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Crawling Into The Kingdom

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CRAWLING INTO THE KINGDOM

CRAWLING INTO THE KINGDOM


OPENING ILLUSTRATION: EVERYTHING IN THE MOUTH!

AS I WAS THINKING ABOUT THIS MESSAGE I AM ABOUT TO SHARE, I COULDN’T HELP BUT TO THINK OF MY OWN DAUGHTER, MIKAYLA. SHE HAS NO CARES IN THIS WORLD BUT TO BE LOVED AND FED. SHE HAS NO RESPONSIBILITIES, NO WORRIES. AND SHE DOESN’T CARE ONE BIT HOW MUCH OR HOW LITTLE MONEY WE HAVE IN THE BANK, OR HOW MUCH OF AN IRS RETURN WE’RE GOING TO GET. NO, IN FACT, KAYLA DOESN’T CARE IF MY WATCH IS A TIMEX OR A ROLEX – IT GOES IN HER MOUTH ALL THE SAME…

HOW SIMPLE A CHILD’S LIFE IS. HER LIFE AND LOVE ARE JUST PRECIOUS. I COULDN’T HELP BUT TO THINK OF HER AS I STUDIED TODAY’S PASSAGE WHERE WE SEE A BEAUTIFUL SCENE OF JESUS SURROUNDED WITH LITTLE CHILDREN AND BABIES.

WE HAVE MUCH TO LEARN ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. AND BABIES CAN TEACH US SOMETHING ABOUT THAT. PLEASE OPEN YOUR BIBLES TO LUKE 18:15-30 AND WE LOOK AT THREE BASIC TRUTHS ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.


OUR STORY OPENS WITH PEOPLE BRINGING THEIR BABIES TO JESUS SO THAT HE WOULD TOUCH THEM, HOLD THEM, AND PRAY A BLESSING FOR THEM.

CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT THIS SCENE MUST HAVE LOOKED LIKE? IT MUST HAVE BEEN SWEET…

BUT THE DISCIPLES DIDN’T THINK SO. THEY BECAME IRRITATED WITH THE WHOLE SCENE, AND BEGAN REBUKING THE PARENTS TO BACK OFF OF JESUS. THEY PROBABLY FELT LIKE THESE PEOPLE WERE WASTING JESUS’ TIME. THEY PROBABLY FELT LIKE THERE WERE OTHER “MORE IMPORTANT PEOPLE” TO REACH THAN MERE BABIES AND LITTLE CHILDREN.

BUT JESUS WASN’T IRRITATED AT ALL. HE WANTED THE CHILDREN TO COME TO HIM, SO HE CALLED FOR THEM TO COME BACK TO HIM. (V. 16-17)

AS THEY MOVED ON DOWN THE ROAD, A RICH YOUNG RULER APPROACHED JESUS WANTING TO KNOW WHAT HE COULD DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE. (READ VV. 18-19).

THEN JESUS OFFERS A FEW OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS.

THE YOUNG MAN RESPONDED TO JESUS BY SAYING HE HAD KEPT THOSE COMMANDMENTS SINCE HIS YOUTH – PROBABLY SINCE HIS BAR MITZVAH. (V. 21) (THIS WAS PROBABLY NOT ENTIRELY TRUE, BUT JESUS LETS IT SLIDE FOR THE MOMENT.)

AH, BUT JESUS SAID THAT HE LACKED ONE THING: HE NEEDED TO SELL EVERYTHING OF HIS AND GIVE AWAY THE MONEY TO THE POOR, AND COME FOLLOW HIM.

THIS BROUGHT GREAT SADNESS TO THE YOUNG MAN. HE WAS NOT WILLING TO MAKE SUCH A DRASTIC MOVE, SO HE WENT AWAY DISAPPOINTED. (V. 23)

THIS CONVERSATION DIDN’T UNFOLD THE WAY MOST PEOPLE EXPECTED. ON TOP OF THAT, JESUS SAID THAT IT WOULD BE EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE THAN FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER HEAVEN.

