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December 20, 2019 1:00 am
We live in a time when we have lots of choices in life. We really do choices that most people around the world will never have choices that are grandparents will even be able to dream off choices.
We got all sorts of choices in life but sometimes having too many choices can work against us having too many choices at times can paralyze us.
In fact, having too many choices. It causes confusion in the mind of some having too many choices can confound a person and I know for a fact that the sum choices perplex them is like the horse who died between two bales of hay because he couldn't decide which one to eat first. That confusion with the choices are summarized in the words of the great Yogi Berra when he said that when you come to a fork in the road, take it as a little bit more positive than some of those negative and pessimistic and confused people like Woody Allen, Woody Allen said that the more than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and the hopelessness and the other leads to annihilation. Let us pray to have wisdom to choose correctly.
The Bible actually from the very beginning, gives us two choices, but these two choices always come with a clear warning of the consequences of each choice from the beginning of history in the Garden of Eden all the way to the close of biblical revelation of God says you have two choices. Be sure to choose the right one. Here are the consequences be very wise.
You and I know that life itself is filled with examples of people who have made the wrong choices and they paid the consequences when God gave Adam and Eve a choice in the garden of Eden he said to them, you can eat from all of the streams this one you must not touch but the moment you eat from it you will spiritually die and will know what the consequences were. And we are the inheritors of the wrong choice because we all inherited their DNA of wanting to choose the wrong way.
In his farewell speech. Moses was speaking to the people of God for getting ready to get into the promised land. And he says to them. He said he sure to choose the right way, if you obey the Lord your God, you will be blessed.
In fact, through Moses, God was appealing to his people and he is appealing to everyone in every generation. Ever since I set before you a blessing and a curse. What will you choose which one would you choose, please choose wisely. God is standing with open arms is represented in the stretch arms on the cross saying I welcome you choose the right way and today we are introduced to a young man in Matthew 19 is really in many ways an extraordinary young man he was. Another your average person. He was an unusual person and really comes to Jesus asking him what must he do to inherit heaven to make it to heaven until it turned the life Jesus gives them a choice. Sadly, in verse 22 of Matthew nine, we see that he makes the wrong choice and that is why the Bible said he went away sad. He went away sorrowful. He made the wrong choice, and he knew it. He knew it.
That is why he was so depressed when he left the presence of Jesus. The Bible tells us this man was rich. It tells us that this man was a religious man.
He was a moral man is and what else you want, but he was dissatisfied man. He was an empty man on the inside. He was a restless man with all of the issues of life. The important things of life.
All of the significant things in life. All of his religious rituals did not give him the peace of mind all of his wealth and his material possessions did not assure him of the forgiveness of his sins.
All of his knowledge did not relieve the burning, guilty conscience, all of his efforts could not assure him that if he closes his eyes, and death that he will be in heaven with Jesus and so he comes to Jesus and says I want to put it in my own language okay this is a use of translation. How can I be assured that when I close my eyes, and death. Our have eternity in heaven. Beloved, listen to me this is a fact, most people who do not know God. When the dust settled and all alone out there partying and giving the impression that having a good time but all alone.
When the smoke clears and they really look into the mirror of life when they allow the voice of the conscious to speak to them. They know deep deep down that they are living in rebellion against a holy God. They know it.
I knew it when I was in rebellion against my family rebellion against my parents rebellion against God. I knew it when I was all alone.
I knew it deep down there is a burning guilty conscience. Why, because they do not have peace with God. They do not have peace within, and they know it when they put away all of the rhetoric soon you put away all of the politics and you put away all of the debating on the fighting, and you put away all of the arguments and all of the heated discussions. They don't have peace within. But even before Christ came into the world that question his always plagued mankind always the question of life and death and eternity was always plaguing humanity before Christ came from heaven to earth. In fact, the Greek mythology tells us a story about how that question plagued the generation to according to ancient Greek and Roman mythology. Aurora the goddess of Dawn fell in love with a mortal man named decimals when Xena is offered to give Aurora anything she would ask on behalf of that mortal man. Her lover Aurora asked that he might never die, and her wish was granted.
