Summary: A sermon that deals with the hold that material possessions has on all of us.
"The Magnetism of Materialism"
Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 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.
18 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,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 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.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
INTRODUCTION: How many of you have ever watched a TV show called "Hoarders?" I did recently and to be honest, I was amazed and astonished at the degree to which some folks will hold on to things (stuff). This person (the hoarder), had so much stuff that she didn't even have a place to sleep or sit down! What was heartbreaking was that these episodes are really interventions on the part of family members and friends who are trying to help the hoarder to break this destructive habit or lifestyle. The more I thought about this it occurred to me that programs like American Pickers (these folks don't call themselves hoarders, they are collectors) and Storage Wars (folks who have so much stuff at home that they need extra space to store it all) might also be symptomatic of this problem. Now, before we form any opinions one way or the other let me say that it has been my observation that we all have issues with material things to one degree or another. We might not characterize ourselves as hoarders or even collectors but we all have issues! There is a lesson for all of us in the dialog between Jesus and this young man.
I. His trouble
a. He was a ruler (Luke)
He must have led an exemplary life to a risen to a position of authority in the church at such a young age.
b. He was rich (Luke)
He was affluent and had everything that this world could offer in terms of creature comforts.
c. He was respectful (good Master - Rabbi)
Although there is no indication that he recognized Jesus as Messiah, he did show respect for him as a teacher
d. He was religious (kept the Law)
He lived a life dedicated to living out the commandments in every detail.
e. His request (what can I do?)
"He had attempted to keep all the commandments. He had been taught by his Jewish teachers that people were to be saved by doing something - that is, by their works; and he supposed that this was to be the way under every system of religion. He had lived externally a blameless life, but yet he was not at peace: he was anxious, and he came to ascertain what, in the view of Jesus, was to be done, that his righteousness might be complete. To "have eternal life" means to be saved. The happiness of heaven is called "life," in opposition to the pains of hell, called "death," or an eternal dying." Barnes Notes Vance Havner wrote: "The rich young ruler had morals, manners, and money and would be welcomed into most churches today with open arms. Sadly, he would be just another unsaved church member trying to live a changed life without being changed by the Master. Jesus said he lacked one thing but oh what a thing it was for it was everything!"
f. His restlessness
Notice that one of the Gospel writers says that this man came "...running to Jesus..." and in his haste to come to the Lord I believe we can see something that might give us a window into this man's heart. As we observed in the earlier part of this message there was a certain restlessness; a want of peace, a lack of satisfaction with his life. This is surprising, especially in consideration of all his other attainments. He certainly looks like a man who has it all in terms of this worlds good but he has come face to face with someone who is more than a teacher, He has met the searcher of men's hearts, the omniscient one, the all-knowing one, the one who knows the deepest things in a man's heart and mind.