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Studies in Mark - Part 45

"Rich But Wretched"

by David Legge | Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com

'Preach The Word'I want you to turn with me in your Bibles in the New Testament to Mark's gospel chapter 10, Mark chapter 10 please. Mark chapter 10 beginning to read at verse 17. I want to speak to you this evening about a man who was rich, but wretched: 'Rich But Wretched'.

Who would ever have thought that we would have united those two words together: sad and rich? Yet circumstances of late in our own province, our nation and our world have associated these two concepts...

"When he", that is the Lord Jesus, "was gone forth into the way, there is came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, 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. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible".

Let us pray: Father, we thank You again for this holy book, the Bible. We thank You that it is Your infallible, ineffable, inspired, eternal Word. Lord, as we come to it, we have just been reading a passage that has set forth for us the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh God, it is Him that we covet, it is Him that we seek, we long for His presence, we long for His blessing, we long for His touch tonight. Just as this young rich man, this religious fellow, had an interview with the Lord Jesus Christ - oh God, that someone in this gathering would have an appointment with Jesus, that they will meet Him face-to-face and they will talk with Him - but Lord, unlike this young man, that they'll not turn their back on Him and walk away sad. Oh God, help us tonight, may the power of heaven descend upon us, may the windows of heaven be opened and the blessing pour out tonight, Lord. Unsaved people are with us, backslidden people are with us, cold-hearted believers are here - oh God, they need You! Speak, Lord, with a voice that wakes the dead. Come, and we'll give You all the glory, for You alone are worthy. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.

I want to direct your attention to verse 22, please. It says that this young man, after conversing with the Lord Jesus Christ, 'he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions'. Now who would ever have thought that we would have united those two words together: sad and rich? Yet circumstances of late in our own province, our nation and our world have associated these two concepts - indeed, thrust them together in an undesirable union, where many people who are rich and have great possessions have found themselves launched into deep sadness.

Many people who are rich and have great possessions have found themselves launched into deep sadness...

Of course, you would have to have been hiding somewhere in the back end of nowhere not to realise that we are in the midst of a credit crisis, a financial crisis, a credit crunch. If you have been to the bank lately to try and borrow any money, or you're involved in business, you will know how tight things are getting for folk. But what you will not probably hear on the BBC News or Newsnight is the fact that the credit crisis has become, for many people, a personal crisis. The Mail on Sunday a number of weeks ago reported the story of a 47-year-old man by the name of Kirk Stephenson who was a high-profile millionaire financier. He died in the pathway of a train travelling at 100 mph at a railway station in Berkshire, England. It is believed, as the paper report went, that he threw himself in front of the train. The report read that he had succumbed, it is thought, to the mounting personal pressures as the world's financial markets went into meltdown.

I'm sure many of you here, I certainly have my own stories that are more local to our own province, people who have been in business, people who have been dealing with finance, and they have despaired because things are so bad at this present time! Now if the fallout hasn't been as serious for some people as committing suicide, one thing is certain: many are stressed out and beginning to be depressed because of what's going on economically in our land. The Samaritans, a couple of weeks ago, reported a 25% increase in phone calls to their organisation. People do not know where to turn, and we're going to increasingly hear of banks recalling their credit, we're going to hear of businesses - big businesses - going under, unemployment is going to rise, it's going to be harder and harder to borrow money. People do not know where to turn to, and it's not getting better, it's going to get worse. It would seem the more money a person has, the more they have to worry about.

I don't know whether that's you tonight, but here in Mark chapter 10 is a young man - he is self-assured, he is successful. Matthew's gospel says he had great wealth, Luke's gospel identifies him as a ruler, he has been known as 'the rich young ruler', a young man who had reached the pinnacle of his career and ambition - affluent and powerful, self confident and determined. It seems that everything was going for him, and everything he went after he got. The problem was: though he was rich in money, he was wretched in his soul - sad because he was rich.

Now what the Lord says in this portion of Scripture, and indeed generally, concerning riches and possessions, our world desperately needs to hear tonight. Verse 23, if you look at the end of it, Jesus said: 'How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!', and if you look at the end of verse 24 He says again, 'Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!'. These two things are linked: if you have riches it is likely that you'll be trusting in your riches. Or could I put it like this: it's likely that if you have riches, they'll have you. Somebody said money talks, but they didn't tell us what it says - it simply says: 'Your soul is mine'.

