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    "You are really cool you are married to an European!! How cooler can you be??"
    Fisherman Pecheur

    "Smarty Pants"
    Mad Matt

    "Oh, you did not ask for Bonhoeffer's opinion did you? You wanted mine..."
    the SOFYST

    "You are like the master at this "feelings" stuff!
    Kind Kristi

    "I enjoy your comments, but they are always delightfully enigmatic"
    Dyspraxic Fundamentalist

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Who then can be saved?

The 19th Chapter of Matthew records the account of the Apostles as they listened to a rich young ruler testify of his life and of all his good works. He had inquired of Jesus as to what he must do to have eternal life. He hoped that Jesus would find his good works adequate only to hear Jesus tell him even that was not enough. Jesus said to him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me”. The scripture recounts that the young ruler walked away disheartened at the thought of giving up all his riches. Upon his departure Jesus commented, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God”. If the account had ended there then most certainly we would all strive to be destitute and penniless so as to increase the likelihood that we might be saved, but what follows is nothing less than profound.

The Apostles were astonished, no doubt, because this young ruler had kept the law and had been faithful in all the good works they had been taught were required to please God. I am sure that many thoughts raced through their mind concerning their own lives and the lives of others they considered worthy of salvation. They were compelled to ask Jesus “Who then can be saved?” The answer He gave continues even today to turn the religious world inside out and to point us all toward the only way to eternal life. “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

Jesus made it clear that it was impossible for, not only rich men but, any person to have everlasting life in and of themselves. He further made it clear that only with God is there any hope for eternal life.

Looking over my studies I’ve considered many of the answers that Jesus could have given and I’ve heard so many give those answers to this same question all of my life. Jesus knew He was the way, the truth and the life and could have clearly stated so. Why he didn’t I’ll hope to ask one day. His answer then leaves me with only one option when asked this same question today. We cannot know whom God will save, but with God all things are possible. It’s the possibilities that keep me focused on spreading the good news that our sin will not prevent us, that God has made a way. I take His commission to us personally and desire to see that all things whatsoever He commanded are taught in all the world being fully confident that all things are possible with God.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Jesus knew He was the way, the truth and the life and could have clearly stated so. "

I think He did. He showed us what to 'follow'. He showed us how to be. It is all there.

My self, I think the only thing we need saved from is ourselves. All is provided - we need only to see.


8/10/2005 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Gary, thanks for the visit and the comment. My statement was in reference to this particular incident. I agree though, He did say so.

8/10/2005 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Hi Kc,

There is another interesting aspect of this Scripture. When I was younger, I thought it was impossible for anyone with money to have eternal life, because I could not imagine squeezing a camel through the eye of a tiny needle. What I learned, however, was that the eye of a needle was a term used for the gate that entered into a city. Camels had to squat down because their humps would not go through walking in straight. So it was difficult, but not impossible.
The rich man thought he had done everything correctly, but when you look at that Scripture again, what you find is that the commandments that he followed were the last commandments. Unfortunately, he had a god in his life that came before the true God, and that was money. It is an awesome account!

8/11/2005 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ron said...


Please stop by my True Servants blog and leave a comment! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

8/11/2005 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Ron, thanks for mentioning the gate. I find there are so many wonderful lessons in this account of the rich young ruler. Your reminder of the gate brought back memories of many wonderful sermons I’ve heard on this text.

Thanks again for the devotion on your site today. ;-)

8/11/2005 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Ron said...


I send out the devotionals daily, and I will probably start posting them to the blog daily as well. I would also like to add your blog to my links section, if that is OK with you. Where one can put a thousand to flight, two can put ten thousand to flight!

8/11/2005 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Ron said...


Please give me your e-mail address and I will add you!

8/11/2005 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

Got a lot of catching up to do

8/11/2005 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pech, your comment here is a mixed blessing. Our love to you both.

8/12/2005 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Jody said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/12/2005 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

Absolutely, we can believe for anything, for nothings is impossible with God. If I ever give up on a cause, or dismiss it as impossible, I am calling God a liar. I am saying that I know better than him, which is absurd. This includes His work in and through myself.

8/12/2005 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Hello kc,
I may be a little cantankerous here, but relating Jesus's illustration about eternal life being impossible for the rich to some gate in the city just doesn't fly with me. It is impossible to enter the kingdom apart from Christ. Remember Jesus said "If thou wilt be PERFECT,......" Who can be perfect? The eye gate story implies that it is possible with much effort to be perfect. Hogwash!
Sorry for the rant, but like you said His words turned the religious world upside down.
Like you Ron I have read commentaries that tell the story of a certain gate in the city to explain what our Lord was saying. But it is impossible to put a camel through the eye of a needle. Thats why salvation is a free gift and only a gift, none of us can bend down and squat to enter, if we do then we may have reason to boast to the Lord. We all know how far that will get us!
Ron my comments here are not against you my brother. Its just when I see things that I have found to be untrue according to my walk and against the Spirit that is in me, I rant and probably rant too much at times.

