Our services will be online for the time being. We are live streaming our sermons through YouTube (Christ Baptist Mokopane) and we’ll also continue to upload a pre-recorded audio version of the same message for those who can’t stream.

The following sermon was prepared by Ps Lucas Stoltz this week for your edification and uplifting.

Click here: Mark 10:13-16, to download or stream the audio sermon, or click here: Mark 10:13-16, for the video feed, and follow the notes below. May the Lord speak into your hearts as you worship.

Mark 10:17-22, Being Confronted with the Truth of Salvation:

  • Over the last two weeks, there has been an undertone toward social status concerning the issues that were addressed. With regards to marriage, the social status was to address the trend in divorce. With regards to the children, the social status was to reject the lowly, but our Lord used them to explain the characteristics of those who inherit the kingdom.
  • Today we turn to a larger section which deals with how His kingdom is inherited. And the social issue here was the misconception of how the rich were entitled to blessing. Perhaps the assumption led many to believe that through their social status and wealth, they automatically inherit the Kingdom.

 

  • Yet, that is not true as we’ll see on our passage today. I’ve prayerfully decided to divide this section in two parts which will help us understand the importance and value of entering the Kingdom of God.
  • You see the point is, in the kingdom of God, the “first will be last, and the last will be first.” Therefore, when it comes to salvation, status is irrelevant. And so this morning we’re dealing with three truths everyone must be confronted with if they were to be saved: but first, let’s take a look at the context…

 

  1. Man’s Self-Righteousness:
  • Text – 10:17
  • Explanation – So Jesus starts His journey from Judea to Jerusalem, and this young man came running up! This young man seemed to have everything going in his favour! Youth, wealth, and authority! And although it may seem as if this young man only want to add holiness to this impressive status, it seems that he may be serious and sincere about his question.
  • Look at his posture; he “knelt before him.” For a person of such status to kneel to one who was poor and rejected by the elite, reveals genuineness. He was willing to humble himself before Jesus and to ask a very important question.

 

  • Illustration – More so, the young man addressed Jesus as “Good Teacher.” He recognised something honourable in Jesus. He saw the difference between Jesus and the rest of the religious teachers of the day. He respected Jesus!
  • We see all this in his question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” The word translated “inherit” speaks of something that is obtained or received as a gift—something received at the hand of God.

 

  • Application – Now traditionally, some have said that his question hints at a sense of entitlement; as if the man is saying, “To add to my privileges, what must I do to be entitled to eternal life?” But I believe that this man realised that, though he had so much, something was missing.
  • That why he was faced with the question… there is no doubt that this young man was successful. You might call him a go-getter, an active guy looking to get things done! He did what he needed to do in order to obtain his success.

 

  • Conclusion – However, when it comes to receiving and entering the kingdom of God, there are no great achievements called for. The only way to enter the kingdom is if someone does something for you. And as we’ll see next, the young man would be confronted with this.
  • Bridge – and like him, we must face this question too! And therefore, we must do whatever Jesus says is true. And so the first truth we are confronted with is that,

  1. God Alone is Good:
  • Text – 10:18
  • Explanation – What does Jesus mean by His response? Was He denying goodness? No, but He was emphasizing an important reality. This man he did not know God. He did not have a relationship with God.
  • Let’s go back to his question, ‘to gain eternal life…’ You see, when he called Jesus “Good Teacher,” Jesus saw that the man was focused on him, rather than on God.

 

  • Which is a contrast to Jesus’ ministry. Throughout His ministry, Jesus pointed to His Father. Jesus knew that if we have no concept of who God is, then we can never have eternal life. As John 17:3 rightly says, “…this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
  • But this young ruler was not interested in knowing God, at least not as much as “going to heaven.” In other words, he just wanted security for his soul, he wanted fire insurance! Which we’ll see later is a terrible problem we still face today.

 

  • Illustration – But as we saw last week, the people of God’s kingdom are characterized as children, having been blessed by God. It points to an established relationship! But here we have a case of someone who wants benefits from God, but they are not too interested in God Himself.

 

  • Application – Jesus awakens this reality with His response, “No one is good except God alone.” In Romans 3:10-12 Paul writes, “as it is written: “None is righteous (or good), no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
  • That is who man is… but throughout Scripture, we see a picture painted about God’s goodness. Nahum 1:7 says “The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.

 

  • Conclusion – The Psalms record the following, Psalm 86:5, “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in loving kindness to all who call upon You.” Psalm 100:5, “For the LORD is good; His loving kindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.
  • In addition, we’ll see the love and grace of Jesus being revealed as He points the young man from wrong motives to the rightness of pursuing God. And this is a truth we need to embrace if we want to see the kingdom of God!

 

  • Bridge – so the first confrontation is to accept the truth the God alone is good, and we need to embrace this reality as we ourselves are not good, or righteous, and cannot save ourselves. Which brings us to the second truth,

 

  1. God’s Law Condemns Us:
  • Text – 10:19-20
  • Explanation – Jesus provides this man with an understanding of what God’s goodness looks like. So when it comes to being right with God, being good won’t cut it. We need God’s goodness. And so Jesus make a statement; “You know the commandments.
  • And having an understanding of the Law, particularly Leviticus 18:5, Jesus gave him a literal answer: “Do this and live.” Why? Well, the law of God reveals the character of God, which means that the law of God defines ultimate goodness.

