Sermon Transcript – Seek God or Else

Series B – Twentieth Sunday of Pentecost – Sunday, October 10, 2021 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
Intro bumper
Time StampTranscript
0:29the holy gospel according to saint mark
0:31the 10th chapter
0:39as Jesus was setting out on his journey
0:41a man ran up and knelt before him and
0:43asked him good teacher what must i do to
0:45inherit eternal life and Jesus said to
0:47him why do you call me good no one is
0:49good except god alone you know the
0:51commandments do not murder do not commit
0:53adultery do not steal do not bear false
0:55witness do not defraud honor your father
0:57and mother and he said to him teacher
0:59all of these i’ve kept from my youth
1:02and Jesus looking at him loved him and
1:03said to him you lack one thing go sell
1:05all that you have and give to the poor
1:07and you will have treasure in heaven and
1:08come and follow me disheartened by the
1:10saying he went away sorrowful for he had
1:13great possessions this is the gospel of
1:15the lord in the name of Jesus
1:18amen i don’t know if you guys noticed
1:20this but when we were reading out our
1:21three texts for today there was really
1:25little gospel it was i felt like saying
1:28at the end of the gospel reading this is
1:29the law of the lord thanks be to god
1:31right now it was it was pretty intense
1:33and that’s kind of the point in fact i
1:35feel like today we have the wrong colors
1:38here we should probably put purple up
1:39it’s it’s like we’re doing lent today
1:41it’s that kind of texts right it’s
1:44they’re brutal and well the picture is
1:47not that pretty let me let me start off
1:49with one of the key phrases from our old
1:51testament text
1:53seek the lord and live
1:58all right
1:59well how much do i need to seek him you
2:01know when do i
2:03when can i say i’ve sought him enough
2:05that’s kind of the thing here when you
2:07hear something like this well that’s law
2:09seek the lord and live and then when you
2:12read the description of what amos is
2:13talking about and i would note this if
2:15you haven’t read amos
2:18well all i can say is you might need
2:21some personal safety gear when you read
2:24amos because the law is so intense in
2:29and what he says is so to the point and
2:33strips away all pretenses of
2:36self-righteousness but what i find
2:37fascinating in reading out our old
2:40testament text
2:41is that one of the things that amos is
2:44describing is not only those who
2:47hate reproof they abhor those who speak
2:50the truth but instead there’s a little
2:52bit more to it and this is one of the
2:54darker sides of sin and that is is that
2:56we turn justice to wormwood and we
3:00trample down the poor and exact taxes of
3:03grain from him
3:04i want you to think about it in these
3:07have you noticed that when we sin we are
3:10the most like the devil right because
3:12who we’re looking out for me myself and
3:15i all the commandments the law is summed
3:17up in two commandments love the lord
3:19your god with all your heart
3:21love your neighbor as yourself the word
3:25love that’s going to require
3:28kindness and mercy and grace and
3:31protecting others but you’re going to
3:33know we human beings have this horrible
3:35thing that we do and that is is that we
3:39how do i say it slither up to people
3:42try to gain their trust by behaving like
3:46we care about them that we’re kind to
3:49them we want to be their friend right
3:51and what do we end up doing enslaving
3:54abusing them
3:56taking advantage of them i mean that
3:59that’s kind of what goes on here those
4:00who are in power
4:02they those who are in governmental power
4:04they exist for the purpose of serving
4:06the people whom they govern looking out
4:09for their needs and yet we’ll note that
4:12we have
4:13well story after story throughout human
4:16of princes and kings and presidents and
4:19congressmen and parliamentarians and
4:21others who have um
4:24well looked out for themselves let’s say
4:26and they’ve made themselves very wealthy
4:28on the backs of the poor
4:31they’ve oppressed them i i always like
4:33to note that uh i don’t really have to
4:35worry too much of being eaten by a bear
4:38you know there’s not a lot of bears out
4:40here have you guys seen any bears out
4:41here okay
4:43whenever i watch those channels that you
4:45know that show wildlife you know lions
4:48and tigers and jaguars and bears and
4:51sharks and
4:52every time i watch channels like that i
4:54think i just need to stay home right i
4:56just need to stay home but the reality
4:58is this is very little chance and i’m
5:01going to be eaten by a crocodile or by a
5:03bear or a lion or a tiger but
5:06on the other end of that have you
5:08noticed that we have to constantly be on
5:11our guard against other human beings