Good post kc. Isn't it great we can admit to being as depraved as we are and God still loves us.

"Who then can be saved?"
"whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved"
"believe on the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved."
"whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life"

Thanks for space kc. blessing to you and corry and have great weekend.

8/12/2005 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger pecheur said...

To show off my inclusivistic tendencies, it is then possible for God to save them all. If so, he can even save the unelect (whoever they are or even if such people exist).

So even though it is possible for God to save all. Not all will be saved. I just hope a lot are. But I am not willing to see Satan and his hord of demons saved, just the rest of creation. I guess it is possible for God to save them, but I doubt He will.

8/12/2005 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Pecheur, I think what you--as well as some other on here--are missing is that the impossibility/possibility factor is not relating to the extent of the salvific process, but rather the means. The apostles were thoroughly confused believing--as the rich young ruler did--that their works amounted to salvation (despite the N.P.P people's opinion). When Jesus confronted this erroneous belief and showed that man's work in the site of God amounted to skubala (to semi-quote Paul), the apostles naturally asked how then can one attain salvation. Jesus answers that salvation is not attained by man (this is impossible), but rather it is given only by God.

The point of Jesus' dialogue and Matthew's record is to show that man cannot attain salvation, man cannot earn salvation (this is impossible). God is the maker and creator of our salvation, only by Him does one attain this wondrous gift. The impossibility/possibility factor relates to the attaining of salvation, to further extrapolate this idea and say then that it is possible to save anyone, despite His eternal decree to damn them, is false.

8/12/2005 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

I also think that if we were to investigate the impossibility/possibility factor we would be very disappointed. I think often too many people believe that these words of Jesus here signify that God can do anything. That there is absolutely nothing that God cannot do. That with 'God all things are possible'. But I think the clear emphasis of Scripture is quite contrary. James even says that there is at least one thing God cannot do (that being lying); so we can obviously not take these words of our LORD to be an all out declaration of the complete omnipotence of God. Likewise the prayer within the garden seems to hint at a further impossibilty with our LORD (it was impossible for the cup to pass from Him).

8/12/2005 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...


No need to apologize. I believe that these forums are for this purppose; to discuss these issues and questions. None of us has all the answers, but our goal should be that in all that we get, to get an understanding.

I do not want you to miss the point of my comment, which probably was not clearly stated. We here in the western world understand certain terms or phrases in the Bible to mean one thing, when we must remember that these words were written in a different time and culture. To understand the true meaning, then, we must understand more about the time and location in which the words were written. This is why it is important to understand the Greek and Hebrew words that are used in the Bible. I want you to know that I take no offense to your comment, and I enjoy the discourse. I am always willing to put what I understand on the altar. We must be careful not to let our knowledge become our God; it is Him and Him alone.

8/13/2005 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

To everyone, thanks for all your comments, especially the cantankerous ones!

Jody I am anxious to do an article on how I am being saved. I suspect your input will be invaluable. I really appreciate your attitude concerning His work in us. ;-)

Kris, thanks so much for the blessing and our prayers remain for you and yours. I really appreciate you driving home the importance of the fact that we cannot save ourselves by any means. I will admit to total ignorance concerning the camel gate but I heard it taught it in this way;

Jesus observed how the young ruler trusted in himself for salvation and His comment was His reflection on the difficulty the young ruler would have in spiritually “getting down on his knees” to trust in Jesus instead. The Disciples, on the other hand, were of the same mind as the young ruler and Jesus had to make it clear to them that everlasting life could not be achieved through works at all.

If Jesus really did refer to the camel gate then the above teaching would still be in line with this doctrine. It only frames His perspective as from one who knows the real problem concerning faith in God instead of self.

Your answer here as to who can be saved is dead on the money. This is the answer that is so needed by so many but too few seem to be asking the question. I had hoped this article would help us to focus on those not asking by examining our own predefined determinations as to whom God will save. I admire you my brother for your zeal concerning the Truth and I hope we can all be as ready to contend for it. You can count on as much space as you need here. ;-)

Pech, I think I get your point. I will be clear and state that I do not see the scripture to say that all of creation will be saved, much to the contrary I see the probability that many will perish. It’s that possibility, as well, that provokes the desire in me to do my part of His commission to us. I really appreciate you giving your time and comments on this series. ;-)

Adam, you’ve made some excellent points, as usual, and I have come to look on you as my scriptural attorney (and a very poorly reimbursed one too!). I still contend, however, that the only limits to a limitless God are those He imposes on Himself. Perhaps we can debate that in email and publish our arguments? ;-)

Ron, thanks for sticking with the discussion. ;-) I was wondering if your understanding concerning the camel gate was different from the one I was taught and if so could you offer it here?

8/13/2005 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Ron said...