 

  • Illustration – And is what you need in order to enter the kingdom. Not wealth, not status, but God’s goodness / righteousness. Jesus said this to challenge the man’s conscience, as he believed that he had obeyed God’s law. He had a superficial understanding of his self-righteousness.

 

  • Application – This understanding came from a social understanding. You see, perhaps on a certain external level, the Ten Commandments can be characteristically obeyed, which was what the Rabbis taught. You do this, and you’ll live.
  • This man was under this delusion! Assuming that he can meet the standard of goodness measured against God. This was what the Pharisees thought & taught. They assume that a general obedience to the Ten Commandments makes them right with God, this is a system of legalism.

 

  • Conclusion – Therefore, I believe that when he asked, “What must I do?” he was sincere. And when he heard the answer, he was not shocked, I think he expected it. Luke & Matthew both record this same account, and Matthew 19:20 adds, “What do I still lack?
  • It shows us that he realised, that whatever this young man did – was not good enough, and what he has makes no contribution! Maybe he expected Jesus to give him more instructions on how to achieve eternal life. Yet, when Jesus told him what he needed to do, he was not willing to do it.

 

  • Bridge – Now, let’s cross the bridge, this is a good place to be! To be confronted with the truth that says you are condemned by God’s righteousness, and there is no work, or status you can have that will give you eternal life!
  • Firstly, we’ve seen that we need to accept the truth the God alone is good. Now we’re faced with the truth of our condemnation, and lastly, we’re confronted with the truth that…

 

  1. Jesus Alone Saves Us:
  • Text – 10:21-22
  • Explanation – Strikingly, this is the only occurrence in Mark where we read that Jesus loved someone. Now let’s ponder here, go back, ‘Jesus looked at him,’ this speaks of Jesus looking into the heart of this man, and what he saw drew out deep love for him.
  • This again just shows us the man’s sincerity, he is not here in arrogance. How do we know that? Well, Jesus did not show such love and compassion to hypocrites or to the arrogant.

 

  • Illustration – Here’s what I believe Jesus sees, He saw a young man who had lived a good life, and who sought to obey the commandments of God. Therefore, Jesus had great affection for him. This is not pity, but care & concern!
  • Isn’t this something you can relate to? You may have family or friends that are commendable for the wonderful life they lead – caring for the community, making donations, yet – they aren’t saved and it as if they cannot grasp the reality of salvation…
  • Application – Yet, here we see that Jesus loved this man too much to let him leave with a false view of eternal security! So Jesus gave an instruction to clarify this reality, “go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me!
  • This reveals his deepest need, but also the ultimate truth about our salvation. You see, this young man who claimed to be a commandment-keeper, was given a final command to keep. And truly, if he loved God and wanted to know God, then it wouldn’t be a problem obeying such a commandment.

 

  • It makes sense that if he wanted to enter the kingdom of God, he would obey this commandment from Jesus. If he truly wanted to be in a right relationship with God, then surely he would obey this command, one which essentially sums up all the Ten Commandments.
  • Yet, our attention should be drawn to the instruction from Jesus. “go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me!” This is a call highlights our greatest need: to be helplessly dependent on the Lord.

 

  • Conclusion – Dear friends, Jesus was essentially telling this man: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus was saying, “If you want eternal life, you must come to me and do what I say.
  • Yet when he counted the cost, knowing God did not seem worth it. Mark tells us that he went away “disheartened” and “sorrowful.” Literally, a cloud of disappointment came over this young man, and he grieved at the words of Jesus because he could not cling to his possessions and cling to God at the same time.
  • He makes a foolish decision to walk away. It might seem as if this young man has everything, yet in the end had nothing, he had nothing. And so he leaves gloomy and sad because he did not appreciate the goodness of God. Because he did not trust that Jesus alone saves!
  • To him, worldly possessions were more important than the gift of salvation. It is honestly disturbing, and sad. But it is all too common! Many want fire insurance, they want a safety net from damnation, yet – there is no desire to follow Christ!

 

  • Friends, this is required of all who will follow Christ. And we need to realise this reality! Our greatest need is to humble ourselves and come to Jesus. If we have any desire to inherit eternal life, then we must be willing to lose our lives so that Christ can save it.

 

  • Bridge – If you are not willing to leave this world for Jesus, then forget about living in the next world with Him. Yes, salvation is free, but it is costly. And so this is the third truth we need to be confronted by.

 

Application:

  • So in summary we’ve seen that we need to accept the truth the God alone is good – there is no other good that can measure up to His standard! Next, God’s Law proves our fallen state & it condemns our righteousness. And as we have just seen, in order to be saved, we must depend on Jesus alone for salvation!
  • I have to ask, do you desire to know God or do you merely desire to “go to heaven” when you die? You might be on the fence because you’re unsure about your salvation. And to that I says, a mark of conversion is having love for God. Salvation is not just another badge or tagline, it is the free gift of God unto eternal life with the only one who can save!