Matthew 19: 16. “And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”
We know from Mark 10:17-27 and Luke 18:18-27 that this man was wealthy, fairly young, and of the ruling families of the Jews. Putting the three accounts of this incident together, we have a picture of one who was a typical religious, moral, professing young man, apparently holding an ecclesiastical position. He is, however, ignorant about eternal life. He surely knew all the law, all the prophets; he apparently had been following Jesus’ progress in some way. Yet, he did not have any understanding of how to be assured of his eternal salvation.
I think we’d be amazed today at how many people who are members of Bible-teaching, Bible-preaching churches do not truly know the Lord. There is nothing new about someone who, on the outside, seems to have all the trappings of faith; yet, on the inside, there is no surety of where the soul will spend eternity. We should take nothing for granted in this matter. I believe it is important for us to share the stories of our salvation often. It is important for us to talk with our children regularly, especially if they come to a very early decision to accept Christ as Savior. Confirmation is a good thing, not a burden.
This fine young man was ignorant of the most important fact: His good deeds could never gain him a place in heaven. Keeping the Law would not earn him eternal life. With all his righteous acts, he was still a guilty and lost sinner. This is sadly true of many who profess Christianity but who are counting on their good deeds to outbalance the bad.
Jesus will show him a different way.