The Rich Young Ruler
By David J. Stewart
Luke 18:23, “And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.”
There is a woeful misunderstanding being taught by false prophets today, perverting the account of the rich young ruler in the Bible. In particular, John MacArthur, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron are teaching the same perversion of this Scripture passage. These men claim that the rich young ruler couldn't get saved because he was unwilling to stop being covetous, deny himself and make a full surrender to Christ.
First, here is the Biblical account of the rich young ruler coming to Jesus, asking how he could earn Heaven . . .
Luke 18:18-25, “And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
Here are Dr. MacArthur's very own corrupt words . . .
“The Gospel says, 'give your life to Christ and He rules' and if you're not willing to do that it's because you want to keep the rule of your own life. The rich young man wanted his own life for himself. He wanted to control his own life. He had his choice: sins, he had his choice, religion, and he wanted to hang onto control. It's that simple. Coming to Christ means you give up the control of your life, and you yield it to Christ. That's what kept him from salvation, he was unwilling to do that.”
SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA4Zv8o3NbI (4:51 in the video)
I realize that no one is correct on everything, and we're all entitled to our own opinions, respectfully. However, when a false prophet perverts the Scriptures to teach ANOTHER GOSPEL [2nd Corinthians 11:4], then it is every believer's duty to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).
MacArthur's words are damnable heresy!!! MacArthur says:
“Coming to Christ means you give up the control of your life, and you yield it to Christ. That's what kept him from salvation, he was unwilling to do that.”
The reason why the rich young man didn't get saved was NOT because he refused to yield to Christ, nor because he was unwilling to give up control of his life. MacArthur is teaching lies.
The reason why the rich young man didn't get saved is because he was self-righteousness. Very few wealthy people are willing to admit that they cannot save themselves. Heaven can't be bought. Coming to Christ is a childlike step of faith by which one acknowledges, “I am a guilty, dirty, rotten, hell-deserving sinner, incapable of saving myself.” Every admitted sinner who believes on Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, will be saved (Romans 10:13). The rich young ruler was self-righteous in his wealth, and thought he could save himself by fulfilling the Law of God.
That's the only reason the young rich man didn't get saved. It wasn't because he refused to deny himself or forsake his covetousness; but rather, because he was self-righteous and thought he could merit Heaven by his own works. Romans 4:5-6 clearly states: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” Amen!
Notice what the self-righteous young man asked Jesus in Matthew 19:16, “...Good Master, what good thing SHALL I DO, that I may have eternal life?” The young man didn't ask how he could possess eternal life. No, rather, he asked what THING I NEED TO DO. The young man was self-righteousness. Jesus used the Law to show the young man his wickedness. There was nothing he could do in his own self-righteousness to have eternal life. He needed Jesus as his Savior. Romans 3:19 and Galatians 3:24 plainly teach that the Law's purpose is only to show us our guilt of sin and need for a Savior.
MacArthur requires people to fulfil the Law as a prerequisite to faith in Christ, which is the heresy of works salvation. That is exactly what Kirk Cameron, Ray Comfort and John MacArthur are teaching.
They all teach that the rich young man should have forsaken his covetousness to be saved.
In sharp contrast, Romans 4:5-6 proclaims, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” Oh, that men who just read the Bible and take it at face value. Romans 4:5-6 are so plain and clear in their teaching. A man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness. Why? It's because Christ's righteousness is imputed (attributed) to us by faith. This is a vast different Gospel than the perverted Gospel of Ray Comfort and John MacArthur, by which a person must forsake their sinful lifestyle to be saved.
Jesus plainly taught in Luke 18:17 that a person must receive the kingdom of God as a little child in order to be saved. This is because a man must acknowledge that he is hopelessly lost in his own sins and cannot redeem himself. Thus, he needs Jesus Christ, Who is the Son of God.
The Biblical account of the young rich ruler has nothing to do with giving up one's love for money to be saved; but rather, realizing that salvation is solely of the Lord, and not by works of self-righteousness. The Apostle Paul addressed this matter at length in Romans 2:13-3:20.
Ye Must Be Born Again!