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Three Strikes and You're Out | Part 2

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
June 22, 2021 8:00 am

Three Strikes and You're Out | Part 2

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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June 22, 2021 8:00 am

Adrian Rogers offers four insights from the story of the rich young ruler to help you avoid striking out at the opportunity to follow Christ.

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We'll be right back.

We'll be right back. Now, there are four things I want to lay on your heart. Number one, proud men at their best are sinners at their worst. Now, you may not see it on the surface, but this man was quite proud of his achievements and outwardly had much to be proud of.

As a matter of fact, outwardly he had very much that we would admire. But Jesus did not praise him or pet him or flatter him. Jesus seems to treat him kind of roughly. Look in verse 18 and see what the Lord says to this man in verse 18. He says, Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good?

There is none good, but one, and that is God. Now, Jesus is teaching him in this one sentence two things. Number one, Jesus is teaching this young man that he himself is not good. Jesus is teaching this young man that he himself, the young man, is not good. But this young man thought he was a good boy. And Jesus said, Look, there's none good but God.

The second thing Jesus was teaching this young man is that Jesus himself is God. Now, why did I say that good men at their best are sinners at their worst? Why didn't you say that bad men are sinners at their worst? Because the worst sin, the sin of all sins, the worst form of badness is human goodness when human goodness becomes a substitute for the new birth. The worst form of badness is human goodness. Jesus said that prostitutes and crooked tax collectors were going to heaven before the Pharisees because they had their self-righteousness as a substitute for God's mercy.

So I want to say to any person in this building today, no matter how nicely you may live, none of you live as well as this rich young ruler. And yet Jesus looked him straight in the face and said in verse 18, There is none good but one, and that is God. The worst form of badness is human goodness when human goodness becomes a substitute for the new birth.

Have you got that? That's the first thing I want you to see. I want you to see this, that proud men at their best are sinners at their worst.

Now here's the second thing I want you to see. God's perfect law condemns man's sinful pride. Look, if you will, now in verse 19 of this same chapter again. Mark chapter 10 and verse 19. Thou knowest the commandments. Jesus now is beginning to talk about commandment keeping to this man to help him to see that he's a sinner. Thou knowest the commandments. Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do fraud not.

Honor thy father and thy mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him and said unto him, One thing thou lackest, go thy way, sell whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come take up thy cross and follow me. Now if God is a holy God, it follows as night follows day that that holy God will have holy laws.

Now listen to me very carefully, because if you're not listening carefully, you're going to miss the whole thing. Jesus is not, underscore that, is not teaching salvation by commandment keeping. He is teaching just the opposite. But you have to pay attention to see what Jesus is teaching. You see, the Bible teaches that you're not saved by keeping the commandments.

But yet this young man said, How do I have eternal life? And Jesus begins to refer him to the commandments. Now what Jesus is teaching this young man is, he is not keeping the commandments like he may think that he's keeping the commandments. Now commandment keeping has never saved anybody, put in your margin, Galatians 2 verse 16, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ. The law, the Ten Commandments, cannot save anybody.

While the Ten Commandments do not save you, they are an essential element in evangelism and salvation. What is the purpose of the law? Why does God give us the law?

To let us know that we're sinners. Romans 3 verse 20, listen to it, Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight. For by the law is the knowledge of sin. God gave us the law to let us know that we're sinners. And Jesus is using the law right here to teach this young man that he's a sinner. And so Jesus begins to talk to him about the commandments.

Now you may think that you're pretty good until you come up hard against God's law. On an occasion, a lawyer came to Jesus and he said, Jesus, what is the first and great commandment? And Jesus said, love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. And the second is like unto it, love your neighbor as yourself. And what Jesus did in that sentence, he just summed up the whole Ten Commandments. Love God and love your neighbor. That's what the Ten Commandments are all about. And now when Jesus said to this rich young ruler, okay, you're a law keeper, sell everything you have, give it to the poor, come and follow me. He wasn't willing to do that. Number one, he loved his money more than he loved God. And number two, he loved his money more than he loved his neighbor.

