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A Clash of Kingdoms: The Rich Young Ruler

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2019 12:30 am

A Clash of Kingdoms: The Rich Young Ruler

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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Hello my friends Michael Yousif here. I just wanted to thank you for connecting with leading the way. Our entire team is wholly committed to passionately proclaiming uncompromising truth of God's word and it cannot be done without you learn more about what God has charged us to do around the world by clicking around that's Thank you and may God richly bless you as you seek to serve. What must I do to inherit eternal life. I read a porno report on what Americans think about Jesus.

While most Americans pulled believe that Jesus was a real historical person only about 50% believe that he was God.

The number was actually higher than I thought it would've been but as you look by generation, that the younger the generation, the less likely that generation is to believe that Jesus was God. There was real division over whether Jesus was sinless. Only 30% thought he was absolutely without sin. And there was also real confusion about whether Jesus or good deeds were the way to heaven. I read another report about the amount of people talk about how the amount of people who believed in God was decreasing in yet the amount of people who believe in the afterlife was increasing, and in thinking on those things. The question is put before us.

What do we think of Jesus and how can we inherit eternal life, and it comes from this rich young ruler but before we get to him. I want to point out that the ultimate answer comes in verses 31 to 34 but I want to start at the end of this section of verses and then through that lens that we are given go back and read our other sections with a different perspective. And so here is our lens. If you have your Bible, Luke 18 starting in verse 31 Jesus took the 12 aside and told them where going up to Jerusalem and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him and sold him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again. The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about. We need to fully grasp that all that we are about to look at all that we discussed as it relates to the kingdom and eternal life. It's all because of Christ's sacrifice apart from the humiliation of Christ and the exaltation of Christ. There is no eternal life. There is no kingdom. The sin that we carry remains with us and we have no way of making propitiation you and I must understand that this is also not new news, Jesus says everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. It's not Plan B. Because man couldn't make it. It has always been the plan from the beginning because man was never going to make it on his own. This concept has been prophesied and look forward to its how the Saints of the Old Testament were saved. Looking forward to that day of the Son of Man who would finally make away fully to God. It's how we today looked back on what was once hidden, but is now fully revealed its Christ's sacrifice. It's Christ's sacrifice. It's Christ's sacrifice. Do not forget that.

Do not forget that now we turn to our earlier verses before we get to the rich ruler, though, I want to look at these three verses about Jesus and the babies because I believe all of these accounts hold together, and all of these things hold together in the chapter that Luke has put together.

He's done this intentionally, to read in verse 15 people were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.

But Jesus called the children to him and said, let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it is our second point were now that we have this lens of the sacrifice of Christ we can say we receive the kingdom freely we receive the kingdom freely children in that day were loved but not important. They had nothing to offer as children. They were looked at for their potential as adults, even a Paul in acts 2620s before Festus and Agrippa. When he talks about how the have these Jews knew my life.

Even from the beginning because it was all about what they could contribute. One day, could they take over their father's business or the family business could they produce male heirs that would continue the family line, but as children they have nothing to offer. The children have nothing to contribute in the disciples are shooing them away, shooing them away.

They think this is a waste of Jesus's time because they have nothing to contribute. It seems the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector is not quite set in for the disciples of Jesus is on the contrary, let them come to me, the kingdom belongs to such as these children now does this mean that only babies will inherit the kingdom.

What is it about babies that makes them worthy of imitation will he goes on to say, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it, we receive the kingdom freely. We cannot buy the kingdom as were about to see. We cannot earn the kingdom as our Pharisee believed we cannot steal the kingdom. We cannot deserve the kingdom we receive it freely. Babies don't think that they deserve things. They are dependent on what is given to them. When my son was born. He didn't file a request for milk that he wanted based on how good he had been that day, he would not have received milk. Now that he's to. He thinks he deserves everything that the children, babies, infants they have done nothing to earn what is given to them. It's a picture of how we are to receive the kingdom in humility because we cannot do it ourselves.

We tell our do it ourselves. Instead it is made available. Remember our first point, it is made available through that sacrifice of Christ.

