I Have Some Bad News for You | Luke 18:18-30

I Have Some Bad News for You | Luke 18:18-30

Introduction

Luke 18:18-30 ESV  And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  (19)  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.  (20)  You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’”  (21)  And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.”  (22)  When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  (23)  But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.  (24)  Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!  (25)  For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  (26)  Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?”  (27)  But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”  (28)  And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.”  (29)  And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,  (30)  who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

  • This morning we are going to talk about the gospel
    • Do you know what the word “Gospel” literally means… more specifically, what the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (You-An-Ghel-E-On) means, which is what we translate in to Gospel?
    • It simply means “Good News” or “Good message”…
      • But before we talk about spreading the good news we need to talk about spreading the bad news…

Show Title Slide

  • Before we can ever talk about the good news, the Gospel, the good message… we have to first talk about the bad news… And if we are going to evangelize, which I hope we will church, we have to be proficient at spreading the bad news.
    • Now I am not talking about spreading hatred… I am talking about true love, because love speaks the truth… after all, what is the 9th commandment? DON’T Lie, lying is not loving… therefore love always speaks the truth even if it is bad news…

Romans 3:23 ESV  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 

  • That there is some bad news… but to understand why we need to understand two things… we need to first understand the definition of sin and we need to understand the justice of God… When we understand those two things, we can then come back and really understand what Jesus is doing…
    • Follow with me, this is important, to understand why Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” is really bad news, we need to understand the definition of sin and we need to understand the justice of God.

The Definition of Sin

  • So let’s start with the definition of sin…The most common thing I hear is that the definition of sin is “to miss the mark” and true enough, the Greek word for sin can mean “to miss the mark” but that’s not the way we see it used in scripture… in fact, that definition doesn’t really make sense…To miss the mark implies that you are aiming at something… it implies that you are trying to be holy, but you just where a little off…But I think that is giving the sinner too much credit…For example, what mark was King David aiming for when he slept with Bathsheba? Was he really aiming for righteousness… did he think inviting a naked woman to his room would result in something holy and he just missed the mark a little bit and now, oops, he got a married woman pregnant?No, David didn’t miss the mark, because he wasn’t even aiming at the mark.I think the only definition of sin we should use as Christians is the definition that scripture uses… y’all, scripture does not go out of its way to define words, so when it does I think we should use that description… and scripture specifically defines what the word sin means…

1 John 3:4 KJV  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

1John 3:4 ESV Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

  • The Bible describes sin in very black and white terms… sin is the act of breaking God’s law. When we break the laws of our own government, we have a word for that, it’s called “crime” but when we break the Laws that God has given us, we too have a word for that, it’s called “Sin”.
    • Therefor a criminal is someone who breaks the government’s laws, and a sinner is someone who breaks God’s laws… You following me so far? Good.

Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 

  • In other words “For all have broken God’s law and therefore are no longer capable of being considered innocent and glorious like God.
    • So, to understand why this verse is such bad news we need to understand the definition of sin, which we now understand as lawlessness, and we need to understand the justice of God… because sin is only bad news if there is consequences to that sin and someone to enforce those consequences…

The Infinite Justice of God

Revelation 21:8 ESV  But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Matthew 10:28 ESV  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Revelation 20:15 ESV  And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

  • If you believe in the God of the Bible… if you believe in Jesus Christ, that He died for us and rose for us, then you must believe in an eternal hell, you must believe in an eternal place of suffering, burning, and gnashing and grinding of teeth.
    • If you don’t believe in these things, then you don’t believe in the God of the Bible… because the God of the Bible talks about these things…
    • Jesus describes hell like this:

Mark 9:47-48 ESV  And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell,  (48)  ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