The problem was: though he was rich in money, he was wretched in his soul - sad because he was rich...

The Lord explains why this is the case in Matthew's gospel chapter 6, in His well-known Sermon on the Mount. We read that the Lord Jesus taught: 'Lay not', verse 19, Matthew 6, 'Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also'. Many people have trusted, as Paul said, in uncertain riches. The tragedy is that because what they have trusted in is failing them, many hearts are failing them for fear, and they are despairing and they don't know where to turn.

Now that might be you, well-heeled wealthy businessman or businesswoman, but you might be sitting there tonight and thinking: 'Well, boy, did you miss the mark tonight, because I'm far from rich! This message isn't for me!'. Well, I think you've missed the mark if you're thinking that, because you don't have to have money to love money. You don't have to have it to lust after it, and to long for it, and live for it! The Bible doesn't just warn us about having money, it warns us about loving money - whether we've got it or not. The Bible says it is the root of all evil.

You know, this book has an awful lot to say about money and possessions. You would expect the Bible to have a lot to say about prayer, wouldn't you? Talking to God - well, there's over 500 references to prayer. Faith is throughout the book, that's how we get saved: faith and faith alone in Christ, and we are to live by faith, trusting in God - and there's over 500 references to that in the Bible. But there are over 2000 references in the New Testament, I believe, concerning money and possessions - over 2000! Out of the 38 parables of our Lord Jesus, 16 deal with how we handle money. In fact, Jesus talked more about money and possessions than heaven and hell combined! One out of 10 verses in the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is about money and possessions - that works out at about 288 verses in the four Gospels. Why did He emphasise the need to talk about money and possessions? Simply because there is a great danger that we get so taken up with money and materials that we miss what is spiritual in life.

The Lord Jesus knew that money is one of the greatest obstacles to people getting saved - do you know that? Money, things, possessions. Now let me give you a couple of examples. In Luke chapter 12 the Lord Jesus told a story about a rich businessman, he was a farmer. Things were going so well for him that he had to pull down his present barns and build greater ones to supply all his produce. He said to his soul: 'Eat, drink, and be merry! Things are going well, why not enjoy it? We've only got one life, so let's live it up while we have it'. But God came to him one night, and called him a fool - 'You're a fool! For this night', God said, 'Your soul shall be required of you, and then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?'. You see the Lord Jesus spoke so much about money simply because it blinds us to our own mortality. When we get so comfortable, so affluent in this life, we don't seek to prepare for the next life.

There is a great danger that we get so taken up with money and materials that we miss what is spiritual in life...

There's a legend told about a fairy that came to a man and told him that she would give him anything he asked, and he asked for a newspaper, a copy for that very day a year from then in advance. Right away, like that, the fairy gave it to him! Quickly he turned to the financial page and ran his fingers nervously down the list of stocks and shares, and leaping from the chair he shouted: 'Hooray! I'm worth 15 million!'...then the page dropped, and he saw the obituary, and he gasped, 'I died two days ago!'. You see riches, wealth, possessions, comfort, affluence, ease, materials can blind us to our own mortality - particularly if we have more of them rather than less of them. We think we're going to live forever in the ease which we enjoy. Now the credit crunch maybe has shocked some of us out of that, but my friend: maybe you need to see more than just the fact that riches can go completely in an instant. You need to see that your own life is like a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away, you've got to see your own mortality!

This rich farmer was blinded to it, he was too busy with making money in his life to see that one day his life was going to end. Another story Lord Jesus told a number of chapters after Luke 12, the rich farmer, we read in Luke's gospel chapter 16 about a rich religious man - probably a Pharisee. The Bible says he fared sumptuously every day. He had the best of life not just on his holidays, not once a month, every day of his life he lived it up. At the bottom of his driveway, if you like, there was a bag of bones, a beggar. He had nothing, ate of the scrapings off the ground, and yet that beggar had true faith and trust in God - but that rich religious man trusted and lived for his riches. The Bible says that death visited both of them, and the angels from heaven carried that beggar into glory - but the rich man lifted up his eyes in hell, being in torment.