5:14it’s it’s really a tragic thing if you
5:16think about it uh you’ll you’ll note
5:19throughout the united states there’s a
5:21big debate on whether or not people
5:23should be having the ability to carry
5:25firearms i always like to point out the
5:27fact that we’re even having this
5:29conversation proves that we human beings
5:31are what
5:33we’re dangerous
5:35and we’re dangerous to each other and
5:37then you’ll note that i constantly get
5:39emails from like princes and royalty in
5:42nigeria and stuff it’s the weirdest
5:43thing you know and then now i’ve started
5:46getting texts text messages that say
5:48something like this
5:49congratulations chris you won just click
5:53this link and we’ll explain to you how
5:55you can get your prize right they’re not
5:58there to offer me anything they’re not
6:00trying to help me out they want my bank
6:02account number so they can wipe it out
6:05that’s what they really want to do right
6:07and so we’re having constantly to be on
6:10against other human beings and i would
6:13also remind you that when Jesus was
6:16betrayed by judas judas betrayed him
6:18with a kiss
6:21and then you know don’t even get me
6:23started about the dating scene today i
6:25always feel bad for the singles in our
6:28always do because you’ll note that in on
6:30the dating scene you will have people
6:33who will
6:34under a pretense of offering you their
6:36heart and love are really only looking
6:39for one thing
6:40to take advantage of you sexually
6:44it’s horrible
6:45it’s absolutely deplorable
6:49so you’ll listen to these words seek the
6:51lord and live well have i sought him
6:53enough i don’t know lest he break out
6:54like fire in the house of joseph it’s
6:57kind of like god is saying through amos
6:59seek the lord or
7:03and it devoured with none to quench it
7:05you who turn justice to wormwood you who
7:07cast down righteousness to the earth
7:09they hate him who reproves in the gate
7:11they abhor him who speaks the truth
7:13therefore because you trample the poor
7:15and you exact taxes of grain from him
7:17you’ve built houses of hewn stone but
7:19you shall not dwell in them you’ve
7:22planted pleasant vineyards but you shall
7:24not drink their wine for i know how many
7:26are your transgressions and how great
7:29are your sins that’s not good news
7:31that’s bad news if god knows how many
7:33are your sins and how great are your
7:34transgressions uh well you are in a lot
7:38of trouble
7:40it is a terrible and fearful thing to
7:41fall in the hands of god and then you’ll
7:43note that our epistle text
7:47talks about law
7:48take care brothers lest there be in any
7:51of you an evil and unbelieving heart
7:52leading you to fall away from the living
7:54god and exhort one another every day as
7:57long as it is called day called today so
8:00that none of you may be hardened by the
8:02deceitfulness of sin
8:04and you’ll know we rightly recognize as
8:06Christians that sin is not our friend
8:09and at the same time every single sunday
8:13you say those words that i confess that
8:15i am by nature sinful and unclean
8:20so we hear words like this we hear god’s
8:22law and god’s law rightly nails us to
8:24the wall and then you come to our gospel
8:26text again a lot of law here and there
8:29was a rich young fellow a rich young
8:32fellow you know back in those days there
8:33was no middle class you were either
8:35really wealthy and that was a small
8:37group or you were under the boot of rome
8:39and you were poor which is pretty much
8:41mostly everybody else right and so this
8:44guy you can kind of see him coming up
8:45with his armani suit you know dressed
8:47really well maybe he parked the
8:48lamborghini off over next to the temple
8:51or something right and he comes up to
8:53Jesus and he kneels before him that’s
8:55not a bad thing but little piety here
8:57showing some respect for Jesus i mean
8:59after all Jesus is a holy man and then
9:01he asks him the question that we all are
9:03guilty of asking at some time good
9:05teacher what must i do to inherit
9:08eternal life
9:10and there’s your problem
9:12you see the law can’t save you
9:15it can’t good luck on keeping it because
9:17you don’t
9:18i always like to tell people you can be
9:21saved by the law
9:24and here’s the the next part of it
9:27if you keep it perfectly from the moment
9:30of your conception until you draw your
9:32last breath
9:34have you done that
9:37i haven’t done that
9:39all right so those who
9:47think or assume well my situation may be
9:51bad but it’s not that bad i can see if i
9:54can just kind of sort this out i’m sure
9:56there’s something
9:57i can do
9:59to inherit when inheritance is a gift
10:02inherit eternal life
10:05it ain’t gonna work
10:07well what are you saying pastor you’re
10:10why because Jesus turns right around