Now that alters our question. If you're following along because her question at the beginning was what must I do to inherit eternal life.

If you inherit eternal life. There is no doing to be done and it has already been done.

But that's our human nature.

That is our human nature.

We want to do what we can.

We wanted to be because of something that we have done we are constantly since the beginning, trying to get back into the garden of Eden by our works.

And that's not how it will happen. The kingdom is received, freely because of the sacrifice of Christ, that we turn to our main story taking place with the rich ruler. What does the rich ruler ask after hearing about how he must become like a child to come into the kingdom.

He asked what must I do to inherit eternal life. What must I do to inherit eternal life. As we said he's already off on a bed premise that he must do something he hasn't understood the first lesson that the kingdom is received, freely notice how he starts his conversation with Jesus by addressing him as good. He calls him good teacher and Jesus addresses him calling him good. Why do you call me good, no one is good except for God what is Jesus doing here. What is even draw this up in Jewish tradition, the term good was used and reserved only for God. You did not call people good so does this man recognize that Jesus is worthy of being called good because he is God incarnate.

I think what Jesus is doing here is questioning the rich ruler's standard of goodness, how does he think he himself is and we get the response to that in the next question and Jesus presents them with some of the commandments and the rich ruler response. All of these I have kept since I was a boy. He thinks he himself is good because he is kept all these commandment is goodness is what will save him, even in his original question, what must I do to inherit eternal life. Not what must I believe or what must I know what must I do, once again, this rich ruler needs to learn the lesson of the children receive the kingdom freely.

Now look at the commandments that Jesus gives him.

These are not all the commandments are the these are the social commandments are what we call that the horizontal commandments that man's relationship with his neighbor. They're not about his relationship with God having no other gods, no idols, which seems to be an argument from silence. What about the vertical laws. What about how I relate to God and he should have been thinking about this. What about honoring God.

In verse 22 Jesus hits him with how to honor God. Sell everything you have and give it to the poor and that was very hard for this ruler because he was very wealthy. So Jesus reveals this man's lack of worship of God by going to the area in his life where he refuses to follow God, which is our next point receive the kingdom freely expect it will cost you in some sense everything. It goes without saying that he is not perfect in every area of his life. Those first five Commandments are given the number four commandments and the other line he's lying is deceived himself before this man, this is the one key area that reveals his heart, and the fact that he doesn't actually live for God and so there are two things are happening in our story with the rich ruler. First, we see that the ruler is not as good as he thinks he is. He cannot earn eternal life.

He cannot earn his way into the kingdom he needs to learn the lesson of the children. This man has resources he has status, he has perceived obedience in the children have none of those things he needs to receive the kingdom freely.

His love of money is only a symptom of his lack of goodness, and second, he needs to see that the inheritance of eternal life will cost him in some sense everything Christianity is not turning your life to Christ and then everything becomes easy. Christianity is dying to self. Every day. Chapter 17 Jesus tells his disciples about the day the Son of Man when he returns. Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it and you may be asking what does my burden is easy and my yoke is light for Matthew 11 how I interpret that what is that mean in that section. He is talking about the fact that you don't have to earn it. You don't have the burden of accomplishing salvation.

You don't have the burden of ushering in the kingdom that has been done.

You get to rest in the knowledge that that work is completed, it is finished.

It's the lesson of the babies but now there is the do I believe that moment because if what I just said before is true that it has been done. Remember versus 31 to 34.

If we look through the lens of Christ's sacrifice, then we need to understand there will be a cost to follow that there will be a cost to it not being up to us.

We therefore submit to the one who has met the requirements for gaining eternal life and daily we forfeited the things that keep us from submitting to him and the rich young ruler can't do that. His money has become a stumbling block to him. He refuses to let go of it.

He loves it too much it stands between him and the inheritance of eternal life that he clearly desires lesson giving away his money would not have meant that he earned the kingdom, or that he bought entry into the kingdom or into eternal life. You still cannot earn your way to kingdom life. The Pharisee gave more than he ought. And yet he goes home unjustified not justify the issue is not about the amount or even the money itself. The issue is with the heart. Just because something is undeserved does not mean that it is unconditional love explained that. Let's say you inherited some money from a family member but in order to receive the inheritance that you did not earn and you did not deserve.