I am not sure if my understanding was any different, but I will try. The "eye of the needle" was a colloquial phrase used to describe the entrance into a city. Its height was such that a human could walk through, but in order for a camel to enter, it had to stoop down and walk through, which was an extremely difficult task for a camel to accomplish. My point for bringing this up is that when I was first saved and read that Scripture, my initial thought was that it was impossible for a huge camel to go through a tiny hole at the base of a needle. I thought that at the time because of my lack of understanding about the language used in those days. Once I understood what Jesus was saying, it made a big difference. The way I originally looked at it, a rich person had absolutely no chance to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Later, I understood that He meant that it was the attitude toward the riches that made it difficult. That was my reason for saying difficult, but not impossible. But it is not just riches that make it difficult; it is anything that comes before the Lord. I know that I must work moment by moment to utterly destroy anything that comes between me and the Lord. I hope that helps, Kc, Kris and others.

8/13/2005 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

It is no problem at all, while an attorney, I am likewise a philanthropist. Most of my work is pro-bono anyway!

I would have no problem agreeing with you about the limitations on God being 'self-imposed'. Yet, I would say that this imposed limitations are so imposed by His nature. His nature imposes limitations on Himself. Since His nature is part of Him (it is His 'self'), we then say that His limitations are 'self'-imposed. Nonetheless, He still has limitations...

8/14/2005 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Ron, thanks again for participating. I personally find the scripture to teach that our only hope of soul salvation is His grace through our faith. I do however find that our service is dependant on our faithfulness. Maybe we can study these things further as time permits. ;-)

Adam, that was too easy. Are you okay? (grin) I am pro Bono too. I think he’s kewl. I’m not familiar with philanthropist. I belong to a Baptist Church (hehe sorry, couldn’t resist). We really do agree completely this time. It becomes easier to understand given His Word is the True, therefore the Truth is determined by His word making a lie impossible. BTW I really liked your second post on tattoos. ;-)

8/15/2005 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

You did like the second one? Hmm...it seems less commented concerning that then the first. I think I get more audience when I am 'hell-fire-and-brimstone' against some stupid arguments than when I am gentle and kind...so sad!

8/15/2005 08:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya know guys - I keep saying to myself 'the only thing we "saved" from is ourselves.
Mybe it is geting evident.


8/15/2005 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam, I know those HF&B post draw comments but I like to think (maybe foolishly) that often the post that draw no comments have served to edify those who might read them. I suspect we comment when we think we can contribute either through encouragement or enlightenment. Some post just seem to stand alone. I think that applies specifically to post that contain personal conclusions and decisions.

Gary thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I think I can understand why you would have that perspective but please feel free to elaborate. I think you can expect that most here will base their comments and replies on their understanding as it relates to scripture but often we are able to discover how the scripture relates to our observations.

8/16/2005 03:18:00 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

I laughing while trying to type this. I'm laughing to myself about sofyst blog and about how tatoos and fire and brimstone relate to each other! Of course to a legalist (weak in faith) they might. Ok enough of that.

I appreciate everyone one of your comments here to me. Kc you are such an encourager. Ron I understand what you are saying. I just have to take Jesus words literally here and know its impossible. If we give up anything even our riches thinking that will qualify us for eternal life then we still have missed the gospel. The good news is that we don't have to give up anything, Jesus said its free to drink from the living water. All we have to do is know that we don't qualify because of our sin. When we are bankrupt then we are rich. In fact its our sin of unbelief that keeps us from seeing it.(who has ears to hear, let him hear)
anyway there is no more horse to beat here. blessings to all.

8/16/2005 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Let me do some editing here.
I said the good news is that we don't have to give up anything its free. This is true of course. Although this may imply that we could give up something if we wanted to. The truth is there is nothing God will accept for His gift. The good news is that we can't and God did. We are truly truly bankrupt when it comes to righteousness apart from Christ.

8/16/2005 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger pecheur said...

I've been gone for so long. I never got any opportunity to respond to my comments. It is midnight and I need to get to bed so this may sound weird. But in reponse to Kc, I think the Bible is clear that the whole of creation is what God set out to save (the new heaven the new earth deal). Who will be saved a few or a lot? I am hoping for a lot. However, does scripture tell us only a few will be saved? I know there is the parable of the seed. But I am not sure I see that as a prediction of the number of saved.

I need some time to repsond to Adam, but alas I'll have to let it go and if I get a moment may respond. I think I was misunderstood. The point in the rich man and camel story is the hardness of salvation. It can't be done without God, but I do not find that it is limited to the means of salvation and can not be expanded to the quantity of salvation. And I know there are things God can not do, but as Kc said whatever those things are are self-imposed (like how much does God really know?)

8/18/2005 12:04:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kris, thanks again for all your thoughts. I have wanted so much to share the wisdom you offered on Adam’s blog in his first post on tattoos by using text from the KRV. I hope you don’t mind but I plan to copy that and revise it as needed! ;-D

Pech, thanks for checking back and responding. I know things have been hectic so I really appreciate the time. ;-)

8/18/2005 05:26:00 AM  

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