Why did I feel like something was missing?
Eternal Life in the Kingdom
Mark Chapter 10 Verses 17 - 27 “God’s Word” Translation
17 As Jesus was coming out to the road, a man came running to him and knelt in front of him. He asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: Never murder. Never commit adultery. Never steal. Never give false testimony. Never cheat. Honor your father and mother.”
20 The man replied, “Teacher, I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. He told him, “You’re still missing one thing. Sell everything you have. Give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then follow me!”
22 When the man heard that, he looked unhappy and went away sad, because he owned a lot of property.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for rich people to enter God’s kingdom!”
24 The disciples were stunned by his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter God’s kingdom! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.”
26 This amazed his disciples more than ever. They asked each other, “Who, then, can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “It’s impossible for people to save themselves, but it’s not impossible for God to save them. Everything is possible for God.”
While a faithful “church” member I was very much like this young man who ran to Jesus. I wasn’t rich, nor powerful but I was living the law according to church teachings which was to secure Eternal Life in the Kingdom. I still felt empty and wasn’t satisfied. I desired to have eternal life but I didn’t feel secure. I felt as if I needed to do more to earn this Eternal Salvation. I couldn’t physically run to Jesus but I prayed to him and went to the Temple seeking him. I always seemed to come back emptier than before; more confused and frustrated. My dissatisfaction and hunger for truth was growing.
GOD WILL PULL YOU THROUGH THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE
What I wasn’t understanding was that my so called “rich” religious understanding of the gospel was flawed. I was holding on to false doctrine and in doing so was putting this religion with all of it’s baggage before God and his word in the Bible. By holding on to this false doctrine I was like the man mentioned in the book of Mark. He let money and power deceive him and I let false religious teachings deceive me in much the same ways.
God was trying to help me recognize that it was the very thing that I thought was to earn my salvation was what was preventing me from gaining Eternal Salvation.
Christ’s interaction with the young man was motivated by His love for him (v. 21). Jesus saw his problem, gave him the solution, and invited the man to follow Him. After he walked away, Jesus told His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” (v. 23).
A person deceived by any false religion, teacher, or ideas of evolution and so on are just like this young man. Anything worshiped or put in front of, in addition to or above God like this young mans money & power will cheat you from God’s love and offer of eternal life.
This young man rejected Jesus’s gift of eternal salvation for three reasons.
#1 Unbelief. He couldn’t accept what Jesus said or entrust his future into his hands.
#2 Self-righteousness. He trusted in his own goodness as the means for God’s acceptance.
#3 Love of the world. He would not let go of his wealth and possessions in order to follow Christ.
For years I rejected Jesus’s gift of eternal salvation for three similar reasons.
#1 Unbelief. I didn’t know or understand what Jesus said nor did I entrust my future into his hands. Instead I entrusted my future into the hands of my religious leaders. I followed their teachings.
#2 Self-righteousness. I trusted in my own goodness as the means for God’s acceptance. After all I was a worthy priesthood holder, and served I my various religious callings. I followed the guidelines in my religion for acceptance into the kingdom of heaven. I wasn’t exactly aware of this self-righteousness however.
#3 Love of the “True” Church. I would not let go of this wealth or latter day “revelation” supposedly found within my religion in order to follow Christ. This was my wealth, and source of my possessions. It was also the source of my self-righteousness and reason for my unbelief.
Jesus compared this young mans likelihood of accepting the truth and eternal salvation to a camel going through the eye of a needle (v. 25). False religion, teachings, like riches give a false sense of security that hinders people from seeing their need for a Savior. But with God all things are possible (v. 27), and Christ’s shed blood provides the way for everyone who trusts in Him to be saved and receive eternal life.
I am thankful that God kept calling to me, and that I was able to let go of the things hindering my sight so that I might see his great truth and light which leads to eternal life. I was blinded by religion just as this young man was blinded by wealth and his Jewish religion. This young man was indeed owned by his wealth and religion just as I was owned by my religion and possessions. They are both bondage which Jesus is waiting with open arms to set you free!
Is there any kind of things that tend to own you rather than you owning them? If so let them go and allow Jesus to break those chains and remember to give God all glory in all things. Amen