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What Are You Still Lacking?



"As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’" And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up." Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "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." But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property."
Good Morning my beloved,

We welcome you to worship in the name of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. As we return to our study of Mark chapter 10, we are blessed to have this rich portion of Scripture before us. May He use it to bless our growth together with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

If you have been with us for anything length of time, you know I’ve been pointing out over the years, there are many people in the church who think they’re Christians, who say they’re true believers, who claim to be following Jesus, and the reality is they are clearly not. The problem is when these superficial professing Christians are sitting alongside of true believers in the church, we can’t necessarily tell them apart just by looking at them. For all intents and purposes, they may outwardly appear to be genuine because Satan is deceptive, but upon closer inspection we'll find they aren't really cleansed of their filthiness or pursuing the things of God.

How do we explain those who claim to be a Christian, but manifest no evidence of saving faith that they were never really saved to begin with? There are several important factors necessary for people to understand, when they are coming to Christ for salvation. First is they must acknowledge their own sinfulness, and their need for repentance and forsaking their sin. And the second is to need to confess Jesus as Lord and genuinely understand what the Lordship of Christ means. 
Scripture makes it clear that salvation is granted only to those who repent, acknowledge Jesus as Lord and are willing to submit their life to Him. The invitation to salvation is command to repent, followed by a call to obedience, and call to submission. Sadly, many Christians treat salvation like they got it on sale at the dollar store rather than received it as a precious gift from the Creator of the universe. Unlike modern evangelism today, Jesus never made salvation easy and inclusive. In fact, He said the way is a narrow way, it's going to be such a struggle to come into the kingdom, that most won’t be able to make it. And, in the text before us, our Lord graciously gives us an example of just that. What He is teaching us here, is exactly what I have taught for years, while being accused of making salvation difficult by putting up unnecessary barriers in front of people. However, I believe it is absolutely imperitive to teach people what Jesus Himself taught in order to genuinely be converted. In Luke 14:26-27, He said "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." In other words, you must be willing to give up everything and hold onto nothing, even your own life. To show that there’s no mix-up, we’re going to be introduced to a young man who no doubt thought that he would receive eternal life, but ends up walking away in great disappointment.
First, let's pray
Heavenly Father,

Father, as always we thank You for Your Word. What a privilege it is that we get to be in Your Word. Lord, I pray that You’ll make it clear to those who are struggling to letting go of their sin and have been resisting surrendering everything to You, and help them understand what is necessary to receive salvation and eternal life on Your terms, as it's clearly given in the Scriptures. O' Gracious and loving God, grant them repentance, and cause them to hunger for Your ways with a desire to live in righteousness. Let us not be a people who just plays church, help us to become the church, a holy witness in a Christ-like way. Father, humble us, soften our hearts, break our pride, do whatever is needed to convince us to that Jesus is not an add on to our existing life, so that we may grow in our faithfulness to Christ, the Gospel and live for Your glory to receive eternal life in the Kingdom 
In Jesus' name we ask and pray
Today's Message: What Are You Still Lacking?

Open your Bibles with me to Mark chapter 10. Today we'll be looking at verses 17-22. Mark 10:17-22. Before we begin, I want to say this is not a parable, an earthly story to come alongside a spiritual Truth, but a real, actual encounter between Jesus and the young man in our text, who was forced to make a choice between what he already had and what he claimed to want, but was not prepared to receive on Jesus' terms.

"As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’" And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up." Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "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." But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property."
If we look at what the other gospels tell us, we can begin to get a clearer picture of this young man. Matthew tells us he is a young man. Luke tells us that he is a powerful and extremely rich. Mark tells us he is healthy enough to run and persistent enough to earnestly ask Jesus a question. Not to mention humble enough to drop to his knees and kneel before Jesus, which would be uncommon for someone in the position of a ruler. And although he was healthy, wealthy, powerful, he was unfulfilled and unsatisfied. Though his life is exactly where he wanted it, he understood that this life is not all there is and it was bothering him.
Let's look at verse 17, "As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" "As He was setting out on a journey," we already know where He’s headed, He's moving toward Jerusalem. But now, He's in a place called Peraea, the country beyond the Jordan, the region on eastern side of the Jordan River valley, under the rule of Herod Antipas.
First of all, I believe this young man is to be commended for knowing that there was something better, something more than the life he has achieved. He is obviously aware of the alternative to eternal life, is eternal death. The term "eternal life" is used about 50 times in Scripture, is not about simply going to heaven, the real issue here is salvation. Salvation is the heart of the Gospel message, eternal life is kind of built into that. Eternal life is the life of glory that belongs to God. The word good or "agathós," means inherently good, whether seen to be so or not, it's the kind of good that only originates from God and is empowered by Him.
So he comes to Jesus knowing what he wants, he already on the right track, he's ready for salvation. At this point, you would say something like "It's easy. Just believe in Jesus. Then, make a decision to ask Jesus to forgive you, and invite Him into your heart. Believe that He died for your sin and was buried, rose again on the third day." Most of pastors would be ecstatic to find themselves having a conversation like this with someone, we would assume Jesus has this ones in the bag. Usually we have to start long before that, an explanation of the Gospel. John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
But Jesus doesn't do any of that, instead stops him in his tracks, actually set up an insurmountable barrier. There's little doubt that Jesus would have flunked seminary based on modern evangelical methods. I believe that's the problem with the easy believism in the church today, they believe in "another Jesus,"not the Jesus in the Bible. Isn’t that what Paul said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus." You must recognize there's something else that is essential for the salvation that Jesus offers before you begin to understand Jesus’ answer, something to which many have closed their eyes and their minds. And that is repentance.

