Inheriting Eternal Life

Just walking along the road. Minding his own business. And a young man walks up to him. “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Something must have been bothering him. What was it? An uneasiness in the gut? A whisper? Some uncertainty?

Something compelled him to approach the famous teacher and ask the pivotal question.

The teacher asked if he knew the commandments from his Scriptures. “Yes, I’ve followed them all my life.”

Well, that should have done it. According to the orthodox teaching of his faith, one earned his way into eternal life through following all the commandments. The young man should have felt assured.

He didn’t.

What about us? There is a current teaching reaching back a couple of hundred years or more that Donald Miller, back when he was writing stories, called “propositional Christianity.” Just say that you agree with their propositions, and you are saved–that is, you inherit eternal life.

But many, like the young man still have an uneasy feeling. Is this really the way? Why do I feel this little nagging in the gut?

The teacher says something to the effect of, well, you know the commandments, there must be one more thing in your way. Sell all you have and give the money to the poor.

At this the young man went away sad. For he was quite wealthy.

The teacher had disciples. His name was Jesus. He was always baffling his disciples–those who were trying hard to learn from him.

They looked at Jesus, puzzled. He said that it was almost impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. This was shocking. Everyone was raised to believe that the rich had it all. They could buy their way into anything. They were especially blessed.

“Who can enter the Kingdom of God if not a rich man?”

“With man, it is impossible. But for God, nothing is impossible.”

(Mark 10:17-23)

When we let go and trust God, then we find the Kingdom.

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