the game show-but there is a much more important final answer that you need to be sure about.
There are some famous final answers given by people just like you and me in the Bible.
I. The Rich Young Ruler
A. A new contestant on "Who Wants To Go To Heaven"
1. One day a man we usually just call "the rich, young ruler" because he was rich…young…and he was a ruler, came to Jesus and wanted to be a contestant on "Who Wants To Go To Heaven".
2. The story is included in Mark’s gospel: &17Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" 18So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one
is good but One, that is, God. 19You know the commandments: ’Do not commit adultery,’ ’Do not murder,’ ’Do not steal,’ ’Do not bear false witness,’ ’Do not defraud,’ ’Honor your father and your mother.’ " 20And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these
things I have kept from my youth." 21Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." 22But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Mark 10:17-22
3. This guy had it all…he was rich, he was young, he was powerful -he was probably even handsome! But he was a truth seeker unhappy with his legalistic, performance oriented, graceless religion. He knew there is more to this life than here and now. He knew that eternity needed to be prepared for. He wants to go to heaven and have eternal life. So he comes to Jesus for an answer.
4. The rich young ruler addressed Jesus as "Good Teacher". Jesus in turns asks a question, "Why do you call Me good when only God is intrinsically good? Are you prepared to acknowledge that I am God?" So Jesus raises the question in the young man’s mind
about who He was.
5. Then I think Jesus plays a little game to expose the young man’s heart. Jesus starts with, "You know the commandments…" And the young man’s response that he had obeyed all the law of God since he was a child was superficial and untrue. I love what Mark says about Jesus here--Jesus, loved this hopelessly lost young man desperately even though he was either lying or in self denial (look at v. 21 &Then Jesus, looking at him, loved
him,) So Jesus goes for the spiritual jugular: "sell all you have and give it to the poor and then follow Me." Jesus was not making poverty or philanthropy a requirement of salvation, He was exposing the young man’s heart. He was not blameless.
6. It was like Jesus was asking, "So now that we’ve gotten done to brass tacks, what are you going to do?"
a. Put your fingers in your ears and pretend you didn’t hear?
b. Tell me I’m just another teacher and take a hike?