Now what many people forget is that just before the Lord Jesus told that story He was teaching how you cannot serve God and mammon. He was teaching on the truth that riches not only can blind you to your own mortality, but they can blind you to your eternal destiny. Mammon is a personification of money and possessions, it's speaking of the god of things, and how you can't worship God and worship things - because you'll love one and hate the other. Money, Jesus was teaching - listen now - money can take you to hell, love of money can take you to hell. People talk to me about religion being a crutch - and a lot of religion is - but faith in Christ is not a crutch, it is a leg to stand on, it's new life. But money and possessions are a crutch, and you labour for them, and you dream about them, and you maybe on a Saturday night get the ticket to see if you'll win them in the Lotto or during the week - and your great aspiration is that if you can get them, your life will be better for living, but you've got to understand that one day your life is going to end and there is an eternity to face!

Money and possessions are a crutch, and you labour for them, and you dream about them, and you maybe on a Saturday night get the ticket to see if you'll win them in the Lotto or during the week - and your great aspiration is that if you can get them, your life will be better for living...

Maybe God for some people, I'm sure it's certain, God has knocked the crutch from under them - and the money and the possessions have suddenly disappeared, or at least they're more fragile, and they're starting to shake in their boots because the things that they trusted in, well, they're not worth trusting on. My friends, these things keep us from the realities of eternity, and you need to waken up to it. A hundred and eighty years after the death of Charlemagne, King of the Francs, the Emperor Otto around the year 1000 opened King Charlemagne's tomb. They were astounded at the sight they saw in that great sepulchre, because buried with that great monarch were all his treasures, all his riches, all his possessions. Then they spied, when the light started to gain on their eyes, they spied the skeletal figure of the King himself sitting on his throne, with the regal crown on his brow, but wonder of all wonders: on his lap was a copy of the Gospels, and his bony finger was resting on Mark chapter 8 verse 36, Jesus said 'What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul?' - that's it! What does it matter, my friend, if you get all the money in the world, and all the world of money, if it's not right with your soul, if you're not fit for eternity? If you haven't got life abundant in your heart here and now, there's an aching void that no money or possession can fill.

That's where you are tonight, whether you've got the money or you haven't. This young man was rich in money, but he was wretched in his soul. You know, I believe this, that every man, woman and young person without Christ is truly miserable. I believe that. I believe that. Oh you can be happy for a season, and things can come along - whether wealth or love, or family or success, or learning - that can be in themselves an opiate to make you feel happy, to dull out all the sorrows and trials of life - but eventually they come upon you so heavily that you can't deny them, you can't shake them off, until death itself stands and faces you...and nothing, nothing can keep its bony hand away from you.

Not only was this young man rich in money and wretched in soul, I want you to see that he was rich in morals, but he rejected the Master. Now if riches lead some people to hell, and that's sure, one thing that is surer is that religion has taken more to hell. False religion, and I define religion as man's selfish attempt to get to God on his own terms - the Gospel is not religion! Here was a young man rich in character, rich in morality - and we could do with a lot of young men like it in our society today. He was a good Jew - but please note: he was not a saved Jew! You could be a good Protestant, a good Roman Catholic, a good Presbyterian, a good Methodist, a good Congregationalist, a good Episcopalian, a good Presbyterian, a good Baptist, a good member of the Brethren - and it matters nothing in God's eyes if you're not saved, if you're not born again my friend, whatever colour or hue of our creed!

How rich this young Jew was in manners and morals, and added to his religiosity: he felt and could confess that there was a lack in his life, he needed something more, and he'd heard the Lord Jesus teaching just before this passage and he was impressed at what he'd heard. We see in his approach in verse 17 how he ran and fell on his knees out of respect to the Lord Jesus Christ, and gasping for a breath he asks the Lord out of a heart filled with deep need: 'What must I do to inherit eternal life?'. Now that young man could be further on than you are tonight: are you concerned about your soul? Are you concerned how to get eternal life? Are you concerned how to know that you're sure that you're on your way to heaven when you die? This young man was: 'What must I do?'.