RICHES WERE SEEN BY MOST AS A CLEAR INDICATION OF GOD’S BLESSING UPON THAT PERSON. THOSE WHO HEARD ALL OF THIS BECAME EXASPERATED AND WANTED TO KNOW HOW ANYBODY COULD BE SAVED? (V. 26) (READ V. 27)

SO WHEN PETER REMINDED JESUS THAT THEY HAD LEFT EVEN THEIR OWN HOMES TO FOLLOW HIM, JESUS ASSURED HIM THAT ANYBODY WHO LEAVES THE COMFORTS OF HOME OR EVEN FAMILY FOR THE SAKE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD WOULD RECEIVE MANY TIMES AS MUCH IN THIS LIFE, AND ETERNAL LIFE FOREVERMORE. (VV. 29-30)


IN ORDER TO ENTER HEAVEN, WE MUST COME BY CRAWLING INTO THE KINGDOM AS A CHILD.


1. WE CRAWL INTO THE KINGDOM WITH SIMPLE FAITH

VV. 16-17 CHILDREN ILLUSTRATE THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. WHY OR HOW?

· THEIR CHILDLIKE TRUST
· THEIR ABILITY TO EASILY LOVE
· THEIR UNINHIBITED NATURE
· THEY ARE UTTERLY DEPENDANT
· THEY ARE SIMPLE – UNCOMPLICATED
· THEY HAVE NO ACHIEVEMENTS TO BOAST ABOUT
· THEY HAVE NO STATUS IN SOCIETY
· THEY ARE OFTEN JUST SEEN, BUT NOT HEARD
· THEY OWN NO PROPERTY
· THEY HAVE REALLY NO LEGAL RIGHTS
· THE ONLY ANXIETY THEY EVER HAVE IS WHEN THEY ARE SEPARATED FROM MOMMA OR DADDY… AND IT IS SOON FORGOTTEN ONCE THEY ARE PICKED UP.


NOTICE THAT RIGHT AFTER THIS ILLUSTRATION, A RICH YOUNG RULER APPROACHES JESUS WANTING TO KNOW WHAT HE SHOULD DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE.

UNLIKE US, WHO NEED A LITTLE TIME TO DISCERN THE CHARACTER AND MOTIVES OF PEOPLE, JESUS KNEW BEFORE HE WAS EVER APPROACHED, WHAT THIS YOUNG MAN’S HEART WAS LIKE.

TAKE NOTICE OF SOME OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THIS MAN AND THE BABIES JESUS JUST BLESSED:

· HE WAS RICH
· HE OWNED MUCH PROPERTY
· HE WAS PROBABLY A LITTLE PROUD OF HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS
· HE WAS CERTAINLY COMMENDING OF HIMSELF IN V. 21
· HE WAS IN THE STRONG, YOUTHFUL PRIME OF HIS LIFE
· HE WAS SELF-SUFFICIENT
· HE WAS HIGH IN SOCIETY, RESPECTED AS A “RULER”
· HIS WEALTH, IN MOST PEOPLE’S EYES, SEEMED TO INDICATE GOD’S BLESSINGS
· HIS LIFE WAS FULL, BUSY, AND COMPLICATED
· HIS AMBITION WASN’T TO TRUST, BUT TO ACCOMPLISH

JESUS, KNOWING ALL THESE THINGS BEFORE THE MAN OPENED HIS MOUTH, KNEW HOW BEST TO ANSWER WHATEVER QUESTIONS HE WOULD ASK.

A. WE MUST HAVE A CORRECT VIEW OF CHRIST (V. 19)

"GOOD TEACHER, WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?" (LUKE 18:18)

BUT BEFORE ANSWERING THIS STRAIGHTFORWARD QUESTION, JESUS FIRST ADDRESSES THE YOUNG MAN’S GREETING OF JESUS.

V. 19 - "WHY DO YOU CALL ME GOOD? NO ONE IS GOOD EXCEPT GOD ALONE.”

BUT WAIT A MINUTE!!!
· HAVEN’T WE COME TO THE CONCLUSION FROM SCRIPTURE THAT JESUS IS GOD HIMSELF?
· HE IS THE 2ND PERSON OF THE TRINITY, RIGHT?
· WHY DOES IT HERE SOUND LIKE HE IS NOT GOD, BECAUSE GOD ALONE IS GOOD?

