How may I inherit eternal life?

June 30, 2008

by George Koivukangas, Laestadian Lutheran Church, Cokato

A certain man came rushing through the crowd and kneeled at the feet of Jesus. He seemed in a great hurry to receive an answer to his question, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life.” (Mark 10:17)

Certainly, a very important question. Jesus, knowing his heart, reminded him, “There is none good but one, that is God.”

The Lord then began to recite the commandments onto him. “And he answered and said onto Him, “Master, all these have I observed from my youth.” (Mark 10:20)

Dear friend, although this man boasted onto Jesus about fulfilling the commandments, it is impossible. On account of his own merits, he did not need Jesus, as the Savior of sinners, to pardon him.

The psalm writer reminds us, “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 14:3)

Yet, Jesus gazed upon this man with great love and said, “One thing thou lackest: go they way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. And come, take up the cross and follow Me.” (Mark 10:21)

The Bible relates of that man, “And he was sad at that saying and went away grieved; for he had great possessions.” (Mark 10:22)

Those possessions, no doubt, were very dear to him and close to his heart. He was so close to the kingdom of God, but he turned his back and walked away. It was not only the temporal riches, but especially the spiritual richness he felt in his heart that prevented him from believing and accepting Jesus and the gospel message.

Jesus did teach us of the importance of the correct treasure of the heart. “Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust dost corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Jesus also reminds us, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these shall be added onto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Dear neighbor, how has it been with you? Has the question arisen in your heart? Is there a need in your life for a pardoning Savior, our Lord Jesus? Is there a need to hear the sweet message of the gospel, “Thy sins are forgiven.”?

Some 2,000 years ago, the wise and learned of this world thought it blasphemy when Jesus spoke these words. They questioned, “Who can forgive sins, but God alone.” (Luke 5:20-21)

Jesus left this mission command onto His own, “ . . . and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:47)

Apostle Peter was fulfilling this mission command in the house of Cornelius. He gently led them to Christ and concluded with these words, “And He commanded us to preach onto the people, and to testify, that it is He which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness that through His name, whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” (Acts 10:42-44)

This same message is heard today, from God’s kingdom upon the earth. “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Countless numbers of people have received the simple answer to this question: believe the gospel message of Christ, your sins are forgiven in Jesus’ name and precious blood.

This question is also the motto of our Laestadian Lutheran Church annual summer services, which will take place at the Dassel Cokato High School Thursday, July 3 through Sunday, July 6.

Dear friend, especially onto you, we extend a very heartfelt and warm welcome to attend.