Summary: The Rich Young Ruler Held Out but Paul Sold Out. What will you do?
SELLING OUT OR HOLDING OUT
Matthew 19:16-22, "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions."
The question upon the lips of every one of us, “Jesus, what else can I do to obtain eternal life? Is there anything in my heart that would keep me from being one of those who is ready for the Rapture of the church? Is there anything in my life that will keep me from entering Heaven?
This same question has risen in the heart of every man and woman upon the earth as the Spirit of the Lord moved upon them in an attempt to reach them and draw them from the river of sin that leads to the edge of Hell! Every soul, who has not accepted the salvation offered through the Blood of Jesus, will suddenly plunge into the eternal regions of the damned.
Oh what a terrible thought that one instant we are enjoying life and the pleasures it brings, going our merry way, fulfilling every desire of the heart – then suddenly, without warning, life is snuffed out in an auto accident, heart attack, brain aneurysm or some other catastrophic event and, in an instant, all of the good things disappear and we are plunged into the pits of Hell where there is never a pleasant moment for eternity.
It is no wonder that the Rich Young Ruler came running to Jesus that day as Jesus walked on the road from Judea to Jerusalem to ask this same question. I believe that there was great sincerity in the heart of this young man. He wasn’t just showing off his own piety. He wasn’t just making a grand gesture to impress anyone. He was really curious to know what he needed to do to enter into eternal life.
Do you believe that honest, sincere people, who really want to know about Jesus can still lose their soul? How can anyone who comes to the Lord, reads His Word, does all that is possible to obey every commandment of Law, and lives a good moral life, not make it into Heaven and not have eternal life?
The Rich Young Ruler came running up to the Lord, fell on his knees before Jesus and recognized Jesus as a “good man”.
This is still the greatest problem of mankind today. As long as Jesus is relegated to the place where He is just a “good man”, then we never can understand the fact that He is more than a man, He is very God. Until we reach the place where we know that Jesus is God, there stands a great roadblock on our path to eternal life. Only through realizing that Jesus is God, and not just a good man, can we begin to make the choices and obey those laws that will bring us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross to the way of Truth and eternal life in Him.
Every false, idolatrous religion in the world recognizes that fact that Jesus was real, that he did walk those roads of Judea and Galilee so many years ago. No one will ever deny the historical fact that the man Jesus Christ lived and was crucified. No one will deny his existence, but none of them recognize Him for any more than a “good man” or a prophet or a teacher. Oh my friend, we must get past that and realize that Jesus was more than just a good man, HE WAS VERY GOD WALKING AMONG MEN WHO HAD COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN TO DIE FOR MAN’S SALVATION!
Jesus then began to take that Rich Young Ruler down the same path that all of us, who have come to know the Lord as our Savior, have had to walk.
Once we really mean business with God and desire to know the way to eternal life then God steps into our heart, meddles in the affairs of our life and begins to lead us into the paths of righteousness.