"And when he had gone into the road, there came someone running, and kneeled before him,
and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" (Mark 10:17)
The rich young ruler follows Jesus in order to obtain the answer to his question concerning his
eternal destiny. But, not only does this young man follow Jesus, he runs after Him and kneels
before Him. He is earnestly desiring an answer to his question; and, knows who it is that is
able to give the answer: it is the "Good Master," the One of whom the voice in heaven had
declared "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am very pleased: you hear him" (Matthew 17:5).
Unfortunately, this same eager young man "went away sorrowful," because he would not accept
the answer which Jesus gave.
On another occasion when "many of His disciples went back and no longer walk with him"
(John 6:66), Jesus had stated: "It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh helps nothing: the words
that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63). After many had left, "then said
Jesus to the twelve, Will you also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom
shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:67,68). Indeed, to whom can any man
go in order to find the way to heaven other than to Jesus Christ?
Shortly before His trial and crucifixion, Jesus assured His apostles of the heavenly reward He
was going to prepare in heaven, and closed by saying, "and where I go you know and the way
you know. Thomas says to Him, Lord, we do not know where you are going; and how can we
know the way? Jesus says to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the
Father, but by me" (John 14:4-6).
How can we know the way to heaven and fellowship with the Father? Through Jesus Christ we
may know the way. "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ"
(John 1:17). "God, who at different times and in diverse ways spoke in time past to the fathers
by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir
of all things, by whom also he made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2). That is why the voice from
heaven declared: "YOU HEAR HIM."
If we would know the way of salvation, we must go to Jesus and His teaching, the New
Testament. It is by the words of Jesus we will be judged (John 12:44-50). Those words have
been recorded for our instruction unto salvation by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16,17; 1
Corinthians 2:13; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26-27; 16:7-14). Therefore, our attitude ought to be that
expressed by the Psalmist: "Let you mercies come also unto me, Oh YHWH, even your
salvation, according to your word" (Psalm 119:41).
God has made provision for the salvation of mankind. "For when we were yet without strength;
in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet
perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commends His love toward us,
in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by
His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were
reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by
His life" (Romans 5:6-10).
Jesus willingly left His home in heaven to come and die for our sins. "Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, did not think it something to be
held onto to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form
of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He
humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians
2:5-8; see also John 10:11; 15:13-14; Ephesians 5:2,25-27; 1 John 3:16).
The Holy Spirit has inspired the authors of the Bible, and especially the New Testament, to
direct us unto eternal life. "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His
disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that you might believe that
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name"
(John 20:30-31; see also John 14:15-18,26; 15:26-27; 16:7-14; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Luke 2:13;
1:1-4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 5:8-13).
What more can the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit do? The Godhead has completed its
efforts toward man, now it is man's turn. God has offered salvation through Jesus Christ, now
man must accept that offer.
When our salvation is concerned, it is not "maybe's" or "might be's" or "could be's" that we want:
but, assurances and necessities. The word "must" implies a moral necessity. When applied to
the question at hand [What must I do to be saved?], it means (in essence) "What if I fail to do it,
will result in my not being saved?" Or, in other words, "What do I absolutely have to do in order
to be saved?"
Remember, this is the most important subject and question you can ever devote yourself to.
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? For the
Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward
every man according to his works" (Matthew 15:26-27).
Salvation is an individual responsibility. "...Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling"
(Philippians 2:12). Each person will give an account in the last day for what they themselves
have done. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may
receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether it is good or bad" (2
Corinthians 5:10; see also Romans 2:-11; Colossians 3:23-25; Revelation 22:12). It is not what
your mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife, or children have done, or will do; it is a matter
of what you yourself do (Ezekiel 18:19-24). "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever
a man sows, that he shall also reap. For he who sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap
corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting" (Galatians 6:7-8).
No man can save himself. "For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). Yet, Jesus called belief in
him "the work of God" (John 5:29). Faith is a must in order to be saved (Hebrews 11:6). "But
will you know, oh vain man, that faith without works is dead" (James 2:20; see also verses
14-26). Jesus is "the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him" (Hebrews 5:9).
Jesus said, "And why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46)
"Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who
does the will of My Father, Who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21; see also Matthew 7:22-27; Luke
6:47-49; John 8:31-32; 14:15,21-23; 15:10-14; 1 John 1:5-7; 2:3-6; 5:2-3; 1 Peter 1:17-25;
This does not imply in any way that man earns his salvation. The blood of Christ paid the price
for our sins (1 John 2:2; John 1:29; Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:11-10:18;
Revelation 1:5). "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived,
serving diverse lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus
Christ our Savior; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs of eternal life"
(Titus 3:3-7). For as Jesus said, "So likewise you, when you shall have done all those things
which are commanded you, say, we are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our
duty to do" (Luke 17:10).
It is not a matter of earning our salvation in obedience, but of accepting the payment Christ
made for our sins upon His terms. "You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not
by faith only" (James 2:24)?
TO BE SAVED
All have sinned (Romans 3:23), and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). A day of
reckoning is coming. Jesus said, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all who are
in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they who have done good, unto the
resurrection of life; and they who have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John
5:28-29; see also Matthew 24:42-25:46; Acts 17:31; Revelation 20:11-22:5). The wrath of God
will be poured out upon "those who do not know God, and who obey not the gospel of our Lord
Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).
God is "not willing that any should perish" (2 Peter 3:9). He sent Jesus to "save his people from
their sins" (Matthew 1:21; 1 Timothy 1:15). "To be saved" is to have "an inheritance incorruptible,
and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Peter 3:4; see also
The gospel is the news of how Jesus has paid the price for our sins, and how we may be
reconciled to God through Jesus Christ and his sacrifice upon the cross (1 Corinthians 15:1-11;
Mark 16:9-20; Galatians 1:6-11). Thus, the gospel of Christ is "the power of God unto salvation
to every who believes" (Romans 1:16).
Won't you be as the Bereans who "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched
the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11)? Do not be like the rich young
ruler and go away sorrowful after hearing the answer of Christ, or as those disciples who turned
away from our Lord and the words of eternal life. Take your Bible in hand and examine with us
what God has said to do; and, what God has said, DO IT!
"Save yourselves from this perverse generation" (Acts 2:40).
"And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build
you up, and to give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified" (Acts 20:32).