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Apr 07, 2024

The Inconvenient Gospel

The Inconvenient Gospel

Passage: Mark 10:17-23

Speaker: Marty Godfrey

Series: Stand Alone Message

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: church, worship, faith, jesus, mercy, sunday, god, sermon, christian, bible, christ, gospel, hope, preaching, forgiveness, sermons, spirituality, jesus christ, lord, christianity, bible study, goodness of god, who is god, god's mercy, bible stories, study the bible, bible teaching, burnt hickory worship, burnt hickory baptist church live stream, motivational video, rich young ruler bible story, jesus and the rich young man

We explore the story of the rich young ruler this week as we learn about the true implications of following the gospel. We see in Luke 9:24 that whoever wants to save their life will lose it. This seems like a contradiction to living, but we must abandon our attachment to this world. The cross is not just a symbol of suffering but, more importantly, of victory over sin and death. We have to realize that we have already been crucified with Christ if we have believed in Him. Our response is to act on the truth of the gospel. Romans 6 tells us, in the same way, to count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, in light of God’s mercy, we should offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, because this is our true and proper worship. Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? Does the inconvenience of the gospel inhibit you from following Him wholly? Do you have questions about Jesus? Reach out today! We’d love to take the time to answer any questions you’ve got and take time to pray with you. You can also find out more about the next step in your faith journey by visiting

Well, good morning everybody. Happy spring break. And to those of you who are online at the beach. We especially give you a shout-out as if they're going to watch from the beach. So, hey, last weekend, Easter, was a great time, right? Beautiful. Beautiful weather. We actually had just, 5000, I think, worship with us. Thank you, church, for reaching out to the community and folks around you. One of the services, like the 10:00, was like the largest service we've had in the history of Burn Hickory. So that was pretty cool. Yeah. Amen to that. You know, one of the fun things was that, we were trying to figure out, you know, we move the times later because it's either been wet or cold or both. In the last 2 or 3 years. So we were looking at what kind of novelty burnt hickory item do we need to get? And we're thinking, well, maybe hand warmers this year because Easter is a little bit early. And, so we tell, you know, maybe a blanket, an umbrella or something. And so, lo and behold, those of you who went to the 11:30 service, you know, I caught you finding the shade trees that were to be had because it was so warm. So, you know, next year, we're looking at these private fans that we can we can give out. Some of y'all wear these the Braves game, but, you know, in fact, there used to be a place at the mall.

Do you all remember? Like, what was it? Was it, not Sharper Edge? Is that what it was? Okay. All right. So what happened is like, our family go shopping and, for Christmas. Whatever. Back when you went to the mall, do you remember those times? And so was me and the kids. We had this thing where we would go to Sharper Image because we could kill an hour there and play with all the cool stuff. And, that's when we found out all the inventions, cool inventions around convenience and whatnot. And, so, in fact, I have just some pictures of some inventions of convenience that have swung and missed. They were failures. this first one is kind of a hybrid. between the stroller and a scooter. This is a way to engage Dad in parenting activities with the scooter and the stroller. And now the next one I think I am going to order is some for the office. I think it has great potential. And you'll see here it's a ping pong table that doubles as a door. It just has some swivels on it. Tilt that thing down and we can have an instant ping pong, but we never get the student guys to do any work if we did that. Yeah, so, so much for that. And then, how about, you know, the engineers always try to improve upon the umbrella, and yet here's another account of, like, the full body umbrella experience. Somebody told me earlier this morning they would actually try this. And I'm like, how in the world do you throw that thing up? Yeah, I'm not sure how you do that. How many of you have actually stomped your toe in the middle of the night when you get up? That hurts, right? You may want to invest in the coolest LED slippers known to man. Really cool. And then how many of you watch in, like, March Madness? You know, I'm now an Iowa Girls fan. That's, But hey, if you're looking at the game coming up and you've got your snacks ready. We have the perfect pet butler. You can enlist your dog or your cat. I wouldn't recommend enlisting a cat, but apparently it fits the cat as well up there. Or if we have any Roomba fans in the building, to do the sweeping while you're out, we have a good one for you. It's the old Roomba baby outfit. Okay, I can just knock out the dust mopping while they're crawling around on the floor.

