Bible Stories for the Young

The Rich Man

Loved His Stuff and Missed Heaven


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The Rich Man : Loved His Stuff and Missed Heaven

Once there was a rich young man who had lots of stuff. He had so much stuff it filled his whole house! And he loved his stuff. He loved his purple robes. He loved his sparkly jewels. He loved his comfy bed. But even though he had all this stuff, he wasn’t happy. He knew he was missing something. “I want to make sure I live forever and go to Heaven,” the young man thought.

So one day, the rich young ruler went to talk to Jesus. “Jesus, how can I make sure I get to live forever in Heaven?”

“Obey the commandments… the 10 rules,” Jesus answered.

“Jesus, I have obeyed all those rules since I was a little boy. What else should I do?”

“There is one thing you’re missing,” Jesus answered. “Give all of your stuff away to the poor. If you do that, you’ll have real treasures in Heaven! Then come and follow Me.”

The rich man just got an invitation to go with Jesus, the Rescuer, the King of Kings. But the rich man thought, “ALL of my stuff?”

The man thought about his stuff. “But I love my stuff,” he thought. “I love my purple robes. I love my sparkly jewels. I love my comfy bed. I don’t want to give it ALL away!”

So the man walked away from Jesus… sad.

Think about it…

There are many people out there who say that as long as you do more good things than bad things, then you get to be with God in Heaven forever. But that’s not what Jesus said here, is it?

This rich man was a really “good” man… a moral man who kept God’s rules, but he still had part of his heart that he refused to give to God.

You don’t get the gift of Forever-Life by being a pretty good person or by being better than most people. No.

Some people wrongly think that satan is on one end of the scale and God on the other end… and as long as you do a little more “good” things than bad things or maybe just do a few “good” things to make up for the bad things, then you’ll get to go to Heaven. No. That’s not what Jesus said.

Jesus said that the road to Forever-Life is “narrow” and that “few” people find it. Part of the reason why few people find that narrow road is because if you have even ONE thing that you refuse to give or do for Jesus, then you can’t be His follower. And you can’t be part of His Family.

I know that could feel hard or scary sometimes. But HE has to be our ONE thing. And even if we feel scared, we can talk to Him and say, “Sell all my stuff, Jesus? Okay! I’ll do it. I don’t know how I’m going to do it because that feels scary to me — because I’ve loved my stuff too much, haven’t I? But, I Trust You to help me, and I believe You have nothing but good plans for me. So, bye-bye stuff. Hello Jesus… because I’m coming with YOU!”

That’s what it means to be a person of Faith… a child of Abraham… one of those stars shining brightly in the dark sky.

The difference between Jesus’ disciples and this rich man is not that they were better or braver or holier than the rich man. The difference was that they believed Jesus. They believed that He was worth it all, and they were learning that they could trust Him to help them do whatever He asked. And He’ll help us too.

Jesus then said to His friends around Him, “It’s hard for someone with lots of stuff to get to live in God’s Life. It’s easier for a big camel with his humps to fit through the teensy tiny hole in the end of a needle than it is for a rich man to get to be My friend, because he loves his stuff more than Me.”

Jesus’ friends were shocked! “WOW! A camel fitting in the eye of a teensy tiny needle? Then who can be saved?” they asked.

But Jesus winked, “With man, a big camel through the teensy tiny hole is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Peter thought about it for a minute and asked, “What do we get, Jesus, since we have left everything, all our stuff and families?” (Remember how Peter, Andrew, James and John left their fishing nets and boats and everything when Jesus told them to come and follow Him? And Matthew quit his job. They DID leave everything and follow Jesus.)

Jesus answered Peter, “For every one thing you leave for Me, you will get one hundred things back, both in this life and the Forever-Life. You’ll have some pain, too, sometimes, but then you’ll live forever with Me.” (What? 100 houses, 100 brothers, 100 sisters, 100 mothers, 100 children, and lots of stuff, too! That’s what Jesus said!)

When you trust and give to God, He says He will give back one hundred times more than anything you give away. Try Him!