“For if indeed the one coming proclaims another Jesus whom we did not proclaim, or you receive a different spirit whom you did not receive, or a different gospel which you did not accept, you are bearing with it well.” – apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 11:4)
Let’s study it from this perspective:
A Rich Man met Lord Jesus Christ
First, the verses:
“Just then, a man came up to Jesus and inquired, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to obtain age-during life?”
“Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Jesus replied, “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” the man asked.
Jesus answered, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“All these I have kept,” said the young man. “What do I still lack?”
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow, because he had great wealth.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:16 – 24)
Points to note:
(1) The rich man wanted to know ‘what to do’ to obtain ‘age-during life’.
(2) Christ responded first with keeping the Commandments (only non-ritualistic ones are mentioned).
(3) The rich man replied that he ‘kept (obeyed)’ all those commandments. Furthermore, he thought that he was ‘perfect’ by being such a ‘good person’ (with minimal sins) and having great ‘wealth/success/prosperity’.
(4) Christ replied that there’s one thing which he still ‘lacks’ (toward perfection). Christ told him to “sell all” (he has) and give the proceeds to the “poor” (not to the church/synagogue/temple) and only after that, “follow Me”.
(5) The rich man couldn’t do it at all for he had great possessions and his heart was too attached to it (‘love of money’). He went away sorrowful.
(6) Coming back to the question of ‘salvation’ (beginning with attaining age-during life —> the initial question asked in this incident), Christ responds with a “deep truth” that ‘it’s hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God’ (this is ‘not’ a trivial difficulty as Christ compares and says that ‘it’s easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle’ instead).
(7) Note that when Christ said that ‘it’s hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God’,
He was “not” referring to a ‘sinful rich man’ (of the world) but rather in response toward a ‘law-keeping’ rich man (of religion), in modern terms, a good, Bible obeying Christian rich man.
Please read this ‘again and again’ until you may ‘see’ what’s meant here (perfect context).
Note that Christ did “not” tell that rich man to remain as he is and ‘support’ the poor or the synagogue (church) with proceeds from ‘his business/wealth’ in a continuous manner.
Christ asked for a ‘one-time act’ of ‘selling and giving away all’ to the ‘poor’ in order to “begin” the move toward “PERFECTION”.
The “same Lord Jesus Christ” who told the ‘religious-law-obeying rich man’ to go and ‘sell all’ can’t be the ‘same Jesus’ who teaches to ‘get more money’ (or go and ‘get all material blessings’) for ‘whatever reasons’ as spoken out of the mouths of many preachers today, right?
You may be saved (for ‘it’s not impossible with God’ to save a ‘rich man’) but you’re “not” anywhere near the “spiritual perfection” which is the ‘aim’ of every ‘true Christian’.
In conclusion, as with the case of this rich man, the lesser we’re able to “give our possessions away to the poor” (relatively), the further away from “perfection” we remain.
That is, we are ‘retarded’ at our spiritual growth according to ‘how much more money’ we accumulate (instead of giving it away) as Christ commanded as the ‘requirement’ to move toward ‘perfection’ which continues with, “follow Me” (thereafter).
Here’s a ‘Biblical curse’ on the ‘rich’:
(for ‘hoarding wealth/money’ instead of ‘sharing’ it with others –> If you arrogantly claim that ‘it’s my money & I do what I want’, –> same measure of Judgment back to you —> likewise it’s God’s Heaven –> and He sets the rules for ‘how to enter in it’):
“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.” – apostle James (James 5:1 – 3)
Which Jesus again are we preaching about?
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. ” – apostle Paul (Galatians 1:8)
So, do you really want to be rich? Can you handle it to the point that you can make it into His Kingdom?
(check your prayer requests again).
‘Know what you ask for’.