The Rich Young Man Explained

Matthew 19:16-22- And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? [17] And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. [18] He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, [19] Honour thy father and thy mother: and Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. [20] The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? [21] Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. [22] But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great posessions.

This passage is very well known by most of Christianity and is recorded in three of the Gospel accounts.  Closely looking at the whole passage, you can easily see what it means.  Notice how the young man says “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”  There is the telling question that describes what this whole passage is about.  It is about a self righteous hypocrite who wants to get eternal life through his own good works.

Jesus then goes on to say what he would need to do to gain eternal life if he were to do it by himself, and the rich young man brags about his self righteousness in saying he has kept all of those commandments, which I am 100% sure was not true, but he was blinded by his own self righteousness.  I am sure he committed adultery, because Jesus said a man is already an adulterer in his heart if he were to so much as look upon a woman with lust, and I don’t know a single man (except Jesus) that hasn’t, and I myself will admit guilt to that.  Most people I know have stolen at least one thing in their lives, and I myself will also admit guilt to that.  I am 100% sure that he told a lie in his life as EVERYBODY (except Jesus) HAS, and I myself will also admit guilt to that.  The Bible itself says “let God be true, but EVERY MAN a liar” (Romans 3:4).  I don’t know a single person (except Jesus) who never once disobeyed their parents, and I myself will also admit guilt to that.  I also don’t know anyone that hasn’t had a sense of ungodly hatred towards another human (except Jesus), and I myself will also admit guilt to that.

This rotten young man boastfully says ” All these things have I kept from my youth up: WHAT LACK I YET?”  This my friends, is one of many examples of pride.  What a boastful punk, bragging to Jesus HIMSELF about his own self righteousness saying he has no sin.  Jesus then went on the say something that would be obvious to this young man saying “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”

The rich young man went away mourning, because he had been exposed for the self-righteous hypocrite that he was.  This passage is all about it being impossible to inherit eternal life by ourselves, but if you were to suggest like John MacArthur, that this passage is saying you can’t go to heaven if you have one worldly interest, saying that this young man couldn’t go to heaven because he didn’t want to give up his possessions,  that would irk the fire right out of my free grace brains.

Whenever Jesus was talking about having to keep the law to go to heaven, He was showing that it was IMPOSSIBLE for us mortal human beings to keep the law, and that we needed HIM to take our sins upon HIMSELF.  That is the purpose of the whole law, to show us mortal humans what a drove of hell deserving rotten sinners we are, and that we could NEVER do ANYTHING of your own righteousness (of which you have none), and that you needed to believe on Christ’s payment for your sin to save you, and that is what saves your soul from eternal hellfire.  Many of these people who make me sick at my soul preaching a salvation by works, like to quote verses that actually refute their position.  If someone tells you that you can’t go to heaven because of sins you struggle with, that person is a false prophet, there is NO such thing as a Christian that doesn’t struggle with sin.

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