Your possessions and the kingdom of God are amazingly intertwined.
Last night I taught our church concerning the events in the ministry of Jesus recorded in Luke 18:18–30, a passage of Scripture commonly known as the Rich Young Ruler.
Interestingly, no gospel calls this man the Rich Young Ruler. Luke simply tells us he was a ruler and also rich. The other two Gospels who mentioned this man note him as being either young or rich. Therefore, we put it altogether and call him the Rich Young Ruler.
You may recall Jesus told him he lacked one thing. He told him to sell his possessions, distribute the proceeds to the poor, and to follow Him.
In one of the most poignant phrases found in Scripture, we are told that the man went away sad because he had great possessions.
The sadness came because the possessions owned him instead of his owning the possessions. He’s the only person in all of the New Testament who came to Jesus and went away sad. Everyone else went away rejoicing, leaping for joy, or giving thanks for God’s goodness. This man went away sad because he couldn’t get beyond his possessions.
It was from this experience that Jesus told His disciples how difficult it is for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
It really has nothing to do with wealth; it has all to do with how you view your possessions.
If you see your possessions as you, it will be very difficult to enter into the kingdom of heaven. If you look at your possessions as the most important thing in your life, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
It’s easier for a camel – – a huge animal – – to go through the eye of a needle (probably a literal needle, not some structure in Jerusalem) than for a person who depends on his or her wealth to enter the kingdom.
By the way, you don’t have to be rich to be greedy, selfish, or covetous. Those are matters of the heart and have little to do with the balance in your bank account.
The story of the Rich Young Ruler ends with the disciples asking, “Then who can be saved?”
Salvation has everything to do with the condition of your heart. Are you willing to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness? Are you willing to love God more than father or mother or money?
Are you willing to come unto God as a little child, ready to open your heart and your life to Him and receive life as a gift?
About salvation, Jesus said, “What is impossible with mortals is possible with God.” Salvation comes through God and God alone. We must open our hearts and lives to let Him be the ruler over us.