Now the tense of the original language here indicates that this young man expected the Lord Jesus to prescribe some great deed for him to do there and then. You see, what was in this young man's mind was: 'Look, Jesus, if You can just tell me the very thing to do here and now to sort this whole matter out and to get eternal life, tell me what I must do, and I'll do it - and the matter will be dealt with once and for all'. The implication is, his spirit and his motivation was: 'Lord, I know I can do anything that You would ask me' - after all, he always did everything that was asked of him. A superb young man, but the answer that he got from Christ was like an electric shock up his spine. He called Christ 'Good', and Jesus came back at him in verse 18 and said, 'There is none good but one, that is, God. Why are you calling me good?'. Now we know that Jesus Christ was God manifest in flesh, and I hope you know that. He was God walking about as man on this earth, and He was very man of very man, yet very God of very God - but this young man didn't know He was God.

This young man had faith in the goodness of humanity, that humanity could rise to an acceptable moral and ethical height that God would accept. Do you see it?

You see, what the Lord Jesus was bringing to him was: this young man had faith in the goodness of humanity, that humanity could rise to an acceptable moral and ethical height that God would accept. Do you see it? 'Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life? What shall I do?'. 'All these things', when Jesus said, 'Keep these Commandments', all the Commandments that were towards our fellow man: do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, lie, do not defraud, honour thy father and thy mother - 'All these have I observed from my youth up'. Now we could argue all night whether he had not, it doesn't really matter - but imagine his excitement when he thought that 'Jesus is going to ask me something I've already done, because I've kept all these commandments, I must have made it!'. There's a lot of people like that, and you see the Lord had to bring this out of his heart, because it was his problem, his obstacle in getting saved - externally he was blameless in keeping the religious rules of Judaism, he was like Paul the apostle who said, 'Concerning the righteousness, externally, of the law, I was without blame'. But the problem is not what we do with our hands and with our feet, and with our ears and eyes, and nose and mouth, the problem is what goes on in this heart of ours! That's why Paul said alternatively in Romans 7 that he had within his heart a problem with lust that spawned all sorts of covetousness, no matter how blameless he became externally he couldn't put this to death within his heart.

It's easy to keep an external rule when it hides a heart of all sorts of sins. What sins are hiding in your heart tonight? It could be a bad temper, it could be your fantasies, it could be your hatred toward another - you need to know that God, the God of heaven, sees every heart! In this young man's heart dwelt self-righteousness, and a heart that served riches as an idol. Though he was very particular in keeping the commandments that were man-ward, he had neglected the first and the second commandment which are of the God-ward section, which says 'You shall have no other gods before me' - yet his god had become money and possessions, and his own self-righteous religiosity. The second commandment, 'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor bow down to it' - and he was living for things, material substance. When Jesus had brought to the surface his self-righteousness, He nailed it, and He said: 'Right, one thing thou lackest: sell whatsoever thou hast, and give it to the poor'.

Verse 22 says that at this saying he was sad. The man's face fell, the word used by Matthew in his account describes a sky becoming overcast as a storm approaches. In other words, this young man's face darkened as it dawned upon him - what Christ was asking him to do was impossible for him! Here is the great refusal: a young man rich and morals, rich in money, and yet he rejected the Master! Oh what might have been! Maybe you're here tonight and you've got obstacles to coming to Christ. It may be your money, or it might be another idol, it might even be your moral self-righteousness and it is causing you to reject the Master, the Lord Jesus. You need to see this man's face, it was like death itself: he was sad because he couldn't let go and embrace Christ! Men and women are sad without Christ! They're not fulfilled, for none but Christ can satisfy!

But I have to say, I think especially rich and religious people are never happy. That's a strange thing to say - well, it's not really, because for both rich and religious people there is this in common: they never ever realise their goal, sometimes they don't even know what the goal is. Rockefeller was asked the question: 'What is enough?', one of the richest men that ever lived. He said: 'Just a little bit more' - that's the problem. Religion is exactly the same, you ask religious systems of this world: 'What is enough in works, and ritual, and righteousness, to get you to heaven and to buy eternal life?', and they don't know! Because nothing is ever enough.

You ask religious systems of this world: 'What is enough in works, and ritual, and righteousness, to get you to heaven and to buy eternal life?', and they don't know! Because nothing is ever enough...