Verse 18, "And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone." Many have suggested that this is one clear occasion when Jesus denies his deity. But actually, Jesus is saying by  calling me good, you’re calling me God. Only God is good, are you prepared to acknowledge who I really am?" Until he recognized that Jesus was God incarnate, he could not find the eternal life he was searching for. Note, Jesus is also making the point that this young man was not good. Paul writes in Romans 3:12,
"All have turned aside, together they have become worthless; There is none who does good, There is not even one." If there is one word this world does not understand, it's the word good. Like most everyone in the world, this man had a wrong definition of good. Ask anybody if they're a good person and nearly everybody will say, "Well, I think I'm a good person." Maybe you’re not as bad as everybody else, but no one but God is good. People are assuming they’re going to receive eternal life based on their definition of good, rather than God's. You must understand the true meaning of the word. Good is not relative, it's absolute. Good is not just an outward behavior, it includes even our thoughts. That's why Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount, "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." God is absolute goodness. That's why the law was given, to reveal the absolute perfection of God, which man can never attain apart from God. If you obey all the Laws but one, you are just as guilty as the one who has broken them all.

Based on what He has taught, he’s convinced that Jesus is a good teacher sent from God, like Nicodemus. He's using the word good loosely. This young man never questions Jesus’ teaching. Doesn't the fact he knelt down before Him reflect that? No, there's no indication that he is acknowledging Jesus is God, or that he is willing to submit himself totally to the authority of Christ. Why? Because his perception of Jesus and the meaning of the word good is clouded. The way the Gospel is presented today, just believe in Jesus and you're saved. But, that’s clearly not the case, Jesus is going to turn that idea on it's head.

Verse 19, "You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’" Notice that Jesus responds by giving him the last half of the Ten Commandments in reverse, all of those except one is based on human relationships. We don’t know why He chooses that order. The point is, you can't understand mercy unless you understand guilt. Jesus never says about faith or believing, He went straight to the Law, which by the way, he had no real understanding of, because there’s something else that must to be confronted, before you can talk about salvation and eternal life. Sin! We have allowed the world to redefine our gender, our race, our parenting and what constitutes as marriage as it was defined by God, Who created us. Our relationships with each other, are defined by our relationship with Christ. Not the world.

Romans 7, "I would not have come to know sin except through the Law. For I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "You shall not covet." But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, worked out in me coveting of every kind. For sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good." As a legalist, Paul was doing well, until he began to really understand God's Law. Outwardly, he has lived an exemplary life, he was satisfied with himself, Then, once he realized how sinful he really was, it lead to the death of him. You have to measure goodness against God's. And, once you do, you come out bad, no matter how "good" you think you are. We have allowed ourselves to be defined by the world rather than God. The result is that we've become so confused, we don’t even know what real goodness is anymore. The purpose of the Law is to produce guilt. That's the problem with superficial religious people, they think they’re better than everybody else. When you confront them with their sin, they don’t believe it. In fact, they justify it by comparing themselves to others. Listen, unless you can come to terms with your own sinfulness or there's no hope for you. You cannot bring people to Jesus Christ simply because of their lack, they must understand how dreadfully wretched they are. The Gospel is the Good News, but before you understand the cure for sin, you have to realize there's a problem.

