Matthew 19:21 - The Rich Young Man: Right Answer But Not Converted. part 4.

Mat.19:21; The Rich Young Man: Right Answer But Not Converted. 
part 4. 

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]

The man was being asked to prove his claim to have kept the 
commandments, especially the one that says "You shall love your neighbor as 
yourself". His unwillingness to do so belied his claim and showed him as a 
sinner in need of salvation. [Ryrie SB] 

When Jesus told this young man that he would "be perfect" if he 
gave everything he had to the poor, Jesus wasn't speaking in the 
temporal, human sense. He was explaining how to be justified and made 
whole or complete in God's sight. [Life Application SB] 

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. Christ had offered the young man fellowship with Himself. 
"Follow Me," DA518-523 

"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] 

The character of God is expressed in His law; and in order for 
you to be in harmony with God, the principles of His law must be the 
spring of your every action.... He mentioned several commandments from 
the second table of the Decalogue, then summed them all up in the 
precept, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The young man 
answered without hesitation, "All these things have I kept from my youth 
up; what lack I yet?" His conception of the law was external and 
superficial. Judged by a human standard, he had preserved an unblemished 
character. To a great degree his outward life had been free from guilt; he 
verily thought that his obedience had been without a flaw. Yet he had a 
secret fear that all was not right between his soul and God.... The lover 
of self is a transgressor of the law. This Jesus desired to reveal 
to the young man, and He gave him a test that would make manifest 
the selfishness of his heart. He showed him the plague spot in his 
character.... He had cherished an idol in the soul; the world was his god. He 
professed to have kept the commandments, but he was destitute of the 
principle which is the very spirit and life of them all. He did not 
possess true love for God or man. COL390-2 

The one thing that this rich man lacked was a Godly (eternal) 
world-view.  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 

"Lay all upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice. Bind it 
with cords, if you cannot keep it there. Give yourselves to prayer. 
Live at the altar. Strengthen your purposes by the promises of God."... 
Seek for opportunities to do good with what you have. "Lay up for 
yourselves treasures in heaven." 1T169-170 

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] 

Persons are free to accept or reject Christ. Those who accept 
Him will be abundantly rewarded here and hereafter. Those who think 
they deserve salvation or who seek to do something good to earn 
salvation have rejected God's way of salvation by grace through faith. 
[Disciple SB]