Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" The truth about the Love commandments


In a recent survey in Singapore, half of the 800 young people aged 15-29 asked found homosexuality acceptable, Conducted by students from Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Business over two months, 42 per cent of the respondents found homosexuality unacceptable. This is 20% jump over 6 years when compared with the Social Attitudes Survey in 2001 (SAS2001), which found that only 29 per cent of Singaporeans under 30 years of age found homosexuality acceptable. People change, attitudes changed over time, but for over 2000 years, the claim by Jesus Christ that He alone holds the monopoly to truth and the way to God is still debated then and now. This truth has become so difficult to accept that we tend to rationalize it and changed it to a religion of morality or on the other extreme, a social gospel. Just as Jesus does not condemn Gays, the face of Christianity whether conservative or liberal is a far cry from a biblical faith.

(Luke 10:25-28 NKJV) And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" So he answered and said, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself. And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live."

Consider the above love commandments of Jesus often quoted by Liberal Christians who often discard the simplicity of the Gospel but yet subscribed to the notion that Christianity is all about love. They summed the bible up the commandment to love God and to love each other as the basis of their lives. However, when read in context and perspective of Jesus speaking to an intellectual lawyer who wanted to test Him, and certainly not a sincere seeker of the truth, a totally different picture emerges.

One aspect of Liberal “Christianity” is a focus on intellectual reflective theology where instead of the simplicity of the Gospel, they made it dogmatic, always finding a way to undermine the message by challenging the authenticity of the bible, the historical records, and denying the miraculous. In the face of the clear challenge to Jesus claim, they assert that there are no simple answers as they made valiant attempts to rationalize the Gospel. Such Christians come to God with a heart of doubt and cynicism, to argue with God and to test whether Jesus could answer tricky intellectual questions. Teacher they asked, not giving Jesus His due honor but bring God down to their level of humanity, what work shall I do so that I deserve eternal life!. The correct answer was staring at them, yet Jesus did not even engaged them but made them repeat the Jewish Shema of Deuteronomy (the command to love God united with Leviticus 19:8 ("Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself"). It was not a love commandment of Jesus, but a common Jewish saying, the answer summarizing the law given by a Jewish Intellect who was trying to find ways to implicate Jesus for violating the requirements of the law. Jesus reply was most poignant, “Do this 100% and you shall live” knowing that the lawyer could never follow the commandments fully. Jesus will not entertain those who seek Him with reflective intellectual theology but only to those with a heart to love God, to acknowledge, and to follow Him by faith. Simply trust and obey as the old hymn says. We have intellectual Christians living in delusion, (2 Tim 3:7 NKJV) always learning and even remembering the entire bible with many bible college degrees but never able to come to the knowledge and understanding of the truth concerning a saving faith in Christ.

Liberal Christians tend to exclusively emphasized loving others and a social gospel. Yet, they conveniently have forgotten to love God with all their heart, soul, strength and mind. Some tried to rationalize the love of God by equating loving people as showing love for God, effectively negating the first commandment of the law. In Mark 12:29, in another recollection of the incident, Jesus reminded the Jewish nation 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one”, for the nation of Israel had lost their first love for God demonstrated by their inclination to worship other gods and rejecting God over and over again despite Him sending His prophets and judges. In the 21 st century, the love of God is again failing even among Christians who are now lifting other gods as being valid ways to God. We have despised God whilst claiming to love Him by loving others. Instead, we loved humanity and ourselves much more than we love God.

On the other end, Conservative Christians tend to love God but do not love others as we love ourselves. We are quick to judge and exalt others lower than ourselves. Those that are different such as Gays we marginalized and used the name of God to condemn. We are hypocrites much like the religious leaders of old, demanding that others follow the very letter of the law but not following thus ourselves. We do not love others, for we would not treat ourselves likewise with judgment, injustice, and indignity. We defend till death our right of marriage but deny marriage to gays using every conceivable means of the law even though we recklessly condone divorce. We have become self-righteous always considering me first before giving people a fair go and the benefit of the doubt.

The conservative Christians have sinned greatly against God by failing to love others whereas the liberal Christians have not put God first by putting humanity first. Either way both are living in sin and delusion, by worshipping the idol of self. We come back to the Cross of Calvary where all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23) and need God’s mercy and amazing grace in Christ Jesus. The answer that should have been given by Jesus to the Jewish lawyer if he had truly sought God remains the answer given to all – whether we are conservative or liberal, there is nothing that one can do to enter heaven but to accept Christ as who He claimed to be.

Jesus stood in-front of the intellectual lawyer yet he did not see Christ because his intellect could not comprehend the love of God, the miracle of Christ death and resurrection and the simplicity of the Gospel. Jesus is standing in front of us today. What would you do? His arms opened wide and bidst you come, for He died for you. His claimed to be God and the Messiah caused Him His life. Who do you say I am? Says the Lord of Hosts. Your answer will determine your destiny in eternity. Let us come to God and believe the claims that Christ made in faith.

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