But because Aurora forgot to ask her that that's a must remain forever young cousins grew old and decrepit. Instead of being a blessing. It was a curse with perpetual degeneration and that's why Jesus made it very clear to this young ritual of this religious man that there's only one way that is going to make it to heaven. There's only one way to have peace with God is only one way to have a piece of mind here and now and for eternity is only one way to see the young man's question is really the question that millions of people around the world are asking how much effort isn't going to take for me to make it to heaven. How much money is it going to cost me how many religious activities are my supposed to practice on a daily basis or a weekly basis or monthly basis. What formula in life. Should I implement what obligation do I need to fulfill so I can make it to heaven so I can be assured of heaven here and now. I don't want to miss this point, because this really an important one very very important. There's an overriding thought in that question. I, what must I do what can I do how can I earn it turned a lot. How can I earn my way to have it. How can I pay for my return.
The left how can I hold for my sins that I know that a burning burning me burning inside of me. How can I have the key, or the formula or the secret to going to heaven. Our society will bombard about the secret to happiness and the key to this in the formula to the other thing I been watching through the years of how a clever guy who would say, you know, come to my seminar by hundred dollars and I'll show you how to be rich in Winamp thousand people sign up just like that. No one gets rich as a speaker number 11. The truth is much simpler than you think. No secrets, no quick fixes, no formulas, no TVs, no the truth is very simple.
It really is this something I want you to notice. Listen if you don't see Jesus a sense of humor in the gospel accounts is not reading it right, I'll help you there a lot of funny things that Jesus said, and most people just gonna skip member would talk about the commandments really. I kept them all really that's interesting and nobody could keep the commandments all the time.
All of all the time because Jesus that is why he is the Savior is the owner could save us because he's the only one is perfect is one of the perfect sinless life, but does resonate all of those things and Zaza Bob and giving those things all my life is a dialogue that I will report it again in my own language that I want to show you the sense of humor here Jesus to the young man you telling me that you really kept all of the 10 Commandments since you were born. That's right, I did exactly kept them all, right lessee.
What about the first commandment. How does this go again. All you shall have no other God before me. Did you get that one.
Yes sir. Got it when you ask you is your wealth by God to you is your money, your master or your slave are you learning your possessions or do your possessions own you. I think of that for the guy probably was scratching his head, and the money is not my God is not really my God Jesus a great we are really making great strides here. Okay, if you want to follow me and trusted me is what I'm going to tell you. Give it all away, so that again just as I come and hang out with me now provide for you all know that on the no no that's not what I meant by keeping the 10 Commandments. If you don't understand Jesus what about the 10th commandment recovered and given your own stuff you're completely trusting in my provision. If you trusting God, but you just give it all away and come, follow me trusted my provision.
I wait a minute, Jesus will make there's a limit to what I meant by keeping off kept all the commandments. I'm sure if the discussion was even stretch further.
Jesus would not be bothered by the fact this guy really did not keep the commandment he thought he did.
You know what he wanted to do is want to acknowledge it.
Okay, just acknowledge that you gave them that's all he wants us to do. That's all he wanted them to do. This meant, acknowledging nothing, admitting the found repenting of nothing. I am not confessing that blood. Let me ask you where you place your faith when you place your trust where where is your confidence.
Is it in your net worth is within your portfolio and visiting your religious observance on how meticulously you keeping this religious observance is it in your own success. Is it in your own goodness. I am good in my own way, trusting in these things will only do one thing and that's going to buttress your pride. That's a standard trusting in anything except the Lord Jesus Christ death and resurrection to take you to heaven is only going to strengthen your pride and pride will always keep you from heaven. Pride will always keep you from heaven because an authentic ticket to heaven must be stamped by the blood of Jesus Christ that was shut on Calvary.
What does it mean it means to acknowledge your sin only want to do is acknowledge the fact that he really did not keep those commandments anywhere that he's a sinner. He wanted them to humble himself before he wanted to come and admit his desperate need for a Savior, and that only Jesus Christ can take him to heaven. It means that you don't look at anything is your hope in which you place your trust, not your degrees not your intellect, not your achievements. All of that we consider trash in comparison to receiving eternal life pride will keep you from heaven, but humility will give you heaven on earth and heaven for eternity.
