By Colleen Donahue


What is it that can block eternal life even for a person apparently doing all the right things? This study focuses on a young man, who like many of us, had the wrong idea about religion and finds himself coming up short.

Let's take a good look at......


The Wrong Idea About Religion

Studies continued from Matthew 19:16-22

Also Mark 10:17-22 & Luke 18:18-23


Day 1- The young man in this story has gone to the right person in his quest for eternal life. But the question he asks the Lord reveals his attitude about life that cannot apply to eternal life. Can you pick out this attitude?
Matthew 19: 16 (Also Mark 10:17 & Luke 18:18)

Day 2- Perhaps this man has worked hard to accumulate his wealth. All his life he has seen that if he applies enough effort he can get what he wants. So this is the attitude he takes for acquiring eternal life. He'll accumulate a credit balance with God. "What must I do?" He wants to earn it but can we work to earn eternal life?
John 3:16 / Romans 6:23 / Ephesians 2: 8-9

Day 3- Romans 6:23 says it most clearly. Eternal life is a FREE GIFT from God given through his son Jesus.
John 3:15 / John 3:36 / John 17:3

Day 4- So if man can "do" anything, it must be to know God and His Son Jesus. To respond to this man, Jesus uses this logic: If there is only one who is good -- i.e. God, then it stands to reason that to do the things that God commands is the good that we must do.
Matthew 19:17

Day 5- In the amplified Bible it expresses the Lord's words like this: "If you would enter into the Life, you must continually keep the commandments." Even to fully enter into life in this world there is only one way and that is to obey the commandments of the Creator that made it all. What is promised to us when we recognize God as our God and keep to His instructions?
Deuteronomy 4: 39- 40 / Deuteronomy 5:32-33 / Deuteronomy 6:17-18

Day 6- Notice all the blessings of this life (besides eternal life) that God wants to give His children that love and obey Him.
Deuteronomy 28:1-14

Day 7- Notice also all that can happen when we don't listen to God!
Deuteronomy 28: 15-68

Day 8- If the young man's first question reveals his intention to "do it himself", the second question reveals more about his character.
Matthew 19: 18a

Rather than rising to the Lord's suggestion of keeping the commandments he wants to know which ones! Does he want to squeak by with the minimum? Has he already worked at some but neglected others? Which six does the Lord mention to him?
Matthew 19:18b, 19
(Notice that all these commands are ones dealing with our fellowmen.)

Day 9- The young man quickly responds that he has kept them all. So what's the problem?
Matthew 19:20

Notice that Jesus doesn't refute what he says. In his mind this young man HAS kept all these commandments. Instead Jesus challenges him.
Matthew 19:21

The Greek word for "perfect" is telios and could be translated "complete". So, if the young man is to be complete in his labors for eternal life what three things does Jesus ask him to do? Reread:
Matthew 19:21

Day 10 - Now the real reason is exposed as to what is blocking eternal life for this man.
Matthew 19: 22

Day 11 - Wealth itself was not the problem. He just didn't want to part with it and that was his problem! Things were more important than people. He had done the minimum needed to "love his neighbor". On the surface he looked good but he wasn't ready or willing to go all the way. How is it that we become "perfect" or complete in God?
1 John 2:5 / 1 John 4:12

Day 12- This young man, like so many of us, had the wrong idea of religion and Christianity. It is not a little giving and a little loving while we get about the real business of living our life and taking care of what we own. It is a full commitment to Jesus Christ and His Father which means obedience to His word.
Mark 12:30

And this leads to a full commitment to the people around us.
Mark 12:31 / Philippians 2:4 / James 1:27 / James 2:14-18

Day 13 - If we are faithful to love God and our neighbor what life attitude will become ours?
Philippians 3:8

Day 14- The loss of earthly treasures actually secures our spiritual treasures, which in the end is real life.
Mark 8:35 / John 12:24

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