Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
"Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and 'love your neighbor as yourself.
Notice Jesus’ answer to this man’s question when asked what he must do to get or earn eternal life? This was not the answer that most would have expected from Jesus. The answer was not: Join a church, get baptized, believe in me, ask me into your heart, and say the sinner’s prayer.
Why did Jesus refer to the Ten Commandments
as the basis of this man’s self-evaluation to his spiritual state?
There are two major reasons:
1) 1 Corinthians 2:14 states that “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned [separate].” And Romans 8:7 states that “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so”.
Basically, the average person cannot receive that which is spiritual because, to the atheist, secular humanist, and elitist among us, the way of the cross is foolish to those that are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18). Jesus knew that he would not be able to convince the average person to accept him without first understanding his/her own moral depravity. Jesus used the Law of God and the Ten Commandments as the basis for self examination. Likewise, if you don’t know your current spiritual state, you will never know or value the need of a savior to deliver you from an eternity in hell.
2) Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. And Romans 6:16 16 “Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” When someone is convicted deeply of this reality, then, and only then, can God work with that person towards His saving grace. The key is not in that fact that you know Christ, for even Satan and his Demons acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. Satan also knows the bible and has even quoted it on three occasions to Jesus. That is primarily the reason why there are so many on the road to hell to include a number of professed Christians whose lives are in stark contrast to the moral standards of God. They are the ones that the Bible refers to in 1 John 3:7-8 “Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He (Jesus) is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil” and in Matthew 7:19-20 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
Therefore, for those who think they have lived a good life and that God is a God of love and they are on their way to heaven, let’s take the Ten Commandments Test…
1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
< If you believe that you are in control of your own destiny or that God is a God that will ignore all sin, then you have created your own God within your mind. This is also called Idol worship or Idolatry>
2) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. <That includes horoscopes, tarot cards, Wicca symbols, horns, etc>
3) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
< How often is Jesus’ name stated in anger or with profanity in your life>
4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
<Have you ever worked on the Sabbath? >
5) Honor thy father and thy mother.
<This includes rebellion, cursing, defiance of home rules, etc>
6) Thou shalt not kill.
<Jesus said that even if you are mad with your brother, you have murdered them in your heart>
7) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
<Jesus said that even if you lust after a person in your heart, then you have committed adultery with that person. This commandment also applies to pornography>
8) Thou shalt not steal.
<Regardless of the value of what was taken your response can only be yes or no>
9) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
< Have you ever lied or gossiped about someone or something? >
10) Thou shalt not covet.
<Have you every desired that from your neighbor that does not belong to you? Another word for this is envy>
So how did you do? Are you guilty of one, two or ten violations of God’s Laws? If you got a 100% on this test, please look at the 9th Commandment again and be honest with yourself. Well, I have rather sad news for you if you are guilty of violating any of these Commandments. James 2:10 states that, For whosoever keeps the Law [as a] whole but stumbles and offends in one [single instance] has become guilty of [breaking] all of it.
And what is the judgment for breaking the law?
And all who depend on the Law are under a curse and doomed to disappointment and destruction, for it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed (accursed, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment) be everyone who does not continue to abide (live and remain) by ALL the precepts and commands written in the Book of the Law and to practice them.
So the bottom line is that mankind has a serious problem, no matter how well we think we are doing and irrespective of how we perceive God. The bottom line is that you will be judged by the law of God. If you think you can make it to heaven on your own merits, consider the following: If you were to stand before a judge for committing a crime and confessed that you were guilty to this judge, regardless of how remorseful you feel or how nice a person you are, the judge would be required to pronounce a sentence bound by the law. If the Judge was to fail to pass sentence, then he or she would be no better than the lawbreaker. In the same way, there will be two types of verdicts that Jesus will pronounce during judgment day which will be:
1) His Lord said unto him, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
2) ‘And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS’.
If you are honest with yourself, what will be your verdict when you stand before the God of the Universe – if you were to die today?
A PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS:
Dear Father in Heaven,
Bless you Lord for your great compassion and mercy!
In the beginning, when sin entered the world through the disobedience of one man -- Adam. Sin and the propensity of evil carried over unto every offspring and generation that followed. Yet, by Your great compassion and love for this fallen world, You have given us a provision by which we could be reconciled with You; a provision that we neither earned nor deserved.
Heavenly Father, within the purity and holiness of your presence, NO man or woman could ever stand before You justified. No list of good works reflecting our own goodness could ever earn our way into Your presence. For You have said that “our righteousness is but a filthy rag in Your eyes”, therefore “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. It is ONLY by Your grace and mercy do we find favor and are made righteous by the sacrifice of Your Son on Calvary’s Cross. It was Your Son who was the unblemished “Lamb of God” who took away the sins of ALL mankind to those who believe in Him.
Therefore it is by FAITH we are saved, and apart from which we cannot please God.
For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (Jesus) the many will be made righteous. --Romans 5:19 (Emphasis mine)
For those who repent and cry out to You for forgiveness and with a sincere heart, You will make Yourself known. To that person, You will cleanse their lost soul by the sacrificial blood of Christ, by which they will become a new creature – Born Again.
To that person, Jesus will remove their sins, casting them as far as East is to West – remembering them no more. To that person, they will be clothed in Your righteousness, by which that great chasm of separation from God has been filled by Jesus unto fellowship. To that person, Your Holy Spirit will reside within their heart. And, to that person, You will turn their darkness unto light for the world to see as You set them on the narrow path, bearing fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Thank You Father for transforming our life from the Inside-Out as You continue to mold us into the likeness of your Son, Jesus! Be Glorified! Be Honored! Be Praised!
In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!