Tag: who can be saved?
Scripture reading for February 23rd: Mark 10
“People were bringing their children to Jesus to have Him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:13-15)
Jesus again impressed on His disciples their need to welcome children and the attitude that was required of all men to enter the kingdom of heaven. Religious pride can easily trap followers of Jesus. Into this setting a man came to Jesus and knelt before Him with a question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17) Jesus pointed this man to the commandments of God. This man was confident that he had kept them all from youth. Jesus looked at this man with great love and said, “One thing you lack, go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” Mark 10:21
Jesus welcomed this man and loved him, but when the man heard what Jesus required of him, he left sad, because he did not want to part with his great wealth. He failed to have the child-like attitude necessary to receive the kingdom. When the disciples heard this, they were amazed and asked each other, “Who then can be saved?” (Mark 10:26) Jesus plainly told them that man cannot save himself, but God makes salvation possible for all!
We cannot work for salvation, and no one can be good enough! Even giving our money away will not buy heaven! We must follow Jesus and trust in His gift of eternal life!
Scripture reading for April 17th: Luke 18:18-43
It takes faith to give away your resources to help the poor and needy. Jesus was asked by a certain ruler what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him that keeping the commandments was a good place to start. (Luke 18:19-20) This man felt that he had been keeping them since he was a boy. “When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” When he heard this, he became very sad because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:22-24)
This rich ruler knew that Jesus was a great teacher and he must have respected Him enough to ask about his eternal soul. Possibly he had been listening to some of Jesus’ prior teaching about the rich man and Lazarus and was pondering his chances of ending up in heaven or hell. (Luke 16:19-31) At any rate, Jesus answered his question by pointing him to the ten commandments. This man felt that he had kept them all since boyhood! Jesus, knowing the true state of his soul, pointed out one more thing that he lacked. This one thing, selling all his many goods and giving them to the poor proved to be too much.
This man had placed money ahead of following Jesus. He had an idol in his life that he was unaware of until Jesus showed him what he lacked. He foolishly held onto that which he could not keep and lost the precious gift of eternal life! Truth is not easy to receive when we have to let go of something dear to us. We will be tested for our willing obedience and faith when we seek eternal life and a relationship with the Lord.
The disciples who followed Jesus were promised great returns for leaving their businesses and wealth behind. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and in the age to come eternal life.” (Luke 18:29-30) God pays well!