  • So the Bible makes a few things clear about hell, first, hell is a real place.
    • It is an eternal place
    • It is a horrible place
    • It is a place where those found guilty of sin will go when they die forever.
  • BUT WAIT?! HOW CAN A LOVING GOD… How can a Just God send someone to hell forever? HOW CAN THAT BE JUST?
    • I mean, you do one sin… and you deserve hell for eternity?! THAT’S CRAZY! That doesn’t seem fair at all!
  • Well actually it’s not that crazy… and it is perfectly fair, I think we all understand this at some level if we just do a little reasoning…
  • Go along with me on this one, ok, I need you to follow along here…
    • Let’s take God out of the picture and just use our own worldly understanding… because even the world understands this concept… even if they won’t admit it.
    • So I am going to ask you a few questions ok? They are all about consequences… but when you think about consequences I just want you to think about earthly consequences ok?
      • We are going to talk about a sin… let’s talk about the sin of breaking the 9th commandment…
        • What’s the 9th commandment?
        • Thou Shall Not Lie. (Ask the youth to help if needed)
        • Ok, so I want you to imagine that you are having a walk in the woods and you notice a small slimy snail claiming up a tree… you walk up to it, and for whatever reason, you decided to lie to it. You look it in it’s buggy snail eyes and lie to boldly to it’s face… What would be the consequence if lying to that snail?
        • What about it you lied to your parents… What would be your consequence if your parents caught you lying to them?
        • Now… Do you have a drivers license?
        • What would happen if you got pulled over and lied to a cop?
          • You could be arrested for obstruction of justice. That’s a felony!
        • What if you lie to a judge?
          • That’s a serious crime! That’s called contempt of court… you could go to prison for a long time…
        • Now what if you lie to the federal government in a way that hurts the nation? That’s called treason, what would be your consequence?
          • YOU CAN BE KILLED FOR THAT.
    • So you mean to tell me that the same lie that you tell a snail with no consequence could get you killed if you tell it to the federal government?
  • You see the issue of justice is scaled not based on what the sin is, but rather WHO you sin against.
    • The greater the authority you sin against, the greater the consequence…
    • Therefore, does it not stand to reason that if we sin against an infinite authority… and infinite justice… that our consequence would then have to be infinitely severe?
  • So then we know the definition of sin, which is breaking God’s law…
    • And we know the Justice of God, it is infinite and thus His justice is served with the infinitely severe consequence of hell.
  • This, guys, is why Romans 3:23 is very bad news.

Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 

  • In other words, all have broken God’s law, and when they are found guilty by the Infinitely just God they will be sentenced to an eternity in Hell.

The Bad News Must Come Before The Good News

  • NOW WAIT JUST A MINUTE PASTOR CHRISTIAN! You said the two greatest commandments are to love God and love our neighbor…
    • It doesn’t sound very lovely to go around telling people they are going to hell!
  • THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE FALSE AGAPE LOVE GOSPEL WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE.
    • In the name of “Love” the false agape love gospel tries to muzzle Christians into ONLY speaking about the good things of Jesus and never about the bad things in us… Thus they effectively remove all power from the Gospel.
    • You see good news, which is what the Gospel is… is only good if it follows bad news…
  • For example… if a news caster comes on with breaking news and proudly exclaims “Today world peace has finally been achieved… there will be no wars ever again!” That would be good news! Why? BECAUSE THE WORLD IS NOT AT PEACE… people are dying and killing each other every die… nations totter and rage and Nukes are pointed in every direction by every world supper power.
    • But if the world was already at peace then this isn’t really good news… it’s just stating the obvious.
  • Has anyone ever had anything seriously wrong with them that a doctor had to explain and then fix?
    • I know I have… When I was 15 I went to the doctor with some bad stomach cramps…
    • The doctor asked me some questions and ran some tests and scans…
      • Then he proceeded to tell me in detail what was wrong and how he knew.
        • He told me that my appendix was swollen.
        • He showed me the abdomen scan and showed me the what my appendix looked like, he even showed me what a healthy appendix looked like.
        • The doctor even pushed on my appendix, causing extreme momentary pain, to PROVE that there was something wrong.
        • Then the doctor explained what would happen if it went untreated…
          • The appendix would burst… and when it did it would spew poison to all of my eternal organs, causing me to die a painful death as all my internal organs would  become infected.
        • Then after all of that, the Doctor told me that he had scheduled emergency surgery, they where going to put me to sleep, then some dude with some really sharp tools was going to cut me open, put his hands inside my body, cut out my appendix, staple it shut then sew my abdomen back up.
      • Now listen, as horrifying as that sounds, I WAS EXTATIC TO HEAR IT!
        • Because I knew what would happen if I left my appendix in, the fact that a surgeon could cut me open and remove it was actually good news!
    • But what if I had walked into the doctors office with a stomach ache, and he lead with “No problem, we are just going to do major surgery, cut you open, remove an organ, and sew you up… you will be fully recovered in one to two weeks!”
    • I would have looked at him like he was crazy! I would have been like “Bro, I was just hoping you would give me some tums or something…
    • You see the good news of the surgery was only good because of how terrible my condition was!
  • You see this is why we MUST spread the bad news… that all have sinned… in order for the Gospel, the good news, to have it’s power… in order for us to show that the Gospel is worth it’s cost.

