Living The Impossible
By Hal Lindsey
Someone recently reminded me of something I said in a sermon many years ago. “The Christian life is not a difficult life to live. The Christian life is an impossible life to live.”
At first, those words are disturbing. We’re like the disciples. After the rich, young ruler turned away from Christ, the Lord said something that disturbed and astonished them. “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-24 NASB)
Through the centuries people have tried to explain this verse away. A popular theory says that the “eye of the needle” was a place in the wall of Jerusalem that a camel could enter only by kneeling. That explanation didn’t start until the fifteenth century, and there is no evidence for such a hole in the wall.
Jesus meant what he said. He was talking about a real camel going through the tiny eye of a real needle. What a stunning thing to say! The Bible says, “And when the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’” (Matthew 19:25)
This saying of Jesus astonishes people still. Some use it to condemn the rich. But that’s a problem. If you’re reading this on your phone or your computer, you’re probably rich by the standards of this world. Do you have a car? Most of the world doesn’t. Do you live in an air-conditioned home? Most of earth’s population doesn’t.
Do you need to get rid of all comforts and give away your money in order to go to heaven? Is that what Jesus is teaching? No. That misses His point entirely. He’s not saying that to get to heaven you need to be poor. He’s saying that to get to heaven, you need a miracle!
When the disciples asked, “Who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Human beings cannot save themselves! You can psych yourself up and determine to give it the old college try. But you will fail. You can weep and say you’re sorry, but you will fail again. With men it is impossible. BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!
You can’t do it yourself. You need a miracle. Romans 3:23 doesn’t just say, “For all have sinned.” It goes on to say, “…and fall short of the glory of God.”
God’s standard of righteousness is Himself. Do you fall short of His glory? We all do. Who is as righteous as God? Only God. And Jesus is God the Son. In His life here, He lived out the perfect righteousness of God. Then, He took our sins on Himself, died for those sins, then rose again to defeat death. But He didn’t just remove our sins and take them on Himself. That’s only half the picture. He also gave us His righteousness. The righteousness of God is available right now to whoever will accept it.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
And that’s why we call the Gospel, “Good News!”
Have a wonderful holy week and a glorious Resurrection Sunday!