Luke 18:21-25

Luke 18:21 (KJB)
And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.

The young ruler then responded that from his youth had kept all of these commandments. He may also be referring to the time when he was thirteen and was considered legally under the law. Now here is the reality, every sin he committed up to the age of 13 will also have to be paid for and unless he becomes saved through grace, he will be cast into hell. (Psa 58:3-4 KJV) The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. {4} Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; The wicked do not start sinning at age thirteen but start sinning as soon as they are born. He has really not considered the fact that he had many sins which had to be atoned for and yet he asks what else does he lack? He is almost making the statement that he is sinless by stating that he kept those six commandments. (Psa 53:3 KJV) Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Luke 18:22 (KJB)
Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Jesus did not rebuke this man instead He gave him the formula for having the treasure in Heaven, that is, salvation. Do you remember the parable of the pearl of great price and the parable of the field? (Mat 13:44-46 KJV) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. {45} Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: {46} Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. When the man and the merchant man both found the treasures, they went and sold all that they had and purchased the field and the pearl. Jesus is telling this rich man that he is to do the same thing. He has found the key to Heaven and He was standing right in front of him. He is to become saved in Christ and reject all the trappings of the world, especially all the desires for gaining and maintaining wealth. If he just sold all his goods and gave the proceeds to the poor, that would not buy him salvation because then it would be by works. The key to salvation is to follow Christ after one becomes saved and to take up his cross and follow Him. (Mark 10:21 KJV) Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. The true test of a follower of Christ is how far would one go in following Christ? All the way to the cross?

There is another aspect to this advice Christ gave him and that is not to sell everything that he has and give the money away, instead, to use his wealth for the kingdom of God. For example, a person who knows computers becomes saved, instead of selling his computers, he now uses them to further the kingdom of God. What was once used for on line games is now used to send forth the Gospel. We take what wealth or material possessions we have and instead of using them for worldly things, they are now used for the Kingdom of God. This is another way to sell and give to the poor.

Luke 18:23 (KJB)
And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

At this point the man was unwilling to pursue eternal life any further since he was wealthy and did not want to part with his earthly possessions. (Mark 10:21 KJV) Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. There may have been a time in the future when this man became saved because if you notice in Mark 10:21, the verse states that Jesus loved him and the Bible is very clear that the love of God and the love of Jesus are qualified. (John 13:1 KJV) Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. Notice John 13:1 states that Jesus “loved His own.” It does not say He loved everyone in the world. That is a fallacious theory propagated from non-biblical sources. Jesus loved His own and they are those who have become saved. (Psa 5:5 KJV) The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. God hates all workers of iniquity and that includes all unbelievers.

Luke 18:24 (KJB)
And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

As soon as the rich man left his presence, Jesus then made a statement about wealth. The rich shall hardly enter in the kingdom of Heaven because they will view their wealth as having it in sight right now and Heaven cannot be seen but requires faith. Rich people place their security in their wealth not realizing that money is very volatile and can be lost in a matter of hours. Yet, they believe that theirs will not perish. It blinds them to the reality of eternity because they are living the good life now. Having much money will cause people to focus on the now rather than the future. However, Jesus did not say it was impossible for a rich man to enter Heaven because rich people have been saved and there will be more that will be saved and salvation will place a different light on the transitory nature of wealth.

Luke 18:25 (KJB)
For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Jesus then makes a word picture concerning the difficulty a rich man has for entering into the kingdom of Heaven. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle and a sewing needle is in view here, than for a rich man to get into Heaven. The rich man is blinded by his wealth and thinks that it is always going to continue. That is one of the grave deceptions of wealth. At this point the man was more concerned about his wealth than he was about his eternal soul. His mind was on his riches and nothing else. We should not point fingers at this man because how many want to follow Christ only if it does not cost them too much. One need not be wealthy to reject the idea of giving it all up to follow Jesus. Many have a good job, a nice home, a comfortable position in a community and these things would be just as hard to give up as the wealthy man his money.