Summary: Many people are unaware of terrible consequences of wrong thinking. One man told me, "I haven’t committed any crimes and I go to church and try to follow the golden rule therefore God can’t think I am that bad." He reminded me of the poignant encounter th
Eight Errors to Avoid - Matt. 19:16-30
Introduction:Elisabeth Elliot, at Urbana 76, told of her brother Thomas Howard. Their mother let him play with paper bags she’d saved if he put them away afterwards. One day she walked into the kitchen to find them strewn all over the floor. Tom was out at the piano with his father singing hymns. When confronted, he protested, "But Mom, I want to sing." His father stated, "It’s no good singing God’s praise if you’re disobedient."
Many people are unaware of terrible consequences of wrong thinking. One man told me, "I haven’t committed any crimes and I go to church and try to follow the golden rule therefore God can’t think I am that bad." He reminded me of the poignant encounter that Jesus had with the rich young ruler who asked Jesus, "Good Master, (Teacher) what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
Quote: As a man thinks within himself so he is. (Solomon)
After all is said and done everyone wants to know where they will spend eternity, heaven or hell. Even more, we all want to know how we can make the most of our opportunities for temporal and eternal blessings. God has put a deep sense of longing to connect with Him in our hearts. Without fellowship with God through a personal saving faith in Jesus Christ no one will enter heaven. Let us look at eight of the errors to avoid that we can learn from this passage:
1. DO NOT THINK THE LAW IS UNIMPORTANT. Jesus told the rich young man, "If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." (Matt. 19:17) The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul." (Psa. 19:7)
Example: Paul wrote, "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith." (Gal. 3:24) Many people discount the importance of the law since they insist we are no longer subject to the law but under grace. Jesus knew that we need God’s law to teach us what is right, but also to help us see that we are unable to live up to all of the laws demands.
Application:We need the Holy Spirit to enlighten us, enable us and empower us to accomplish all of God’s will in our lives with a knowledge of God’s word.
2. GREAT DEEDS ARE NOT ENOUGH TO PLEASE GOD. The young man asked Jesus, "What good thing must I do to get eternal life?" (Matt 19:16) Americans love to do good things for others.
Example: After 911 billions of dollars were given, thousands of man hours were offered to help the victims of the tragedy. That is noble, but giving only out of compassion and sympathy does not necessarily please the Lord. God wants obedience not just our sacrifices.
However, the Bible teaches, "Not by works of righteousness that we have done but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:5)
The Lord is pleased when we are trusting Him for His free gift of forgiveness through Christ’s substitutionary payment for sin. In addition, the Lord is pleased when we are trusting Him in all ways. "The righteous man will live by faith."
3. FAILURE TO REMEDY OUR SINS OF OMISSION IS DESTRUCTIVE. The rich young ruler prided himself on all the commands he had fufilled,but Jesus pointed out the areas where he had failed to live up to God’s righteous, holy and perfect standards. James writes, "Whatever is not of faith is sin."
Illustration: As a condemned man refused to see a visitor the night before his execution, it prompted him to ask for one last request before being injected with poison. He asked, "Who was the man who came to see me last night?" The executioner said, "That was the governor of the state who came to give you a pardon. Today you will die not because of your crime but because you refused to accept the pardon available to you." People do not go to hell only because of their sin but because they refuse to accept the free pardon for sin found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
4. PRIDE, SELF-MERIT AND VAIN CONCEIT ARE DESTRUCTIVE. The rich young ruler’s sense of security, identity and hope were rooted in his possessions. Even though the young man was convinced that he lacked something yet he was not willing to obey Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you have and give it to the poor and come follow Me." Pride often hinders people from surrendering their will to Jesus Christ.
Quote; Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling. (Solomon)Even Solomon did not take his own advice and stumbled with pride while succumbing to the bad advice of his pagan wives. (2 Kings 4:4)