You have to give a portion of it to charity or some cause of some sort.

You can have it is free, but if you do not abide by the conditions you cannot have the inheritance receiving the kingdom is free, but it demands that we give up control of our life, which makes sense because the kingdom of God is where God is raining his cane if you want to be in a place where God reigns supreme, then you will have to be willing to give up that authority in the control that you want in your life. And so it begs the question, what is it that you are unwilling to give up, for the kingdom.

What is it that you are unwilling to give up for God is it money that identity is it relationships.

Reminds me of the story of a man in a church who once made a covenant with his pastor that he would tithe 10% of his income every year and he was young and was making a lot of money, but then things changed and the man tithed $1000 when he made $10,000 and then $10,000 when he made $100,000 and $100,000 when he earned $1 million but the year he earned $6 million.

He just could not bring himself to writing out a check for $600,000 to the church and he calls the minister and he asked to visit him and he walks into the pastor's office and the man begins begging. All of a sudden he just starts begging you gotta let me out of this covenant, you gotta let me out this whole tithing business has to stop. It was fine when my tide was $1000, but now $600,000 is too much I can't do it. You've got to do something to the pastor. Neil silently and begins to pray, after a long time. The man asked him what is it that you're doing are you asking God to let me out of this covenant and the pastor says no I'm praying for God to reduce your income to where you're only typing $1000.

You know where in your life you are unwilling to give up things for God you and probably only you know this, Jesus tells this man. It is his money that he is unwilling to give up and the man became very sad and he walked away from Jesus very said is foolish to walk away from Jesus because God's reign and rule is not some harsh irrational thing. God only commands what is right and for our good. He's not the God who wants to take all your joy, but he is God. Jesus goes on to say how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Well, we know that there rich people in heaven.

Abraham had vast amounts of wealth. David obviously was wealthy and so if this is not saying simply that wealthy people cannot enter into the kingdom of God and what is it say what it is saying is that wealthy people find it difficult letting go of money just like anyone who is been blessed with some material thing or a gift or something. They have a hard time letting go of that thing. It's become their identity.

It's become their security there use to people with money are used to being able to do what they want, how they want when they want, but the kingdom cannot be bought, and it cannot be earned. In fact, it is impossible for man to receive the kingdom or gain entry into the kingdom himself wealthy or not. And so that's why the question comes woman who then can be saved and Jesus replies what is impossible with men is possible with God. God can work in us to change. Yes, he has to be at work in us changing our hearts to bring us to accept that we do not earn anything or deserved anything and changing our hearts to let us let go of anything that we hold onto above him will we be humble enough to say I don't bring anything to the table. I cannot bring anything to the table and I think most of us have come to that point at someplace in our lives with them to also know that in receiving the kingdom freely. You can expect that it will cost you everything it completely re-orientates your life Augustine the early theologian and philosopher in the fourth century when he understood what becoming a Christian meant that it meant he would have to turn his life to Christ and Augustine. It was notorious for partying and spending time around the wrong types of women had multiple mistresses. He said these words, God give me chastity and continence self-restraint but not yet, but not yet. He knew that when he crossed the line and became a Christian he committed his life to Christ that receiving the kingdom freely. He knew that it would demand everything from him. It was given changes very identity. His core and now when I say demand everything from you.

Part of that is intentional to rattle you, but don't see it as prison don't see it as a punishment. It is a good thing, and for us here today.

We need to keep this same attitude never to start thinking that I deserve my place in the eternal kingdom. I deserve it. We should never think that the reorientation of our hearts happens once and for all our hearts and minds wander and get pulled in so many different directions.

This is why Paul writes in Romans chapter 12 do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, renewing its ongoing it's daily.

It's hourly because we still allow our hearts to become misaligned and make something else more important than God. This is why we have to admit that we cannot do it. We must ask God and in our times of trouble and fear and frustration that he would realign our hearts that he would help us admit our dependence on him receive the kingdom freely expect it could cost you everything.

