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Who Can Do the Impossible?
The poverty of riches in verses 23 to 27,
and the riches of poverty in verses 28-31 of Mark 10–part 1
Can you do the impossible? No, that’s why it is impossible! There’re some fun, impossible things found in everyday life. You can’t tickle yourself, you can’t lick your elbow. And if that’s not profound enough for you, you can’t sneeze with your eyes open, and you can’t slam a revolving door. You can barely say the word “toyboat” three times really fast without slurring the words. And you can’t move your leg in a clockwise direction in a circle, and simultaneously draw the number six. Please be careful when you try that today, you’ll fall over.
There’re a lot of impossible things–but the most desperate one, the one thing our hearts struggle with, the one impossible thing we desperately need to be possible is eternal life. In our inner most being, we know we deserve judgment. We intrinsically know we’re guilty of sin and deserve Hell forever. Therefore, we hope beyond hope that salvation is possible, that Heaven can be gained–that we don’t get what we deserve.
But Jesus will tell us today that salvation is not possible. We cannot have salvation, get salvation, earn it, work for it, or ask for it–it is impossible. Impossible! But the good news is, salvation is possible for God to provide. God Himself can save us, but it’ll cost Him more than we can imagine. And in Mark chapter 10, our Lord Jesus clarifies that only He can make salvation possible for us.
Open your Bibles to Mark 10:23 to 27, take your outline, and let’s stand in honor of the Word of God and read from your outline, as we continue in our verse by verse study in the gospel of Mark.
“And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!’ 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, ‘Then who can be saved?’ 27 Looking at them, Jesus said, ‘With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’”
Let’s pray. Father, help us to see just how glorious your grace truly is. Help us to see how unable and unwilling we really are in our sin. Cause some to be drawn to you, so that they might cry out for salvation, and cause the rest of us to worship you with a fervent heart and an obedient will.
You live in a day where you are barraged with the idea that you can do anything–that one self-esteem, psychological lie deludes everyone into believing exaggerated opinions of themselves and their abilities. They say, “If you can dream it, you can do it. If you think, you can do it–you can.”
Exposing that lie is your obvious limitations–limitations of talent, strength, time, opportunity, circumstances, and the laws of physics. And destroying that lie, the lie that you can do anything, is the truth our Lord teaches here. Your flesh, sin, pride, self-centeredness does not want to accept the idea that you can’t choose to be saved on your own–that even if salvation is difficult, you can somehow achieve it.
My precious family, how hard is it for us to be saved? Jesus says it’s impossible. It’s impossible for you to be saved, and it’s even more impossible if you’re rich. If you’re wealthy, it actually makes it more impossible for you to become saved. That’s what Jesus says in verses 23 to 27.
PART 1: The POVERTY of riches–the downside to being rich
Since salvation is impossible, you must depend on God alone to save you. But beware, wealth can completely erode your desire to depend on God alone for salvation. What has just happened to bring this discussion about? Jesus just tried to share the Gospel with a highly esteemed, well-known, very wealthy, young synagogue ruler. He came running up to Jesus. Then, to the shock of his own synagogue family and watching crowd, he dropped to his knees and asked Jesus, “What do I do to inherit eternal life?”
He asks the most important question any person can ask—“How do I get to Heaven, how can I be saved, how do I get salvation, how do I enter your Kingdom?”–all used interchangeably here. This is the most important moment in this young man’s entire life. And he comes with the right attitude, asking the right question to the right person. What do I need to do?
But Jesus doesn’t answer him like Paul did to the Philippian jailer. You know Paul said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll be saved.” No, the Lord knows this religious man’s heart is wrong. The rich young ruler is the first century version of the unsaved church attender. So how do you share the Gospel with the religious? Jesus points him to the perfect goodness of God in verse 18 to expose his lack of true internal goodness. But that doesn’t work—strike one.
Then the Lord points out the Law of God in verse 19, so the rich young ruler would realize why he needs to be saved, and what he needs to be saved from, to expose his sinful heart. The Lord wants the Law to expose his inner man, not merely his behavior. So Jesus asks him to look at the second half of the Ten Commandments that speak of our dealings with others, like “Don’t murder, steal, adultery, bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and the Lord adds another–don’t defraud.”
