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Is Christ Your King?

Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  29:40
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As a preacher, I am continually reminded of God’s sovereignty over all things and how He uses that sovereignty to bless the congregation I have the privilege to preach the Word. Two events occurred in my life that have insured that I am preaching on the story of The Rich Young Man, which is found in Mark 10:17-31 on this Sunday rather than two Sundays ago. Those two events were my daughter Elizabeth’s wedding and my father falling ill requiring me to drive him home. Why did God want to delay this message? I believe it is because God knew that this week a famous Christian owned company would turn their back on God and walk away from Him for the love of money, just like the young men we will read about shortly. Those Christians who follow the news are in shock that a Christian company that so publicly stood up for biblical marriage, would sell out those values. If that was not enough, this Sunday happens to be Christ the King Sunday in the liturgical calendar. This is a Sunday Christian have traditionally observed to celebrate and think about what it means for Christ to be King.
I am convinced by all this that God must truly love this congregation and that He wants me to the message of this passage to you this morning. So, let us hear now God’s Word to us this morning from the Gospel According to Mark, chapter 10, verses seventeen through thirty-one.
Mark 10:17–31 ESV
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 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.” And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
This passage causes us to ask ourselves three questions:
Who or What is Your God?
Who or What is Your Treasure?
Who or What is Your Reward.
The first of these questions is found in verse eighteen.

Who or What is Your God? (vs. 18)

Jesus responds to the young man’s question of what he must do to inherit eternal life by asking him a question:
Mark 10:18 ESV
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
By this question Jesus is challenging this young man’s view of what is good, who is God and more specifically, who Jesus was. By this question Jesus is challenging each of us as well.
Jesus begins by forcing us to think about who is truly good. Jesus goes on to give a summary of the last six commandments in the Ten Commandments. These are the commandments which deal with our relationship with other people. This young man proudly declares, “all these I have kept from my youth.” He truly believed he was a “good” person. Perhaps you believe you are a good person—most people do. Ask most people why they think God would allow them into heaven and they will reply, “Because I am a good person.”
Jesus reminds this young man that only God is truly good. When we are imagining ourselves as a “good person,” we do so by comparing ourselves to other people, not to God. If we compared ourselves to God we quickly come to the verdict the apostle Paul came to:
Romans 3:23 ESV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
But there is more to this question. Many like to imagine Jesus as nothing more than a “good teacher,” but Jesus’ words and actions demand that we see Him as more than this. That we see Him as God. Jesus is the only truly “good person” who has lived on this planet. He has perfectly kept all the commandments, not just the last six commandments with our relationship to other people, but also the first four commandments that deal with our relationship with God.
Jesus purposely left out the first four commandments because He knew that this is where this young man’s true weakness is found. He knows that is where our true weakness is found: We sin against other people because first and foremost we sin against God. When confessing his sin of adultery and murder, king David prayed like this:
Psalm 51:2–4 ESV
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
This young man’s rebellion against God was exposed in His love of money.
Mark 10:21–22 ESV
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
So, the next question we must ask ourselves is this:

Who or What is Your Treasure? (vs. 21)

The Chick-fil-A corporation was much like this young man. On a horizontal level, they were keeping all of the commandments of God. They even appeared to be keeping the first four commandments. Unlike most businesses they are not open on Sunday, the Lord’s Day and just like this young man they were blessed by God. In 2012, the owner of Chick-fil-A made a bold stand in defending the biblical standard of marriage as being between one man and one woman. In 2012, the liberal left attempted a boycott against Chick-fil-A, it was an utter failure. Common Americans, especially Christians, rallied behind Chick-fil-A and they had record sales. In fact, sales have been increasing since that time that it has become the third largest fast-food chain, but those who promote homosexual marriage have not given up. What they could not accomplish with the common man, they attempted to accomplish through government. Recently Chick-fil-A has been kicked out of Chicago, a number of major airports and even Great Britain!
Now Chick-fil-A had a choice: Will they sell out on God or will they sell out on profits?
You have the same choice. You may not treasure wealth as this young man and the owners of Chick-fil-A, but you are tempted to treasure something or someone more than God. Jesus lists a number of these things in our text: houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children, lands. These are all wonderful treasures, but they are should not be greater treasures than God.
This gets us back to the first question Jesus asked, “Why do you call me good?” I assume you call Jesus “good” or you wouldn’t be here today, but is He your greatest good?
What happened this week to Chick-fil-A is forcing each and everyone of us to ask, “What is the one think I will not sell out on?” Something or someone has to be your greatest treasure. Is it God or is it something else?
To honestly answer that question, we must ask ourselves one final question:

Who or What is Your Reward? (vs. 29-30)

This question is found in verses 29-30:
Mark 10:29–30 ESV
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
Why did the young man and Chick-fil-A refuse to let go of their wealth? It was because they were choosing what they thought was the greatest good. Years ago, the philosopher Plato observed that we always chose what we think is the greatest good. Jesus is here claiming that He is that the greatest good! Notice two things about this hundredfold blessing Jesus is promising:
First, the blessing is both in this life and in the age to come.
Second, with the blessing will come persecutions.
What does this mean? It means that the hundredfold blessing in this life will often be hidden by persecutions and sufferings!
It takes faith in the goodness of God to see past the sufferings of this life.
Now do you see why the opening question Jesus ask the rich young man was so important?
I don’t know all the reasons the board of Chick-fil-A had in making the decision they did, but I do know this: They thought they were doing what was best for their company. In this they were dead wrong! To follow Christ and His commandments is always the greatest good!
Don’t let the hardships of this life cause you to question the goodness of God, Jesus has walked before us in the journey of this life to show us that God has the power to bring good out of evil. Paul writes:
Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
On this Christ the King Sunday, God has sovereignly moved current events and my preaching schedule to ask you one question: “Is Christ your King?”
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