I was thinking about pride and I thought of this true story that I read number of years ago, two-story of this young athletic, good looking young student at Oxford University in England one day showed up in the hospital with severe pain in his knee and so the doctors immediately started working doing all the tests and finally they came with the news that they must amputate his leg below the knee. If his life is to be saved to the auto horror. This young man refused he would let him amputate. They pleaded with him. They pleaded with his family. They asked again and again. It's all only way that we can save your life and then man said you will not amputate my leg and sure enough, six months later he died in the doctors stick with the surgeon who was really took personal he was devastated and he went to his bereaved mother after the funeral and he said please explain to me why why did he refuse to let us amputate which most certainly would've saved his life. The brokenhearted mother responded this way. He was so proud of his looks and his athletic ability and his pain that he said he would rather die than his leg amputated. My beloved friend listen to me. When Jesus tested this rich young ruler his pride was in his wealth and when Jesus gave this young rich young ruler, a choice he wanted them to choose correctly but he didn't. Why, because wealth created in him a sense of self satisfaction is wealth created in him as sense of invincibility. His wealth created in him a sense of security. His wealth created in him a sense of God's favor toward him.
Some of you probably sitting here is Michael Michael you not talking to me I don't have to finish drop together fine, then what is it that is keeping you from coming to Christ. What is it that is keeping you from humbling yourself in repentance and receiving his forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. What is keeping you from confessing your inability to save yourself what's keeping you from repenting of your sins, what is keeping you from acknowledging that only Jesus can give you eternal life.
What is it is at the pride of intellect isn't the pride of ideas and philosophy is that the pride of your own.
What day is it the pride of your accomplishment to me as a young man. It was the pride of rebelling against my parents. I did not want to do what they want me to do and that kept me in ministry in this man's case is wealth was his problem that really was the thing that was the barrier that was a wall that is keeping them from coming to Christ. But in your case, it could be other things done different things. You know what they are. You know what that deep down you know what your idol is you know what's keeping you from coming to him to give you an example from the Scripture Abraham by our standard would've been in this day wealthier than Warren Buffett, the millionaire by their standards, but even on the Scripture never once you see God saying to Abraham give up your wealth.
Give up your wealth. Once I want.
That was not the source of his pride, but was a source of his pride. Isaac Isaac walks in some of the God sister Abraham that all you want to give it away like he did with this international take Isaac one whom you love how God is not.
I still don't understand that okay I know is a practice back then in the early days 2000 years before Christ, and so Abram goes up, Bill Salter, Mount Moriah is saying I give you the source of my pride. Nothing is going to come between you and the Lord, even the dearest and the nearest what is God doing what Scott doing here.
He was testing Abraham.
He was testing him, my first in your life. Abraham he was asking to give the very source of his pride had this young man probably said to Jesus, probably probably okay Lord, you're right. I know this is the thing that's standing between us. I'm going to give it all up. I want to come and follow you most likely Jesus versus Nonno that's enough. The fact that you said it's okay, that's all I want to hear. That's all I want to hear and I'm speculating because when Abraham took Isaac put them on the altar. You know what God said don't you touch that boy why Dearborn passed the test.
In fact, later on in the New Testament book of Hebrews tells us that Abraham had such faith in God that even if Isaac died. He was going to have the first resurrection ever in history doesn't want anything from you. He has given you everything that you have, whether you know it or not, the more they had knowledge of him, now everything your path is given to you. So what is the problem. The problem is this God wants you to come to Him His Way, God wants you to come to him on his own terms, not on yours. I told you the truth, is very simple. It really is. There is no secret that the key to this in an formula or tricks of UC. Whatever it is that standing between you and salvation and eternal life. You must be willing to put it on the altar place today and say Lord Jesus.
I receive you into my life.
Not I'm going to add you to my life. Of all the junk that I've got my going to be number one. Now see, Jesus knows what idol you have in your life, whatever it is that's keeping you from him. He knows what it is and I have a fairly good idea that you know to to some it may be wealth to others. Could be a relationship to others could be a lifestyle to others, maybe pride. I'm not going to do what God wants me to do could be self.
They want to please self my God the ultimate question is are you willing to surrender it in completely trust Jesus is the only one who can save you, Lord Jesus Christ, you left the glories of heaven, and came to earth you love me enough you cared for me enough to hear this message. I think you now father I come to you through your son Jesus. I confess my rebellion.
I confess my sin. I confess my pride forgive me Jesus come into my life now and help me to walk every day in your life for Jesus I pray this because you promised that whenever anyone comes to me I will not reject. Thank you for your love Jesus. Amen.
Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that's LTW.org