Devotion by Mike Geiger originally published: October 28, 2013 on www.whataboutjesus.com
For this week’s Sermon from Cross & Crown (CLICK HERE)
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’ ”
21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
22 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.”
23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, 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.”
26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
Are you going to heaven?
An aol.com poll* asked its subscribers to answer two questions, “What is the key to getting to heaven?” and “Are you going to heaven?” Of the over 120,000 answers that were recorded, nearly 90% answered affirming their belief that they would go to heaven. Nearly 2 out of 3 indicated the key to getting to heaven was “living a good life.” (2% thought the key was “slipping St. Peter a $20”!)
The question has been around for centuries. So has the majority answer, “Living a good life.” After all when one understands even the general concept of hell versus the good of heaven, who would want to believe that they are going to hell? Along with that, doesn’t it make sense that I could control my own destiny by how well I lived (or at least “doing my best” so I’m “good with God”).
A certain ruler asked Jesus a similar question, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Behind his question was the assumption that his eternal destiny could be obtained by a strong effort. He had done his best, kept the commandments (at least no “BIG” sins!). Yet Jesus identified one very important thing that was lacking. His heart was captivated by wealth, not God. Outwardly he looked really good. In fact it certainly seems like he would have “made the cut” based on his actions. But he went away sad because all he did was not enough.
Those standing around reacted, “Who then can be saved?” Very quickly they realized that inheriting eternal life was an impossible task if attempted on one’s own.
Jesus clarifies, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
Those who simply trust in the completed work of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection have certainty of eternal life. Too simple? Seem impossible? Not for God.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
So how can you not just THINK you are going to heaven, but KNOW you are going to heaven?
“Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
Lord, forgive me for thinking that I can ever do enough to earn my way into heaven. I know I have fallen short and don’t deserve your favor, let alone an eternity with you. Yet what was impossible for me, you made possible through Jesus Christ. Cause me to find certainty in him and share that certainty with others. AMEN.