The rich young ruler thought he was doing great–he hadn’t killed anyone, nor was unfaithful to his wife, so he says in verse 20, “I’m battin’ a thousand. I’ve got no problems with the law! Since my Bar Mitzvah, I’ve kept all those commands!” Sadly, he didn’t understand the depth of the Law. He never saw beyond surface behavior to examine his heart. He didn’t realize his thoughts, attitudes, and motives were sinful.
Jesus said, “You’ve been taught, ‘Do not murder.’ But I say to you, if you hate, you’re sinning. Or, you’ve been taught, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But lust in your heart is sin as well. Our Lord is trying to help him see his sin, to get a glimpse of his wretched, corrupted, fallen heart, so he might cry out to God for mercy and grace in forgiveness–to look to God to save him. But strike two–the Law didn’t convict this wealthy man.
And get an X-ray into the heart of Christ in verse 21. Mark tells us Jesus loves this young man. And how does the Lord show His love? By telling him the truth about his heart–the most loving thing you can do for someone is to share the truth about just how sinful they are, and how desperately they need for Christ to save them. It is not unloving, but the most loving.
Finally, the Lord exposes the hypocrisy of this religious young man. The Lord shows him the idol in his heart. Jesus shows the rich young ruler he doesn’t worship the true God, but the green god of money, possessions and wealth in the rest of verse 21. “One thing you lack–go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
The issue is not to give up all your money in order to be saved, but to repent of the idol in your heart, and worship only Christ–to surrender your life to Christ Himself, and worship only Him. Every time this young man went to worship in the synagogue, he was a hypocrite. Even though he appeared to love God first in his heart, he was loving his wealth first–he was a hypocritical phony.
So our Lord invites him in verse 21 to come follow Me. I’m your salvation–it’s Me you need. You asked for eternal life. It’s Me. I’m what’s missing in your life–I’m what you desperately need. I alone can save you, forgive you, guide you, give you life now and Heaven forever. Come, follow Me. But strike three—verse 22, “But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.” He wanted eternal life, but only in addition to what he worshiped. He had another god, and in the end, it was himself.
Never forget–if you want anything more than salvation, if you want anything more than eternal life, if you want anything more than Christ Himself . . . friends, popularity, sports success, a spouse, your kids, comfort–you lose everything. It’s not Jesus and, but Jesus alone! He went away grieving, because he owned much property. So he exchanged heavenly treasure for earthly treasure. He gave up Heaven for Earth. He desired eternal life, but only wanted it as an addition–not as a complete substitution for everything else in life. It’s a sad story.
So now Jesus builds on this event, and starting in verse 23 He teaches His disciples some lessons about riches, poverty and the nature of genuine salvation itself. Jesus is again explaining here what He said back in 8:35 and 36, “’For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?’” That’s exactly what that rich young ruler had done. He forfeited his eternal soul for earthly riches. Look at the first point.
#1 The IMPACT of wealth, affecting Salvation
Listen to the poverty of earthly riches in verses 23 and 24. “And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!’ 24 The disciples were amazed at His words.” Jesus was looking around–I think because there were more than just the apostles there. More than just additional disciples, there was a crowd. According to Mark 10:1, crowds were gathering around Him while He was in the region of Perea.
So Jesus looks around making eye contact, and I think, identifying those people in the crowd who were rich, taking stock of who was there, and perhaps making eye contact with the wealthy. By the way, He would have been looking at you and me eye-to-eye, we are wealthy. He then made a shocking statement to His disciples, “’How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!’”
That’s not such a shocking statement to us–after all, we understand the Church is made up of “not many noble, not many mighty,” the nobodies and the nothings. So then, why is it so hard for really wealthy people to enter the Kingdom of God? You’re a smart congregation for being so lowly, and you know . . .