The Cost of Following Jesus

Luke 14:28-33 ESV  For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?  (29)  Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,  (30)  saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’  (31)  Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?  (32)  And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.  (33)  So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

  • Jesus teaches us that before we follow Him we should COUNT THE COST! Because there is, in fact, a cost to following Jesus! It will cost you EVERYTHING! “He who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple!”
  • BUT WAIT A MINUTE PASTOR, I THOUGHT THE GIFT OF SALVATION WAS FREE!
    • It absolutely is! It is a free gift that comes with a cost…
    • But how can something be free and come with a cost? It happens all the time…
      • For example, if you get a job… that is free! Employers don’t charge you to work for them!
      • So when you get a new Job, that is free! But it comes with a cost…
      • Now you have to wake up on time in the morning… you have to get showered, you have to show up to work on time, every day, 5 days a week… you have to.. you know… actually work.
    • So it is with Christ… the gift of salvation is free, Jesus doesn’t charge us to be saved… but it comes with a cost… a cost of dying to ourselves daily… a cost of being hated by the world… a cost of leaving everything to follow Him…
  • Now the world wants us to tell everyone the good things about Jesus… all the feel good stuff…
    • That He can bless you.
    • That He can make your life more comfortable…
    • That He can bring in provision for you.
      • BUT LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING… JESUS DIDN’T DIE FOR YOUR BANK ACCOUNT!
      • HE DIDN’T DIE FOR YOUR COMFORT!
      • HE DIED FOR YOUR SIN…
      • But if we leave that part out we preach a false gospel, one that doesn’t include counting the cost…

Airplane Example

  • Imagine you are flying in an airplane…

Show Airplane.png

  • (Tell the story of the over accommodating stewardess and the parachute…)
    • You would take off your parachute, through it away, and think that the stewardess was a liar…
  • But now imagine the stewardess says this:
    • Sir if you would look toward the back of the plane you would notice…

Show Zoomed-Out-Airplane.png

  • (Tell story of honest stewardess)
    • Not only would you not take that parachute off but you would cling to! YOU WOULD CLING TO IT! BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT CAN POSSIBLE SAVE YOU FROM CERTAIN DESTRUCTION!
    • THAT’S THE GOSPEL WE WANT TO PREACH! WE WANT TO PREACH THE GOSPEL THAT LEAVES PEOPLE CLINGING TO CHRIST NO MATTER WHAT!
      • All the blessings, man that’s the cherry on top, but it is the SALVATION of the sinner and the eternal glory of God through the saints worship that is front and center with the Gospel.

Conclusion

  • Now we learned a lot here today, and I want to put all of this sermon in the context of today’s key passage… let’s read it again through the lens of the bad news coming before the good news.
  • Luke 18:18-30 ESV  And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  

Right off the bat… A man runs up to Jesus and basically says “Tell me the good news”… but watch Jesus jump right into the bad news first…

  • (19)  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.  

Uh oh, if Jesus says no one is good… then you know you are in for some BAD NEWS.

  • (20)  You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’”

Look there, you know what Jesus just did… Jesus just used the law! Jesus used the 10 commandments to prove this man was a sinner… to show him the bad news…

  • (21)  And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.”

This guy is like “Jesus, I’m good! I have done all that! I have kept those since I was a kid… and it’s almost like Jesus leans in and says “*Suck teeth* I got some bad news for you”

  •   (22)  When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  (23)  But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.

What did Jesus do here, he just pointed out that this man had lived his life breaking the 10th commandment, thou shall not covet… The man went away sad, because he coveted the things of the world… he worked hard for those possessions, he wasn’t about to give them up for the poor or for Jesus…

  •   (24)  Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!  (25)  For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

That is some bad news, especially for Americans… we are some of the wealthiest people on earth!

  •   (26)  Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?”  

The people get it… THIS IS BAD NEWS… and now that they understand the bad news Jesus starts telling them the good news.

  • (27)  But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”  (28)  And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.”  (29)  And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,  (30)  who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Gospel Call

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