An Old-Time Preacher Hits Hard

Luke 18:18-23  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
One Thing Lacking!
In Luke chapter 18, verses 18 to 23 we read about a rich young ruler. He asks in verse 18: "Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
God knows your thoughts! The One with whom the rich young ruler spake was God, God manifest in His Son. And as God, the lowly Jesus knew all the thoughts of this well-favored young man.
The young man lacked one thing. He had earthly possessions and religious attainments, but he did not have ETERNAL LIFE. Many spend their God-given time planning how to get more and more of this world's goods. Are you accumulating the things of earth? Count it all as rubbish! The Apostle Paul named one by one the things he had possessed, and said: "and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." Phil. 3:88Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (Philippians 3:8).
It is a humiliating thing to acknowledge that one is a lost, ruined sinner. I believe that the main reason more people are not being saved is because of their pride; they shrink from taking their rightful place before God as a guilty, hopeless wretch, and the hated position before the world as a believer in the rejected Jesus.
In Luke 18:2222Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. (Luke 18:22) we find the key: "Come, follow Me." What! Follow this lowly One? He was born in a manger, not a cradle, in a place suited only for animals, not for the Son of the highest! To follow Him meant to share His reproach, not yet to enter into His glory.
He had not yet come as King, but, as Son of the Father, He was manifesting the love of the Father: going about doing good, comforting broken hearts, healing diseased bodies, proving Himself to be God in the form of man.
And then—mystery of mysteries!—in His great love for poor, helpless, ruined man, He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross due to you and me. On the cross of Calvary He bore the full load of sin and of judgment.
If you will accept Him now as your Substitute, you will have Him eternally as the Savior of your soul. He has the power to judge too, and at the appointed time He will come in that power to judge the world. But now it is the day of His grace and love, and the good news of salvation is still being sounded out.
And then verse 23: "And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich." Sorrowful? Why? Because "he was very rich," and his heart was attached to his riches. If you let possessions have power over you, they will keep you from the Savior.
Let Christ alone have power over your soul. Rom. 1:1616For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16) says: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth," that is, believes what God says and accepts it for himself.
And how can you receive it? By faith. Will you accept the Lord Jesus on that basis? "The just shall live by faith." Rom. 1:1717For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17). Look back at the cross. See Him suffering there for YOU. Take your place before Him as a sinner. Look to Him as the Savior. Let your heart respond to His love.
God does not want you to go to the pit. God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:99The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9). Just take your place as a sinner, and He will save you. He Himself said: "He that heareth My word, and believeth... hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:2424Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24).
That rich young man went away sorrowful—a sorrow that will never end, if he did not turn to Christ. The blind beggars cried to the Lord Jesus: "Son of David, have mercy on us." They did not care what the world thought or said. They had a need, and they believed in His power to supply that need.
Dear sinner friend, you too have a need—a great need. You need eternal life through belief in Christ, the Savior of sinners. Bow to Him now and receive the blessing that only He can give. Believe now!