So, I'm not sure, if any or all of those made it to market, but, you know, convenience has become such a huge thing with Amazon, with Instacart, DoorDash. I mean, you name it, we're looking for more items of convenience. I think that gets great. But then the bad part of it is kind of it has crept over into Christianity. We now have what we call convenient Christianity. And so, which is not always a good thing, right? So what happens actually, at the point of salvation, somebody accepts Christ? And then right after that, we're told in scriptures that the first step of obedience is what, right after that? Believer's baptism. Just like we saw this morning and shout out to any adults because, you know, the worst thing that they want to do is to get in front of hundreds of people and go down in water and do away with their beautifully coifed hairdo, and which we do during. You know, Baptists did not invent dunking. You all know that? If you came from other denominations, go to discover Burnt Hickory and we'll kind of walk through that. That's next Sunday, by the way. Little advertisement. So we do that, and then the most important thing you can do as a believer.

I love to spend time disciplining folks. And I have found bar none. The hardest thing for us to do is also the most important thing for us to do. Follow Jesus's example of getting up early, just spending some time in solitude during the course of the day with the Father, just in prayer and just in relationship in in the word. And yeah, that's the most important thing. And it is the hardest, the most inconvenient thing we can do because of whatever we feel with the rush of the day, that we don't have time to pull ourselves aside to do that. much less what Psalm says is so important, which is to hide God's Word in our hearts. To memorize and meditate on God's Word. It's like trying to get an adult to memorize a verse is nearly impossible anymore. Much less, spend the day, during drive time, whatever kind of meditating on it with such great value but such inconvenience. Right. And then we spend time with some believers who are not quite as mature as we are, just spending time with him, encouraging and helping them understand the ways of the Lord, Scripture and so forth. To try to get two people's schedules at the same time is, tremendously difficult in today's schedules.

Then you have the really tough one, which is that God owns everything we have, and he calls for us to give back at least 10% of what we earn to use for his kingdom work here on earth. And we know how majorly, difficult and ridiculous that is because we don't have the margin to be able just to take away 10%, to be able to give that because of all the things other things pulling for our money in this life. So as a result, I mean, we have a minuscule percentage of Christians that actually, do give at least a tithe. The others miss out on the huge blessing and, oh, by the way, or disobedient and not doing that because it's inconvenient. Okay, then there's the church part of it. From the beginning of the scriptures, God's people have always gotten together, enjoying each other's company lifting praises, and sacrifices, reading the scrolls in the Old Testament, looking at scriptures in the New Testament, praying together, breaking, and doing small groups. they were in homes or in campus, like our life groups. And then discovering your spiritual giftedness, using those in positions of service or ministry to others. And we know how inconvenient that is because that could really tie you down majorly. And, so we go through, and then you've got the whole living on mission thing and like, you are to have faith conversations and your family, your neighborhood. Do you know anything besides your neighbor's name? I mean, that's inconvenient to do that. put you out of your comfort zone. Then you got your marketplace, and you've got, like, mission trips, that you could go on as well. So what happens is we look at all those things and it's like, man, I got a lot going in my life.

And so we kind of boil down convenient Christianity, down to like, hey, I love the devotional the church makes available. I'm going to read my devotional today, and I'm going to pray in the car. And we know we've all done that, right? I've done that. And there's nothing wrong with that. But if it's a steady diet of that, then you've really tried to take it down, and you're not, getting the full, abundant life that Jesus came that you might have. So, the problem is that we do, what we do, but then we realize that something is missing. Something's missing. And one of my favorite stories in the Bible is about the rich young ruler in Mark chapter ten. And the rich young ruler, was actually, you know, he was pretty legit. He comes up to Jesus, we're told in Mark 10 and verse 17, he comes up to him and he just instantly falls on his knees before Jesus. Now, he wasn't coming to give him a hard time to question, to put him on the spot. Anything. He falls to his knees. Good teacher, Rabbi said, what must I do to inherit eternal life?