10:12says to the to this fellow why do you
10:13call me good no one is good except for
10:15god alone let that sink in no one is
10:17good except for god alone
10:21yeah but i’m a no you’re not you’re a
10:22good person you got to knock that off
10:24you’re not no one is good except for god
10:26alone think of it in the words of the
10:28apostle paul who quoting the psalms you
10:31know this these words appear three times
10:33in scripture
10:35in romans 3
10:37paul writes none is righteous no not one
10:41no one understands and listen to these
10:44no one seeks for god
10:50wait what
10:55seek the lord and live
11:01quoting the psalmist in psalm 14 and 53
11:04says no one seeks for god
11:07well how do you untie that gordian knot
11:13this makes the rubik’s cube look easy
11:15for some it is
11:20all eyes over there right yeah but you
11:22get what i’m saying here the rest of
11:25the rest of us mere mortals it’s kind of
11:27complicated at one time i knew how to do
11:29it but now i don’t
11:30but the rubik’s cube looks easy compared
11:32to this how do you solve this conundrum
11:34god says seek me and live
11:37and paul quoting the psalmist says
11:40no one seeks for god
11:42and this is building off the exact same
11:44theme of what Christ was talking about
11:46in our gospel text when he says no one
11:49is good except for god alone and watch
11:51what Jesus does with a fellow he does
11:54law with him
11:55and he says all right you know the
11:57commandments do not
11:59commit murder don’t commit adultery
12:01don’t steal don’t bear false witness
12:03don’t defraud honor your father and
12:05mother and then listen to this answer
12:08and he said to him teacher all of these
12:09i’ve kept from my youth that’s baby
12:11stuff Jesus i i’ve kept all those
12:17you can almost if Jesus had to wear
12:19glasses like i would you can almost see
12:21him taking his glasses down going really
12:24seriously you think
12:26you really think you’re keeping these
12:28commandments oh my goodness
12:31let’s go back to the beginning again
12:33shall we no one is good except for god
12:40does this guy think he’s good
12:42yes is he listening to Jesus
12:47all right not at all it was like when i
12:50was when my kids were smaller and you’d
12:52give them instructions i need you to go
12:54and hear your here’s your list of chores
12:55today and next thing you know you find
12:57them playing video games why aren’t you
12:59doing your chores it’s like things just
13:01flew through their ears okay
13:04it didn’t it didn’t seem to register
13:06well same with this guy no one is good
13:09except for god alone no one seeks for
13:12none is righteous not even one so Jesus
13:16decides to crank things up a bit because
13:18Jesus being god in human flesh knows a
13:20thing or two about this fellow he says
13:22all right and he does this in love
13:25note that what Christ does is he lays
13:27bare this man’s sin and oh and by the
13:29way next week’s gospel text will be
13:31Jesus’s commentary on how hard it is for
13:34rich guys like this to be saved
13:37okay Jesus is actually going to reveal
13:39more next week so Jesus lays bare his
13:42idolatry in quite a wonderful way he
13:45says to him all right you lack one thing
13:47you go and sell all that you have and
13:48give to the poor
13:50and you’ll have treasure in heaven come
13:51follow me
13:53and the guy’s disheartened saying
13:55by the saying he went away sorrowful
13:56because he had great possessions
13:58oh i thought you said you were good
14:02but you’re not why what what’s the real
14:05sin here the one we’re also all guilty
14:08idolatry you will have no other gods
14:12this man’s god is his money and the
14:14reality is is that as we walk work
14:16through all of our law texts today
14:18because that’s what they all are
14:21have you heard anything that convicts
14:23you of your sin your unrighteousness how
14:26you have fallen short i know i have it’s
14:30a weird experience by the way being a
14:32pastor because when you preach things
14:33like this you re recognize you’re
14:34preaching to yourself but you know what
14:36i don’t like leaving sermons off on a
14:38bad note and i really don’t like leaving
14:40people sitting there puzzling having to
14:42figure out how to solve the riddle of
14:45how is it that on the one hand the
14:47scripture says seek the lord and live
14:50and then on the other hand it says no
14:51one seeks for god
14:53well what are we going to do with that
14:55and thankfully using these same themes
14:58of scripture dealing with the wealth
15:00with wealth and idolatry there happens
15:02to be in the scripture an account of a
15:05very wealthy man who was known for
15:08oppressing and taking advantage of other
15:10people and you may have heard his name
15:12are you zacchaeus if you know that the
15:15wee little man the weird little man was