What is your hindrance preventing you coming to Christ? Now you might be sitting here confused, and thinking: 'Well, who could be saved then?'. Well, that's exactly what the disciples thought. They were perplexed and nonplussed, and they said in verse 26: 'Who then can be saved?'. The Lord had taught them how hard it is for those who have riches and trust in riches to get into the kingdom of heaven, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle! But this is what you want to see tonight, and I need to get you to see it: this young man walked away sad because he thought it was up to him to pull the idol down from his heart! He thought that he had to cleanse himself, he thought that he had to do the work, but the answer comes resounding from the lips of our Lord Jesus Christ: 'With God, nothing shall be impossible!' - Hallelujah! Whatever your sinful idol might be, or whatever your self-righteousness is, all you need to do is come to the cross and the Christ of the cross, and confess it and admit it, and He will deliver you!

Do you understand what I'm saying here tonight? He can deliver from self-righteousness, He can deliver from seductive riches, you just have to come to Him! You don't have to clean yourself up, or make yourself right first; you just come to Him the way you are, believing that He is able to do it, that nothing is impossible with Him, and He'll do it! You see, this is a problem: sometimes we are preaching repentance as being that a sinner has to sort themselves out, and forsake their sin before they believe the gospel - that's nonsense! That is not repentance. Repentance is a change of mind, 'metanoia' in the Greek, it means you realise what your sin is doing, that it's destroying you, it's damning you - but don't you think for one moment that you have got the power to deliver yourself from sin, you don't! 'To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God' - you've got to believe, and then you receive the power.

You see, the devil can keep a man or woman away from Christ by making them think: 'I've to turn from my sin, I've got to get rid of my alcohol, I've got to get rid of my immorality, I've got to get rid of my impurity, I've got to get rid of the strangling hold that riches have on me, I've got to get rid of my religion' - nonsense! All you've got to do is admit that you're in need, you're helpless and hopeless, and you're on your way to hell without Christ - and come to Him! The foot of the cross, that's where you need to get to tonight. The foot of Calvary's cross, where there the poor Saviour - He wasn't like these slick-wigged tele-evangelists, pleading for money at every cut and turn. He was born into a manger in a stable, He was a carpenter, and then when He went into His ministry He had no home of His own. We read in the scriptures that as He was feeding the people, and teaching them, meeting their needs, healing them, giving them satisfaction in their hearts - they all went every man unto his own home, but the Lord Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. The foxes have holes in the ground, the birds of the air have nests, but Jesus says 'The Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head'. He had only one garment, when He was illustrating a truth He borrowed a coin, and when He got to Calvary they stripped Him of the only garment He had till He was stark naked. When He was hanging, bleeding and dying with your sin upon Him, with the wrath of God on His heart for all sinners, they gambled for the only piece of clothing He had. Then when He died, they laid Him in another man's tomb. The grace of our Lord Jesus: though He was rich - He was God's Son, and is God's Son, and shared all the glory of deity at the right hand of the Father on high - and yet He came to this sin-stinking, filthy, hole of a world to save your soul; to bleed and die and suffer for love of you and love of me! Yet we value things in this world that are valueless, yet we do not esteem the precious, priceless, blood of the peerless Son of God.

Are you sitting here tonight, and you have to say with the hymn writer:

'Room for pleasure, room for business,
But for Christ the Crucified,
Not a place that He can enter,
In the heart for which He died?'

Even our righteousnesses, our good works, are filthy rags in God's sight...

Isaiah said: 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come to the water of life, come without money and without price'. It's free! You don't have to be rich with money, you don't have to be rich with morals! Jesus Christ does not want your riches, He wants your rags! He doesn't want your goodness, He wants your badness! The only thing that qualifies you for salvation is being a sinner, and we're all sinners: the problem is, we won't admit we're sinners, and that's what disqualifies men and women from coming to Christ - they won't confess their sin, they don't realise that even, as Isaiah 64:4 says, even our righteousnesses, our good works, are filthy rags in God's sight.

Jesus didn't want what this young man possessed and could do, He wanted him to admit there was nothing that he could ever do without Christ. Augustus Toplady in his hymn put it like this, and this is what you need to express - maybe not in these words, but this is the sentiment that the Lord was looking from this young man that he couldn't get:

'Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling!
Naked come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace!
Foul, I to Thy fountain fly,
Wash me Saviour or I die!'

