Eternal Life: Earned or Given?
Question: What must I do to inherit eternal life?
Answer: Nothing. You can't.
Question: But aren't I a good person?
Answer: Even if you follow all the laws and rules, give away everything you own, and live as perfectly as is humanly possible, you will still fail to earn it.
Question: So, how do I earn it?
Answer: You don't. It's a gift. Impossible for you to earn. Only God's to give.
Question: So, why be good?
Answer: Goodness fosters goodness. Positivity fosters positivity. Be good because it's good to do so. Accept the gift of eternal life because God offers it freely.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Luke 18:18-30
A certain ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.’” He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” He replied, “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.” Then Peter said, “Look, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”