DON’T GET ALL TIED UP IN KNOTS…

JESUS WANTED THE YOUNG RULER TO SLOW DOWN AND EXAMINE THE IMPLICATIONS OF WHAT HE WAS SAYING. SOME PEOPLE ARE BEHAVIORLY “BETTER” THAN OTHERS, BUT ULTIMATELY, WE ARE ALL FALLEN AND IN NEED OF REDEMPTION. THE ONLY ONE WHO IS ULTIMATELY GOOD, IS GOD.

"THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” (ROM 3:10-12)

HERE, JESUS ESSENTIALLY SAID, “DO YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU ARE CALLING ME WHEN YOU CALL ME ‘GOOD?’ TO CALL ME GOOD, IS TO CALL ME GOD. DO YOU REALIZE THAT?” APPARENTLY, THE YOUNG MAN DID NOT.

JESUS WAS EITHER GOOD AND GOD, OR HE WAS BAD AND MAN. GOOD GOD OR BAD MAN. EITHER ONE, BUT NOT A GOOD MAN.

B. WE MUST HAVE A CORRECT VIEW OF SALVATION (V. 20-22)

NEXT, JESUS ADDRESSED THE MAN’S QUESTION ABOUT WHAT HE MUST DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE.

FOR THIS, JESUS POINTS TO THE OT LAW:

YOU KNOW THE COMMANDMENTS, "DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.” (V. 20)

BUT WAIT A MINUTE!!!

· WHY DOES JESUS POINT TO THE OT LAW FOR AN ANSWER?

· DOESN’T THE BIBLE TEACH THAT WE’RE SAVED BY FAITH, AND NOT BY WORKS OF THE LAW?

· WHY DIDN’T JESUS JUST SAY FOR HIM TO BELIEVE IN HIM AS SAVIOR AND BE SAVED?

· DOES THIS MEAN THAT OBEDIENCE TO THE OLD TESTAMENT COMMANDMENTS THAT JESUS RATTLES OFF WILL GIVE US ETERNAL LIFE?

DON’T GET ALL TIED UP IN KNOTS!

REMEMBER THAT THE BIBLE IS VERY CLEAR THAT WE ARE NOT SAVED BY THE LAW, BUT THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE:

…BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW NO FLESH WILL BE JUSTIFIED IN HIS SIGHT; FOR THROUGH THE LAW COMES THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN. (ROM 3:20)

…AND AFTER HE BROUGHT THEM OUT, HE SAID, "SIRS, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?" THEY SAID, "BELIEVE IN THE LORD JESUS, AND YOU WILL BE SAVED, YOU AND YOUR HOUSEHOLD." (ACTS 16:30-31)

JESUS KNEW THIS MAN’S HEART BEFORE HE EVER APPROACHED HIM. KNOWING THAT THIS MAN HAD EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD (RICHES, PROPERTY, SOCIAL STATUS, ETC.) THIS YOUNG MAN HAD ACCOMPLISHED MUCH IN HIS LIFE. WHAT WAS THE NEXT NOTCH HE NEEDED TO MAKE TO PUT HEAVEN UNDER HIS BELT TOO? WHAT LAMP DID HE NEED TO RUB TO GET HIS WISH? (AS IF JESUS WERE A GENIE…) JESUS UNDERSTOOD THAT UNDERNEATH HIS GREETING WAS THE PREVALENT VIEW OF SALVATION THAT WE MUST DO SOMETHING IN ORDER TO BE SAVED. AND THIS IS UTTERLY A WRONG WAY OF LOOKING AT SALVATION, AND JESUS MAKES THIS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR IN A MOMENT!

