March 30, 2017

Inheriting eternal life

In Luke 10, we find that Jesus was asked by a lawyer what one must do to inherit eternal life, and we find several interesting facts.

Jesus did not say to pray the sinner's prayer.

He did not say that one must ask for forgiveness.

He did not say that one must be baptized.

He did not say that one must join a church.

He did not say that one must bow their head and pray, or that one must cry, or get emotional at all.

Outward signs, initially, are not to be performed in front of a group of people, according to Jesus.

Jesus answered the lawyer by saying that he MUST love God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself, and instead of asking, How do I do that?", the lawyer tried to outwit Jesus by asking him this inane question: "Who is my neighbor?" That would seem obvious, one would think.

But the lawyer tried to use a diversion tactic.

That may be common among lawyers, and most all of us who try to get out of sticky situations.

But Jesus cannot be diverted from the gospel message.

Tricky questions are not tricky to him.

Jesus said, in so many words, that if you want to inherit eternal life, then love the poor one.

The rich one. The one, who in reality, you may not know of their wealth, or lack of it.

Simply love with no thought of recompense.

He said to love the one who is very weak, even to the point of death.

He said to write no one off as being too far gone.

He said, in so many words, you will lose sleep in loving another.

He said to love the one who is perhaps in a demented state, and cannot explain how they ended up "the ditch" and in a physical state where they cannot care for themselves.

He said to love the one for whom you just may have to stay up all night to tend because they cannot do that for themselves.

He said to love the one who is totally needy.

He said to give to a stranger, who you may never even know of their name, and who will never, perhaps, know your name, or who may forget your name.

For whom have you tended as Jesus explains?

Does one ever cease to do that as they walk the narrow road before they see God?

Is there not always a hurting neighbor? Someone you don't know who needs a drink of water that might save them from death? Is there someone you are ignoring as you seek your entertainment?

Jesus is saying to you that unless you tend the least of these then you will not inherit eternal life.

Are you a "least of these" in your opinion?

If you can read, and understand, then you are not.

Don't be deceived.

God will not be mocked. You cannot outsmart him. He will not be, and cannot be, fooled.

He knows the thoughts and intentions of every heart.

You might fool a mere human, but you will stand before the Lord one day.

It will be soon.

Repent. Serve others, or live for yourself, and in so doing, you will not reap eternal life.

If someone were to ask you what must be done to be have eternal life, then what do you say?

Do you speak the words of Jesus?

Do you tell them they must love God with all their heart, and the neighbor as themselves?

Or do you speak platitudes, and made-up verbiage that Jesus never used?

Do you know the gospel message?

Do you love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself?

If not, then you will not inherit eternal life, no matter where your name is on some church register.

If not, then you will not inherit eternal life, no matter that you said certain words in a prayer.

Love God with all your heart, and love the neighbor as yourself.

The next question you ought to ask of the Teacher is: "How?"

His answer? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself," (Luke 10:27). And the way that occurs? "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 4:17).

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