Jesus comes back and talks to him about using the word good, but. And then he kind of threw something out there like, hey, you know the commandments. And he listed a few of them. And then he came back and he said, Rabbi, in verse 20. all these things have kept since I was a boy. So, I mean, I've kind of been on point with what I knew to do since I was a boy. And then, you know, this next phrase, I think is just one of the most powerful ones in verse 21, Jesus looked at him. He wasn't put out with him. He wasn’t impatient, he looked at him, and he did what? He loved him. I mean, this I mean, you need to write this one down. This is how Jesus responds to you when you come to him and I mean, you've been puzzled whatever you come to him. And Jesus looks at you and he loves you, and he's just tickled that you're asking. And you're coming to him and seeking him out. And so Jesus responds out of love, but he says, hey, one thing that you lack, go and sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you'll have treasure in heaven. And then come and follow me. Well, we're told in scriptures at that point that all of a sudden, rich young ruler, man, his face, his shoulders just fell, and he just walked away sadly, because he had great wealth, we're told. And Jesus looked around. He said, you know, it's hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. but yeah, you know, this is really what happened. Is Jesus. Jesus didn't want to give him some formula to make him a good person.

Jesus really didn't want to give him just additional things to do, because the guy was doing a bunch of stuff. Jesus knew it was a matter of his heart. So it's really a matter of the heart. And that's really what Jesus focuses on. The problem is, is that we, like the rich young ruler, want a relationship with God. We just want it on our terms, that's all. We just want it on our terms. That kind of fits into our lives. And the problem with that is that we are missing out on what God has for us. so just like the rich young ruler, see, God, Jesus didn't want him necessarily just to be poor and, you know, just give his money. Blah, blah, blah. Jesus knew that there was one thing standing in the way of him truly having a relationship with God, and that was his attachment to things, his attachment to things. And so Jesus was looking at the root cause, and he knew that until the rich young ruler dealt with that, then it was impossible for Jesus to have his heart. So what does Jesus say about this convenient Christianity? Our passage today we're looking at is Luke chapter nine. If you can look there with me. Now, this is a great passage. However, for those of you all who love to give away, t-shirts with scripture or the old coffee mug that you're giving away as a gift so that folks can get to work and all. You'll never find this one on a coffee mug. Christian coffee mug. It says. Jesus looked at him, and he said, whoever wants to be my disciple must do three things. Deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me. That's all. Whoever wants to save their life will lose it. It's one of those paradoxes that Jesus would use to teach. So whoever wants to save their life will lose it. But whoever loses their life for me will save it. So what good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet lose or forfeit their very soul, their very self? You know?

So this is not a popular verse, but it is critical and vital to our understanding of being a disciple of Jesus. So we want to take a look at it today. First of all, I want us to note that there are a couple of misinterpretation, misinterpretations. the first one is that we coined this phrase, well, that's my cross to bear, or that's his cross to bear. Have you heard that one before? Even Webster. Webster defines that, if you check that, it's a problem that causes trouble or worry for someone over a long period of time. So we've taken that passage from Jesus. And we have used that to say, well, that's just his bless his heart, just his burden, his cross to bear. And what that does is it communicates that this Christian life that you've got these things and they're just not going to go away. And you just got to learn to bear with them. And that's what Christian life is. In fact, the second way we often misinterpreted is that we think that actually, you know, we accept Christ as our Savior. So we know we have eternal life. We're good there, but we also know as a believer there's this list of things that I should be doing and a list of things that I should not be doing.

So we kind of feel like, well, that's how kind of deny myself, and I pick up the cross, and I carry it. So I think that's how in my early years as a Christian, I kind of felt that was the way of Christianity, was this, you know, I just have to deny myself. And it's like the more miserable I am because I'm being, being holy, then the better, you know, I'm going to be rewarded one day. And, you know, the only problem with that is that crosses were not meant to be carried. It's not the purpose of the cross. Okay? What is the purpose of the cross? It is to stick it in a hole in the ground and then die on it. Well, that's great. We've just gone from convenience to inconvenience to death. And it's like, why would Jesus say that to us? Because Jesus is the one who talks to us about life and about having abundant life. And that's such a morbid thought that now I've got a candidate, and I know who I am, and I’ve gotta, like, go, and I have to die. What kind of Christian life is that? Well, that's what we need to take a look at. Obviously, we don't really understand what he's talking about here. Dietrich Bonhoeffer who does have a quote that you need to put on a mug. We've heard this before. Is that when Christ calls a man, he bids him to come and die.

