Welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven

Rich Young Ruler

Once upon a time in a faraway land on a hot dusty road at about 3:30 in the afternoon, Bible Standard Time, a young man came running to Jesus. Oh boy he thought here's my chance to be a disciple too. It's sad to say, the young man's hopes and dreams were shattered in about 30 seconds. According to the scripture, at Mark 10:21, Jesus looked at this fellow and though he loved him, he gave him the sledgehammer treatment. Jesus put a finger right on the sore spot in this young man's life. Well buddy, it looks like you're a good boy. You keep all the commandments and you're really excited about following me. Now since you love me so much, I'm sure you won't mind giving up everything you have. After all, doesn't the first Commandment say, thou shalt have no other gods before me. The young man's hopes sank. In his own heart he realized that he wasn't willing to give up his riches for Jesus. He had been found out. For years he only thought he loved God. He wasn't truly willing to give God his all. The scripture says the young man was sad, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions. After the poor rich man walked away Jesus said, "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God. It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Whatever became of that rich young man. Scriptures are silent. Maybe later he made his peace with God. Maybe there was a happy day when the grace of God triumphed in his life. Maybe there was a day when he said like the old hymn, "I have decided to follow Jesus." No turning back, no turning back. We pray that each one of us makes that most important of decisions to follow Jesus, even at the cost of possessions, friends and life itself. For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.

Wake up and repent. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.