Matthew 19:21 - The Rich Young Man: Should All Believers Sell Everything They Own? - part 2.

Mat.19:21; The Rich Young Man: Should All Believers Sell 
Everything They Own? - part 2. 

Mat 19:21 (NLT)  Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go 
and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will 
have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 

Perfect or Complete: i.e., genuinely pleasing to God. [Ryrie SB]

Should all believers sell everything they own? No. We are 
responsible to care for our own needs and the needs of our family so as not 
to be a burden on others. We should, however, be willing to give up 
anything if God asks us to do so. This kind of attitude allows nothing to 
come between us and God and keeps us from using our God-given wealth 
selfishly. If you are comforted by the fact that Christ did not tell all 
his followers to sell all their possessions, then you may be too 
attached to what you have. [Life Application SB] 

Jesus did not give a general mandate about the disposal of 
riches but simply insisted that a man is to place God before riches, 
thereby laying the riches at the feet of the One who gave them. He who 
does this with all he has, whether rich or poor, is a true heir of 
the kingdom of heaven. [Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary] 

The test of devotion to Christ is not the same for all. The rich 
young man lacked supreme devotion to Christ and was unwilling to 
renounce his possessions. His test was to let his wealth meet the needs 
of the poor. He needed to commit his wealth to advancing the 
purposes of God. It is not easy for a successful rich man to come under 
the lordship of Christ, but it is possible with God's help. 
[Disciple SB] 

 "What lack I yet?" Perfection had been his ideal. But, as Paul 
points out, perfection cannot be achieved by works.... If, therefore, the 
young man would achieve perfection he must not expect to do so by 
performing works of merit. He must experience a complete change of heart 
and life. His mind must be transformed, his objectives changed.... 
Unless the blighting influence of selfishness were removed, the rich 
young ruler could make no further progress toward perfection. The 
malady may vary from person to person, and the remedy may therefore 
vary also. When Peter, Andrew, James, and John were called to follow 
the Master, He did not ask them to sell their boats and fishing 
tackle, for the reason that these things did not stand in the way of 
their following Him. Nevertheless, when called, "they forsook all" in 
order that they might follow the Master. Whatever a man loves more 
than he loves Christ, makes him unworthy of Christ. Even the most 
important earthly responsibilities take second place to following Christ 
in the pathway of discipleship. Paul "suffered the loss of all 
things" in order to "win Christ". To secure possession of the heavenly 
treasure or to purchase the pearl of great price, a man must be ready to 
sell "all that he hath." But this, the rich young ruler could not 
bring himself to do. Here was his cross, but he refused to bear it... 
Jesus confronted the young man with the choice between earthly and 
heavenly treasure. But the young man wanted both, and upon making the 
discovery that he could not have both, "went away sorrowful". The painful 
discovery that he could not serve both God and mammon was too much for 
him. [SDA Commentary] 

This ruler had a high estimate of his own righteousness. He did 
not really suppose that he was defective in anything, yet he was not 
altogether satisfied. He felt the want of something that he did not 
possess.... One thing he lacked, but that was a vital principle. He needed 
the love of God in the soul. This lack, unless supplied, would prove 
fatal to him; his whole nature would become corrupted. By indulgence, 
selfishness would strengthen. That he might receive the love of God, his 
supreme love of self must be surrendered.... He must take up the cross, 
and follow the Saviour in the path of self-denial.... His exalted 
position and his possessions were exerting a subtle influence for evil 
upon his character. If cherished, they would supplant God in his 
affections.... He could not keep the commandments of God while the world was 
first in his affections. He loved the gifts of God more than he loved 
the Giver. DA518-523 

He had to sell his many possessions, give the proceeds to the 
poor, and by way of the cross, enter in to new life with Jesus. This 
requirement is not possible apart from the miraculous intervention of the 
Holy Spirit into the life.  Wise are the words of the martyr Jim 
Elliot who said, "He is no fool, who gives what he cannot keep, to gain 
what he cannot lose."  What is the Lord requiring of you?  Do you 
need to heed His words from this passage?  For this man, there didn't 
seem to be a middle ground, no compromise.  The Lord still permits no 
compromises today. Anything more precious to you than God must be given away 
immediately. If you will it, God will give you the strength to do it, and 
come into a right relationship with Him! [In His Time; Walk With 

God's salvation is eternal life--the fullness of life which 
Christ alone gives (Jn 10:10). It is life in Christ here and hereafter, 
right now and forevermore. We can do nothing in the way of good works 
to gain eternal life. It is God's free gift to all those who 
forsake everything and follow Jesus. [Disciple SB]