Finally, believe the gain is worth the loss and in verse 28. The natural question that comes out, Peter says we've left everything to follow you. Peter wants to know is my sacrifice worth it. Do all the things that we gave up to follow you amount to anything and you may be asking that question to do all the things that I have given up for God amount to anything do my sacrifices count.

I tell you the truth. Jesus said to them, no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and in the age to come eternal life. What does that mean if I donate my home or my car to a ministry to some cause, will I receive many cars in many homes. Don't think that's what Jesus is saying here what Jesus is saying is that if you receive the kingdom freely giving up to God the things in the relationships and the idols that you hold on dearly to that. Those things will be replaced with better thing you give up the time you would have spent watching television or Netflix or movies or whatever it is you turn in turn spend that time with the Lord you will be blessed, you forfeit that purchase that you want to make or the vacation that you want to go on the trip you want to go on and instead give that money to a ministry to some kingdom because you will be blessed in seeing God's kingdom expanded that you give up that bad relationship with the boyfriend of the girlfriend that is not a Christian and is a bad influence on you or you stop listening to the friend who's pushing you to get a divorce because of irreconcilable differences, and you will be blessed. You will find good Christian friends who build you up, seek your good. There is no worldly thing. If you give it up in exchange for kingdom things that you will look back on with regret, but you will be blessed not hear me. I'm not saying we make sacrifices merely as a way of getting a better reward.

I'm just telling you what Jesus said that God's gifts surpass anything that we could give up for him now.

These examples are true but they only scratch the surface. Because here's the ultimate reality.

I think when Jesus says, anyone who gives up these things for the sake of the kingdom will receive many times as much in this age and in the age to come eternal life. I think that gift. I think that reward I think that thing is Christ himself. Now, at the outset, that may not sound impressive because I think our minds have been conditioned to think I get back what I pay in.

So if I am a good and honest Christian that good things will come my way if I am bad in my faith is weak and I fail as a Christian, then bad things will come my way and I deserve them. That is not God's economy. The rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous.

So to calamity and disease and heart ache and disaster falls on those in Christ and those not in Christ. The question is where your hope and your identity in your future lie because those people without Christ suffered in some sense, more because they are trying to make sense out of situations with very little help and so they create a worldview to help them understand these things. There is no Romans 828 lens for them, that God is working things for our good and his timing through his purposes for the Christian who has received the kingdom for the Christian who expects that being a follower of Christ will cost you everything that Christian can believe and know that the gain is worth the cost. I may lose my total net worth does that mean that Christ has abandoned me. I may lose my health.

Does that mean that Christ has abandoned me. I may not receive the thing I desire most child, a spouse does that mean that Christ has abandoned me know know know know you have Christ you have Christ who calls you to a new identity in him one that is not physical or false. You have Christ who provides for you, a family, one that is called to love one another in the way that he loved us when the desires truly what is best for you, not what you think is best for you. You have Christ who gives you salvation not one that is that you have to earn or deserve. You have Christ who gives you a future not a temporary existence, but an eternal one of significance and in the age to come eternal life and eternal life.

You have Christ and that's the answer to the rich rulers question about inheriting eternal life in all of this is made available to you because of Christ's sacrifice. We are going up to Jerusalem and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again so that you can receive the kingdom freely expecting it to cost you everything, but believing that the gain is for better than the cost (father, our hearts break for that rich ruler who was given a choice, but he chose the things of this world and he walked away sad and one of the other gospel accounts it says that your heart broke for him. How sad it is to see someone choose the things of this world and not Christ. How sad it is to see people who put expectations on what you will give them apart from what you have actually promised and turn away from Christ. Oh, if you would give us a bigger vision of who Christ is in a better understanding of who we are, in light of him.

Anything we could lose on this side of heaven began to be nothing because we have Christ because we have Christ. I have Christ I have Christ if we don't know your word that we would bury ourselves in your word and read and read and read. To better understand what that means, so that we can have a better appreciation for who you are and what you and who we are, in light of that, because of you, because I have Christ because I have Christ pray this in his

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