First The rich have a false sense of security
They lack desperation. They’re smugly confident in their own abilities. They think they got themselves where they are, so they’re happy to trust themselves. Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:17, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”
The nature of being rich is to feel confident in their own ability. Riches made them successful, it made them prominent, it elevated them above everyone else. They’re not desperate. They’re not looking for resources beyond themselves. And it’s that sort of smug success that makes it hard for the rich to really be interested in having to depend on Christ for salvation and everything in this life, because they’re doing so well at providing a comfortable life by themselves.
Second The rich tend to be bound to this world
They tend to be consumed with earthly enterprises. Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” And since their wealth is here, their heart is here. Paul said money is the root of all kinds of evil in 1 Timothy 6, because money is connected with this world and can be used for evil things in this world.
The rich fool of Luke 12 said he would just keep accumulating by building bigger and bigger barns to eat, drink and be merry in this world. But that very night he died and left this world for eternity. And he left all his wealth, his possessions, all his barns behind. Wealthy unsaved people can be that way. They live for self-fulfillment, self-pleasure, self-gratification, and self-promotion.
The mags at the supermarket check-out prove to us that the non-rich are envious–if everyone didn’t want to know what it’s like to live like the rich, no one would buy those rags. And in order to salve their guilt, the rich all have some token charity, but it doesn’t affect their self-gratifying lifestyle.
So that’s the struggle–the rich are so self-sufficient, so self-reliant, so self-centered, so convinced of their own success, and so entangled in the things of this world because of their wealth. It is extremely difficult for them to be dependent enough, needy enough, desperate enough, sick of their sin enough, and to come to an end of themselves and want only Christ so that they might cry out for salvation and want to enter the Kingdom.
Now all that’s true, but get this–it’s not the point of this passage. That’s not the point here, (not authorial intent) for this obvious reason. Listen and understand the thinking of the Jewish people at this time. When Jesus said, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!”–He said it of a very religious man.
For a religious Jew listening to Christ, including the apostles–according to their theology, and in their thinking, any Jew who was rich, it was because God was blessing them. If you were wealthy, you were blessed by God. And if you were poor, you were cursed by God. If you were healthy, you were blessed by God. If you were sick, you were cursed by God. That was their thinking, which resulted from a wrong theology.
The thinking of their day would cause them to look at this very religious man, like the rich young ruler, and assume, because of his wealth, it would be easy for him to enter into the Kingdom of God–why? Because he had so much money, he could always buy the best animal sacrifices. He could buy the spotless lamb, where someone else with less money would have to buy a blemished lamb–lots of money, perfect lamb . . . less money, mangy lamb . . . and even less money means you’d only buy a cheap bird to sacrifice. Plus more wealth meant more sacrifices, and less money less sacrifices.
And in their minds, as he grew in wealth, that meant he grew in God’s favor, and God was even more pleased with him. So up the ladder of spiritual confidence they would climb, not only in their own eyes, but in the eyes of the people around them. Now catch this–this sounds just like the Catholic heresy that brought about the Reformation. What do I mean?
The rabbis taught that with alms, one purchased his redemption. That’s what they said! One rabbi said, “Giving alms will deliver from death and will purge away every sin.” Another said, “Alms will atone for sin.” The Talmud says, “Alms giving is more excellent than all offerings, and is equal to the whole Law.” In other words, if you give alms, you’ve virtually kept the whole Law, and further, it’ll deliver you from Hell and make you perfectly righteous.
Wow! How do you become perfectly righteous? How are you delivered from eternal Hell? Their system, their thinking taught it was by giving money. So when Jesus says, “It is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God,” that statement is completely counter-intuitive. They don’t get that at all. It’s a jolt to their system.
Now remember the Lord’s main men, the twelve except one, had come to faith in Christ. But they still had all the stuff of their legalistic system flowing through their veins, and it affected their thinking. They still saw wealth as a sign of divine blessing, and they saw wealth as a means of entering the Kingdom of God, because you bought your way into the Kingdom with your giving. They assumed if you’re wealthy and held a prestigious position, that means God is blessing you.