SOMETHING ELSE TO CONSIDER, IS THAT THIS WAS BEFORE THE CROSS, NOT AFTER. THE JEWS WERE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD. THE INTENTION FOR THE OT LAW IN THE FIRST PLACE WAS TO TEACH GOD’S PEOPLE THE CHARACTER OF GOD, AND THEIR NEED FOR FORGIVENESS BECAUSE OF THEIR INABILITY TO KEEP THE LAW PERFECTLY. IT SERVED AS A TUTOR, TO TEACH AND DISCIPLINE THE NATION OF ISRAEL UNTIL SUCH A TIME WHEN GOD WOULD SEND THE MESSIAH AND BRING IT TO COMPLETION. THE LAW OF MOSES POINTED AHEAD TO JESUS!

THEREFORE, TO A JEW WHO FAITHFULLY LOVED, HONORED, AND OBEYED GOD’S LAW, THEY WOULD SEE IT CULMINATED IN THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST. THEY WOULD FULLY UNDERSTAND JESUS TO BE THE LONG PROMISED MESSIAH!

JESUS OBVIOUSLY KNEW THAT OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD WOULDN’T BRING THIS RICH YOUNG RULER SALVATION. BUT IF THIS MAN WERE TRULY OBEDIENT TO THE LAW, IT WOULD HAVE BROUGHT HIM TO THE RIGHT CONCLUSION ABOUT WHO JESUS WAS, AND WOULD BELIEVE IN HIM.


THE YOUNG MAN RESPONDED TO JESUS BY SAYING HE HAD KEPT THOSE COMMANDMENTS SINCE HIS YOUTH – PROBABLY SINCE HIS BAR MITZVAH. (V. 21) (THIS WAS PROBABLY NOT ENTIRELY TRUE, BUT JESUS LETS IT SLIDE FOR THE MOMENT.)

KNOWING THAT THIS MAN HAD A WORKS MENTALITY OF SALVATION, JESUS WANTED TO EXPOSE TO THE MAN THAT EVEN IF THIS WERE THE CASE, HE HAD FAILED MISERABLY.

AND THAT IS WHY JESUS TELLS HIM HE WOULD NEED TO SELL EVERYTHING AND GIVE IT TO THE POOR AND FOLLOW HIM. JESUS EXPOSES THIS MAN’S GLARING OVERESTIMATION OF HIMSELF – HE WAS GUILTY OF BREAKING THE 1ST OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS: “YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.”

THIS MAN’S GOD WAS HIS WEALTH!

· JESUS HAD TAUGHT IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT:

"NO ONE CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS; FOR EITHER HE WILL HATE THE ONE AND LOVE THE OTHER, OR HE WILL BE DEVOTED TO ONE AND DESPISE THE OTHER. YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND WEALTH. (MATT 6:24)

· AND LATER IN THE PARABLE OF THE FOUR SOILS:

“AND THE ONE ON WHOM SEED WAS SOWN AMONG THE THORNS, THIS IS THE MAN WHO HEARS THE WORD, AND THE WORRY OF THE WORLD AND THE DECEITFULNESS OF WEALTH CHOKE THE WORD, AND IT BECOMES UNFRUITFUL.” (MATT 13:22)

THIS MAN HAD ENSHRINED THE IDOL OF WEALTH IN HIS HEART AND DID NOT WANT TO TEAR IT DOWN AND BUILD GOD’S THRONE THERE INSTEAD. HE HAD CROWDED HIS HEART WITH THE LOVE FOR RICHES.

WHAT DID JESUS WANT INSTEAD? (V. 22B) “…AND COME, FOLLOW ME.” THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE GIVEN! COME TO JESUS WITH SIMPLE, CHILDLIKE FAITH. (V. 17)

THIS IS THE KIND OF FAITH THAT JESUS WANTS FROM US. ANY OTHER ATTITUDE OR AGENDA FALLS SHORT OF THE SIMPLE FAITH THAT IS REQUIRED.


IN ORDER TO ENTER HEAVEN, WE MUST COME BY CRAWLING INTO THE KINGDOM AS A CHILD.


2. WE CRAWL INTO THE KINGDOM TO OPEN ARMS

THE LITTLE CHILDREN WERE OPENLY ACCEPTED BY JESUS. HE WANTED THEM TO FEEL FREE TO CRAWL ALL OVER HIS LAP AND TO FILL HIS OPEN ARMS.

JESUS HAS A SPECIAL PLACE IN HIS HEART FOR CHILDREN… WOULDN’T IT BE WONDERFUL TO HAVE KIDS HERE AT OUR CHURCH? LET’S KEEP PRAYING FOR THAT.

A. THE DANGER OF PUSHING OTHERS AWAY. (V. 15)

BUT THE DISCIPLES WANTED TO PREVENT THEM FROM COMING TO JESUS! HOW OFTEN IS THE CASE THAT PEOPLE WERE PREVENTED FROM COMING TO JESUS BECAUSE OF HIS OWN FOLLOWERS!!

· PREVENTING JESUS’ MINISTRY - "GOD FORBID IT, LORD! THIS SHALL NEVER HAPPEN TO YOU." (MATT 16:22)

· PREVENTING OTHER’S MINISTRY - JOHN ANSWERED AND SAID, "MASTER, WE SAW SOMEONE CASTING OUT DEMONS IN YOUR NAME; AND WE TRIED TO PREVENTING HIM BECAUSE HE DOES NOT FOLLOW ALONG WITH US." (LUKE 9:49)

· PREVENTING A BLIND MAN FROM SEEING - AS JESUS WAS APPROACHING JERICHO, A BLIND MAN WAS SITTING BY THE ROAD BEGGING. NOW HEARING A CROWD GOING BY, HE BEGAN TO INQUIRE WHAT THIS WAS. THEY TOLD HIM THAT JESUS OF NAZARETH WAS PASSING BY. AND HE CALLED OUT, SAYING, "JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!" THOSE WHO LED THE WAY WERE STERNLY TELLING HIM TO BE QUIET; BUT HE KEPT CRYING OUT ALL THE MORE, "SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!" (LUKE 18:35-39)


HOW CAN WE PREVENT PEOPLE FROM COMING TO JESUS, OR ADVANCING HIS CAUSE?

· PREVENTING OTHERS FROM HAVING DIFFERENT VIEWS IN THE CHURCH. “MAJORING ON THE MINORS.”

· BICKERING, UNFORGIVING ATTITUDES, AND IN-FIGHTING AMONGST OURSELVES. WHY WOULD ANYBODY WANT TO COME TO A CHURCH LIKE THAT?

· HYPOCRISY IN OUR LIFESTYLES.

· BY NOT BEING PREPARED TO MINISTER TO THEIR NEEDS – YOUTH MINISTRY, VISITATION, ETC.

· PREVENTING OTHERS FROM FEELING WELCOME IN THE CHURCH.

· BY MAKING THE GOSPEL SEEM COMPLICATED AND HARD TO FULLY UNDERSTAND. (SACRAMENTALISM, BAPTISM NECESSARY FOR SALVATION, ETC.)


B. THE DANGER OF PUSHING OURSELVES AWAY. (V. 23)

BUT AS FOR THE RICH YOUNG RULER, HE DIDN’T HAVE ANYBODY STANDING IN HIS WAY EXCEPT FOR HIMSELF. HE HAD SO SATURATED HIMSELF WITH THE RICHES OF THIS WORLD, THAT HE COULD NOT SAY GOODBYE TO THEM AND INSTEAD MAKE JESUS HIS GOD.

JESUS THEN GOES ON TO USE A PROVERBIAL SAYING TO PROCLAIM HOW HARD IT IS TO ENTER HEAVEN FOR THE RICH. (V. 25)

THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A HYPERBOLIC EXPRESSION INTENDED BY ITS EXAGGERATION TO MAKE A PROFOUND POINT. THOSE WHO ARE VERY RICH ARE OFTEN SPIRITUALLY INSENSITIVE TO THEIR NEED TO SUBMIT THEMSELVES TO GOD. HOWEVER THOSE WHO ARE POOR OFTEN RECOGNIZE THEIR NEED FOR HIM.

NOTICE THAT JESUS HAD OPEN ARMS FOR BOTH THE BABIES AND FOR THE RICH YOUNG RULER…

AS HIS DISCIPLES, LET’S DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO HELP PEOPLE FIND HIS OPEN ARMS!


IN ORDER TO ENTER HEAVEN, WE MUST COME BY CRAWLING INTO THE KINGDOM AS A CHILD.



3. WE CRAWL INTO THE KINGDOM FOR A BLESSING

AND HE TOOK THEM IN HIS ARMS AND BEGAN BLESSING THEM, LAYING HIS HANDS ON THEM. (MARK 10:16)

THE PARENTS OF THESE CHILDREN OBVIOUSLY SAW SOMETHING SPECIAL IN JESUS. THEY BELIEVED THAT HIS BLESSING WOULD BENEFIT THEIR CHILDREN, AS THEY WERE COMMITTING THEM TO GOD IN THEIR HEARTS.

THINK ABOUT IT FOR A MOMENT… JESUS WAS HOLDING IN HIS OPEN ARMS AND BLESSING LITTLE CHILDREN HE CREATED…

FOR BY HIM ALL THINGS WERE CREATED, BOTH IN THE HEAVENS AND ON EARTH, VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE, WHETHER THRONES OR DOMINIONS OR RULERS OR AUTHORITIES -- ALL THINGS HAVE BEEN CREATED THROUGH HIM AND FOR HIM. (COL 1:16)

WHEN WE COME TO JESUS WITH CHILDLIKE FAITH, WE RECEIVE A BLESSING.

A. THE BLESSING OF ETERNAL LIFE (VV. 17, 26-27)

TO ENTER HEAVEN, WE MUST TRUST IN CHRIST AS OUR SAVIOR. THIS IS NOT A WEIGHTY, INTELLECTUALLY HEAVY, COMPLICATED MENTAL ASSENT. BUT IT IS A SIMPLE ADORATION FOR JESUS AND WHAT HE DID FOR US ON THE CROSS.

THOSE WHO HEARD THE WHOLE CONVERSATION BETWEEN JESUS AND THE YOUNG RULER WERE EXASPERATED! THEY FIGURED THAT GOD WOULD OBVIOUSLY ACCEPT A RICH MAN BECAUSE RICHES WERE A SIGN OF GOD’S BLESSING! BUT IT VERY OFTEN ISN’T THAT WAY AT ALL.

· V. 26 SO THEY ASKED, “WHO CAN BE SAVED?”

NOBODY OF THEIR OWN DOING! ONLY GOD CAN SAVE.

THE RICH YOUNG RULER’S QUESTION TO JESUS HAD BEEN ENTIRELY OFF BASE. THERE IS IN ACTUALITY NOTHING THAT ANY OF US CAN DO TO BE SAVED BUT TO HAVE A CHILDLIKE FAITH IN JESUS AS SAVIOR. GOD IS THE ONE WHO ACCOMPLISHES THE MIRACLE OF THE NEW BIRTH WITHIN US.

YOU MAY WONDER, “WHAT CAN I CONTRIBUTE TO MY SALVATION?”

WELL, THERE IS ONE THING… YOUR SIN. GOD TAKES CARE OF ITS PAYMENT. SIMPLY BELIEVE.


B. THE BLESSING OF ABUNDANT LIFE (VV. 28-30)

NOTE: JESUS IS NOT TEACHING US TO CUT FAMILY TIES AND GET A DIVORCE AND ABANDON OUR CHILDREN. REMEMBER, THE MOTIVE HERE IS FOR THE SAKE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, NOT FOR THE SAKE OF THE KINGDOM OF THE CULTS!

JESUS HAD TAUGHT A DIFFICULT TEACHING IN REGARDS TO THIS ON AN EARLIER OCCASION:

"DO NOT THINK THAT I CAME TO BRING PEACE ON THE EARTH; I DID NOT COME TO BRING PEACE, BUT A SWORD. FOR I CAME TO SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; AND A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” (MT 10:34-36)

THE SWORD JESUS SPEAKS OF IS A SWORD OF TRUTH. WHEN WE CHOOSE TO FOLLOW JESUS, IT VERY WELL MAY DIVIDE A FAMILY. FAMILY MEMBERS MAY OSTRACIZE YOU AND RIDICULE YOU BECAUSE THEY “KNOW YOU SO WELL.” IT HAPPENED IN MY FAMILY…

BUT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR SAVIOR MUST COME EVEN BEFORE THE ATTACHMENTS WE HAVE WITH OUR CLOSEST FRIENDS AND RELATIVES.

JESUS LOVINGLY ASSURED PETER (AND ALL OF US) THAT WHEN IF WE CHOOSE TO FOLLOW CHRIST WITH CHILDLIKE FAITH, WE WILL DISCOVER THAT GOD WILL PROVIDE MUCH, MUCH, MUCH MORE FOR US IN PLACE OF THE TEMPORARY PAIN OF LETTING GO OF WORLDLY POSSESSIONS AND TIES.

AS CHRISTIANS, WE CAN VERY OFTEN ACT LIKE THE RICH YOUNG RULER, WHO THOUGHT HE HAD IT ALL. BUT ALL THE RICHES THAT OWNED PALED IN COMPARISON TO THE RICHES OF HEAVEN, AND THE JOY THAT JESUS GIVES TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.




I CAME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY. (JOHN 10:10)

IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN HERE WHO FEELS AS THOUGH JESUS IS SO FAR AWAY, WILL YOU LET GO OF YOUR WORLDLY POSSESSIONS THAT’S GRIPPING YOUR HEART, AND EMBRACE A NEWFOUND CHILDLIKE SIMPLE DEVOTION TO JESUS?

HE WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE SO MUCH MORE MEANINGFUL THAN ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY, WORLDLY COMFORTS, OR PEACE IN THE FAMILY.


BUT THE COST WAS TOO GREAT IN THIS MAN’S ESTIMATION. SO HE WENT AWAY SAD, AND UNBELIEVING… WHAT A SAD CHOICE FOR HIM TO MAKE. WE WILL MOST LIKELY NOT SEE THIS RICH YOUNG RULER IN HEAVEN…


ILLUSTRATION: COMMERCIAL

HAVE YOU SEEN THE COMMERCIAL OF THE MOTHER WHO IS TALKING TO HER SAD LITTLE BOY? HE’S SAD BECAUSE HIS MOTHER IS GOING AWAY ON A BUSINESS TRIP. SHE CAN’T SEEM TO CHEER HIM UP BY OFFERING TO BUY HIM THE BICYCLE HE WANTED. SO SHE SAYS, “OK, YOU TELL ME WHAT YOU REALLY WANT, AND I’LL DO IT.”
THE NEXT SCENE WE SEE THE LITTLE BOY SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO HIS MOM ON THE PLANE AND HE HAS THIS BIG SMILE ON HIS FACE. THEN HE SAYS, “DOES THIS MEAN I DON’T GET THE BIKE?”
THE POINT IS THIS: THE CHILD DIDN’T CARE AT ALL ABOUT HIS MOTHER’S BIG-TIME CAREER JOB. HOW IMPORTANT SHE WAS TO HER COMPANY DIDN’T MATTER. HOW MUCH MONEY DIDN’T MATTER. ALL HE REALLY WANTED WAS TO BE WITH HIS MOMMY. HE JUST WANTED LOVE.

· THAT’S THE KIND OF A HEART JESUS WANTS FROM HIS CHILDREN.
· DO YOU JUST WANT JESUS TO LOVE YOU AND BLESS YOU?
· DO YOU NEED A BLESSING TODAY?… ASK HIM FOR IT, AND HE WILL!



IN ORDER TO ENTER HEAVEN, WE MUST COME BY CRAWLING INTO THE KINGDOM AS A CHILD.

· WITH A SIMPLE FAITH…
· TO THE OPEN ARMS OF JESUS…
· IN ORDER TO RECEIVE A BLESSING FROM HIM.

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