Ought’s & Nots & The Search For Eternal Life… By Pastor Ron Hamm
“What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Mark 10:17b
A rich young ruler asks Jesus the question of a lifetime, or should I say the question of an eternal lifetime? “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him by referring him to the law – to the Ten Commandments – to the oughts and shall nots of 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,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother’ (Mark 10:18,19). The man said he had kept these five commandments mentioned by Jesus since he was a boy. This man is like most people today in proclaiming their own goodness.
Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man? Proverbs 20.6 Some churches would have loved to have this man as a deacon, but Jesus 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.” Luke 18:22 Why did Jesus give this man such a hard command? Because while the man thought he had kept the five commandments mentioned, Jesus was using God’s law and the first and tenth commandment to reveal the man’s sin of idolatry and coveting (loving money more than God). Yes, he went away “sorrowful for he had great riches.” The true state of his heart was revealed. A prayer without repentance is like faith without works – dead!
Many people today are using “psychological approaches” to try to reach people, but Jesus teaches us a better, biblical way. Jesus demonstrates the use of the moral law of God to bring conviction of sin into people’s lives. After all, Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4 …for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20b For Me to Live is Christ How can they be convinced of the truth without being convicted of their sin? How can they be convicted of their sin without the knowledge of God’s moral law? How can they hear without a preacher? How can the Spirit convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment to come without His people using a biblical approach? He is the Spirit of Truth! How can one depart from evil without the fear of the Lord? How can anyone be saved without repentance and faith in Jesus?
True love speaks the truth in love. Yes, God’s love is an ocean waiting to be sailed, but the truth of the word of God is the ship on which we sail. Wouldn’t it be better for a sinner to go through a mini trial now to show him his moral guilt rather than wait until the great white throne judgment seat of Christ where there will be no escape? (Revelation 20:15) ..,but he who does not believe is condemned already. John 3:18.
Lord in heaven, open our eyes to see the urgent need of the lost. Send Your people into the fields, for the world is Your opportunity for grace. For God so loved the world. Help us to see as You see, speak as You speak, and love as You love.