THE FATAL REFUSAL or RELIGIOUS BUT LOST – Part Two…


Mark 10:17-22 – “And as He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and began asking Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 “You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'”20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  22 But at these words, his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property.”  NASB

Not only did this young ruler who was rich bring incredible assets to his encounter with Jesus, but he was needy.  There was a want or need in his life that was driving him to seek answers.  He acknowledged that in coming to Jesus.  His questions are revealing.

“What Yet Do I Lack?”  I can almost hear what he did not say.  He was probably thinking, I have wealth.  I have a position.  I have decency and morality.  I am religious, keeping the Law.  Yet, I sense something missing in my heart and life.  What is the matter with me?  I should be perfectly content, but I’m not!

I can only imagine his interest and trepidation when Jesus said, “One thing you lack.”  How arresting, when you come with all your arguments about your morality, your goodness, and what you have and find that the LORD says, “There is something lacking.”  None of us want to hear that.  We want to hear “well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of the LORD.”  We do not want to hear, “One thing is absent.” 

Jesus’ revelation of one thing could and should have been an encouragement, but it became a nightmare.  What did he lack?  He was short on spiritual life.  He was religious but his religion does not necessarily mean life.  He was moral but had never passed out of death to life.  He had a myriad of good qualities, but He still lacked.  Here he was at the feet of Jesus and the opportunity of a lifetime before him.  The LORD is addressing his situation and tells him, “One more thing is needed.”  What did Jesus say?  “Sell your possessions, give it all away, and follow Me.”  WHOA, Jesus, that’s is asking too much, at least that was revealed in what he did, “He Went Away.”

He lacked the willingness to walk in total obedience and trust in God.  His possessions held his heart and were his treasure.  Our LORD knows what it is that is hindering us and will always address it. The question is, will we release it to Him and walk in total obedience?  Whatever keeps us for saying Yes to Jesus in complete obedience is the very thing the Holy Spirit will touch and ask that we sacrifice on the altar of surrender.

The result of his refusal is that he failed to become a disciple of Jesus.  He was one of those who follow the broad way and fail to find the gate of entry.  By refusing to follow Jesus and going away he refused life.  That was the fatal refusal of a man Religious but Lost!

Each of us has the opportunity to say Yes to Jesus!  We do not have to go away sorrowful.  What will a man give in exchange for his soul?   What is worth your eternity?  No possession or anything else is worth the eternal horror of failing to follow Jesus.  Do not be religious but lost.  Do not make the fatal refusal.  Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts, knocking, let’s open to Him and trust His Grace to care for us in all things and at all times.

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!