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Losing Our First Love by Pastor Korter

Here is a moving sermon that Pastor Brandon Korter gave at Bellingham Seventh-day Adventist Christian church today 2. October 2010. I write notes as he preaches so this content in no way is meant to depict the exact message as he gave it. I do believe I have highlighted the major points he wishes Christians to be aware of in our daily walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are living in the last days. People are fearful of the time of the end. Is there a need to be fearful? Did you know there are people that are filled with incredible joy knowing that Jesus is coming back soon? Which group do you want to be in?

Many people are miserable in their Christian walk. Why? These Christians are not in harmony with the will of God. Everyone goes through trials. We can still have joy according to what is written in the Bible. Here is a story the pastor gave us about a Christian being miserable.

A young man went into the pastor’s office and sat down across the desk from the pastor. The young man says: “I am lost.” I just did something terribly bad that I have done several times already in my past. Everyone thought that the young man lived an outstanding Christian life. Is it possible to be lost in the Christian Church?

Mark 10:17-23

The Rich Man
 17As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.

 20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

 21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

 22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!”

The rich young ruler belonged to a congregation and was raised under strict obedience to obey church rules and do as he was taught. He was not happy. He felt lost. He heard the church leaders asking Jesus some questions. Jesus did not answer their questions. Jesus noticed the mothers that had brought young children with them to church. Jesus picked up one of the children. Jesus wants His people to come to Him like little children.

The rich  young ruler was standing off to the side watching Jesus with the children. Young man ran up to Jesus v17. Jesus wanted the young ruler to learn the one thing he had not yet learned. Young man and the jailer of Paul both are asking what must I do to be saved? Jesus in v19 replies that “You know the commandments”. Jesus is saying keep the commandments. Young man looks frustrated and confused. In v20, he answered: “ALL THESE THINGS I HAVE DONE SINCE MY YOUTH”. Young man was not getting what Jesus meant. The young ruler sense of being lost increased. He is now more frustrated with Jesus.

v21 Then Jesus looked at him and loved him. The young man was touched by Jesus love. Jesus does this to everyone of us. How can you resist the love of Jesus? Jesus loves you, He is passionate about you. Doesn’t matter if you are rich-poor-black-white. You are the most important person. Jesus loves you with your character problems and sin problems. Jesus accepts you just the way you are. Your life has denied you opportunities. You don’t even like or accept yourself. At this very moment, Jesus loves you.

Jesus saw the young man lost in the church. v21 Jesus tells rich young ruler the one thing he lacks is go and sell his possessions and come follow me. Jesus is telling the young man: “You do not love me”. Your only concern is your money and wealth. You will continue in that terrible vacuum in your heart. Let’s fix this now. Take your love of things of this world and get rid of them, put me in the center of your heart and come back and follow me.

v22 The rich young ruler was sad and walked away grieved. Even if it was making him miserable, he was more willing to keep the commandments than to love Jesus. It is easier to look good on the outside than to surrender your heart to Jesus. It is possible to obey the letter of the law without loving Jesus. Loving Jesus should be our first concern. So many Christians have the cart before the horse. These Christians look good on the outside but are miserable on the inside. People become dead. Churches become dead.

Why do people leave the church? They do not love Jesus. When you love someone, you will never leave that person. Pastor gives an example of a woman who was married to a man for 60 years. She went to her pastor and said: “I do not love my husband”. Pastor asks: “Why did you marry the man?” Woman replies that her parents chose the man and that she obeyed for 60 years but was miserable.

People will leave one church and then go to another church. Problem is they do not love Jesus. Impossible to be happy when we are not in love with Jesus. That is the message to the rich young ruler and to us today. Young man chose to turn away. It wasn’t about the riches or obey the commandments. It was all about loving Jesus. When we love Jesus, we support the church, we witness to others, we participate in evangelism to share the good news about Jesus with others. Jesus, I cannot live without you. You will be able to forgive yourself. What is your choice? Young man or Love Jesus? Will you turn away grieved or sad? Or surrender your heart to Jesus?

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