Listen: this young man who did, did, did, all of his life in business and religion walked away sad because he thought there was something he couldn't do, and he didn't realise that if he could only have brought that inability, that sense of helplessness and hopelessness, to the foot of Christ and said: 'Lord, I can't get rid of my riches, I can't denounce my morals, but I know I need You, and I know I'm broken before You', the Lord would have done it! For there is nothing impossible with Him! You're not impossible either! Maybe some of you have sat for a long time under gospel messages, but there is one particular sin, there is one issue that has kept you from coming to Calvary, my friend. Well, the devil is going to keep you there until he sees you thrown into hell one day, if he can keep you. If he can deafen you and blind you to the fact that nothing is impossible with God - the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, can cleanse us from all sin.

Maybe some of you have sat for a long time under gospel messages, but there is one particular sin, there is one issue that has kept you from coming to Calvary...

Just in case there is someone here tonight, and you think: 'Ach, do you not think being good, or doing good, or going to your church, or giving in does anything before God? Or that He's not pleased with that?'. My friend, if those things were enough, even if they're good things - and I don't know whether they are half the time - if they were enough, I ask you tonight: what was the point of God sending His only Son to bleed and die, and bear the death of deaths, and endure your hell on the centre cross at Calvary, what was the point of it all? If you could climb a ten rung ladder of the commandments to get into heaven; if it's enough for you to be a Protestant, or a Presbyterian, or a Baptist, or a Methodist, or whatever you are, or a Roman Catholic, or whatever cult or sect you're in - it's not enough!

I want to leave you with this verse 21, as this man walked away: 'Jesus beholding him loved him'. In a world of constant flux, isn't it wonderful that there is something that is unchanging, and that is the love of God. My dear friend, God loves you tonight. Christ died for you, and God is looking down upon you at this very moment in the seat where you sit, and He's loving you. But you know, just like this young man that walked away, He's not in the business of coming down and forcing people's arms up their back and making them get saved. There's never been a man saved against his will, never. My dear friend, the Lord Jesus is lavishing all His grace, His love and His mercy upon you - He loves you as He looks upon you tonight. Of all the people who came to Jesus' feet, as far as I'm aware, this man was probably the best that ever came to Him - and yet he's the only one we read of that went away worse than when he came! The man walked out of the sunshine into the storm, because he wanted salvation on his own terms, not God's.

Let us pray. God has been speaking to your heart tonight, you know it, and I feel I know it too. What are you going to do? God is giving you the opportunity to take the gift - it's a gift, you don't have to pay for it, or earn it, you don't have to be worthy of it, and you're not - none of us are. You just have to take it by faith. Will you do that tonight? The other option is: you turn your back like this young man on the Lord Jesus, and walk out sad. All the possessions of the world, if you have them, or the lust for them, but you'll walk away sad - and you'll be sad till the day you die, for it's only those with Christ that have the potential of being happy. Some of them don't look too happy, mind you - but they should be, they have all the reason in the world and heaven to be happy if they have Christ.

Will you take Him tonight? Where you are, just say: 'Lord Jesus, just as I am I come. Save me now, save me now', just cry out by faith to Him, knowing that Christ and Christ alone in His death is all that can save you - ask Him, and He'll do it! That's all He wanted this young man to do: fall at His feet humbly and broken, and say, 'Lord Jesus, I come. I can't do it, but it's not impossible for You'. Now, will you come tonight? Oh, you've heard it for years, you've hardened your heart for years - but you're not impossible! That sin is not impossible, that obstacle is not impossible - oh, come tonight and let Him do the impossible for you by the power of His precious blood.

Oh God, by Your Spirit convince of sin, righteousness, and judgement to come. Woo sinners, and may they exercise faith in Christ tonight and settle this matter. Oh, bind the strongman, his influence in the minds and hearts of men - he would damn their souls, oh God, deliver them and save them tonight. For the glory of Christ we pray, Amen.

Don't miss part 46 of our Studies In Mark: "You Can't Lose" Jump To Top Of Page

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Transcribed by:
Andrew Watkins
Preach The Word.
January 2009
www.preachtheword.com

This sermon was delivered in Lurgan Baptist Church, Northern Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the forty-fifth recording in his 'Studies In Mark' series, entitled "Rich But Wretched" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.

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