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It is a tremendous shame that Jesus was so wrong (!) in giving the answer He did to the one who inquired of Him what he must do to enter into God’s kingdom (Mark 10:17-22)! Can you imagine Jesus being so mistaken to answer this way? Yet, He had to be if the norm of Protestant theology holds the day in religious thinking. Jesus told him to keep the commandments. This, however, means that one “works” his way to heaven and, a form of legalism. As we know, Jesus just had to be wrong about that!

Of course, Jesus was wrong about nothing, and especially about how one makes an entrance into the heavenly kingdom. That which is wrong and those who are wrong are the subscribers to such thinking! Protestant theology teaches that if one obeys God’s commands, that in obeying God’s commands, any and all commands, there is an effort at working or earning one’s salvation. Completely ludicrous!

In proper biblical theology, when one obeys God, then the one who obeys is motivated to obey as a result of the love in his (her) heart. This is the very idea undergirding Paul’s words to the church in Rome when he wrote, “But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered” (Romans 6:17, ASV, emphasis added, RT).

In Mark 10, Jesus told the inquirer that to enter into heaven one must obey what is learned in the Ten Words (ten commandments), and in each of these commands, Jesus said, there was a “do not” five times, and a “do” one time. It was not, and it is not, a matter of earning anything, but it is a matter of loving the Lord enough to hear what He said and to comply with His desires.