15:16he climbed up a sycamore tree guys
15:18remember that song all right so
15:20consider this in this in this regard
15:23you and i are just like zacchaeus just
15:26like him and if you don’t think you are
15:29let’s go back to those words again no
15:31one is good except for god alone and so
15:36let me what i know a little bit about
15:37zacchaeus from the context here and also
15:40what happened historically so when the
15:42romans came in and they took over and
15:44boy did they take over okay taxes were a
15:47big thing but the roman tax system let’s
15:49just say it was super inefficient it
15:51makes our irs today look simple it just
15:55really does but at the at the at the
15:58heart of it was basically they would say
16:00to tax collectors especially the chief
16:02tax collectors in your territory in your
16:05zip code we expect you to raise this
16:07amount of money
16:09this amount but the tax collectors were
16:11known for saying well i’ve got to make a
16:13living and so rather than making this
16:15amount they would make this amount okay
16:18and they would make sure that rome got
16:19their cut and they got their cut
16:22and who is it that was responsible for
16:24paying all the rest of that stuff
16:26everybody else all right so
16:30remember what i said
16:32lots of rich not very many rich people
16:34in Jesus day no middle class and a lot
16:37of poor everybody else well
16:40zacchaeus is one of these tax collectors
16:41and he’s not just a tax collector he’s
16:43the boss he’s the chief tax collector in
16:46the region of jericho and he is
16:49wealthy where’d he get his money from
16:51his neighbors do you think his neighbors
16:54like him so there he is on a friday
16:56night enjoying a wonderful meal
17:00and his next door neighbor
17:02is sitting by candlelight
17:04eating a piece of dry crusty bread right
17:08and he looks over i hate that zacchaeus
17:11right because i would have had a good
17:12meal tonight except for he took my last
17:14denarius right
17:16that’s how these guys operate and in
17:18Jesus’s time men like zacchaeus
17:21zacchaeus that’s a hebrew name he’s a
17:26he’s considered to be a turncoat a
17:28traitor he’s in league with the
17:30idolatrous oppressors this guy is not
17:35and so you’ll note that he fits all the
17:37bill of what we hear in amos he’s
17:39oppressing and taxing the poor
17:42for his own gain and is he seeking god
17:45not on your life he’s seeking god and we
17:48hear that when Jesus was on his way to
17:51jerusalem because that’s his final
17:52destination as we get into the later
17:55chapters of luke
17:58decides that he’s going to travel to
17:59jerusalem via jericho
18:02and while he was passing through
18:03zacchaeus the rich tax collector heard
18:07about Jesus and he wanted to see who he
18:09was and if you think about it it makes a
18:10lot of sense because in the wealthy
18:13mindset what matters
18:15wealth power prestige beauty right
18:20and so Jesus he has power
18:23and the word about Jesus is out
18:26Jesus can heal the sick he can give
18:29sight to the blind he raises the dead
18:32and you’ll note that Jesus cleanses
18:34lepers and he tells sinners that their
18:37sins are forgiven and does Jesus live in
18:40a palace no see Jesus is the exact
18:43opposite of zacchaeus he’s the exact
18:45opposite of you because no one is good
18:46except for god alone and wouldn’t you
18:48know it Jesus just happens to be god
18:51and so Jesus’s values are totally
18:54different he doesn’t come
18:56to oppress and to dominate he makes
19:00himself a servant
19:02a slave
19:03the least
19:04he doesn’t serve himself he’s come to
19:06serve you and so zacchaeus scratches his
19:09head i gotta get a look at this guy who
19:10is this fellow right and so because of
19:12the crowd
19:13he wasn’t able to see so he was small in
19:16stature so he ran on ahead and like a
19:18child he climbs a sycamore tree in order
19:20to see Jesus and as Jesus was about to
19:23pass by
19:24he came to the place and he looked up
19:26and he said to him first word
19:31let that one sink in for a second
19:34wait what
19:37we’ve never met you know my name
19:40well Jesus knows the name of everybody
19:41whose name is written in the lamb’s book
19:43of life
19:45it’s almost as if he has the whole thing
19:49your name’s in that book zacchaeus and
19:51so what does Jesus say to him zeke is
19:52you hurry down i must stay at your house
19:56that is a great honor by the way
19:58to have a meal in someone’s house is to
20:01honor them you’re gonna honor this
20:04zacchaeus guy
20:05this guy who is oppressing the and the
20:08poor and taxing them amos preached
20:11against this yahoo and you’re going to
20:14right and you could just see the crowd
20:16just have a big
20:18you know kind of shake their head kind
