“Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?” But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”” Luke 18:18-27…………….
Know what I missed for years? Know the story of the so-called rich young ruler who refused to sell all he had and give to the poor as Jesus told him he needed to do to receive everlasting life? Did you miss what I missed?
Perhaps you are familiar with the message as I was that the man is willing to obey the laws at the time as though he can earn God’s favor but is not willing to give up his earthly fleeting riches for the everlasting riches of being in forever fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is what I missed, however. Four completely life-changing words!
“You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
“…and come, follow me.” Jesus wasn’t just making clear that obeying the laws was important but would not earn him everlasting life. Jesus wasn’t just telling him he needed to sell all his earthly riches he was holding onto for dear life. Jesus wasn’t just telling him he needed to give to people in need. He was telling him what was important AND. And? Yes! And! And what? Jesus was telling him all that was important AND TO FOLLOW HIM. To FOLLOW JESUS! Do you see? I didn’t! I missed it!
An everlasting relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is NOT for those who simply follow a bunch of laws religiously. But this isn’t all. It’s also NOT for those who follow laws and do some one-time act of selling a bunch of material possessions and helping a bunch of people with that little pot of money. Everlasting life is for THOSE WHO FOLLOW THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AS A WAY OF LIFE. Yes, AS A LIFESTYLE. It’s for those who are willing to leave behind the self-centered ways of this world and to become Christ-centered, to become Christ-led, to live and breathe for Christ!
But the reality is countless people worldwide are calling themselves Christians and have their ticket to heaven stashed away somewhere safe for later and figure following a bunch of laws and having a one-time encounter with Christ bought them that ticket. That man wasn’t just told by Jesus to hold a one-time auction with his goods, donate the money to some charity, and trollop back off to life as usual as he’d always lived it clutching on for dear life to the world’s ways. He was being called TO FOLLOW JESUS for how long? For that day, and the next, and all the days to come into eternity! AS A LIFESTYLE. A BRAND NEW WAY OF LIFE.
The demons believe in the Lord and won’t go to heaven. If you think a one-time prayer spoken long ago, and a bunch of church attendance, etc., buys you eternal life, you’re missing it.
Everlasting life is for those willing to forsake all and to follow Jesus wherever He leads us, whenever, however, to whomever, for what, absolutely whatever He desires as Lord, not for self, but for God’s glory, amen! Everlasting life is the immeasurably priceless gift God gives those of us who genuinely repent of our sins and turn to and place our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord who died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead. Genuine faith in Christ as Lord shows forth not in a one-time prayer, not in a one-time encounter with Christ, not in a one-time selling of one’s goods and giving to the poor, not in a one-time anything at all, but in a LIFESTYLE of LIVING FOR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.