What I want to talk about here is pleasing God to the extent where you know for certain you are going to heaven, and the fact that you don't lack anything.
THE RICH YOUNG RULER SYNDROME
Jesus told the story about the rich young ruler. This man came to Jesus asking, "What must I DO to inherit eternal life? - What do I LACK?"
All principle minded, religious, legalistic people approach the Christian life asking, "What do I lack?" In such thinking they are never absolutely sure they're going to heaven.
I've spoken about who Paul calls, "Instructors in Christ." He refers to there being 10,000 of them (I Cor 4:15), as opposed to few "Fathers of the Gospel."
Because this 'rich young ruler' was principle focused and lived by the law, Jesus spoke to him about the law: about living by principles. This is the same thing he did with the lawyer with his trick question about the law -- he spoke about the law. It's the same thing he did with Peter when he sent him to get tax money from a fish. He said, "Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's." Jesus met people where they lived.
We are told this man went off in despair when Jesus told him one more thing to do. Read this in Matthew 19:16-22. God deals with us the same way. If we insist on living by principles, and not by gospel grace and truth, he allows us to do so. His New Testament is full of gospel truth, but so many miss it because they read with Old Testament, 'BC' eyes.
THE DIRT ROAD VS. THE GOSPEL ROAD
In a prior article I spoke of this as traveling down the wrong road: 'The Dirt Road' vs. 'The Gospel Road.' I'll repeat something I say frequently. This side of the cross, the gospel is not an elective. We are required to understand it. It is 'the business of God,' and we must be about our Father's business. It is our JOB to believe the gospel (John 6:29).
In the Old Testament, people were required to live by the law. In the New Testament, we are required to live by the gospel (Matt 12:48, Mark 1:15). God doesn't give us a choice of how to live - he tells us which covenant to live by. It is Satan who convinces us we have a choice.
In America, we demand our choices. We don't even let GOD tell us we must walk "The Gospel Road." We want to choose whether we'll walk his road or not. I'll repeat this too: any judgment will be about our gospel belief, not about our sin!
DON'T LIVE IN A 'RICH YOUNG RULER' MINDSET
Don't live in the mindset of 'the rich young ruler.' Do you realize that, in the gospel, we don't lack anything? If we enter into the process of God, he supplies everything. What can the branch produce without the Vine? "Without me, you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
This is an impossible truth for a principle-focused mind to grasp. This is why we must repent and believe the gospel. "It is not by works, or by self, but it is the gift of God, so that no one will be able to boast" (Eph 2:8-9, paraphrased).
EVERYTHING GOD HAS IS GIVEN TO US
Our loving heavenly Father says to us: "Everything I have is yours" (Luke 15:31). God plants ALL his gospel seed in us -- everything good he has. If we trust him, and believe his gospel, then we receive every single thing the gospel of his kingdom contains. Paul says twice that 'all things are ours' (I Cor :21-22).
We have all spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3). We are given God's entire Kingdom (Lk 12:32). The Holy Spirit even shows us anything we may miss that is ours (I Cor 2:12).
God withholds absolutely nothing from us (Rom 8:32).
THE GOSPEL INSURES US OF HEAVEN
The gospel is God's gift to us allowing us to FULFILL his word (Col 1:25). If we allow it to do this in us, we become certain of our salvation, and of our inheritance of heaven. In the gospel, we become steadfast. This is part of the meaning, "The just shall live by faith."
You can't live in faith looking at your works, and at what you do. If you do you'll be constantly saying: "He loves me - he loves me not - he loves me - he loves me not."
This is 'the rich young ruler syndrome.' This is approaching life in the theology of, 'What do I lack?'
In God's eyes, the cross is the culmination of history. To be sure, Jesus is coming back, but this is a natural culmination to what has already happened: "Jesus will return the same way he left" (Acts 1:11). But the culmination of history is the cross, and when our faith is in the finished work of Jesus, we can ONLY have one destination: God's eternal heaven.
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Article Added on Thursday, December 18, 2014
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