20:20of moment right but so key as he hurried
20:25and he received Jesus joyfully
20:27and when the crowd saw it they all
20:28grumbled and listen to these words these
20:30are really dumb words he has gone to be
20:32the guest of a man who is a sinner
20:36okay let me go back to those words again
20:39no one is good except for god alone
20:43right we’ve got that part okay
20:46so if Jesus couldn’t eat with sinners
20:49who could Jesus eat with on any
20:52day-to-day basis
20:54nobody he’d be like me when i was in the
20:57you know the seventh grade or sixth
20:58grade having to eat lunch by myself in
21:00the bathroom in order not to be beaten
21:02up right Jesus would be all by himself
21:05poor Jesus he has no one to eat with
21:07because he can’t eat with sinners well
21:08if Jesus showed up at your house and
21:11said i’d like to have a meal at your
21:12house and he would be your honored guest
21:14guess what he’d be eating with a sinner
21:18and see there’s the issue over and over
21:20again you can see it throughout
21:22scripture people who do not recognize
21:25they’re sinners
21:28people sitting there he’s gonna eat with
21:29a sinner
21:32there’s no one else to eat with
21:36no one is good except for god alone
21:44and here’s something beautiful that
21:48he understands their grumbling because
21:50he knows full well that he is a sinner
21:53and it’s true
21:54he’s oppressed people he’s taxed the
21:56poor he hasn’t sought for god again how
21:59do we solve this conundrum well it says
22:00zacchaeus stood and he said to the lord
22:04half of my goods i now give to the poor
22:07half right now i’ll write the check and
22:09i’ll hand it to you right this second
22:11and if i’ve defrauded anyone of anything
22:13i’ll restore it fourfold
22:19he emptied out his bank account
22:22not in order to be saved
22:26but because you’ll note by Christ
22:27calling him by name he was saved
22:30and here’s where it says
22:32Jesus then today salvation has come to
22:34this house since he’s also a son of
22:36abraham now it’s true that zacchaeus is
22:38genetically related to abraham but
22:40scripture is very clear it’s not the
22:41genetic descendants of abraham who are
22:43the blessed it’s those who have the same
22:44faith as abraham and by Christ saying
22:47that he is a son of abraham Jesus is
22:49confirming that zacchaeus has that same
22:51faith that abraham had and that same
22:53faith just like it saved abraham is
22:55going to save zacchaeus and it can save
22:56you and here’s the important words for
22:58the son of man he came to seek and save
23:01the lost
23:03seek the lord and live
23:05but no one seeks for god
23:07don’t despair
23:09Christ has come and he seeks you
23:12the same Jesus took all of that sin that
23:15zacchaeus had committed his defrauding
23:18his oppressing the poor his not seeking
23:21him not listening to the truth and he
23:24carries zacchaeus’s sin with him the
23:26rest of the way from jericho to
23:29and just like he carried your sin and
23:32and he bled and died for zacchaeus he
23:34suffered in his place so that zacchaeus
23:36can be forgiven
23:38where we fail to seek god
23:42closes the gap he seeks us
23:45he came to seek and to save the lost and
23:47that’s you and me
23:48and you know what you’ll never cry out
23:51to god if you don’t recognize that none
23:53is good except for god alone you’ll
23:56never cry out for god to have mercy on
23:58you until you realize that you have
24:01sinned greatly against god
24:03against each other
24:05and that you deserve
24:08to be thrown into
24:10hell and to experience god’s wrath
24:14so the good news is that Christ has bled
24:15and died for you and that he’s the one
24:17who seeks the lost and he’s found you
24:20he’s found you today and he’s assured
24:22you that your sins are forgiven
24:24he found you when you were brought to
24:26the waters of baptism and he joined you
24:28to himself in his death and his
24:29resurrection he washed away your sins
24:31and circumcised your heart
24:34he fed you last week with his body and
24:36blood given and shed for you for the
24:37forgiveness of your sins and i would say
24:40Christ is here seeking and saving lost
24:42souls like you and like me
24:44today what a great savior we have in
24:47Christ it is true none is good except
24:50for god alone and dang Jesus is good
24:55in the name of Jesus amen
Auto-generated (English) from YouTube
If you would like to support the teaching ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church, you can do so by sending a tax-free donation to:
Kongsvinger Lutheran Church
15950 470th Ave NW, Oslo, MN 56744

We thank you for your support. All of our teaching messages may be freely distributed as long as you do not edit or change the content of the message, and, again, thank you for listening.
Outro bumper

Blog at