The friends of Job actually believed that the wicked man will not be rich. The rabbis taught the same. Everyone believed this then. So when Jesus says, “It’s hard for a wealthy man to enter the Kingdom of God,” the men respond with amazed shock in verse 24. The disciples were amazed at His words. They are not amazed because wealth makes a man independent and worldly. They are not amazed because wealth causes a man to feel he doesn’t need salvation—not at all. No, they are amazed because they believed a rich man was blessed by God, and through the purchase of sacrifices and giving was able to buy his way into Heaven.
This is an astounding truth for them to hear–it’s hard for a religious, rich young man to be saved, to receive eternal life. Really? Amazed means surprised wonder–a fearful astonishment. They’re blown away, #shocker, to strike out of one’s senses. Can you imagine what they’re thinking? If it’s hard for the rich young ruler, how hard is it for everybody who isn’t rich? Because the wealthy guys should be leading the parade, they’re in the front of the line.
FBC, do not miss this lesson–it is hard to be saved. It’s hard to receive eternal life. It’s hard to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus said, it’s a narrow gate that few find, a great struggle that few win, and a costly choice that few pay. Modern Christianity has it wrong–most people today think getting saved is easy. Just pray a prayer, say a few words–but it’s hard.
“Come on Chris, does Jesus really say that?” Yes, look at verse 24. “But Jesus answered again and said to them, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!’” What’s He talking about? What do you mean it’s hard? Well, they’re so stunned by it, Jesus repeats it, and says to them, “Children”–He loves his men, but they are young in the faith, and by saying children, Jesus is making this a general statement for all.
It is hard–extremely difficult . . . the idea of fiercely tough, to enter the Kingdom of God. Not merely for the rich, it’s just plain hard to enter the Kingdom of God. If the rich can’t do it in their system, then nobody can do it. Well, how hard is it really? Jesus answers in verse 25. “’It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’”
And if it’s hard for a rich man, it will be hard for the poor and everybody who is not rich. What is this talking about? It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God? This is an expression found in writings outside the Bible–it is found in other ancient writings. But there it uses an elephant. It’s easier for an elephant to go through the eye of a needle. And it’s also used in Jewish writings using a camel. But both are communicating something that can’t happen.
What is our Lord saying? It’s impossible, that’s what He’s saying. You cannot put a camel through the eye of a needle.
1 Some have tried to tamper with this saying, pointing out that kamelos is camel and kamilos, with just one different vowel, is rope. They say a scribe must have made a mistake and put in the wrong letter and it came out camel, but it should be rope. But rope doesn’t help, because you can’t put a rope through the eye of a needle either. But that’s not the point.
2 Others have said, if you can somehow reduce the camel to liquid, you could eye-drop the camel through the eye of the needle. Or if you could line up his molecules, you could get them through.
3 A few commentaries even state there is a needle gate in the city of Jerusalem–a little gate next to the big gate, that they would stuff camels through on their knees. Are you kidding? No one’s ever found a needle gate, and why would you do that, when the gate that all the people and animals walked through with ease is already there. Who would do that? That’s silly!
The point is, this is a very common expression that appears even outside the Bible, to express something that is impossible. There’s no needle gate, and we’re not talking about altering the substance of the camel’s basic form. What Jesus is saying is, you can’t do it. This is a very graphic, vivid declaration of something that can’t happen or, you can’t put a camel or elephant through the eye of a needle. That’s a Semitic way of expressing something that is impossible. It’s impossible for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God–what a statement. What Jesus says here is so incredible–look at the second point.
#2 THE INCREDULITY of the DISCIPLES over salvation
Verse 26, “They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” If the rich can’t be saved, who can? See–they had this residual theology still lingering in their thinking, even though they’ve come to Christ. They’re still hanging on to the vestiges of that old system. Our Lord is not saying it’s merely fiercely difficult.
There are statements our Lord makes that tell us how difficult gaining salvation is–that it’s a narrow gate and few find it. Through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom. Some will seek to seize the Kingdom through aggression, or that salvation is a difficult battle, that few succeed in winning. But that’s not what Jesus is saying in verse 26. What verse 26 says is salvation, entering the Kingdom, inheriting eternal life is impossible, it’s impossible, it’s impossible.
