In the movie, there is a girl named Veruca Salt. She is so spoiled that she demands that her father find her a Golden Ticket. Once she gets that, it’s not enough, she demands a pony or some other thing. It seems like young Veruca has everything she could ever want, but something is missing in her life. Her life is not complete, but why?
Jesus once met a man who had the same problem. You will find his story in Matthew 19:16-30.
I. I open up the passage to read when Amy Gray comes up on stage and asks, “Good Meghan, what must I do to have eternal life?”
Me: One, I’m in the middle of giving these kids a lesson and you just interrupted me.
Meghan: Two, why do you call me good? There was only one person who was good and it certainly wasn’t me. It was Jesus.
Amy: Oh, I was just wondering because I have so much stuff. I have an Ipod, a TV, Netflix, a Wii, yearly trips to Hawaii, I’m going to Africa in the fall. But I would like to know how I can live forever.
Meghan: Well, what are the Ten Commandments?
Amy: Let’s see, don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor my parents, hey Daddy, love people like I love myself. I’ve done all that stuff. I do what I will as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody.
Meghan: You must do one thing, then. You must give away all your toys and things and then follow Jesus.
Amy: But I thought Jesus would take me as I am. I’m going to ask someone else if they can help me live forever.
Poor Amy. She doesn’t realize that although Jesus does love her as she is, he also loves her too much to keep her as she is. The man that Jesus met had the same problem, he had so many possessions that when Jesus asked him to give them up, he could not do it.
II. Is there anything wrong with having toys and games and sports and friends? No. When is it wrong to have all that stuff? It’s wrong when you start to love it more than you love Jesus.
When the rich man left Jesus, Jesus told his disciples, “It’s easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.” I guess that…
At this moment, Amy comes back on stage with a stuffed camel.
Amy: Can I bring this to heaven with me?
I hold up a needle: Can you get it through this?
Amy: Aw, that’s not fair. I can’t even get through that.
Meghan: Amy, it seems you have so much stuff that you think that you are already in heaven. But tell me this, if heaven is God’s kingdom, and you’re already in heaven, then where is God?
Amy: God is in my heart!
Meghan: If God is in your heart, then why would you rather live with your things that can’t talk to you and not give them up to follow Jesus? You can’t have a kingdom without a king.
Amy: Okay, let me think this through.
III. The disciples saw all this happening between the rich man and Jesus, and they asked, “How can anybody be saved?” They still didn’t understand that they could not do good things to get to heaven. All those commandments Jesus told to the man are good, but all people have broken at least one commandment, which means nobody can go to heaven doing good things. But the good news is that although with man, this is impossible, with God all things are possible. Only God can save you and he does that by sending Jesus to die the death you deserve due to breaking the commandments and then bringing him back to life so that you can follow him.
All God demands of you is that you worship Jesus. This means you have to love him more than anything. This means that you should be willing to follow him even if it means you have to give up all your clothes, toys, friends, things, etc.
Amy comes back: I figured it out. I noticed how I have so many toys, but nobody to talk to. I take trips to Hawaii, but I’m all alone. It’s like I can’t go anywhere because I have a house full of things. I can’t even invite people over because they have nowhere to sit. I decided to sell all my things in an auction, and when I go to Africa, I’ll give all the money to the children there.
Meghan: I’m telling you Amy, when Jesus comes back to rule this earth, all the people who followed him will have thrones and judge those who did not give up their lives for Him. Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for Christ’s sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
Cabin Leader Questions:
1. If we can’t get to heaven by being good and following the Ten Commandments, then why does Jesus say to give up our possessions to follow him?
2. Is getting to heaven easy? Why or why not? See Matthew 19:23-26
3. So many people, including those who go to church, miss out on heaven because there is so much that they love more than Jesus. How is this possible? Do you know any examples of this in your life?
4. Read John 10:10. Jesus didn’t simply mean that he allows you to breathe and wake up every day, though that is true. He means that he makes life fun, happy, and worth living. What are some thieves that look like they are fun and cool but really do not give your life meaning?
5. Some people say that you can find heaven by just being kind to people. Read John 14:6. According to this verse, is that statement true or false? Why? If false, how can you make it true?