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Opting Out

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All for the month of October we have been seeing Jesus up close and personal.

I want to draw your attention to the interesting note that all of these people whom Jesus healed previous to this lesson were not Jews. Jesus is a Jew and so is the young aristocrat in Mark 10. Therefore, it should make sense that they have fellowship among themselves; however, the young man is lacking something. He is lacking submission to Christ and because of that he is not going to enter God's Kingdom and eternal life.

Mark 10:17-31 (NLT)

The Rich Man

17 As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’* ”

20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard* to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

26 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.

27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

28 Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said.

29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.*”

This young rich aristocrat which we have just read about would make the ideal husband, son in-law; you name it he had everything going for him. Well almost everything.

Mark tells us of their encounter.

Jesus does not get to far before this man falls on his knees before him and asks him how to inherit eternal life. What do we have here? He calls Jesus "Good teacher" but...

If only this young aristocrat knew that he was asking the God of the universe how to inherit eternal life!

Jesus quotes six of the Ten Commandments; however, leaving out the first four.

The young man says, “all these things I’ve kept since I was a boy.” What happens next?

Therefore, Jesus whom very soon will die for the sins of all who will submit and follow now looks at this man with such love in his eyes.

And Jesus says to him (Mark 10:21). However, the aristocrat opts out (Mark 10:22).

Submission, I think it is the same thing that is missing in a lot of people’s lives today. For example Frank Sinatra Jr., the 65-year old son of the famous crooner has lived his life similar to how this young rich aristocrat is living in Jesus’ day. Both have wealth and accomplishments in life; however, both knew that something is missing. For in an interview with the younger Sinatra he was asked:

“Is there anything you haven’t accomplished yet that you want to do…?”

There was a pause. “Success would be nice,” he said. “Even a little you know.”

The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is no end to the matter. A person will struggle as long as God gives them breath and will never have peace until they live in full submission to Christ.

Is money what it is all about? Is it having your house paid for? Maybe it is providing for your children so that they are able to have a life better than yours? Perhaps, it is being happy?

The Kingdom of God in this present age and the one to come is not about any of these things. When Christ returns none of these things will matter. The only thing that matters is if you have lived in submission to Christ.

Therefore, unlike Jesus disciples do not be amazed as to who enters God’s Kingdom and who does not.

Just as sure as Jesus looked at his disciples, and said

“Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

I plead with you to submit to Christ; prove that he is first in your life and nothing else!

After seeing the young aristocrat opt out, Peter, says, “We have left everything to follow you!”


How has this message spoken to you? What is God calling you to do? What might you need so that you can live in submission to Christ?

The world will tell you that money is the answer to everything—it is all about the economy and Wall Street. However, the Word of God says…

Romans 12:2 (NLT)

2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Furthermore, I cannot getway from that fact that this Gospel is missional it is on the move and to be taken to places where it has never been before. This is why it is so important to be either sending or going. I want to point out three practical ways for you to get involved in God’s Kingdom work.

1) Choose seven people to pray for, encourage them to be a part of God's Kingdom, invite them to church, ask them what they would like to see in a church.

2) Seriously consider if God would have you go on the mission field. This is what Christ is referring to…(Mark 10:29-30)

3) If we are not going then we must help them that are going so that they can go with everything they need (Mark 10:31)

God will use you if you will submit; therefore, allowing God to do what is impossible for you to do!

Romans 10:14-15

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