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86: “Who Then can be Saved?”

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Matthew 19:16-30

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 19:16-30      Mark 10:17-31      Luke 18:18-30

Outline:

  1. God’s Requirement Matt. 19:16-24
  2. God’s Means Matt 19:25-26
  3. God’s Assurance Matt. 19:27-29
  4. God’s Forecast Matt. 19:30

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Jesus continues His ministry in Perea and a man, a ruler who no doubt is very rich, asks what “good thing” he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus replies that there is only One who is good implying that all are unworthy of eternal life except for the One who is eternal. Jesus goes on to say he [we] must keep the commandments, quoting the last six commandments concerning man’s relationship with man. The man claims to have kept these but still feels lacking/empty/lacking assurance. Jesus looks upon him with love [Mark] and continues to tell him [us] to sell what he has, give the proceeds to the poor, and come follow Him. In other words, “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me”. Believe in Me. Become My disciple, My Child. “You must be born again” says Jesus. This man treated his fellow man according to the Law but he failed to honor God. His wealth was his god. His wealth was more important to him than eternal life. He wanted eternal life on his terms, like a contract or business deal. He did not want to accept God’s terms. He was a little god on earth and believed that would qualify him for eternal life. He wanted assurance that his belief was correct. Without receiving that assurance, he left and missed the gift he was seeking to attain. He wanted to follow his truth and not THE TRUTH.

Jesus proceeds to tell His disciples that wealth and possessions, along with pride and greed, make it difficult for someone to find, see, and follow Truth. Man can not save himself. Only God has the power and the ability to save. Peter asks if they have eternal life in that they have left their jobs and chosen to follow Jesus. Jesus assures them that they have a place of honor in His Kingdom. They possess eternal life. Their reward [inheritance] will be great when He is on the throne in heaven.

Finally, Jesus reveals that the last [gentiles] will be first and the first [Israel] will be last. His ministry was to the Jews first. Some accepted and believed in Him as God’s Son, but the majority refused Him. They loved His miracles but refused His message. So after His death and resurrection, God will bring His gospel message to the gentiles and transform the world by His Spirit.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Be assured. When one obeys Jesus Christ and follows Him, one becomes His Child and will inherit eternal life.
  2. You can not save yourself. Change your priorities. Be selfless and follow Him.
  3. There is but one requirement for inheriting eternal life. Be willing to give up all to follow Jesus. We can not earn salvation. We are not worthy to receive salvation. But God, Jesus Christ, grants salvation as a gift to all who acknowledge Him and follow Him.
  4. Do not let the blessings of His wealth on earth cloud your vision of being able to receive His blessings in heaven.
  5. God assures His Children, those who have chosen to follow Him, to accept His Word, to accept Him as God Incarnate, to accept His gift of eternal life. Accept His assurance. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”.
  6. Recognize that those who you most likely think will accept Jesus as Lord and Savior may be the most likely to reject Him. Do not be frustrated or disappointed but minister to others. They are likely to receive Him with joy.

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