We Have an Enemy that takes us Seriously, So We Should take our Enemy Seriously. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Hell) – Proverbs 14:12
In Mark 10:17-22; A man comes to Jesus and kneeled to him, He’s a good man, he’s a moral man, he’s a righteous man, he’s a religious man. He’s heard the teachings of Jesus, he’s seen the power, he’s watched people being raised from the dead. He sees the five thousand getting fed. He sees there’s something different about Jesus and he hears teaching and with authority like no one else, and even though he’s a righteous man he comes to Jesus and he says, “What must I do to inherit eternal life? And there’s a premise there. “What must I do?”
And Jesus says, “So how are you doing in keeping the commandments?” He says, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.”
Now notice the response of Jesus. Notice the motivation. “Jesus looking at him felt a love for him.” He had compassion for him. He saw this good, moral, religious, sincere man who was doing what seemed right to him. Keep these rules, be a good person. Then somehow, someway you’ll get eternal life.
And so feeling love for him, Jesus said, “One thing you lack, go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and Follow Me”.
And Jesus saw that this man’s problem wasn’t external. It wasn’t about being religious, it wasn’t about being honest. But he was an idolater. He had an idol in his heart. And the idol was money.
“But at these words he was saddened and he went away,” notice, “grieving.” You know what the word “grieve” means? Grieving is when you lose something.
Guess what he just lost? He lost the relationship with Jesus. Jesus said, “You can come be with Me. I’m offering you an invitation to intimacy. I’m offering you to be close to Me forever. I’m offering you purpose. I’m offering all the things you think someday, someway, somehow all those riches might give you. I’m offering it now in Me.”
“And he went away grieved.” He was sad because he realized he couldn’t have both. “For he was one who owned much property,” he rejected the invitation to life, and intimacy, and treasure, forever with Jesus to be heaven bound, to know the joy that’s inexpressible, and love, and peace beyond all comprehension.
He was operating in a way that seemed right to him but the way, in the end, was death (Hell). And if we met this guy, we would say he is probably one of the greatest Christians we have ever met.
And does this mean that we need to sell our possessions to become a Christian? Absolutely not. It meant this one man, in this one situation, had a barrier in his walk with God, and what he needed to do was take money off the throne of his heart, so Jesus could be the King of his life, and he rejected that because you can’t serve both.