A Sincere Seeker

August 17, 2021

Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16).

One of the great disappointments I have had in the area of evangelism is that of people wanting to know what they need to do to be saved, hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, following through with prayer, baptism, and church attendance, only to have them drift away or drop out completely from church life. Were they really saved?

A number of years ago the church was involved in an Evangelism ministry that resulted in over 100 professions of faith. We rejoiced as evangelism teams reported one or more individuals accepting Jesus Christ as Savior each week. However, at the end of the year there were fewer than 20 that actually followed through with baptism and discipleship. Were they really saved?

Over the years of preaching, teaching, and witnessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others, I have come to realize there are people, many people, who make a profession of faith in Jesus but never show the slightest change in character or conduct, attitude or actions, belief or behavior. The Apostle Paul wrote (2 Corinthians 5:17), Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. When a person makes a profession of faith in Jesus, but there does not develop a love for God, for Jesus Christ, for the Holy Spirit, for the Bible, or prayer, or the fellowship of Christian people, what are we to think of their profession? Is there good reason to believe they were saved?

The man who came to Jesus is described as young, wealthy, and a ruler - possibly a leader in the local synagogue. This would make him a religious person. The fact that he came to Jesus sincerely asking about eternal life demonstrates some spiritual awakening in the man. He realized he needed much more than what his religion offered him in terms of salvation. The tone of his words and his public behavior (Mark 10:17) demonstrate he was desperate to find an answer to his spiritual need.

There is no doubt in my mind that this young man came to Jesus with a sincere and desperate desire to know how to be saved. It is not a common thing in today’s world to find such people. Most of the responses I have received from sharing the Gospel is a “No thank you” or “We have our own religion.” Sometimes the response is far more negative! But the path to salvation begins with a stirring in one’s mind, heart, and spirit by the Holy Spirit. That stirring is followed by a sincere desire to seek out the answer to the question, “What must I do to be saved?” Both of these were evident in the young rich ruler.

“Thank You, Lord Jesus for the record of this encounter that will give us greater insight to the ways of salvation. Open our eyes to its truth that we may be wise in responding to those whom the Holy Spirit brings to us with the desire to be saved. To the furtherance of Your Kingdom in this place I ask, Amen.”


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