Do Your Best to Be Last

When is it GOOD to be Bad?

(Mark 10)

June 24, 2018 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.     Introduction (Mark 9:33-37; 10:31)


A.   I hate being last


1.    Most people hate it too if you would be honest

2.    I hate arriving somewhere last, and being last in line

3.    It seems like all the smart people, wealthy, popular people are always in the front

4.    It’s the worst to be the very last in a long line


B.   Well, Jesus loves those that are the last more than they who are thought to be the first

C.   He wants everyone to try very hard to be Last

D.   And He proves that it is GOOD to be bad

E.   I’ll show you…


II.   Message


A.   Children First? (Mark 10:13-16)


1.    Parents were trying to bring their children to see Jesus and hear Jesus and to get Jesus to touch them and bless them – it’s still right to do

2.    Little children are not seen as important in most cultures – only in Christian societies


a.     Young children require a lot of our attention

b.    Are usually inconvenient – get in the way

c.     Cost a lot of money to feed and clothe and take care of

d.    Take forever to become useful and productive in society

e.     Basically have no place in an “Adult World”

f.     So, the next time you hear people talking about how important Children are, remember it is only because JESUS said it – not the news media!


3.    Well, the disciples of Jesus fell into that kind of thinking

4.    But Jesus gently rebuked them


a.     He said, “These who are the least important to men, are most important to God”

b.    And need to be gotten to Jesus as soon as possible – as young as possible

c.     Why?


5.    Because THEY are what the kingdom of God is like

6.    And everyone who wants to get into the kingdom of God needs to become just like LITTLE children – not like teenagers, or college and career

7.    THIS sets the stage for Jesus to teach to today’s culture about settling for last place


B.   A Rich Man’s Request (Mark 10:17-22)


1.    Meet a rich Jewish man wanting eternal life – what a desire! To live forever!


a.     Running to Jesus – shows great desire, very intent on something

b.    Honouring Jesus – shows great respect to Jesus, even though a poor teacher

c.     Basically wanted to find out what he had to do to get eternal life – he thought he should have it somehow – he had just about everything else!!!


2.    Did you notice he called Jesus ‘GOOD’ – you don’t do that!

3.    Jesus responds, “There is NONE good except God” – let that sink in


a.     Jesus IS good – but only because He is God – no other reason

b.    All other forms of ‘good’ men and women throughout the Bible and throughout history are only humanly good – but none are truly good – none!


4.    Jesus asks, “Have you tried keeping the commandments?”


a.     Do not commit adultery (7)

b.    Do not kill (6)

c.     Do not steal (8)

d.    Do not bear false witness (9)

e.     Defraud not [God] of His worship (1-4)

f.     Honour thy father and mother (5)

g.    This was a trick way of testing him. Most people learned the Ten Commandments in order. Jesus asked them out of order to confuse him and think through them all


5.    “Yes! Yes I have kept all those as long as I can remember! I am a good boy!” (At least in the eyes of the world)


a.     Certainly if ANYONE deserves eternal life, I do!

b.    You do realise that there are a whole lot of people who believe that


6.    Jesus loved this man (10:20)


a.     Jesus truly loved this man’s soul

b.    Not a flippant statement

c.     Was not toying with him and playing around with his soul’s eternity

d.    Wanted him to be saved – to have the gift of eternal life


7.    “Just One More Thing to Do…”


a.     Obey the LAST commandment - Thou shalt not covet


1)    That is the one commandment that still to this day is overlooked and ignored by most everybody!

2)    It says, do not ever love anything more than you love God

3)    God says Coveting is actually IDOLATRY (Eph 5:5; Col 3:5) – the worship of POSSESSIONS


b.    So, Let every THING you own go


1)    Sell it all

2)    Give every last penny to people who will never pay you back – the poor

3)    And come with us – church

4)    Accept persecution – even the cross

5)    Follow and be like me now

6)    Everything you give up here will be waiting for you in My kingdom!!!


8.    But he went away grieved – hurt, disappointed, let down, very sad


a.     He couldn’t keep THAT commandment – there will always be ONE (James 2:10)

b.    You see, he had been forced to choose between:


1)    Riches NOW or Riches LATER

2)    Self-Righteousness, or NO righteousness (to admit he was a sinner)

3)    His crown, or a cross

4)    The love and adoration of this world, or the Love of Christ

5)    Great possessions, or a great Saviour

6)    A Rich Life, or Eternal Life


c.     He had to choose, and he chose the wrong one!!!

d.    NOTE: That goes with your anger and bitterness that you are holding onto as well – so many hold onto their history and end up worshipping IT - idolatry


C.   A Surprising Truth (Mark 10:23-27)


1.    Rich people are NOT going to heaven!


a.     What?

b.    He repeated it again!


