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God is the author of goodness - James C. Bell

God alone is ultimately good. We cannot be good enough to bring ourselves into a relationship with God

This truth is made clear in Jesus' exchange with the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-30. This young man was rich and also a ruler, probably in a synagogue. He was thinking in terms of righteousness by works -- of doing some good thing in order to receive eternal life. Jesus had to correct this misunderstanding first, before answering the question more fully.

In verse 17, Jesus said, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good." The good is not something to be done as meritorious in itself. God alone is good, and all other goodness derives from Him, even the keeping of the commandments, which Jesus proceeded to enumerate in verses 18 and 19.

Jesus further said, "If you want to enter life (to obtain eternal life), obey the commandments." The requirement to obey the commandments is not to establish one's merit before God, but is to be an expression of true faith.

The Bible always teaches that salvation is a gift of God's grace received through faith (See Eph.2:8). The rich young man had not kept one of the commandments --Thou shall not covet. This was his problem, and all of his possessions -- his riches -- were preventing him from entering into eternal life with God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Is it impossible for a rich man to go to Heaven? Jesus said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." What did He mean when He said this? Simply, man cannot save himself! No amount of riches, money or power can buy eternal life.

Only God decides who will be saved, who will be called by the Spirit to receive eternal life. Those who are called, who have a divine appointment with God, shall be saved based on their faith in Christ (See Eph.1:3-5 and 11).

This is why it is so important for Christians to witness to all, with whom they have the opportunity, for these may well be called by the Spirit, but do not know how to be saved.

Christians are blessed by their faith in Christ and are commanded, not urged or suggested -- by Jesus, in the great commission to witness (See Matt. 28:18-20) -- that they should share their greatest blessing.

It is equally important for lost people, those who are without faith in Christ and unable to save themselves, to listen to sermons in churches and on television and radio, and to hear what the Christian witness has to say to them. Listen, my lost friend, if you have the impression or thought of believing in God or Christ, no matter how quick or quiet it may be --check it out!

The Bible says, "Seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you." This is a promise of God. If you are called by the Spirit, it means God wants to save you, to give you His gift of eternal life. But you must decide in your heart, sincerely, to have faith in Christ and to believe He lived on this earth as the perfect man/God and gave His life for you by dying on the cross.

God completed His plan of salvation for us by raising Christ from the grave (See Romans 10:9). If you do not accept or hear the Holy Spirit's call, then you will continue to live in spiritual darkness and will, one day, be sentenced to Hell, to live in eternal darkness and punishment without God!

Don't let this happen to you! Choose Christ, and live forever!