Let’s talk about how important it is to get the gospel right and to get the gospel complete so that you don’t have short-circuited conversions, people who think they’re saved and they’re not, who haven’t heard enough depth in the gospel to know what they’re actually doing. We talked about the fact that the way of salvation is a narrow gate and hard to find, and we talked about the fact that it not only is hard to find, but it is costly: denying yourself, taking up your cross and following Jesus. We’re looking at these conversations that our Lord had as particularly an evangelist, so that we know exactly what should our responsibility be in proclaiming the gospel, since we have been given that commission. ~ John MacArthur
Let the Children Come to Me
The Rich Young Man
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! ~ Mark 10:24
Listen to John MacArthur on today’s scripture below:
And at the same time, I’ve been pointing out to you that it’s obvious that there are many people who think they’re Christians and who are not. We saw that in Matthew 7: “Many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and I’ll say to them, ‘Depart from Me, I never knew you, you workers of iniquity.’” There are people who are deceived, lots of them. We also looked at the parable of the wheat and the tares. The true wheat—in Matthew 13—true believers; and alongside, tares sown by Satan, deceptive because we can’t necessarily tell them apart on the surface; and our Lord says not even to try to separate them, but leave that to the angels in the coming judgment.
We talked about Christian deconstruction, people who have said they were believers, and now are denouncing that, turning from that. And we talked about the #exvangelicals. There are more of these people doing this than we could ever really imagine, and it’s the fruit of false conversion. If you have people coming into churches who are not really Christians, though some may think they are, the reality is that there are many of them that will likely default. Some of them will become true Christians, but many of them will eventually walk away. And 1 John 2:19 says, “They went out from us, [because] they were not of us; if they had been of us, they would have continued with us.”
So in the matter of evangelism we want to make sure we’re giving the gospel well enough so that people are literally believing what they need to believe in order to genuinely be converted. And our Lord never made it easy, never. It is a narrow way. It is a struggle.
You know, for many people and even for many commentators, this is a passage to be overlooked. This is something to kind of skip through because it doesn’t seem to carry much import. But quite the contrary, it’s one of the really most important passages in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, because it answers this very vast, far-reaching question of what happens to babies that die. And since through the history of the world and counted millions of children have died in infancy or early childhood and they continue to do so even in the world today, it is a huge question to answer.
Where are all the souls of all those children that have died? This is the passage that, more than any, answers that question, and I think it answers it very, very clearly. What we see here is the Lord blessing these little children, and God doesn’t bless those who are cursed, and Jesus never pronounced a blessing on any other than a person who belonged in His kingdom. So this is a very unique situation where our Lord blesses little children.
Here we learn from the life of our Lord the reality of how to deal with a selfish, shallow seeker who in this case is extremely religious. And the central point of this encounter is that proud, selfish people – no matter how much they may say they want eternal life – are not prepared to receive it. This young man failed the greatest test of his life. He was offered a choice between himself and God, between fulfillment here and now and fulfillment in the life to come. The question was: What was more valuable to him? God and the life to come or his own will and the present life?
Mark 10:21. And said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
He knew that there was a weak point in the young man’s character — that he did not yet supremely love God, but loved his wealth — that he was living for this world, after all. And are there not many such — most correct in character? No one could point to a single flaw in their morals, but they are living purely for self — altogether that they may buy and sell, and get gain. No thought of God, except a fear lest they should come under his rod, but no thought of serving him, and laying themselves out for his glory, nor much thought, either, for their fellow-men. Christ had hit the blot —marked it out for him.