Summary: If he had known who he was speaking to the rich young ruler would have ask for mercy instead of asking what he could do.
I. HE WAS UNHAPPY.
A. HE WAS RICH, BUT HE WAS NOT HAPPY.
1. He had great possessions. Matt. 19:22, Mk. 10:22
B. HE WAS DEEPLY RELIGIOUS, BUT HE WAS NOT
1. His hands were clean...
"All these things have I kept from my youth up"
2. But his heart was empty.
"What lack I yet?"
a. Something is missing.
b. I need something more.
II. HE DIDN’T KNOW WHO HE WAS TALKING TO:
A. IF HE HAD KNOWN WHO JESUS WAS HE COULD HAVE ASKED FOR MERCY
Luke 17:12 (quickview) ,13 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
B. COMPARE THIS YOUNG MAN TO THE THIEF ON THE CROSS WHO HAD NOTHING, BUT BELIEVED IN JESUS AS THE SON OF GOD
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
C. INSTEAD, HE ASKED WHAT WORK HE COULD DO!
D. JESUS KNOWING HIS HEART SHOWED HIM THAT NO MAN CAN GAIN HEAVEN BY GOOD WORKS.
Mat 19:21 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. It was a call to a sacrifice, which he was not willing to make.
1. It was a call to sacrifice.
2. It was a call to service. "Come and follow me."
3. The natural man is unable to make such sacrifice or service without the help of the Holy Spirit.
4. For each natural man there is something else he is unwilling to do. God knows what that is. Our only hope is in the mercy of God
E. THE CHOICE THAT WAS MADE
Maybe you are thinking, I cannot give up this or I cannot give up that. Of course you can not. Your only hope to live the Christian life is to throw yourself on the mercy of God and let Him help You.
1. He was not willing to comply with these conditions. He was thinking as a man, not seeing by faith. He thought:
a. Too strict?
b. Too senseless?
2. Without Faith he was not willing to commit himself to Christ.
III. HE WAS UNREADY BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
A. HE WENT AWAY WITHOUT CHRIST IN HIS HEART.
B. HE WENT AWAY CONDEMNED TO HELL.
"In hell he lifted up his eyes."
C. HE WAS THINKING WITH HIS HEAD, NOT WITH HEART.
Rom 10:9,10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Note: From a similar sermon by Doug Raymer