They are even more astonished. A Greek word used to describe someone who has lost their mental composure–that’s a nice way of saying they’ve lost their minds, flipped their wig, they’ve gone bonkers. It’s blown their minds–knocked out of their senses. And they pick it up, verse 26, “Then who can be saved?” If it’s not the rich who can buy their way into God’s Kingdom with sacrifices and giving, then who can be saved?
#3 The INVINCIBILITY of GOD with salvation
Jesus answers with this sweeping statement, verse 27, “Looking at them Jesus said, ‘With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’” Stop right there. Bottom line, you can’t save yourself, right?—any more than you can stuff a camel through the eye of a needle. The sinner, by his own power, his own will, his money, his religion and his morality cannot save himself. He cannot enter the Kingdom. He cannot inherit eternal life, and he cannot be saved.
We’re not talking about the fact that it’s psychologically difficult for rich people to come to Christ, even though that’s true. We’re not describing the misconception theologically, that you can buy your way into Heaven. What Jesus is saying in these verses is, the sinner has no power in himself to be saved.
This is found throughout the Scripture–you know these verses. Jeremiah 13:23, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” Jeremiah 2:22, “’Although you wash yourself with lye. And use much soap, the stain of your iniquity is before Me,’ declares the Lord God.” Job 14:4, “Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one!” John 6:44, “’No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him’ [against his will].” Romans 8:7, “The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.”
This is one of the great theological problems of human depravity. Spiritually dead people can’t make themselves come alive. The sinner is stuck in an impossible situation–we can’t help ourselves. Even the rich, religious sinner is stuck in an impossible situation. Therefore, all middle class and poor are equally in the same situation. The rich young ruler could not have repented or followed Christ–his will was enslaved to Satan and sin. He was dead–not dangerously sick or half alive, but dead!
And of course, this is so astonishing, it says the disciples “were even more astonished,” or in the words of Matthew, “they were exceedingly amazed,” since this is all new to them. So they ask, “Who can be saved?” With people, it’s impossible–you can’t do it on your own. You can’t inherit eternal life, enter the Kingdom, or be saved on your own.
But the good news is, even though it’s impossible with people, it’s not impossible with God–for all things are possible with God. Verse 27, “But not with God; for all things are possible with God.” That same phrase is used in Luke 1 to refer to the virgin birth. Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” The virgin birth is an impossibility, right? Just like a child cannot be born without an earthly father, so a sinner cannot be reborn without a heavenly work of the Spirit of God.
The virgin birth of Christ is a divine miracle from above. And the salvation of every sinner in this room, your regeneration, is also a divine miracle from above. Only God can do this mighty work. Only God can do the impossible. You know John 1:12 and 13, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Only of God, not your choice—it’s God’s.
You remember John 3–Nicodemus wants to be saved, so Jesus tells Nic, “You must be born again.” Literally born from above–born of the Spirit, meaning just like you had nothing to do with your physical birth, you also have nothing to do with your spiritual birth. God alone can give you a new heart so you can respond to Him in repentance and faith. God alone can provide the perfect righteousness which people will never attain on their own. God alone can bring people to a change of heart, leading unwilling and sinful hearts to now accept Christ’s provision.
And Peter makes this really clear when he says, 1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” God caused you to be born again–God did the impossible work.
Then what do I do if I want to be saved, forgiven, cleansed, right with God, ready for Heaven and to know God intimately? And now that I don’t ask people to pray this prayer after me, that salvation is not as simple as ABC, “accept, believe, confess,” what do I say as I witness to those who need Christ? What I say to a sinner is this, “Look, salvation is a divine miracle–God has to save you. It is not by your strength, your decision, or your will, but by the will of God.
“And if you’re at the point where you desire to repent and put your faith in Christ, where you hate your sin and know you’re a lawbreaker, and want to be rescued from eternal judgment and want to follow Christ, leave behind the kingdom of darkness and Satan, and now live under the rule of Christ, following Him alone, where you exchange your life for life with and for Christ–knowing He died on the cross for your sin and is alive, having risen from the dead . . . then all you can do is cry out to God and ask Him if He’d be gracious and merciful to you and save you, because it’s His work to do.”
