Summary: There is a story in Matthew 19 about a rich young man who wanted eternal life. What can we learn about our quest for eternal life from his story?
“Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:16-22 NKJV).
I. Do you want eternal life?
A. The rich young man asked, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (v. 16)
B. Jesus said, “Why do you call me good? There is none good but God alone.” (v. 17)
C. Jesus is saying that there is only One who is righteous.
II. What must one do to have eternal life?
A. Jesus says, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (v. 17)
B. What are the commandments? (Exodus 20:1-17)
1. You shall not murder.
2. You shall not commit adultery.
3. You shall not steal.
4. You shall not lie.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
C. Have you kept the Ten Commandments?
1. If you have hate in your heart, you are guilty of murder (Matthew 5:21).
2. If you tell a white lie, you are guilty of being a liar.
3. If you steal something small, you guilty of being a thief.
4. If you look at a woman with lust, you are guilty of adultery (Matthew 5:27-28).
D. The young man was amazing because he replies, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” (v. 20).
E. Jesus replies, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor…” (v. 21).
1. Everyone lacks something.
2. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
3. This young man was almost perfect, but he still lacked one thing.
4. What are you lacking? Are you perfect? (Matthew 5:48).
III. What are you willing to do in order to gain eternal life?
A. The man went away very sad. He could not afford the price of eternal life (v22).
B. If you have to pay the price for eternal life, you will always be found lacking.
C. The truth is that only Jesus can save you (John 14:6).
1. Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for your salvation (Romans 6:23).
2. No other god can save you. Why? No other god died for you.
3. Your good works cannot save you.
4. Your money cannot save you. Money did not save the rich young man.
5. The only way to be saved is to cry out to Jesus, the One who is perfect (Acts 2:21).