A NEGLECTED QUESTION.
1. Among the most disappointing stories told in the Bible, is the one about the rich young ruler.
2. This remarkable young man came running to Jesus with an import- ant question concerning eternal life.
3. Now, let us look at the impressive picture of this young man as is set forth in Mt. 19:16-22; Mk. 10:17-22; Lk. 18:18-23.
4. Not only does he have youth, he also has position and wealth.
A. He had kept the commandments of God from his youth.
6. However, his crowning quality is revealed in the question: "What lack I yet?"
A. It seems that he is still trying to improve himself.
1) Who couldn't respect such a man as this?
I. THE DISAPPOINTING PART OF THE STORY:
A. This part of the story comes when Jesus tells him something he evidently didn't want or expect to hear.
1. Because Jesus knew his heart, He also knew the one thing he lacked.
a. So close and yet so far. Read: Mk. 10:21-31.
B. To him, the price of following Jesus and gaining eternal life was more than he was willing to pay.
II. THE SAME DISAPPOINTING STORY IS REPEATED TODAY.
A. In one way or another, many are repeating the tragic mistake of this young man.
1. Their decision may not be so obvious, but it is the same in that they demonstrate an unwillingness to give up their ways in favor of His.
a. So, they too go away.
1) Oh, not necessarily away from the church building, or away from religion or morality as such.
a) But they go THEIR way and reject His rule. They seem to say: "Lord, I want to serve You, but in my own way and time."
B. So, many go their way without seriously considering the needful question: "What lack I yet?"
1. They seem to want a religion of convenience, not conviction.
III. THE NEGLECTED QUESTION:
A. Consequently, then, this needful question, "What lack I yet?" becomes the neglected question.
1. We know that it is a question we should ask, but we neglect doing so.
2. Obviously, because of the unwelcomed and incriminating answer, that we know will be forthcoming.
B. So, since this is the case, this poses still another question:
1. "Do I really want to know wherein I am lacking?"
a. If not, then the first question, "What lack I yet?" means nothing.
C. Once there was a man being considered for the eldership, who invited the offering of any possible objections to his serving.
1. He received plenty of objections.
a. Then, he got real angry and began objecting to the objectors!
1) So, those who don't want to know of their "lack" will always be lacking.
a) They will forever be going away from the Lord.
IV. THERE ARE THOSE WHO REALLY WANT TO KNOW.
A. As opposed to those already mentioned, there are those who really WANT to know of their lack.
1. Such ones sincerely seek their own improvement.
2. They really and truly want to know what can keep them from the heavenly treasures and eternal life.
B. Jesus alludes to such a spirit as this as he tells the young man:
1. "If thou would be perfect...."
C. Strong desire underlies every worthwhile achievement, whether doing or learning.
1. "If any man WILLETH to do His will, he shall know of the teaching..." Jno. 7:17.
2. He who truly hungers and thirsts after righteousness (who wants to be right more than anyting else) will continually confront himself with the question, "what lack I yet?"
3. And then, IF HE IS WILLING TO LISTEN, the Lord will answer him through His word. He shall be filled.
a. Because it provides all the things needed to make one complete.
2 Tim. 3:16,17.
b. So, the question becomes, "Am I willing to face the question: 'what lack I yet'"? And then, accept the answer?
1. Is the question "What lack I yet?" a neglected question in your life?
2. If it is, why is it? A. Are you afraid of the answer to the question?
3. Do you neglect the question intentionally because you do not want to think of or be reminded of the thing or things lacking in your life?
4. Why not give consideration to the question as it applies to your life?
A. Then be willing to accept the answer and allow it to help you do that which is right.
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