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Approaching Christ (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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June 23, 2021 6:00 am

Approaching Christ (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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June 23, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 10:13-31)

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Unbroken witness from Adam and to the future from Genesis through Revelation, Acts 4-12. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. It is only through Jesus Christ. And so after this finite life, there is an afterlife. But will it be eternal life or eternal existence or will it be eternal life?

And that is up to the individual. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Mark.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today Pastor Rick will begin a brand new study called Approaching Christ in Mark Chapter 10. Mark's Gospel Chapter 10 verses 13 through 31. And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them and blessed them. Now as he was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before him and asked, Good teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? So Jesus said to him, Why do you call me good? No one is good but one that is God. You know the commandments.

Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and your mother. And he answered and said to him, Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth. Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, One thing you lack, go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come take up the cross and follow me.

But he was sad at this word and went away sorrowful for he had great possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God. And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God. 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 they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? But Jesus looked at them and said, With men it is impossible, but not with God, for with God all things are possible.

Then Peter began to say to him, See, we have left all and followed you. So Jesus answered and said, Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or Children or lands for my sake and the gospels who shall not receive 100 fold now in this time houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and Children and lands and with persecutions and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last and the last first approaching Christ. That's what we are considering this morning because there are two approaches to him is the mothers with the infants. And there, of course, is the rich young ruler and the mothers, of course, come had come to have their Children blessed that he would touch them and bless them, which he did. And the young man, he was great wealth and authority came to have his dedication confirmed. And we look now at verse 13 and they brought the little Children to him that he might touch them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them this. They brought the little Children to him part. Well, this follows, of course, the teachings on divorce and all of the gospels that give account the record of these exchanges. A family is to be protected.

That is the idea. The word little Children in the Greek indicates that they were infants and toddlers. It says here in verse 13, but Jesus, but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.

They tended to be a wee bit overprotective. Sometimes there were other times that Jesus certainly benefited from their being protective of the crowds coming to him. And previously, they forbade an outsider from casting out demons because he wasn't part of their group. And Jesus gave a lesson on that. Later, Greeks will come to speak to Jesus, but they have to go through the apostles. And so they approach Philip and say, sir, we wish to see Jesus. And it was the case.

Philip goes to Andrew and Andrew, of course, goes to the Lord. And so this we can't be too hard on them. They had a job to do, but sometimes they overdid it.

It sounds like us. Sometimes we can be as zealous to a fault. So he certainly addresses this with them. Verse 14. But when Jesus saw it, he was greatly displeased and said to them, Let the little Children come to me and do not forbid them for of such is the kingdom of God. When Jesus saw it, well, he wasn't going to let this have a pass. There's no way. He's the mother's coming.

I want my child just to be just to bless him. And the disciples said, Not now. Go away. Maybe later. And of course, Christ sees this and he pounces on it.

He's not going to let this go. Now, unfortunately, I've got to pause here. This is not about sitting in the adult service of the church. The people do that.

I think it's very unfortunate, kind of mean sometimes. But this is about bringing the child to the knowledge of Christ. And every parent need to take heed that if you are not bringing your child to Christ, God's got a problem with you. It's a big one, too. And, of course, we have a Children's service where they can receive Christ on their level.

And it is quite meaningful that way. Children's ministry is Jesus is no more here in the sanctuary than he is in the Children's area. He's just as much.

Yeah, he's not. Well, you know, we get 90 percent of him if you come into sanctuary, but he's only left with 10 percent in the Children's ministry. Well, that's, of course, ridiculous. And so they bring the children to him. The disciples thought that Jesus was too important to be bothered with the small children. And Jesus thought that that the children were too important and do not be brought to him.

And so this is straightened out. But this comment here of such as the kingdom of God within this statement, he extends salvation to the young and the impaired within this statement. Those who cannot exercise faith, maybe they have a handicap mentally, mentally. They're just not able to exercise faith.

God knows how to deal with that in a very wonderful way. He's not saying that these little ones deserve heaven. No one deserves heaven. They are sinners, too. They are born in sin.

But they have not again not had a chance to exercise faith. In Genesis, God says this. Abraham says this to God. Far be it from you to do such a thing as this to slay the righteous with the wicked so that the righteous should be as the wicked. Far be it from you shall not the judge of all the earth do right. To which God would respond, You got that right, Abraham. That's right.

I always do right. And so those that the children that die before they get a chance to live, maybe they die before they're born or maybe they have a handicap along the way. God covers this. These will be in heaven.

It's quite remarkable. He knows what he's doing and we by faith know that he knows what he is doing. And so not that again they are free from inherited sin, inherited sin, sin from Adam.

We all have that. But that they are not directly accountable as we who can exercise, of course, free will in a way that they could not. This is the case in Jonah chapter four, the last verse of Jonah.

God speaking to the prophet, rebuking him and encouraging him at the same time. He says, Should I not pity Nineveh, that great city in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between the right hand and their left? Is God is saying there's a lot of little children in there.

