The Hard Bitter Truth

So what were we talking about? Oh yeah. Famous people.

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
–Mark 10:23-27 (ESV)

Jesus has just shattered the disciples prejudices about the wealthy. They had been laboring under the delusion that just because a person has wealth and fame that they also have favor with God. Even a cursory skimming of the Bible will show that this is not the case. Having been disabused of this notion rather thoroughly—and I’ll tell you what, Jesus can surely disabuse anyone of their notions—the disciples are stunned into asking an intelligent question. “Then who can be saved?”

Then who can be saved?

Melanie from Motherhood Apologia stopped by and commented on this post of my own [] about babies and salvation–something I had forgotten I’d written. It’s sort of a jumbled rant of ideas and experiences…oh wait, most of mine are. This, however, is a candid and well thought out post that makes sense of the issue of babies and salvation AND has some great links to boot. But it makes the same point that I believe Jesus makes in his answer to the disciples: “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” It is impossible…OK are you with me? IMPOSSIBLE for a man to save himself. Read it again. Read it out loud. You cannot buy your way into heaven in anyway by any means at all. Im-poss-ible. With man “It is impossible.” IT here is that thing the disciples were picking up their jaws about when they asked “who can be saved?” If we’re talking about celebrity and works then there’s not enough bling in the universe. You can’t schmooze your way into the kingdom.

Before I go on to the next part let me say that the next part isn’t, therefore, about man working with God. Man has just been reduced out of the equation. The next part is about God not man working ‘with’ God. OK? Just wanted to clear that up.

“27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

Salvation is impossible for man, Jesus is telling them, but God can do anything—even save sinners. “All things are possible with God.” This is directly the opposite of what Jesus just revealed about mankind. It’s not an earth shaker by any means. Any honest person will admit that there are things they can’t do and some will even admit that there are things that they can’t NOT do. The point is that there is a distance between us and God that cannot be overcome by a simple act of our own will. There is a bitter, hard truth in the Bible that says we are hopeless, helpless sinners. Not only that, but our very existence depends on the one whom we have most offended–A Holy and Righteous Omnipotent God. Adam heard it first, the condemnation of him and all his children. An awful pronouncement of wrath that still thunders down through the ages: “All have sinned” God tells us from his Word “and fallen short of the glory of God”. He was not only able to set down our paths from eternity past, and create all the world and everything in it with a word—including you and me– but he is also able to carry through with all that he says he will do. Up to and including and well past the well deserved judgment and condemnation for that curse we all carry. I mean, what’s a sinner to do?

Fall on our faces and beg for mercy is about our only recourse.

Hard truth that, but we’re in a tough spot. The good news dear friends, the gospel of peace is that Jesus Christ died and rose again to justify those who call upon the name of the Lord. This is one of those ‘don’t wait’ moments, OK? This is one of those times where we should repent and run to Him if we want any hope of avoiding the Judgment and punishment we so richly deserve.

Concerned? Man I am and I still would be except for that next part: “all things are possible with God.”

The word of God is not bound. Are you?


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