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. That's pretty extreme. Why would Jesus call me to die when I thought that he came, that I might have life? Well, could it be? Could it be that this is actually the pathway to the abundant life that he came, that we might have? And it appears that Jesus is putting it up there, that it's like an all-or-nothing. It's like it's not both-and you can't, you can't live in the world and follow Jesus at the same time because Jesus is calling for radical obedience here. And he knows that it takes that for him to have our heart. So, I want to go over four things that we really need to understand to grab hold of this scripture. And the first is that we have to abandon our attachment to the world. That's the first thing.

So, having said that, each of us has an attachment to the world, and that's part of the heart condition that God is working on with us. So, what is your attachment to the world? Is it like the rich young ruler attached to things? I'm afraid that if I put my yes on the table to follow Jesus, regardless, he may take that thing from me, and I have a fear of losing that thing.

You know, one of the things that I loved, before I went into vocational ministry and when I worked in business, I loved climbing the career ladder like I'm an achiever. I like to achieve. And so I'm like, man, let's see, like, how far can I go by when? And, and, you know, when I got a promotion that meant a bigger office, better assignment, maybe, business card with a new title on it, and it's so rewarding. And then all of a sudden, like, in my case, well, God started working on my way before he called me to vocational ministry because he knew I needed to kind of die to that attachment. I remember when Becky and I were first married, and we had our first house. and on Sunday afternoons, one of the things we like to do is go look at the new houses being built around us. And we quickly found that as we did that, it's like, man, I wish our house had this. I wish our house had that. And then the same thing happened. Like with watching what other people in your life are driving, and it's like, yeah, well, mine's 16-year-old, you know, Toyota Camry or whatever. And like, yeah.

So I mean, it affects the way you feel about yourself. That's because you're attaching yourself to these things that are really they're temporal. But yet, you know, like money, like we misquote this, the verse that says, you know, like money is the root of all evil, right? No. Scripture says the love of money. So what happens is that you can have a good thing. There's nothing wrong with that. But it becomes a bad thing when it becomes a God thing. Right? So when your money, when you begin idolizing and it affects, I mean, how the market does affects how you view the day, then you've got a problem. I mean, what is it that has you attached to the world? Because whatever that is, that is what you must deny yourself and just die to that. Die to that. The second step is to realize that this cross that looks so morbid to us that we must pick it up daily, that it is not just a symbol of suffering, but it's a symbol of victory over sin and death. Man. The cross. It's empty. Jesus is not on it. He has raised again. And so this cross, and I love, you know when people wear crosses, jewelry or something, it's a great conversation starter. I mean, just ask, like, hey, that's a beautiful cross, does that have significance to you? And just kind of see their story and all. Then what a great way to actually explain to somebody your story, by using a cross.

You know, I used to think it was like, oh, that's really kind of gross because wearing a cross is like wearing a mini electric chair or something. But now, because it was a way of torture and death for the Romans. But to us, it represents the victory over sin and death. So, we have to reframe our understanding of what it means to pick up the cross. because one of the big things, and this is one thing we don't understand as Christians, that is you have to realize that you have already been crucified with Christ. Did you know that? Now that's hard because, it's not it's kind of abstract, but we have to wrap our brains around this. In fact, in Galatians 2:20, a powerful passage, as Paul is explaining this, Paul says, I've been crucified with Christ, past tense. I have been crucified with Christ. And it's no longer I who live, but it's Christ who's living in me. So the life I now live in this body, I'm living it out by faith in the Son of God who loved me, and he gave himself for me. So listen, guys, when Jesus died on the cross, it wasn't just for us. It was a substitutionary death. It was dying in our place.

So when you come to a point of salvation in your life and the Holy Spirit has convicted you and you know there's something wrong, you've got sin in your life. It is only the substitutionary death. It's not just knowing that Jesus died on the cross that doesn't save you. It is allowing his death to be in your place and accepting that his death took your place on that cross. And Scripture says that when he died, I died. So what does it mean? It means that the old man has died. In Romans chapter six, verse six, Paul explains it. This way. He says, for we know this thing, we know this, that our old self, the old man. In some translations, the old self was crucified, crucified with him. So our old self was so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. So that's the cool thing as far as being crucified, that I've been crucified with Christ. That means that I have been ruled by sin. And now that body that's been ruled by sin is crucified. It's been done away with. Second Corinthians 5:17 says I had become a new creation in Christ, and the old things have passed away, and all things become new.

