April 13, 2012
“What the law was powerless to do…God did by sending his own Son.” Ro 8:3 NIV
The Bible says: “A certain ruler asked Him, saying, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ So Jesus said…‘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” (Lk 18:18-23 NKJV). This man had already achieved the three P’s of success: power, prosperity, and prestige. He was a bottom-line guy: “What must I do?” Even the way he worded the question suggests he thought he could get eternal life the way he’d gotten everything else—by self-effort. He mistakenly assumed that heaven was just a payment away, but it’s not. Only a cold-hearted God would sell salvation to those who can afford it. That’s a hard concept to grasp since we’re rewarded for our performance. But just as you wouldn’t impress Picasso with your crayon sketch, so your character and good works don’t qualify you for heaven. Eternal life costs more than you can afford. That’s why you don’t need a résumé, you need a redeemer. Money wasn’t this man’s problem, self-sufficiency was. It wasn’t his income that kept him out of God’s kingdom, but his ego. And it’s not just the wealthy that have difficulty grasping this; so do the educated, the strong, the good-looking, the popular, and even the religious. To receive salvation you must first acknowledge that you’re spiritually bankrupt, your cupboard bare and your reputation worthless. You can’t approach God demanding justice—you can only come pleading for mercy. And if you come today, that’s what you’ll get!