Summary: We need to examine ourselves like the Rich Young Ruler. He did not have the goods he needed for eternity
THRIVE IN 2005-"The Rich Young Ruler”-MAKING SURE YOU HAVE THE GOODS
*Cartoon: Frank and Ernest (Monday)
1. Total commitment to the Kingdom of God is required for us to have a prosperous life.
a. The church in America is suffering from weakness and lukewarmness.
b. Christian Americans have taken Jesus and Eternal life for granted.
c. It has caused the church to become stagnant and irrelevant in many ways
A new Pastor in a small Oklahoma town spent the first four days making personal visits to each of the members, inviting them to come to his first services. The following Sabbath the church was all but empty. Accordingly, the Pastor placed a notice in the local newspapers, stating that, because the church was dead, it was everyone’s duty to give it a decent Christian burial.
The funeral would be held the following Sabbath afternoon, the notice said.
Morbidly curious, a large crowd turned out for the "funeral." In front of the pulpit, they saw a closed coffin, smothered in flowers. After the Pastor delivered the eulogy, he opened the coffin and invited his congregation to come forward and pay their final respects to their dead church.
Filled with curiosity as to what would represent the corpse of a "dead church," all the people eagerly lined up to look in the coffin. Each "mourner" peeped into the coffin then quickly turned away with a guilty, sheepish look. In the coffin, tilted at the correct angle, was a large mirror.
2. Your life and church will THRIVE when Jesus Christ, Salvation and Eternity in heaven becomes the one thing that you never want to dry up, go stagnant, become unimportant, or mocked by others
a. Our relationship with God, and commitment to Christ is one thing that needs to be SURE of to us and to others.
b. What people see is what people get!
2 Cor. 13:5
"When I was a boy, my father, a baker, introduced me to the wonders of song," tenor Luciano Pavarotti relates. "He urged me to work very hard to develop my voice. Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor in my hometown of Modena, Italy, took me as a pupil. I also enrolled in a teachers college. On graduating, I asked my father, ’Shall I be a teacher or a singer?’ "’Luciano,’ my father replied, ’if you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair.’ "I chose one. It took seven years of study and frustration before I made my first professional appearance. It took another seven to reach the Metropolitan Opera. And now I think whether it’s laying bricks, writing a book--whatever we choose--we should give ourselves to it. Commitment, that’s the key. Choose one chair."
1. A respectable, clean-cut young man comes to Jesus, interested in religion.
a. Mark calls him a ruler, and many Bible scholars think he was a leader in the synagogue, sort of like a deacon or a member of the Board of Trustees!
b. He comes running to Christ, enthusiastic to receive spiritual instruction. Here is an upstanding member of the religious community wanting to know the way of salvation.
c. How many people run up to you asking how to get to heaven?
d. The Gospel is certainly offered to the vilest of the vile-it is also for “the religious.”
e. Some people, like this young man, have “churchianity” but lack authentic faith.
2. The Man had a Sincere Aspiration: “Eternal Life”==verse 17
a. People today need to be interested in Heaven and Hell
3. BUT: He wanted to Make a Deal with Jesus: “What must I DO..”
a. He saw salvation as a TRANSACTION instead of TRANSFORMATION!
b. The first thing he needed to understand is: WHO JESUS IS.
c. We cannot gain Eternal life if Jesus is not the SON of GOD to us!
6 Things to Understand About Eternal Life:
I. A PERSON CAN FEEL GREAT EMOTION AND MISS IT (V.17)
§ He felt URGENCY!—He ran to Jesus
§ He felt REVERENCE---He knelt
§ He felt DESIRE—He left sad (v.22)
1. Nothing but TRUE REPENTANCE makes us acceptable to Jesus
ILL.- A Baptist preacher in Bluefield, West Virginia said, “This well-dressed woman came forward at the salvation invitation. I took her hand and prepared to give her a prayer to repeat after me. The prayer I usually give is, ‘Dear Lord, I know that I am a no-good sinner. I know I can’t save myself. I do need forgiveness for my awful sins. I can’t do without you, Jesus. Please forgive me for my many sins.’
He said, “I took this woman’s hand and began to give her the prayer to repeat after me. ‘Dear Lord, I know I’m a no-good sinner.’ She never said a word. I looked at her and said, ‘Don’t you want to be saved?’