Luke 18:18-23, Mark 10:17-22
The Illusion of Greed
Taken from outline by A.J. Wall

This morning, letís do a walk-through. Most understand that term.
When something important is coming up, people often walk-through what
they expect to happen so that they will know what to expect and even
learn some lessons.

Emergency personal have walk-throughís on potential accidents they
will face. School systems used to walk through what they would do in
case of a tornado, Students have walk-throughs on exam questions they
may face.

This morning, letís take the most important walk-through of all.
Letís walk through the stages of a life that rejects God.

I. The stage of OPPORTUNITY.  \\#Luke 18:18-23\\
    A. Here a man comes face-to-face with the decision of whether
        to accept Christ or not.
        1. In the account, we have a man but it could be man, woman,
            or child.
        2. In the account, the man is ruler, but it could be poor or
            middle class.
        3. We just want to note some truths about the meeting.
    B. Consider the man.
        1. I picture him as being younger.
            a. Perhaps because he came running.

Mark 10:17  And when he was gone forth into the
way, there came one running, and kneeled to him,
and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that
I may inherit eternal life?

            b. In Jewish culture, a boy became a man at 13.
            c. This man may have been older but he was still young
                enough to run.
       2. He was excited and sincere in coming Christ.
            a. He "cameÖ running."
            b. Maybe itís men, but I do not see Jesus running, not
                because Jesus would not care but because He was
                always on time.
            c. If Jesus wasnít running and this man was, it would
                seem that he was earnest and excited to come into
                Jesusí presence.
        3. He was humble - "kneeled"  \\#Mark 10:17\\.
        4. He recognized deity - "Good Master" - \\#Luke 18:18\\.
        5. He was a moral man - "All these have I kept from my youth
            up."  \\#Luke 18:21\\.
        6. He had understanding - "to inherit eternal life"
            \\#Luke 18:18\\.  He understood there was eternal life
            and he wanted it.
        7. He showed a willingness - "What shall I do?" -
            \\#Luke 18:18\\.
        8. He had opportunity.
            a. He stood within inches of the Door of life.
            b. Few people ever stood so close to salvation and did
                not get in!
            c. Jesus loved him.

Mark 10:21  Then Jesus beholding him loved himÖ.

        9. But he rejected Jesus.

Luke 18:23  And when he heard this, he was very
sorrowful: for he was very rich.

Mark 10:22 And he was sad at that saying, and
went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

    C. Why?
        1. The Bible said it hinged on his possessions.
            a. He had many.
            b. He probably wanted more.
        2. I believe this man suffered from the illusion of greed.
            a. What is that?  He thought he could be satisfied with
            b. He wanted more possessionsÖ
            c. Ömore power (he was a ruler)
            d. Ömore fame
            e. Ömore riches.
        3. It is an illusion because it does not matter how
            much of these things one has, one always wants more.
    D. I do not believe this man intended this to be his final
        1. He showed good sense.
        2. He probably did not intend to say never just later.
        3. Letís see how that might work out.

II. The stage of BUSYNESS.  \\#Luke 12:16-20\\
    A. Now, we fast forward a bit.
        1. I am not saying these separate Scriptures are dealing with
            the same person for I donít think they are, but they
            do give us glimpses at different stages of life for
            people who reject God.
        2. In the first Scripture, we have the picture of the young
            man who has opportunity and rejects God.
        3. This passage gives us a possible view of a few years
            later and what may have become of a man like this.
    B. Some time has passed.
        1. Here we have what appears to be a man who has earned the
            financial rewards of his youth.
        2. This man is a successful business man. (If he was poor,
             he is no longer. If he was rich, he is more so now.)
        3. In terms of years, he is probably middle-aged or older.
    C. Yet he still wants more. The illusion of greed continues.
        1. He was going to build bigger barns for bigger crops for
            bigger bank accounts and recognition.
        2. The man is still not satisfied but wants more.
        3. God is not against hard work, success, or prosperity; but
            this man had not considered God and or death at least in
            a long while!
    D. Consider three facts:
        1. We all know that we are but mortal from the very

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou
eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for
out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and
unto dust shalt thou return.

        2. Our death day is just as pre-determined by God as our

Job 14:5 Seeing his days are determined, the
number of his months are with thee, thou hast
appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

        3. On the other side of death is God!

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to
the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return
unto God who gave it.

        4. All of this can be summed up in one verse.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once
to die, but after this the judgment:

    E. Knowing all of this, this man deluded himself and busied
        himself with the insignificant details of life that he
        wanted to observe.
        1. Many today know but have also deluded themselves with
            insignificant details!
        2. Your heart is hard toward God and getting harder every
        3. Remember, death and God are just a heart-beat away!
        4. This man died wanting more!

III. The stage of HOPELESSNESS. \\#Luke 16:19-25\\
    A. Again, we fast forward just a bit.
        1. This is the true story of a rich man (whose name is not
            given) and Lazarus.
            a. God probably did not mention the rich manís name
                because many names could be inserted there.
            b. Everyone who goes to hell suffering from the illusion
                of greed could insert their name there.
        2. This account represents the man whose opportunity is gone
        3. He rejected God, wanting more and more of what this world
    B. Notice that he still had wants but his wants were different.
        1. \\#Luke 16:24\\ He did not want money now, just a drop of
        2. \\#Luke 16:27-31\\ He was no longer selfish or self-
            centered but concerned for others.
        3. The text never says it but I suspect he wanted out of that
    C. This man is in eternity with wants.
        1. This man was never satisfied and would never be satisfied
        2. Contrast this manís eternity with what Christ offers:

Joh 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the
bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never
hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never

Mt 11:28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Joh 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I
give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I
unto you. Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid.

        3. Lazarus is still in heaven and the rich man is still in
            hell still wanting things he cannot have!

IV. Lessons:
    A. Without Jesus this world will never satisfy.
        1. Lost people are working for things they will never
            a. Satisfaction in riches
            b. Satisfaction in accomplishments
            c. Satisfaction in relationships
            d. Satisfaction in pleasure
        2. You will never have those because you will never be
    B. If you do not accept Jesusí satisfaction, you will lust and
        crave forever.
        1. What little we know of hell is what the Bible teaches
            (i.e. flames, torments, thirst, worms).
        2. However, your worst torments may well be your insatiable
            lusts and unforgivable regrets.
        3. This manís wants will abide forever!
            a. He will live forever in a tormented state desire that
                will never be satisfied.
            b. Why?  Because that is how he lived.
            c. He always wanted more and those who live this life
                never being satisfied with Jesus but seeking more,
                damn themselves to an eternity doing the same thing.
    C. The only way to be satisfied is to be break the illusion of
        greed and to be satisfied in Jesus!

This message is the collage of a manís life pieced together from
two different men and a parable, but it accurately describes what
will be the eternity of many souls!

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