So, guys, this is significant. My old self, my old man, has been crucified with Christ. So the fourth point here is that we have to not only understand this truth, but we have to act on this truth. We have to live it out. Do you know what this means? In Romans six, if we look down at verse 11, he says, because of this, in the same way, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Now, that's a tough Greek word when it was first written in Greek to translate into English. So, in your version it may not say, count yourselves. It may say reckon. It may say, consider. They don't know how to translate that one in its full impact. It means that if you understand what has happened, if you can grasp the fact that your old self was crucified with Christ and you are now dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus, if you can begin to understand that, then you know and you, you have to appropriate that in your life that like here is sin that once ruled your life. You were a slave to it. Now, you're not. Now you're dead to sin, but you're alive to God in Christ Jesus.

So when you're faced with temptation, it's like, you know, I don't have to go there. I'm alive to God in Christ Jesus. You see, we have a saying that we're just a poor old sinner saved by grace, right? And that's right. Until it's not. Because if we just hang our hat out there and it's like, yeah, I'm just a sinner saved by grace, then that means, well, I'm destined just to fall every time, and then I'm just going to come back and sing, you know, amazing Grace because God's going to take me back every time. Well, here's the thing. When you were a sinner, you had to sin. But now you're no longer a sinner. You are a saint. You're a Saint. Paul, when he writes letters to, let's say, the church at Philippi. how does he address it? To the poor old sinners at Philippi? No, he says to the saints at Philippi. He wants them to understand their position in Christ. Do you see why sinners sin? Because they're sinners. They're not sinners because they sin. They sin because they're sinners. All right. That's good. So take that one to lunch and talk that one over.

Did you get that, though? You're not a sinner because you sin. You sin because that's your nature. You're a sinner. Why do cows eat grass? Because they're cows. That's right. That's their nature. And that's what they're going to do. Now, you are no longer a sinner. You, your old self, has been crucified. You have become a new creation. You are now a saint. Why do saints sin? Because you choose to. You're not a slave to sin anymore. You are free. We're told here in Romans 6:11. Let me finish this passage. He said in the same way, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, therefore, this is why it matters. Don't let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Don't offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from what? From death to life, and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. This is the abundant life, and this is how we come into the abundant life, is we realize what God, what Jesus's substitutionary death has meant to us. And that our old self has died on the cross and that he now lives in us.

So the life we live in his body, yeah, we're still flesh, we still live on this earth, and we still have needs. But now we don't have to sin. We can choose to deal with those needs the way that the world offers and that sin. Or we can turn and deal with those needs in the way that God offers and desires us to. And that's what it's about. See, when we sow. So it's like, well, you know, and if I die to myself, I'm not really going to be who I am anymore. Yeah. You are. You're going to be more yourself than you've ever been. Oh, that's the cool thing. Like when we get on the on the new heaven and new earth, we're going to spend eternity on the new earth. Those of you who are believers, we're going to hang out on the new Earth. Yeah, it's going to be incredible. It's going to be like it was before sin entered this world. And so, will you still be you? Yes. I mean, I'll be teaching Wednesday nights on Heaven this August. It’s an incredible study. But yeah, you'll still be you accept you will have that old self. You will no longer have the flesh that you have here. But like old self, still be crucified. You'll be living out exactly who God wants you to be. Don't wait till you get to heaven. Start working on it now. That's the whole process of sanctification, in theological terms.

This means start right now, man. You don't have to be miserable in this life. One of the things we teach incorrectly, just we being many in the church today, is like the children of Israel. They were delivered out of bondage, and then they wandered in the wilderness. When I was growing up, we would sing a hymn or whatever about one day entering into the promised land. And we always pictured that as being heaven. That teaches the wrong theology because that teaches that our time here on earth is just going to be like wandering around in the wilderness. Well, God didn't intend the children of Israel to wander around in the wilderness. That was their decision not to take the Promised Land. He had already given it to him and promised it to them. That's the abundant life today, the life. In John 10:10, Jesus said that he came, that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly. So many of us live with eternal life because we placed our faith in Jesus as our Savior. Yet the abundant life he came to give us we are not experiencing. Why? Because we're carrying this cross around with us, thinking that this is how we live the Christian life, and we are not living in the freedom that Jesus died for us to have. And he wants us to live with this now. It's not a prosperity gospel. You're not going to be immune to bad things happening to you, but you're going to have the perspective that God has of all those things.

You can have the assuredness of him caring for you, loving you. That he is going to use those things in your life. It gives you totally different perspective. Peace. The shalom, peace, Shalom meant more than just an absence of war or conflict. It meant a wholeness. And that's what God wants us to enter into. Is his peace, his shalom peace. And the question for us this morning is, what's keeping you from experiencing it? What's keeping you from saying yes to the Lord? Whatever that is, that's what the Lord wants you to deal with this morning. One of my favorite passages is Romans 12:1. Romans 12:1 says I beseech you or urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, and this is your true and proper worship. See, a lot of times, we think worship is just singing together corporately. No.

Here's the real definition of worship. It's when you take up, you cross daily. Follow him. This says, Romans 12:1, that it is daily. When you go before him and present yourself as a living sacrifice, you have just told him, God, you died, that I might have life. There is victory over sin and death in my life, but I have to allow you to be God this day, and I present myself to you for whatever you desire me to do. You know what keeps most of us from saying that is a fear that if we say that he's going to take away something dear to us, or that he's going to stick us in the kid's ministry next Sunday, or put you on a plane trip to Kenya, or make you give more money to the building. Well, guess what? I mean, He may do some or all of that, but whatever he has you do, he will have you prepared, and it will be the greatest thing ever for you. And it will be the greatest growth you've ever experienced in your Christian life. And you will have more impact than you've ever had before. And God has all that waiting on you today. There's no wait. There doesn't have to be a wait. You don't have to wait to get to heaven. You don't have to wait till everything is just right in your life. I mean, two years ago, our Matthew was in the hospital for a month. Last year I had emergency open heart surgery last year. This year, Stephanie got T-boned in a car accident. And we've been going through that. Hey, listen, life is tough, but you know what? Jesus has already overcome this world, and we don't have to be miserable in it.

We can have and should have victory in Jesus Christ because he looks at us he loves us, and he is there to come alongside us. But guys, listen, the decision is ours to put our yes on the table to have absolute surrender. He doesn't want your commitment. He wants you to surrender. When you surrender, then your heart will be ready for him to do things with. It's a matter of the heart. This is not a matter what you do and don't do. It's the heart that he's after, and it's because of his great love for us. Let's pray together.

Father, we come to you right now. As we look at the scriptures. It can be intimidating to us, Lord. But when we look at passages like today you tell us, if you really want to follow me, we had to pull it all down. You have to deny yourself detached from the world. Yeah. Pick up that cross daily. Every day, every day. Know that you're dying yourself all over again. You're dying to yourself. So that you can have life in me, in Jesus. And thank you, Lord, for giving us the Holy Spirit, the very spirit that brought you back to life from the grave. Thank you for your provisions, Lord, as we go into this song of invitation. Lord, if you're working in someone's heart, if they need to respond, if they need to follow for salvation, for baptism, obedience there to join our church, to have someone pray with them, father to someone online, and they just need to communicate with Meghan, our online coordinator. Lord, just direct us to do that, my Father. Set us free. Help us to put our yes on the table and experience what it's like to have true life and have it abundantly. We love you. Bless this time. Now, we pray in Jesus’ name.


Let's Stand as we sing. We’ll be available over here. If you want to come.

Follow Along with the Message

The Inconvenient Gospel

April 7, 2024

Mark 10:17–23
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good — except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
Luke 9:23
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Luke 9:24
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.

1. Abandon your to this world.

2. Realize the cross is not just a symbol of suffering, but more importantly, of over sin and death.

3. Realize that you have already been with Christ.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

4. Act on .

Romans 6:6–7
6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — 7 because anyone has died has been set free from sin.
Romans 6:11–13
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.
Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.

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