Do you see it? I mean, in reality, the spirit of this young man had broken all Ten Commandments by failing to do this one thing. He's not teaching that you can buy your way into heaven by selling everything you have and giving it to the poor. What Jesus is doing is giving this man a revelation of his heart. Jesus is showing this man that he's guilty of the sin of covetousness and really whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point is guilty of all. What Jesus is showing this man is the futility, the futility of trying to behave himself into heaven.

All he had was a superficial knowledge of his own goodness. And so Jesus is revealing that this man to this man, that no one is kept or saved by commandment keeping. He's not teaching salvation by keeping the commandments. He's teaching the impossibility of salvation by keeping the commandments.

Now, here's the third thing. Jesus is teaching this young man that no man can serve two masters, but he must serve one. No man can serve two masters, but he must serve one. Look in verses 21 and 22. And Jesus, beholding him, loved him and said unto him, one thing thou lackest, go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast and give to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.

Now, watch this. And come, take up the cross and follow me. Now, why did Jesus make this request to this young man? Why did Jesus say to him, he hadn't said to me, sell everything you have and give it to the poor?

Most likely he's not said that to you. Why did he say that to this young man? This young man had an idol in his heart, an idol, I-D-O-L, a false god. You say, well, Adrian, how do you know that he had an idol in his heart?

I'm going to show you in a moment. And what was this idol? This idol was his wealth, his gold.

You say, how do you know that? Well, you look in Mark chapter 10. Look, if you will, in verses 23 and 24. And Jesus looked round about and saith unto his disciples, how hardly, how difficultly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God. Now, he's not saying that a rich man can't be saved because he says later on that he can be saved.

Well, God, all things are possible. But notice in verse 24, and the disciples were astonished at his words, but Jesus answered again and saith unto them, now watch this very carefully, slow down with me. Children, how hard it is for them, now underscore these next four words, that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God. That trust in riches. Whatever a man trusts is his God.

Say, amen. Whatever a man trusts is his God. Anything you love more, serve more, trust more, fear more than almighty God is an idol.

Do you see that? This man had an idol. This man had a false God. No man can serve two masters, but he must serve one. And what this man needed to do in order to have eternal life was to repent.

Repent of what? Idolatry. First Thessalonians 1 verse 9 speaks of how ye turn to God from idols to serve the true and the living God. Now, this turning to God from idols, whatever the idol is in your heart and in your life, and it may not be money, but I'm telling you one God is enough for everybody. Jesus said no man can serve two masters. That's what Jesus said.

But, friend, he must serve one. Now, if you have some other God in your life in order to be a Christian, in order to go to heaven, you cannot go to heaven by keeping the commandments and you cannot go to heaven by having an idol in your life. You must turn from that idol to God. Now, this turning is called repentance. And here's where many people miss salvation.

They hear a preacher preach and they want to go to heaven, so they just think that they can hold on to their gods and just add Jesus in as one more God. But you must repent. Now, I'm going to give you a bunch of scriptures that deal with repentance.

I've copied them down because we don't have time to turn to them this morning, but you may want to list the references. Listen to them. Mark 1 verse 15, Jesus came saying the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent ye and believe the gospel. Repent ye and believe the gospel. Mark 6 verse 12, And they went out and preached that men should repent. Acts 2 verse 38, Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 3 verse 19, Repent ye therefore and be converted. Luke 24 verses 46 and 47, He saith unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name. Acts 17 verse 30, In the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. Acts 20 verse 21, Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. What is repentance? Repentance just simply means a change of mind.

It comes from two Greek words, metanoia. It means a change of mind. I'm going this way. I'm serving this God. I have this idol in my life. I repent. I forsake that idol. I turn from my God of gold, and I come and I follow Jesus Christ.