They don't know what from down right from left. Should I not have mercy on them too? And he leaves it at that. We look at that, we say thank you, Lord, for your mercy, because also God, as much as he loves the children, he does not stop loving the children as when that child becomes old. His love does not diminish. So no matter how old you are, God loves you as much then as he did in the beginning. In fact, Isaiah points that out to God, saying, I will not forsake you when you are old.

I will still be with you. Thank God for that. Verse 15. Surely I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.

This is now about the adults. He is using the children as an object lesson, you could say. This is about salvation. He will then deal with serving when he gets to the rich young ruler. But you cannot receive God's blessings in this life and the benefits after this life if you do not yield to God as these little children yield.

This is what is coming out. The child is used to illustrate his point. Infants, toddlers, they are really without active resistance. This is what distinguishes them from everybody else. They are not independent.

They are totally dependent. God is saying that's what I want from the sinner that comes to me. I want that sinner to depend on me. As though they were this little infant, this little toddler. And I, the parent, infants don't fight. They don't. They really don't resist.

Not intentionally. They don't hate good. They don't hate.

They are not at war with God and they are not at war with man. These are characteristics that he is pointing out. He'd be like this kid. And it would make you say, well, what is it about the child?

I can't be cute again. So that cannot be it. He says, for such is the kingdom of God. Those not at war with God, not at war with man, those who are not hating, those who are not resisting, those who are not fighting, those are the ones that enter the kingdom of God. And yeah, we understand, Lord, when I come to you, I line up with all those things in my spirit, but my flesh does not cooperate.

And there, of course, is the story of the battle between the spirit and the flesh, as is dealt with very much in Paul's letters. Verse 16 now, and he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them and blessed them. This is prophetic. This is a prophetic signature that this is Messiah. You couple this action with his miracles and his teachings and his virtuous life. And the surrounding or the witnesses should have said, this man is the only man we know that is lining up with what the prophet said Messiah would be.

Nobody else could do these things. Isaiah chapter 40 verse 11, he will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will gather the lambs with his arm and carry them in his bosom and gently lead those who are with young.

And we see him doing this right here in this chapter. He's dealing with everybody, adults and little children, the parents. He's dealing with them all as sheep and lambs.

He's loving on them. Whatever happened to these little children? What did they grow up to be? Well, we'll never know that, not in this life.

But it is a very important question to those who hear that question asked about them. You in the church, you children that are brought up in the church, Christ has laid his hands on you. When you hear the word of God preached and the New Testament acted out around you, Christ is drawing you up in his arms. What's going to happen to you? Are you going to continue and raise your children to love the kingdom, to worship the king?

Or are you going to fall away? And this is a question again that you should ask yourselves. What am I going to do with this Bible knowledge? I don't have to go out into the world and learn what wrong is to appreciate what God says. I can appreciate what God says to avoid what wrong is. So what are you going to do?

Ball is in your court, as we would say. Verse 17, Now as he was going out on the road, one came running knelt before him and asked him, Good teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? I love this man. Christ did too. And over the years, I've preached in this section quite a few times. Evidently, he was someone of importance, and all three of the gospels ring in on this man and add to the story a little bit here and a little bit there. And he is reverent to Christ, which is remarkable. He's a man of authority. He's a young ruler, probably oversees a synagogue, a Jewish assembly, and he is wealthy. He is in his 30s and early 30s as a young ruler.

And to be a ruler, you'd have to be over 30. Matthew tells us that he was young. And at this time in Christ's ministry, hostility from the Jewish authorities was on the increase. So for him to publicly display this reverence was was impressive. He was eager about it. Christ is leaving the city. He kind of runs up in front of him and gets in front of him and kneels down and shows this great respect. Now he's not yet accepting all of the Messiahship and the deity of Christ.

We have to be careful. Christ lived in the days of transition. The church was not yet born. When we look back, we cannot look back through the eyes only after Pentecost.

We have to remember they were still Jewish and the church was a foreign concept as we know it now. But evidently, this man had been moved by something Jesus said or did or both. He asked him, Good teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

Respectful, formal greeting to a religious rabbi, a teacher of the Jews. And he had material possessions. So he was not seeking material prosperity. He had that already.

He's coming for spiritual direction. He's quite upfront with this and unashamed about it. And so he should be unashamed about it. Nothing to be shamed.

There's nothing shameful about this. But there's a basic error in what he asked the Lord. What shall I do that I may inherit? Now, typically, we do not inherit salvation. Of course, it is something that is a gift of God. And inheritance is something we receive from someone else when they die. And so there's a little there, nothing big, because it's not something that Christ draws out.

But it's something we should be mindful of. We have this inheritance in Christ because of his death. And we receive it.

There's nothing we can do. He says, What can I do to inherit? Well, you don't do. You receive an inheritance from the one deceased. Now, typically, because sometimes people put stipulations on an inheritance.

Well, you have to do this and then before you can get the money or whatever else it is. Eternal life, he brings up salvation of the soul. That is exactly what he is talking about. Now, eternal life is more than eternal existence.

There's a difference. Everyone will exist eternally. But where?

Where will your zip code be? Heaven or hell? This is what it is all about. And, of course, Christ alone is the way to eternal life. Rejecting Christ is the way to eternal existence.

