One thing you lack!
(William Bacon Stevens, "The Almost Christian!")
"Jesus looked at him and loved him. 'One thing you lack,' He said. 'Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor — and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow Me.'
At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth." Mark 10:21-22
He who searched the heart, knew what the one thing lacking was — and hence put His probing finger on the defect, and made the young man see himself in a truer light than he had ever seen himself before.
What was the result? "At this the man's face fell."
What did he do? "He went away sad."
Why? "Because he had great wealth."
The one thing which he lacked, was a willingness to give up his besetting sin! That besetting sin was covetousness.
He preferred to keep his possessions — rather than give them to the poor;
he preferred the treasure on earth — to the treasure in Heaven;
he preferred ease — to taking up a cross;
he preferred the following of his own will — to following Jesus.
This most instructive case shows us how near, how very near, a person may be to the kingdom of Heaven — and yet fall short of it! They may lack but one thing:
the giving up of a besetting sin;
the willingness to make a personal sacrifice for Christ;
the refusal to take up some cross;
the drawing back from a full following of Jesus.
Some one single sin, some one single difficulty — may thus obstruct the soul's entrance into Heaven, and prevent one from becoming an altogether Christian.
One sin deliberately persisted in — will certainly keep your soul out of Heaven!
One known duty deliberately disregarded — will surely secure your condemnation!
And a refusal to take up a cross and bear it after Jesus — must result in being only an almost Christian, and so fail of eternal life!