Psalm 145:9 says that God is good to all, and his mercies are over all of his works. God does not make anything or anyone for that matter that he destined to be bad. There is redemption available for anyone. God always wants the best for everyone.
What Must I do To Be Saved?
In the Bible a young man exactly this question of Jesus.
Mark 10:17-18 says:
As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up and knelt before Him. “Good Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.
Good can only come from God. If we decide that we don’t want to follow God, we doom ourselves to less than God’s best for us. We might have a decent life here, but we have more than just our lifetime here to consider. We have an eternity.
Jesus went on in Mark 10:19 to say to the man, “You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, and honor your father and mother.”
In Mark 10:20 came the man’s reply “Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Mark 10:21-Jesus looked at him, loved him, and said to him, “There is one thing you lack: Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”
Mark 10:22-But the man was saddened by these words and went away in sorrow, because he had great wealth.
Mark 10:23-Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
Mark 10:24-And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
Do you noticed that the disciples were shocked by what Jesus had said. He said that it was hard for a rich man to get into heaven and then he said that it was hard for anyone to get into heaven.
Mark 10:25-It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Some have suggested that needle’s eye, or the eye of the needle, was a small gate at the entrance of Jerusalem and other cities. They say that when the city-keepers locked the main gates for the night, camels and their owners who arrived after the lock-out could squeeze through this gate. However, there is no ancient evidence to this idea that these gates were called “the eye of the needle”
Another theory is that camel is a mistranslation of the Aramaic word which also means rope. What they say that the passage means is that it is hard difficult to pass a rope through the eye of a needle. This a weak interpretation of this word.
These examples try to downplay the difficulty that Jesus is trying to show his disciples. Camels always got into the city gate. Anyone could untwist a piece of rope to thread it through the eye of a sewing needle. He was saying that money can easily get in the way of salvation. Too often we look to money or doctors, rather than God as our source. The rich young ruler was said because Jesus said his riches got between him and God.
They (the disciplies) were even more astonished and said to one another, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
Notice that it says that it is impossible for man, but then it says but not with God. This is saying that man can’t be saved by himself, but it takes man with God to be saved. It doesn’t say that only God can do it. It takes man too. It takes our cooperation with God to be saved.
The eye of the needle was not a little gate nor was the camel a rope. What these verses are saying is that man cannot put his possessions before his love of God, and only with God could he be saved, However, it doesn’t say that you have to be poor to be saved either. Anyone who lines himself up with what God wants for his life will be saved. God doesn’t have favorites.
What Exactly Do I Need to Do to Be Saved?
Notice too how Jesus said, “sell all that you have and follow me. He didn’t say follow God, he said follow Jesus. In Acts 4:12 it says, “There is no other name (authority other than Jesus) under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”
I John 4:1-2 says that if we do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah (translated in Greek as Christ) come in the flesh, we did not know the truth and it is the spirit of the anti-Christ.
We are to believe the Jesus is our salvation come in the flesh to the point that we are willing to give up all that we have and follow him. Abraham did it. He offered Isaac, but God didn’t require it of him. That’s not to say that he wouldn’t require you give up everything you think you have, however. The disciples offered their lives and God kept them.
I have listened lately to some popular preachers on the television who never once mentioned the name of Jesus in their prosperity or positive thinking speeches. They talk about God, but never Jesus. I will not judge them, but for me, a salvation message is no salvation message without Jesus as the center of that message. If God wants you rich, I have no problem with it. Like Jesus told Peter at the end of the gospel of John, if he wants that person to live forever in his wealth, what does it matter to me? I however, would be an unfit minister of the Gospel if I didn’t tell you that Jesus is the only way to Eternal life.
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga