LISTEN: The Eye of the Needle, Part 1 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #28 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

This podcast is designed to explain what it means to be saved from sin and from the punishment of sin through Jesus Christ. This podcast is primarily for non-believers and some new believers and it will help you understand what it means to be saved from hell and have a home in Heaven as well as the blessings of the abundant Christian life.

God made salvation simple. However, down through the years many people, including some preachers and other Christians, have made the matter of salvation complicated and confusing. I know from my own experience that many people would get saved if someone would sit down and share with them straightforwardly from the Bible what it really means to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour. That is what I intend to do with this podcast.

Let’s start out with the Word of God. The Bible says in John 8:23-24: “And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from the Bible Knowledge Commentary by Dr. John F. Walvoord and Dr. Roy B. Zuck:

Jesus pointed out His heavenly origin and His real home. The Jewish leaders he was talking to belonged to this world, but He does not. Jesus said twice that they would die in their sins. If they would reject the Sin- Bearer, they would continue in the realm of sin. If they would reject Jesus as the revelation of God, they would miss their only hope for salvation.

Today’s quote is from Dave Hunt. He said: “For God to forgive sinners without the full penalty being paid would contradict His justice and make Him our partner in evil. Christ fully paid that penalty for our sins–but the pardon must be willingly and gladly received. God will not force anyone into heaven.”

Our topic today is titled The Eye of the Needle (Part 1) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

He was young, probably early twenties. In the normal course of events he still had most of his life to look forward to.

He also was wealthy. Extremely so. Unlike most who spend years accumulating wealth, he already had more than his share.

He was influential. Already he sat with the Sanhedrin, the governing body of his people.

He was moral. Not many could even begin to claim that they had kept the commandments all their lives. He made that claim.

But deep down this rich young leader knew he lacked the greatest treasure anyone could have—eternal life.

The story of his encounter with the Lord Jesus is recorded in Matthew 19:16-30, Mark 10:17-31, and Luke 18:18-30, and a sad story it is.

Recognizing in Jesus a supreme goodness he did not possess, this rich young man asked the Lord what he had to do to gain eternal life.

The question reflected the Jewish perspective of the time. One had to do something great in order to merit eternal life.

Before responding, the Lord probed the young man’s concept of Him. In what sense did he call the Lord “good”? Only in the sense that Jesus was a good teacher, but merely a human teacher. That is why the Lord emphasized that only God is good in the intrinsic sense of good. Christ was trying to deepen and widen the man’s concept of “good” so that he would acknowledge Jesus as God. Then he might realize that he could not perform anything, no matter how noble, that could grant him eternal life. But Jesus, as God, could, if he would recognize Him for who He is.

However, since the young man did not acknowledge Jesus as God, the Lord answered him from the man’s own point of view. If eternal life was to be gained by doing something, then there was no need to ask a new teacher what to do. The law could answer his question.

So Jesus told him to keep the commandments, and he replied that he had done so all his life. Had he really done so? Of course not. No person fails to covet, and no child always honors his or her father and mother. But the young man claimed he had always kept the commandments, and he likely had done so to some degree at least. But no one, including this man, could say he had kept them absolutely.

Altogether, we will consider four questions raised by this passage. Today we are going to consider the first one which is: Can one gain eternal life by keeping the commandments, even by keeping them perfectly, if anyone could do that?

Paul answered that very question at the conclusion of his synagogue message in Antioch in Pisidia. He said that only through Jesus is everyone who believes justified and that no one could be justified by the Law of Moses. Later he wrote to the Romans that “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” So even if the rich young man’s claim were true that he had kept the commandments the Lord mentioned, and even if he had kept them perfectly, he still could not have gained eternal life.

In citing the six commandments that He did, our Lord used the Law to try to make the young man face the fact that he was a sinner. This is exactly what Paul said the purpose of the Law was—by the Law comes the knowledge of sin. The man raised the question of gaining eternal life by some meritorious work. He should have raised the question of his own sin and how to have it forgiven, which was what the Lord was trying to get him to acknowledge.

Let’s Pray —

As we close today, let me leave you with these words from Hebrews 2:3: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…” I encourage you to not neglect the salvation and grace offered by God. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve upon Himself. Romans 5:8 says that “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today, please believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” and you will be saved. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. It’s just that simple.

Until next time, my friend, thank God for His simple, great salvation. God bless you!

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

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