Who Then Can be Saved?

by Dennis Michelson
(Novelty, Ohio)

Mark 10:17-31

This is an excellent example of how the Master Soulwinner dealt with "seekers." He actually let this one get away. If this had been in 2011, then surely a decision would have been elicited by any means possible and the rich young man would have gone away thinking he had eternal life, when in fact he did not. Please note three salient questions and then a command.

1. Question: "Good Master what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life." (17)

There are only two possible ways of salvation - either man does something for God or God does something for man. This young man was locked in to the former way of getting to God. Either salvation is a series of "do" or it is something that is already "done."

2. Question: "Why callest thou me good?" (18)

Jesus was not only a "Good Master", He is a Good God. This man did not see that and Jesus highlights it with his question. In essence, if there is none good but God then do you believe that I am God? Unfortunately this man still had his gold as his god.

3. Question: "Who then can be saved?" (26)

With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. As long as this man trusted (24) anything or anyone instead of God then he was not at a point of humbly submitting to the Lord.

4. Command: "Follow me." (21)

This is the litmus test. Study carefully the following texts. Sheep will obey the command to "follow me" but goats will only offer alibis and excuses.

Matthew 4:19
Matthew 8:22
Matthew 9:9
Matthew 16:24
Matthew 19:21
Mark 2:14
Mark 8:34
Luke 5:27
Luke 9:23
John 10:27

We have changed "follow me" to simply "accept me." Perhaps we ought not to ask "have you accepted Christ" but "has Christ accepted you?" For those who have been accepted in the Beloved then the command to "follow me" is nothing more than their "reasonable service."

This entire passage in Mark 10:17-31 is rich in biblical truths which emphasize the importance of the perseverance of the saint and not the more modern corruption of the "perseverance of the sinner."

Who then can be saved? Only those who cast themselves upon the mercy of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling.

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