Now here I want to ask you a question. Have you repented? I'm asking have you turned from those idols in your life and made Jesus Christ Lord? On the authority of none less than Jesus Christ himself, I want to say to you, Luke 13, 3, Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. No repentance, no redemption. What is repentance? Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of life. Now, I'm not teaching salvation by commandment keeping, but I am teaching that no man can serve two masters. You cannot hold your God of greed with one hand and your God of grace with the other hand. You have to turn from idols to serve the living God, and I dare say many people in this building today have never really repented of your sin.

There has never been a change of mind. You have wanted to acquire eternal life just like this rich young ruler did, and some preacher said, Well, if you'll just accept Jesus as your Savior, you'll be saved. The Bible never says accept Jesus as your Savior, never. The Bible says receive Christ as your Lord. As your Lord, He is your Savior, but He must be your Lord. No man can serve two masters, and Jesus said, How hard it is for those that trust in riches. Whatever you trust, if you're not trusting Jesus, you're not going to make it to heaven.

Now, this rich young ruler would have been happy to accept the message that's preached in the average church today, the feel-good religion, and give him a little religiosity, baptize him, take him into the church. Now, Jesus is not teaching works righteousness, but He is teaching that no man can serve two masters, but he must serve one. Jesus is saying, You come and follow me.

Now, here's the fourth and the final thing I want you to see today. Whatever master a man chooses will master that man. Whatever master a man chooses will master that man. Again, look, if you will, in verses 21 and 22. Jesus says here, One thing thou lackest, go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, give to the poor. That is, forsake you, O master, thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, take up the cross, and follow me. Now, we talked about repentance in the last point. Now we're talking about faith, because you see, repentance and faith are Siamese twins. When you turn from sin, you turn to Jesus. This man's sin was greed. He had to turn from it, and he turns to the Lord Jesus Christ.

This man needed a new master. Jesus says, Come and follow me. Is Jesus Christ the Lord of your life?

Answer that question. Now, don't answer it to look good, because this is in your own heart. Is Jesus Christ the Lord of your life? Romans 10, 9, and 10, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Faith is not merely nodding ahead to a series of theological facts about Jesus. It is enthroning Jesus. Now, folks, your eternal destiny depends upon this. Don't fight with me now, mentally. Ask yourself, have I seen what Jesus tells this young man?

There is none good but one. That is God. You cannot have a false idol in your life. Repent of your sin. Come and follow me. Take up your cross and follow me. Is Jesus Christ the Lord of your life? Look at verse 22.

It's one of the saddest verses in the Bible, and he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions. Jesus is giving this man a choice, and Jesus now had struck a vital nerve. I see this young man. Watch him. He begins to breathe hard. I see him as he bites his lip.

He thinks about all that he has and all that he's been trusting in for so long. He sees Jesus Christ over here, and he sees eternal life, and there's a choice, and the demons of hell begin to whisper in his ear, don't be a fool. Don't be a fool. Don't give up all of this.

You'll be a fool. The Holy Spirit says, give your heart to Christ. You can't be saved by keeping the commandments, and you can't keep your wealth either. Jesus is not talking about losing everything. He's talking about finding everything. He's talking about having treasure in heaven.

Give your heart to Christ. The perspiration breaks out on his brow. Shall I go this way?

Shall I go this way? Finally, he says to Jesus, no, no, no. And he turns back to his God, his idol. Demons shout with glee.

Angels weep. Who knows what this young man might have been? He might have been another Timothy.

He may have been another apostle Paul. He might have been in God's who's who, but now he's in who's not, and he's in hell, and he doesn't have his treasure. He has his false God that will torment him for all eternity, and Jesus let him go, and he'll let you go also. Whatever master a man chooses will master that man. You give your heart to Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ will master you. You come and follow him, and there's the decision before you. Pastor, why did you call the sermon three strikes and you're out?

I'll tell you why. Every man has three opportunities to go to heaven. Number one, he or she can die before the age of accountability, and if you die before the age of accountability as a little baby, you go straight to heaven.