Verse 20, "And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up." Notice that he  dropped the adjective "good." When Jewish men used the phrase, "from my youth," they were referring to the time they came of age at their bar mitzvah, which literally means, "son of the Law." Matthew tells us "The young man *said to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?" His response is consistent with fallen human nature. Jesus knows he’s not telling the truth. Jesus said "You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder’ and ‘Whoever murders shall be guilty before the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ shall be guilty before the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell."  Do you understand the difference? If this young man really understood the depth of the Law, he would known he hadn't kept them. This guy was a law breaking, idolatrous, blasphemer and he didn’t even know it.
It reminds me of the apostle Paul before his conversion, who had accomplished much as a legalist, after which he said in Philippians 3, now I "count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own which is from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God upon faith."
1 Timothy 1:15, "It is a trustworthy saying and deserving full acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost." How do we know he is a law breaking, idolatrous, blasphemer? God said, "You shall have no other gods before Me." Because every time he worshiped God, it was in vain. He didn’t love the Lord his God with all his heart, soul, and mind. He had no sense of having violated God's Law at all. And, that makes him a hypocrite. Convinced that he was better than most, because he kept the Law, he's actually worse. That's the sin of pride. This young man was far from where he needed to be to receive the salvation that Jesus offers. This man’s heart was devoted to something other than God. We can’t continue to allow our own sinfulness to masquerade as righteousness.
That's the way self-righteousness works, it’s very self-deceiving. You have to be willing to do whatever the Lord asks you to do, that's the ultimate test. You must understand that Jesus doesn’t take anyone who is unwilling follow Him on those terms. I don't believe most people today understand the terms of true salvation. He must be your greatest priority. That’s exactly what Jesus is about to clearly illustrate.
Verse 21, "Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "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." This is where the rubber meets the road, isn't it? Jesus is saying if you say you love your neighbor as yourself, go and sell everything you've got and give it to your neighbor, and come follow Me. If pastors were to offer salvation in these terms, I don't believe most people in the church today would say "If that's what You tell me I must do in order to receive salvation and eternal life, I’m willing." I want to be clear, salvation and eternal life are not a commodities to be bartered for, it is a gift to be secured by a willingness to forsake everything. If you’re going to tell someone what's necessary to receive salvation, you need to directly attack the problem just like Jesus does. This man worshiped himself, he idolized his possessions, he's blind to his own sinfulness. Understand, this man is not going to receive eternal life by giving up all his possession, that's not the point. The point is submission. Jesus wants our full commitment and the Authority in our life to tell us to give up everything. This is very important friends, because if you want the salvation that Jesus offers, you must be willing to do whatever He asks, which may be to give your family and all of your possessions, or even your own life, that's what taking up your own cross means. This makes genuine salvation hard! Really hard.
This is why I believe we have so many false converts in the church, they think they can come to Jesus on their own terms. Salvation isn't about getting Jesus to give you what you want, it's about setting aside what you want and spending the rest of your life doing what He wants. That’s what denying yourself means. This young man asked Jesus what must I do to be saved and Jesus told him in no uncertain terms, you need to acknowledge Who I am, confessing Him as Lord, you need to confess your own sinfulness and repent and walk away from it, you need to deny yourself and completely submit to His Authority, and be willing to give up everything, if He should ask. 
That's brings us to verse 22, "But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property." Though he wanted eternal life, he can to Jesus looking for what he was missing, when Jesus told, he went away grieving, because he was unwilling to pay the price. The more you have, the more you have to be willing to give up. There are many people who still imagine that they can compel Jesus to grant them salvation without being willing to pay the price. If that's you, think again. Salvation is saying, "Lord, I am a wretched sinner, unworthy of salvation, I have nothing to offer You but if You will accept me and do with me whatever You will, I'm Yours." You can't eternal life unless you’re as good as God. And, the only way you can be good enough, is if Christ gives you His perfect righteous. 
By the way, after reading this, many of you will walk away unchanged, like the young man in this story, unconvinced he was a sinner. Thinking you’re intrinsically good, or at least better than others; continuing to cling to your cherished sin, your blasphemy, holding onto your own pride, your own idolatry and self-worship, to reluctant acknowledge the profound depths of your own depravity, damned to Hell. Of all the people who knelt at the feet of Jesus, this man is the only one who went away worse than he came.
However, I pray that some of you, will be stopped in your tracks, and realize that being deluded about your own goodness can be the very thing that keeps you from obtaining the salvation that Jesus offers and becoming His faithful disciple. Jesus was sent to redeem us from our sins by taking our punishment and dying on the cross as our substitute, because He loves you. Whatever is keeping you from fully surrendering to Christ, let it go. Understand that if you refuse own your sin, your sin owns you!
We can call ourselves followers of Christ but are we really? You can either live for Christ and die to self, or you can life for self and die with your sin. But you cannot do them both...
May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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