Cry out to Christ! And when God gives you a new heart, you will respond to Him in repentance and faith, and be secure in Him for life, now and forever. It’s like Luke 18–pounding his chest from his heart the Publican says, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner . . . save me.” That is the sinner’s prayer. It’s a divine work, not a work of man. Only God can do the impossible and raise the spiritually dead to life.
There is no formula, no three steps, no special prayer, no technique–you don’t get salvation by being religious, moral, rich or giving alms. It doesn’t come from human effort. It’s of grace and by grace, right? You love Ephesians 2:8 and 9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” It’s all of grace, not works, lest any man should boast.
So the first thing the disciples needed to understand is that earthly riches can’t buy spiritual riches. Earthly riches, when clung to, will make you spiritually bankrupt. That’s PART 1: THE POVERTY OF RICHES. Then what’s the benefit of following Christ? What is PART 2: THE RICHES OF POVERTY? For that you will have to come back next week! In conclusion . . .
1 BE ASTONISHED OVER SALVATION
When is the last time you were amazed over your salvation? The disciples were amazed and astonished over these truths. Sadly, the danger for Christians is to stop being amazed and astonished over what Jesus Christ did for you. He chose you, He suffered and died for you, He then called you in time, to forgive, cleanse, wash, make new, and make you His child forever. Express to Christ that He is your first love today, and be astonished over what He did for you.
2 BE HONEST ABOUT THE DEADLY AFFECT OF YOUR WEALTH
“Chris, I am not wealthy–I am a collegian. I eat Top Ramen.”
“We’re a young couple, and only have hand-me-down furniture.”
“I am retired, and only have a small fixed income to live on.”
Friends, anyone who has food, clothes and shelter, God considers rich. And if we have more food, more clothes, and lots of shelter, then biblically, we’re extremely wealthy. And because we’re not in desperate need for our next meal, or clothes to keep us warm, or a house to keep us dry, we’re often not dependent and can become worldly–will you be honest about that? Then would you make biblical choices to not allow wealth to rob you of a life of moment by moment dependence/faith in Christ?
Budget your paycheck so that it’s spent in a way which would honor Christ in all things. Spend less than you have, and give more and more away. Give sacrificially to the work of Christ through His Church. By giving, you’re supporting the establishing of the Church here and overseas, the training and sending of men here and overseas, international pastors coming here to be trained. God has given us that privilege.
Jeremiah 9:23 and 24, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me.’” Make a difference with your money. Wealth is either a tool for His glory, or a trap for your heart. For the rich young ruler, money was his idol, and it trapped him from Christ, even though he was a very faithful religious man. Does your giving demonstrate that your wealth is trapping you, or does it show that your money is a tool for His glory?
3 SHARE THE TRUTH THAT SALVATION IS IMPOSSIBLE
God has called you and I to be faithful witnesses of the Gospel. Call family and friends to cry out to Christ for salvation. Tell them about God’s perfection and our sinfulness. Show them from the Law where they have failed to obey God in external behavior, and internal motivations and thinking. Call them to repent and follow Christ by faith as their life. You be responsible to share, and trust God to save. Invite them to cry out to God for mercy and grace.
4 YOU WERE DEAD, BUT NOW YOU’RE ALIVE–LIVE LIKE IT
My precious family–you were blind, but now you can see
You were lost, but now you have been found
You were enslaved to sin, but now you have been set free
You were headed toward eternal torment, but now eternal bliss
You were dirty with guilt, but now have been washed clean
You were God’s enemy, but now you are God’s friend
You were a slave to a liar, but now are a slave to the Lord of love
Live in that reality–because of all that Christ has done, He calls us to give thanks, rejoice always, count it all joy in trial–are you? Hey, are you giving thanks, rejoicing always in joy? He invites us to serve, give, share, love, be faithful, knowing it will bring Him glory, and it will bring us great joy. You can’t do it on your own–you have to be dependently filled with His Spirit, and Christ must work through you. Don’t slide into routine, average, marginal, fleshy pseudo-Christianity. Let’s put Christ on display–even today as we leave. Let’s pray.