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.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” Mark 10, verses 21-23.
There is an Extinction Level Event (ELE) that could happen to Planet Earth next month. Sometime between September 15th and 24th a comet is due to pass close by our planet. The internet is atwitter with speculation that a 2.5 mile wide piece of that comet is actually headed for us, supposedly to impact off the coast of Venezuela, and that the governments of the world are frantically trying to find ways to both blow it up (before impact) or ensure the survival of at least some of humanity after impact. Of course there’s no proof of this but that doesn’t stop some folks from speculating that disaster and mayhem are imminent and the government is refusing to tell us about it.
The fact is that there is an ELE happening every day of the year somewhere in our lives. It’s an extinction level event if someone doesn’t know Christ and that’s a tragedy. It’s even more of a tragedy if someone knows Him and yet doesn’t pay attention to what He says; all too often this has been yours truly. And it’s even more tragic when someone knows Jesus and then consciously falls away, disavowing belief in Him.
Consider the man in these verses. His situation is tragic and an ELE. It’s not that the man didn’t know Christ: Christ was walking beside him. Instead, the man thought himself better than the rabbi whom he had just called “good teacher.” Perhaps the man is simply another flavor of the guy who knows Jesus and then falls away. Or perhaps the man is not unlike folks we each know, people who are so enticed by the sensual pleasures of this planet that they don’t believe they need a loving God to remove their sins from them. Some of us don’t think we’re sinful at all.
Here’s another fact: those folks are you and me. We’re the rich man who walked away sad when Jesus told him, “give up on everything you know and follow Me instead. I’m worth it.” Apparently the man refused to believe it. We’re no different. I’m the man who thinks he’s doing so well that I don’t need God. You’re the person who is so focused that ‘I’ll make time for God later.’ Pope Francis is the man who is so wrapped up in doing what he’s doing that he loses sight of why he’s doing it (for Jesus’ sake). Let’s not even talk about media people or politicians. We can self-justify all we want but what that justification is saying is that we really don’t think we’re that sinful and, therefore, we really don’t need this Jesus person.
That’s an Extinction Level Event. That’s an ELE for the future of the person who thinks it because, one day and that day could be today, the ELE will become an eternity level event. In that ELE, we each must die the death because of sin. When we disbelieve in Jesus through our thoughts, words, or actions, we’re proving to Him and to others whether eternity really does matter most to us.
Lord, once again forgive my sins.
Read Mark 10, verses 17-31.