2.    It’s not money that keeps a man out of heaven, but the TRUSTING in it


a.     With money you can handle most problems

b.    Health problems, unhappy wives, and unhappy children – just buy them things

c.     Bad neighbours – you can just move or hire expensive lawyers to force THEM to move

d.    Money means power

e.     And people who have money USUALLY trust in it – which is so wrong

f.     People believed that if you had money


1)    It shows how SMART you are

2)    How GOOD you are

3)    That God is blessing YOU – He wouldn’t bless BAD people, would He?

4)    That having it impresses God, and earns favour with Him


3.    Truth is: it IS hard to let go of our money and possessions

4.    THAT’s why it will always be easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a sewing needle, than for a rich man to actually STOP trusting his riches and instead fully trust Christ!

5.    Listen to the Apostle Paul’s secret of happiness… (1Tim 6:6-8)


a.    But godliness with contentment is great gain. 

b.    For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 

c.     And having [ONLY] food and raiment let us be therewith content. 

d.    No houses, lands, cars, motorbikes, bicycles, welfare, laptops, TV’s, internet, health insurance, life insurance, wives, husbands, children, holidays, etc, etc, etc

e.     Without ANY of that, a Christian can be content and happy


6.    So, here is their question… If RICH people, who everyone believed were GOOD, aren’t going to heaven, WHO CAN be saved?


a.     Jesus responds, Anyone can…

b.    Why?

c.     Because Salvation is GOD’S work, not ours Rom 8:33,34  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us

d.    It costs GOD, not us (2Cor 8:5) – none of us could afford it

e.     No one is outside of salvation – anyone can be saved

f.     So long CALVINISTS!


D.   Peter’s Worry (Mark 10:28)


1.    It’s strange, but Peter is worried whether HE has done enough to have eternal life

2.    Listen to him…


a.     So, WE have left everything and lost everything just to follow you

b.    It hurt. It wasn’t easy.

c.     All that we now have is only YOU – is that really enough?

d.    Does that mean that WE have eternal life?

e.     It certainly doesn’t FEEL like we have it good?

f.     Are WE okay?


E.   Jesus’ Promise (Mark 10:29-30)


1.    Oh you have it good, Peter

2.    Because no matter what you have lost, and missed out on by following Me…


a.     Your family

b.    And possessions


3.    If you lost them because you follow Me…

4.    Jesus promises to pay you back 100 times over – both now, and in the world to come


a.     Mansions (John 14:1-3)

b.    Family – you will see all the people in your family that God has saved because of your testimony

c.     Possessions? Treasures in heaven like we cannot imagine

d.    Persecutions comes as part of the deal


5.    And best of all, eternal LIFE – what riches and power and religion can never buy (Romans 6:23)


F.    The Way It Works (Mark 10:31)


1.    Only those who are BAD (sinful and under the condemnation of God) get it this good

2.    Only those LEAST worthy, ARE worthy

3.    Only those who have NOTHING, can get everything FOR FREE!
Isa 55:1  Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

4.    Only those willing to LOSE everything, can GAIN everything and more

5.    Only those who willingly follow Jesus, no matter the cost, have Him forever

6.    Only those who accept loss as gain

7.    Only those who accept persecutions and afflictions as gifts

8.    Only THEY have it good

9.    Listen again to the Christian life as described by the Apostle Paul in 1Cor 4:9-13


a.     1Co 4:9  For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last (YOU WOULD THINK THE APOSTLES WOULD BE FIRST IN LINE AND MOST IMPORTANT), as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle (AN EMBARASSMENT)  unto the world, and to angels, and to men

b.    1Co 4:10  We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ (SPEAKING TONGUE IN CHEEK); we are weak, but ye are (SO) strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. (THAT’S REALITY)

c.     1Co 4:11  Even unto this present hour we (APOSTLES) both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace

d.    1Co 4:12  And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 

e.     1Co 4:13  Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day


10. THAT is how being in last place looks. And as hard as it is, it is OUR place as Christian!


III.   Invitation


A.   You want to be made GOOD? Forgiven? Righteous?
Admit that you are BAD

B.   You want to be FIRST?
Stand way back and be LAST

C.   That’s where you will find Jesus looking for you – place where servants are made

D.   And Christian… remember


1.    We have it good

2.    Even though we may have given up so much

3.    Even though we may how so little to show off

4.    We have invested in eternity

5.    And our testimony and faithfulness WILL affect our children for generations to come

6.    And will make everything worth it all!

7.    So don’t be disappointed that we seem to be last