What must I do to inherit eternal life? If you will enter into life, keep the commandments. Notice Jesus did not say to the man, you have eternal life, because you believe in me. Rather, Jesus said to enter into life, (the eternal life of God, directed and energized by his Spirit), you must keep the commandments. And then he lists those he must keep: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. Honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. He listed the moral core of the law that is on every man's heart. Then he told him he must sell his possessions, give to the poor, and follow him. So where is instant salvation by saying a prayer, getting wet, and eating grape juice and bread? Not only must we keep the commandments, we must follow Jesus. How do we follow Jesus? We silently listen and obey him teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; so he will redeem us from all iniquity and purify us to become his special people, zealous for good works; good works as directed by him to his glory. These verses should stop the mouths of all who say, "just to believe in Jesus is enough." There is no arguing around this; Jesus has told us that to be saved, one must keep the moral core of the commandments, take up your cross, and follow him.
2 So what should a rich man do to enter the Kingdom? He must liberally give from his excess. He cannot hold on to his riches, without sharing with those who lack the necessities of life — the poor, which does not include giving to sects or tithing. The wrong is to have excess, over and above what you need to live, while being aware of people, wherever they are, in need of the necessities of life without contributing to their relief. Perhaps you have to look beyond the borders of you own country to find those people and/or charities with genuine needs. But there is need throughout the third world for life-sustaining contributions. (Note! People in need, does not include those who refuse to take available jobs and chose to beg instead, pretending they have needs.) When you close your ears and heart to the poor, you have closed your heart to God. When you give to the poor, you have given to God. What you do for the least of mankind, you have done for God, Mat 25:32-45.
There is a generation whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from the earth, and the needy from among men. Prov 30:14.
The righteous considers the needs of the poor; but the wicked decides not to recognize what condition they are in. Prov 29:7.
He that oppresses the poor, reproaches his Maker; but he that honors Him, (his Maker), has mercy on the needy. Prov 14:31.
Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself; but shall not be heard. Prov 21:13 .
His promise was: if you seek, as your FIRST priority, the Kingdom of Heaven and His Righteousness, all your other needs will be met. We can testify to the truth of his promise, that while seeking the Lord as our first priority in life, He has met all our material needs far in excess of our hopes. Rather than accumulation, your focus should be on giving from your excess; for it is more blessed to give than receive. You must practice generous giving. When you see a need that you can fill from your excess, fill it. Just react to what comes in front of you, or you can give to deserving charities such as our favorites: Boys Town and TheSmileTrain. By giving, you are practicing what you seek - love and death of self; but give in secret, receiving no recognition from man. Only your Father in heaven will know, and your treasure will become eternal. And remember, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money. Rich or poor can love money. Rich or poor can have little regard for money. Remember, it is written, give to the poor, and I will repay you. And, God loves a cheerful giver. Ease of giving comes with practice. Start slow and build as you feel the joy of giving.