The story of C.S. Lewis walking through a cemetery and he sees a tombstone that says, All dressed up and nowhere to go. And Lewis comments to his friends, You wish. And that is very accurate because there is somewhere you're going.

You're all dressed up and you are going somewhere. But through Christ alone is their eternal life. Not more than just existence. Romans 6 23, a verse we love to hear. The wages of sin is death.

Death proves sin. But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. And by faith we receive it by trusting the record that has been handed to us. This unbroken witness from Adam into the future from Genesis through Revelation. Acts 4 12, Nor is there salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. It is only through Jesus Christ. And so after this finite life there is an afterlife. But will it be eternal life or eternal existence or will it be eternal life?

And that is up to the individual. Verse 18. So Jesus said to him, Why do you call me good? No one is good but one that is God. Now Christ is not saying don't call me good. He is just extracting from the man a confession which he really doesn't get. But the apostles got the question.

In fact they got it so much they recorded it and preserved it and we have it. And it is loaded with insight on the character and the person of Jesus Christ. And so what he is saying here, Why do you call me good? He's saying, Are you talking about relative good? Are you saying that I am relatively good related to the rabbis and other good men? Or are you saying I am absolutely good as God Almighty is absolutely good?

So which one is it? So the Lord throws it out there and he doesn't, you know, answer my question you fool. He doesn't do anything like that.

No one is good but one, he says. That is God. And he is not disowning it. He is just bringing this out. Because how many people do we come across in life that say, Well I am a good person.

God is going to let me into heaven. Well that is ridiculous. In fact it is insulting. It is damning. Because what you are saying is that God is vicious for allowing Jesus to die such a death on the cross and there was another way all the time. There is no other way. It is through Christ.

And they are either arrogant or ignorant. I will come back to that maybe. I don't want to promise you anything. You may hold me accountable. You know we Christians we don't want to commit. Sarcasm.

A little light hearted but not entirely. Verse 19. You know the commandments. Do not commit adultery. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Do not defraud.

Honor your father and your mother. I love that he says you know the scripture. There are Christians that act like they don't know the Bible.

Can I tithe two percent? Anyway, Christ is quoting six of the ten commandments here. He is quoting the second table. The two tables of the commandment. The first one is between man and God. You should have no other gods before me.

No idols. Remember the Sabbath. Don't take the Lord's name in vain. It's the first table. It's between man and God. The second table is between man and man in the presence of God.

And that would be these here. Do not commit adultery, murder, steal, bear false witness. Defraud. Defraud is an interpretive paraphrase of the Lord on covet.

Because if you really want something to get that, to really get it in to become sin, you have to break some rules to bring it about, to possess through craftiness. And so he gives an interpretive rendering of that. But he leaves out the first four because they were obvious. This man certainly honored the first four commandments. Verse 20. And he answered and said to him, teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.

Now this is important. He says, what do I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus tells him what to do. And he says, I've done that. See, that establishes a fact to me.

The reason why I have to say this, because most commentators I find are very harsh to this young man. They've got him in hell. You know, they think that this is only about the salvation of the soul.

There's much more here than just that. But Christ told them what to do. He said, I do that. But then the conversation deepens and it deepens because of the man. Christ sort of leaves it at this and leaves it and the man is the one that takes it further. So when he says in verse 20, he answered him and said, teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth. Not reluctant to deal with his sin. He asked the Lord a question. He got an answer. And to me, it doesn't read this way.

There's no hostility here. In fact, the next verse will bring that out. Otherwise, otherwise Jesus would have had a grand omission. He would have had a chance to deal with saving the soul and kind of ignored it. He doesn't ignore it.

He dealt with it. Verse 21, it says, Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, one thing you lack, go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor. And you will have treasure in heaven and come and take up the cross and follow me. I'm going to try to summarize this at the end of the comments. And how helpful to the story, how meaningful to you and me that we listen to this. Jesus looking at him loved him. That's profound. Somebody picked that up.

Somebody watching. One of the witnesses could see in the face of Christ this love just flowing out of him to this man. I'm not prepared to say Jesus loved him and then doomed him to hell right after that.

You know, you almost had it, kid, and you got the second question wrong. Here's what one commentator said in attending to doom him. And I bring this up because if you have study Bibles, you'll probably read that.

And if you need me to correct them, just put them on my desk and I'll make corrections. Here's what one commentator says. He felt Jesus felt great compassion for this sincere truth seeker who was so hopelessly lost. You can only get that if you're a Calvinist, I guess. Then he says, God does love the unsaved. Yeah, he does.

And he does something about them being unsaved. And I'll open this up a little more. Now, you may disagree with me.

It's okay. I've had people be wrong before and I still love you. You know, that's one of the perks of having a pulpit. You get to say those kind of things more often than others in an audience.

So anyway, this one thing you lack said after the man said these things that I do. Now, Matthew gives us a little bit more information. And I mentioned that helpful to the story are the witnesses of the other evangelists, Matthew and Luke. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Mark. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, crossreferenceradio.com. Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-30 08:05:27 / 2023-10-30 08:15:20 / 10

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