There’s a real problem we may have today of trying to live outwardly good lives without ever finding a new life in Christ. Mark 10 tells the sad story of the rich young ruler who, when given the opportunity to follow Jesus, turned away. This story offers four insights to help avoid striking out at the opportunity to follow Christ.
First, proud men at their best are sinners at their worst.
This man in Mark 10 was quite proud of his achievements; he was eager, full of strength and the vigor of youth. Outwardly, he was morally clean; he knew the commandments and had kept them in his youth. But Jesus taught him something he didn’t expect: the young ruler, in himself, was not good, and also Jesus Himself is God.
Second, God’s perfect law condemns man’s sinful pride.
God is a holy God with holy laws; the purpose of the law is to show us our need for Christ. God’s grace means nothing to us until we first see ourselves as sinners in the sight of a holy God. Adrian Rogers says, “When a man has been wounded by God’s law, then he’s ready for the healing balm of salvation.”
When Jesus asks the rich young ruler to sell everything he has, give it to the poor, and follow Him, the reality of the man’s depravity was exposed. He was unwilling to do this because he loved his money more than he loved God and his neighbor. Jesus showed him the futility of trying to behave himself into Heaven; all he had was a superficial knowledge of his own goodness.
Third, Jesus teaches no man can serve two masters, but he must serve one.
In order to follow Jesus, we must turn from our idols to serve the living God. This turning is called repentance, which means to change your mind and change your life.
Finally, Jesus teaches him that whatever master a man chooses will master that man.
Adrian Rogers says, “Faith is not merely nodding a head to a series of theological facts about Jesus; it is enthroning Jesus.”
Apply it to your life
Every man has three opportunities to go to Heaven:
- Pass away before the age of accountability (infants)
- Keep the commandments perfectly -- never sin (impossible)
- Come and follow Jesus.
If you fail to do this, that’s three strikes, and you’re out.
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