Close Only Counts in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

What it Means to Be  ChristianLuke 18:18-30

Being Christian“A certain ruler asked (Jesus), “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?‟ “Why do you call me good?‟ Jesus answered.  “No one is good – except God alone. You know the commandments: “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.”

‟All these I have kept since I was a boy,‟ he said.  When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing.  Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

‟When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.‟Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?‟ Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.

‟Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!‟ “I tell you the truth,‟ Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.‟ ”  (Luke 18:18-30)

The “certain ruler,” in the Luke text who questioned Jesus, wanted to believe he was okay with God or at least that he was close. But Jesus shows him that “close” isn’t truly close at all. Somehow the teachings of Jesus had made the man nervous about his eternal destiny and so he came and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life.

There are many people in our society who are quite unconcerned about God. They don’t even think about God very often, if at all. And they certainly don’t concern themselves about what God, or any god, might think. But I contend that most who attend church with any frequency have at least an intermittent interest in what their relationship with God is.

And I know that many have a great deal of interest. But even the least interested have fleeting moments of nervousness about their eternal destiny – “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Read More