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author on September 23rd, 2009

A quick review of the past two weeks:

  • 9/9/2009Mark 10:17-22Mark 10:17-22
    English: World English Bible - WEB

    17 As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except one— God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not give false testimony,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and mother.’” 20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth.” 21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.” 22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions.

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    – Jesus teaches a very different love than most people practice today
  • 9/16/2009Mark 10:23-27Mark 10:23-27
    English: World English Bible - WEB

    23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, “How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, “Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through a or, the needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.” 26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus, looking at them, said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God.”

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    – We can’t earn our way into heaven – it is free to those who love Jesus

Now we find Peter asking for assurance that he and his fellow disciples “qualified”. “We have left everything to follow you!”, he pleads. (Mark 10:28Mark 10:28
English: World English Bible - WEB

28 Peter began to tell him, “Behold, we have left all, and have followed you.”

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).

Jesus assures him that if they’ve left all these things for Jesus and His gospel (Mark 10:29Mark 10:29
English: World English Bible - WEB

29 Jesus said, “Most assuredly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the Gospel’s sake,

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), they’ll receive back 100 times what they left – but there is also a good news/bad news scenario:

  • The bad news is that they’ll experience persecutions along with all they gain
  • The good news is that in the age to come they’ll receive eternal life (Mark 10:30Mark 10:30
    English: World English Bible - WEB

    30 but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life.

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    )

Can you take the bad with the good? Why? The reasons are more important than the question:

If you love God – love Christ – persecution and eternal life won’t matter – you love Him no matter what.

If you simply want to “get” eternal life, you’ll not endure – you’ll be like the man in part 1 (Mark 10:22Mark 10:22
English: World English Bible - WEB

22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions.

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).

Probably the most touching example of this love is from a sermon Dr. Russell H. Conwell preached on Easter some 100 years ago. It’s too long to post here, but you can read it at www.conwellsermons.com. In this wonderful, touching sermon, Conwell recounts his suffering at losing an election to his state’s legislature over his stand on an important Christian principle of his time – temperance. His grief reflects the persecution Jesus warns of, and the greater blessing Conwell received in his loving and supportive family. Read this sermon from start to finish and think about Christ’s love in that time of confusion and fear among the disciples – especially Peter and Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.