Within the story of Jesus and the wealthy younger ruler in Mark 10:1723, a rich younger man runs as much as Jesus and says, Good instructor, what should I do to inherit everlasting life? And Jesus tells him that he should hold all of the Ten Commandments. The younger man says, All these I’ve stored since I used to be a boy.
In fact, nobody can hold all the Ten Commandments completely, however Jesus didnt argue that time. He was attempting to get to a extra pressing difficulty within the younger mans life. The textual content tells us that Jesus checked out him and liked him. I believe Jesus noticed an actual sincerity of coronary heart in him; however there was one thing within the younger mans soul that was a roadblock to his salvation.
One factor you lack, Jesus mentioned. Go, promote all the things you might have and provides to the poor, and you’ll have treasure in heaven. Then come, comply with me.
The younger man walked away unhappy, Mark tells us, as a result of he had nice wealth.
Now, was Jesus saying that the way in which to be saved and have everlasting life is to promote all the things you might have and provides it to the poor? Should you learn the story fastidiously, its clear that Jesus wasnt saying that in any respect. He gave the identical plan of salvation to the wealthy younger ruler that he gave to Nicodemusbut he gave it in numerous phrases, tailoring his gospel name to every mans particular person want.
Identical Gospel, Completely different Presentation
Nicodemus was a Pharisee, and he had sure inflexible, legalistic concepts about what it meant to be saved by God. Jesus needed to shake him out of his slender mindset by telling him he wanted to be born once more. Likewise, Jesus knew that the wealthy younger rulers coronary heart was tightly gripped by all his possessions, so he tried to shake the materialism out of the younger mans coronary heart by telling him to promote all the things and provides to the poor. The purpose of the story was not that giving to the poor would save his soul, however that his love of possessions prevented him from following Jesus.
The Bible is unambiguous on this level: Good works wont prevent. Solely Jesus saves. By grace are you saved by means of religion. Salvation is a present of God, not an achievement of our personal works. The plan of salvation that Jesus gave to Nicodemus was the identical plan of salvation he gave the wealthy younger ruler. He informed Nicodemus that whosoever believes in him could have eternal life. He informed the wealthy younger ruler, Comply with me. Believing in Jesus and following Jesus are the identical factor.
The purpose of the story was not that giving to the poor would save his soul, however that his love of possessions prevented him from following Jesus.
When Jesus referred to as Peter and Andrew, he didnt inform them to promote their fishing boats and provides the cash to the poor. He merely mentioned, Come, comply with me. Jesus dealt in another way with every particular person he met, as a result of he handled each as a singular particular person. However irrespective of whom he was speaking to, the plan of salvation he shared was the identical: “Believe and follow me.”
Praying the Prayer
For a few years, evangelists and preachers have used phrases like obtain Christ or invite Jesus into your coronary heart to explain Christian conversion. The choice to obtain Christ is commonly accompanied by a prayer of dedication. In his ebook Love Wins, Rob Bell ridicules the concept of a conversion prayer:
Christians dont agree on precisely what this prayer is, however for a lot of the important concept is that the one technique to get into heaven is to hope in some unspecified time in the future in your life, asking God to forgive you and telling God that you just settle for Jesus, you imagine Jesus died on the cross to pay the value to your sins, and also you need to go to heaven whenever you die. Some name this accepting Christ, others name it the sinners prayer, and nonetheless others name it getting saved, being born once more, or being transformed. That, after all, raises extra questions. What about individuals who have mentioned some type of the prayer in some unspecified time in the future of their life, however it means nothing to them at present? What about those that mentioned it in a extremely emotionally charged atmosphere like a youth camp or church service as a result of it was the factor to do, however had been unaware of the importance of what they had been doing? What about individuals who have by no means mentioned the prayer and dont declare to be Christians, however reside a extra Christlike life than some Christians?
Right here’s somebody who based a church, was a pastor for 13 years, and but appears to have fully missed the purpose of the prayer of conversion. Clearly, praying a prayer at one level in your life doesnt make you a follower of Christ. Jesus didnt say to Nicodemus and the wealthy younger ruler, One factor you lackjust pray the sinners prayer. No! He mentioned, Consider in me. Comply with me.
Clearly, praying a prayer at one level in your life doesn’t make you a follower of Christ.
Praying to obtain Christ as your Lord and Savior isnt a magical incantation or a religious prescription. Its a dedication to comply with Jesus and make him Lord of your total life. If its a call you make calmly or in an emotional second, and also you dont hold that dedication, you then had been by no means saved to start with.
Conversion isnt a matter of praying the proper phrases; it’s a matter of believing and following Jesus. It means not merely receiving him as your Savior however making him the Lord of your life. For some folks, following Christ begins by praying a prayer. For others, the choice to comply with Jesus takes place regularly, and so they haven’t any recollection of a single second once they prayed to just accept Christ. Thats okay. What actually issues is believing and following Christ.
Jesus mentioned we have to be born once more. We should comply with him. And if all of us comply with him as our Savior and Lord, if we abide in him and maintain to his teachings, then our livesand our worldwill be remodeled.
I hope youll take a while to look at your life and your soul, and ask your self, Do I actually imagine in Jesus? Am I following him? Have I made him the Lord of my life?If the trustworthy, looking reply to these questions is sure, then take a second to thank Jesus for dying on the cross to your sake. Thank him for the free reward of everlasting life. Give reward to God the Father for his forgiving grace. Give because of the Holy Spirit for sealing your salvation for all eternity.
In case your reply isn’t any, then you’ll be able to supply to God a prayer of dedication proper now. You’ll be able to invite Jesus to turn into the Lord of your life. Should you dont know what to say to Jesus, here’s a prayer you’ll be able to pray:
I do know that Im a sinner. Im sorry for my sin, and I ask you to forgive me. I imagine you died for my sins and rose from the useless. I repent of my sins and I ask you to return into my life and take management. I make a dedication to comply with you, and I belief you as my Lord and Savior.
In your identify, Amen.
Bear in mind, its not the phrases that prevent. Its the dedication of your coronary heart that makes you a real follower of Jesus. Should you prayed that prayer, and also you imply these phrases with all of your coronary heart, then youve been forgiven. Youll expertise the ample life within the right here and now. And youll have everlasting life on the planet to return.