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Western District Young People

Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Mat 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Mat 19:19 Honour thy father and [thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.
Mat 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Most of us have heard the phrase "bling bling." I have read where a couple of dictionaries are adding the term to it's publications. The definition can vary from group to group. One of the definitions I found: "Wearing of expensive items such as jewellery in a way that is easy to notice".  I also found definitions that talked about "expensive, shiny stuff", etc, etc.  I guess bling-bling could refer to jewelry, spinners (the new car rims that spin), cars, clothing and we could go on and on. But you know what it means.

Is bling-bling new?  Proverbs states that there is nothing new under the sun. There was bling-bling in the bible days; they just didn't call it that.  King Solomon had more bling-bling than anyone. King David wasn't lacking either.  Of course, the Pharisees were big time bling-blingers in the New Testament. Let's take a look at what Jesus said to a young man who had bling-bling.

From a natural point of view, this young man seemed to have it all. He had what a lot of young men (and women) desire to have in our day. He was a young ruler, with position and money. This particular conversation is recorded in 3 of the Gospels: Matthew 19, Mark 10 and Luke 18. The young man wanted to know what he he had to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him that he knew the commandments and to keep them. When Jesus recited specific commandments, the young ruler responded with confidence saying "All these have I kept from my youth up."  What confidence!  He was probably feeling pretty good about inheriting eternal life. "That's all I have to do Jesus! I been doing those things since I was a young man."  I imagine the young man smiling, feeling pretty good about himself, thinking that he was doing all that he needed to obtain eternal life. 

But Jesus wasn't done with him. 

St. Mark 10:21: "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, "One thing thou lackest:" Imagine the young rulers surprise! He was lacking something.  Even though he had position and money and observed the commandments, JESUS SAID he was lacking. 

(Mark 10:21)"..go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me."  Matthew 19:22 states, "But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions."   What happened to the young man who ran to Jesus asking what could he do to inherit eternal life? 

Bling-bling won't get you into heaven and you cannot buy eternal life.  Sometimes a person can appear as if they have it all together, and be miserable on the inside.  Notice that Jesus still offered the young man treasure, but treasure in heaven.  He counted earthly treasure more valuable than heavenly treasure. Jesus offered him a life that was almost total opposite to what he was accustomed. Jesus told him to go and sell: the ruler was probably used to buying. I imagine in our day, people would say "I have been buying bling all this time, now Jesus want me to go and sell my stuff!!  People are going to talk about me.  They are going to think I'm on crack or that I need the money."

Then Jesus told him to give to the poor after he had sold his possessions. What!! "Jesus, you want me to go and just give my money away?"

In Mark 10:21 Jesus told him something that would probably scare a lot of young people in our day: "take up the cross"   What!!  "Jesus you mean you want me to work?!  I have servants and you want me to take up a cross and follow you?"

This young man reacted the way most people do in our day. He looked at what he was losing instead of what he would be gaining. What is expensive, shiny STUFF compared to ETERNAL life?  Notice that Jesus loved the young man, but he was still lacking. Sometimes we can get so caught up in clothes, cars, houses and stuff (X-box, Computers, TV's, jewelry, etc) that we forget about eternal life.  He had everything BUT eternal life. That was something his money couldn't buy. Jesus asked him to make a sacrifce, that the young man counted too high of a price to pay for eternal life.  How sad.

What about you?  What has the Lord asked you to give up?  Have you walked away and NOT done what He's asked of you? What good is bling-bling if you don't inherit eternal life?  Many young people are making shipwrecks of their lives by going after fame and fortune.  What good is a Navigator or Escalade to a lost soul burning in hell?  I don't think anybody there will be wearing the biggest and best diamonds or the latest clothing.

BUT CHECK THIS OUT!  Those who inherit eternal life, WE will be in a place surrounded by the BEST bling-bling!!  HALLELUJAH!  Where? In heaven!  Check this out:

Rev 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was [of] jasper: and the city [was] pure gold, like unto clear glass.
Rev 21:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city [were] garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation [was] jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
Rev 21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
Rev 21:21 And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

There is nothing wrong with having nice possessions. Jesus didn't condemn the ruler for having possessions, but he did let him know that he was lacking, in spite of his possessions. We cannot allow our possessions to "possess" us. God wants to and does bless us. But if the Lord asks us to give up something, what would be in our hearts at that moment?  This story showed what was truly in the heart of the ruler. He appeared to really want eternal life. But he wanted it on his terms.  Ask yourself, what would have happened if he had done exactly what Jesus said?  Jesus could have blessed the young man's life with more than he had ever had. 

When I come to church, I don't come to see anybody's bling-bling nor to show you mines. I am coming to see the GLORY OF GOD. If anything gets in the way of me seeing Jesus, it has to go!

What's eternal life worth to you today?  Are you willing to put down the bling-bling if the Lord required it?

Evang. Billy