Did you know that? Heaven has a lot of little babies in heaven. I've got a little baby boy in heaven.

He didn't know how to talk before he stepped over into heaven, but I've got a little baby named Phillip. I'm going to meet him there because he never came to the age of accountability. Can you understand what I am saying right now?

Can you? All right, then that's strike one for you. You are at the age of accountability. All right, you are, so you missed that opportunity to go to heaven. Now, here's another way to go to heaven.

Are you ready? Keep the commandments absolutely, perfectly, never sin anytime, anywhere in thought or deed. Keep all the commandments. Now, that's only theoretical because nobody's ever done that and nobody ever will. That's what Jesus is teaching this man. Theoretically, if you kept the commandments, you could go to heaven.

Theoretically, you could, but actually nobody ever has. Is there anybody here who would dare stand up and say, I've never sinned one time in thought, word, or deed? Anybody?

Nobody. Strike two. Strike two.

There's one more opportunity for you to go to heaven, and that is to come and follow Jesus Christ who died upon that cross for you. And if you fail to do that, folks, I want to tell you strike three, and you're out. You're out.

This young man struck out. He was accountable. He could not keep the commandments, and he failed to give his heart to Jesus Christ. And I am telling you, friend, that if you will receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, he will save you, and bless God, he will keep you saved just like he's kept me saved. The Bible says, Sweetly, plainly, simply, sublimely, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be, what's that next word?

Saved. Father God, I pray that many today will come to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Why don't you pray a prayer like this? Dear God, don't let me trust my own goodness. I refuse to trust my own goodness. Lord, I know that I'm a sinner.

I know I cannot behave myself into heaven. I know that I must turn from any idol in my life and give my heart to Jesus Christ and make him Lord. And I choose you, Jesus, as my master.

I cannot serve two masters, but I will serve you, Lord Jesus, as my Lord and my Savior. Come into my heart. Forgive my sin. Save me, Lord Jesus. Pray it from your heart. Save me, Lord Jesus. Did you ask him, were you sincere?

Were you? Then I want you to tell him this. Lord Jesus, I will not be ashamed of you. I will confess you openly and publicly as my Lord.

I will not be ashamed of you. And Lord, I'll do it today. In your name I pray, amen.

And if you prayed to receive Jesus Christ just now, let us celebrate with you. We'd love to invite you to our Discover Jesus page at the website. You'll find answers you may need about your newfound faith. We have a response section where you can share your testimony or how this message has made a difference in your life. Go to lwf.org slash radio and click the tab that says Discover Jesus. Welcome to God's forever family. We can't wait to hear from you. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message in its entirety, you can call us at 1-877-LOVEGOD.

Mention the title Three Strikes and you're out. Also, you can go online to lwf.org slash radio to order or write us at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. Adrian Rogers said, Faith is not merely nodding ahead to a series of theological facts about Jesus. It is enthroning Jesus. It's a powerful conviction to cling to today. And if you'd like to start receiving daily devotions and links to our program, sign up for our daily heartbeat emails at lwf.org slash radio. And we hope you'll tune in next time for more profound truth Simply Stated right here on Love Worth Finding. Here's a powerful testimony from a listener in California who wrote recently, Pastor Adrian Rogers has been a blessing to me throughout my walk.

I'm an ex gang banger from the streets of Los Angeles. And through his messages, he helped rid me of my pride, guilt, and shame of all my past actions. He, through the spirit, encouraged me to move forward and not give up. God bless you all for your service to God. It is our joy to hear stories like these that reveal the power of the gospel and the importance of timeless biblical teaching. We're so grateful for your prayers and your donations that make these testimonies possible. To say thank you for your gift right now, we want to send you our booklet collection called Struggles. Request the Struggles booklet collection when you call with a gift at 1-877-LOVEGOD. And again, thanks for your generous support of love worth finding.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-30 23:08:16 / 2023-10-30 23:18:11 / 10

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