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Who can enter the Kingdom?

Matthew   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Genuine faith and turning from sin is needed for saving faith

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Who can enter the kingdom?

One of my favorite movies as a kid was Rookie of the year
-backdrop of story
-First day- he knocks on the door and is told to come back after the game
-Only players could enter but then he tells them who he is and then he is let in immediately
You just couldnt get in- in fact his two friends are not allowed to enter
12 year old boy shouldnt be playing with grown men but he met the requirements
Today as we move through Matthew 19- we will answer a question as to who can enter the kingdom of God- who meets the requirements so to speak
We will look at 3 groups of people from the text
Matthew 19:13–30 ESV
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, 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.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Little Children
-As we pick up in verse 13, children are brought to Jesus to have a blessing prayed over them
-We are not certain of there ages at all
-Some have used this for the basis for childrens baptism but that is completely wrong
-No mention of babies or water here in the text
-What is certain is this- Jesus people wanted Jesus to pray a blessing over their children
Genesis 48:14–15 ESV
And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn). And he blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,
We have Jacob praying over his grandsons- Not uncommon in Jewish life
However the disciples didnt see this as important
Vs 14-15- What is also clear is that Jesus in turn rebukes the disciples
-Jesus has time for children
-Jesus has time for all people
-Its people who come seeking Jesus with a pure heart and dependent on him that we clearly see he cares
-Ask leper, the demoniac, the man blind from birth, the woman with the issue of blood, or the Roman centurion
-for those who seek Jesus, they shall be saved- child or adult, leper or clean, Jew or Greek
Salvation is given to all who genuinely repent and believe
The second group shows up in a different section
2. Self Righteous
Matthew 19:16 ESV
And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
-by all intents and purposes this man seems genuine
-We know he is wealthy due to the rest of the story
-He is asking the right questions and is unhindered by the disciples - This guys would be an asset to Jesus’ ministry
Matthew 19:17 ESV
And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”
this is an awkward verse
-Seems Jesus denies his own goodness but however, it seems he is making a clear cut statement that Gods is good, his word is good, and both have already made it clear what it takes to be in the kingdom
He could also be looking for a response of faith- that Jesus is God- perhaps a firm declaration of faith
Matthew 19:18–19 ESV
He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
So now, the young man moves to one to which ones are necessary to keep to be saved
Deuteronomy 28:1 ESV
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
His motive is self justification- tell me what I got to do?
Jesus then gives him the 5 of the last 6 commandments that deal specifically with human relationships
-these would be easily discernable by others
Matthew 19:20 ESV
The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?”
It appears that in this fella he has some apprehension still
-Ive done those but something is missing, what else do I have to do
Matthew 19:21 ESV
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Jesus then addresses the last commandment and the first commandment
-The man loved his stuff and it had become his god
-To enter the kingdom involves more than behavior modification
-I do this or I dont do that and I am a good Christian
-the changed life come from a previously changed heart
Jesus tells him- you want perfect peace- you want to know what your missing, sell the stuff and give me your heart
Matthew 19:22 ESV
When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Know the once eager man leave broken hearted- why? because it required him to have a new love and he didnt want to leave his old one
At this moment, Jesus did the most loving thing he could- that is tell him the truth
-It does this man no good to say keep sinning and follow me
-No, what he says is, give me your heart and lets walk a repentant life
For this man, the kingdom was closed because he refused to follow Jesus
-that happens often, people are eager and want salvation but once repentance and life style change affect our life and loves- not today
Isnt that John 6- Jesus we love the miracle but not the message so they all walk away
Matthew 19:23–24 ESV
And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, 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.”
This verse always poses some controversy
-the “poor” man says he ain’t talking about me and then turns and says to “rich” man he talking about you
-What is Jesus really meaning?
-With wealth or income comes a sense of “I can do it” or “Look what I did”
-There is a self reliance and independence that I can do it on my own and I dont need anyone
That “can do” , “independent”, “I will get it done myself” doesnt work with Jesus
The problem is this- that sin has created a gulf so wide and so deep that no amount of “can do” or “get it done” mentality will help
We are depraved and helpless
Ephesians 2:1 ESV
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
You cant undo that- there is no good deed that you can perform to remedy this
But what is needed is for you, me and every person on the earth is to
Acknowledge our sinful problem- We are not sinners because we have sinned, we are sin because we are sinners
John 3:18 ESV
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
If we didnt have a serious problem that was uncorrectable then Jesus isnt necessary
But the fact is just this- We do have a incorrectable, uncurable disease that no amount of law keeping, church attendeding, praying hand posting can fix
We are dead in our sins from the infant to the elderly
Wealth for some reason stirs up pride and makes us think we can do it on our own
I want us to be aware of the title “rich”
2019- to be in the top 1% of all world- a person will need to make 32K a year according to investopedia
-Average salary for the world is 10k a year, Africa is 4k a year- Extreme poverty line is 1.90 a day
-Perspective 1.90 a day= 693.50 per year, 3.20= 1168, 5.80= 2117
Africas 4k a year = 10.95 a day, Worldwide 10k= 27.39, Top 1% 32k= 87.67, US av. 63k=172.60
I paint this picture for us to realize we live in the midst of the world of the rich young ruler
-We can do it, we dont need help, Its mine- but for anyone to come to God they must look at their possesions and deeds and says a Paul does in Phillipians 3- Its all garbage
Luke 9:23 ESV
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
This typically stops most
But for those who come with childlike faith there is great reward and joy
3. Faithful disciples
Matthew 19:25 ESV
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
They set back shocked and amazed because this guy has possesion which meant he must have done something right for God to bless him
IF he cant get in, who can?
-completelty wrong way of thinking
-God sends rain on the just and unjust- doesnt always mean its a blessing for obedience
Matthew 19:26 ESV
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Jesus says it is impossible for man to change his heart- Its only God who can take a man and make him no longer serve two masters
-What is impossible for man is possible for God
Its not a matter “good deeds” as the rich man came searching out to do
But a emtpying of all our hope in ourself and placing that all on Jesus
Matthew 19:27 ESV
Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?”
Peter seeing the writing on the wall says what about us
-We have left it all- Man disciples left their nets and families in the fishing boat
Matthew left his tax table
What about us ?
Matthew 19:28 ESV
Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
The disciples where a special group- Judas is not included in here but I believe in Jesus’ sovereignty that he was even speaking of Matthias who would latter join the 12
They were chosen by God to before time to walk with Jesus and be the men who turned the world upside down
We see their faithfulness is rewarded
Matthew 19:29 ESV
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.
But not just the faithful twelve but all faithful disciples who have surrendered all to follow Jesus, they shall have their reward
It will be more glorious than our minds can comprehend.
Matthew 19:30 ESV
But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
They way up is down, the way to increase is to decrease, the way to life is death
Who can enter the Kingdom? All who cry for mercy from God for our sin and trust Jesus as their Savior.
Believe and Cleave
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