FRIEND, IF YOU WERE ASKED, "How many commandments do you
have to keep in order to get to Heaven?" what would you say? Like many,
you'd probably assume ten. Or maybe you'd assume: all the laws given
in the Old Testament. Perhaps you even feel that you don't necessarily
have to keep any commandment, but just do the best you can. However, it may
surprise you that the answer is TWO! That's right, you need to follow only two
commandments. Notice what Jesus Christ said in the Gospel of Mark:
"And Jesus answered him, THE FIRST OF ALL THE COMMANDMENTS IS,
Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt LOVE THE
LORD THY GOD with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,
and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And THE SECOND
is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none
other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29- 31
The Bible records Jesus stating these TWO COMMANDMENTS in more than
one Gospel--God wanted to make sure we understood their importance. "Jesus
said unto him, THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. THIS IS THE FIRST AND GREAT
COMMANDMENT. And THE SECOND is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE THY
NEIGHBOUR as thyself" (Mat. 22:37-39). In fact, these two commandments
carry so much weight that the person obeying them will inherently satisfy all the
other commandments combined! Jesus said:
"ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS HANG
ALL THE LAW and the prophets." Mat. 22:40
To illustrate the importance of these two commandments, notice the following
exchange that took place between a certain lawyer and Jesus Christ: "And, behold,
a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, WHAT SHALL I
DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE? He said unto him, What is written in the
law? how readest thou? And he answering said, THOU SHALT LOVE THE
LORD THY GOD with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
strength, and with all thy mind; AND THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF. And
he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: THIS DO, AND THOU SHALT
LIVE." Luke 10:25-28
That's right, friend, if you want to "earn" your way to Heaven,
just follow these TWO simple commandments,
assuming you can follow them, of course . . .
"THE FIRST of all the commandments is....THOU SHALT LOVE
THE LORD THY GOD with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind, and WITH ALL THY STRENGTH:
this is the first commandment." Mark 12:29- 30
Do you love God with ALL your heart, soul, and mind? Do you think of God every
second of every day? Do you consider His will and desire before you make any decision?
Does your entire life revolve around God? Do you continually seek to please Him? Can
you honestly say that you, "LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART,
and with ALL THY SOUL, and with ALL THY MIND[?]"
The fact is, complete devotion to God and His ways go against our rebellious nature. We
are more inclined to go our own way, do our own thing, and run our own lives. Keeping
this foremost commandment is normally the farthest thing from our mind, and yet we
deceive ourselves, thinking we haven't broken any "major commandment."
But friend, you and I can be the best parent in the world, the best spouse, best employee,
citizen--you name it. But if we don't LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY
HEART, and with ALL THY SOUL, and with ALL THY MIND, we have still sinned in
God's eyes. Can any of us honestly claim we have followed this commandment
flawlessly? It's no wonder the Bible says: "For ALL HAVE SINNED, and COME
SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD." Rom. 3:23
"And THE SECOND is like, namely this, THOU SHALT LOVE
THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF. There is none other
commandment greater than these." Mark 12:31
Many, no doubt, feel they have satisfied this second one reasonably well. However,
look closely. The last two words, "AS THYSELF[,]" make this commandment virtually
impossible to follow.
For example, do you love yourself? We're not talking vanity here. Love is an action, an
act of caring. So how well do you care for yourself? Do you provide yourself with the
basic necessities of life? Or do you let yourself starve or die of thirst? Do you seek the
best medicine available? Do you treat yourself to those things that make you happy? Of
course you do. We all do! But the real question is: Do you do the same for your fellow
You see, you may think you're loving your neighbor, but unless you treat them with
the same sacrificial dedication that you treat yourself, you will fall short of truly obeying
God's second greatest commandment. And lest you think we're taking this commandment
to an extreme, consider the following conversation between a young man and Jesus
Christ: "And, behold, one came and said unto him [Jesus], Good Master, what good
thing shall I do, THAT I MAY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE? And he said unto him, Why
callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into
life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS" (Mat. 19:16-17). This young man wanted to know
what it took to get to Heaven, and in response, Jesus went on to list several
commandments including: "...Thou shalt LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF"
(Mat. 19:19). Like many today, the young man was self-righteous and, sadly, self-
deceived. Notice the pride in his voice as he makes the following claim: "The young
man saith unto him, All these things have I KEPT from my youth up: WHAT LACK I
YET?" Mat. 19:20
No doubt he felt he was already loving his neighbor. Perhaps he had performed many
kind gestures, like mowing his neighbor's lawn. Maybe he visited a sick stranger in the
hospital. Maybe he took someone in during a time of need. Yet, notice how Jesus defines
what it REALLY MEANS to love thy neighbor as thyself:
"Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and SELL THAT THOU HAST, AND
GIVE TO THE POOR, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow
me. BUT WHEN THE YOUNG MAN HEARD THAT SAYING, HE WENT AWAY
SORROWFUL: for he had great possessions" (Mat. 19:21-22). In reality, the price for
truly loving one's neighbor as thyself was too much for the young man. He couldn't do
it. The standard was simply too high.
Friend, by now you may be thinking that God's requirements are very unreasonable,
and even impossible to follow. You're not alone. Christ's own disciples also felt the
standard was too high. Notice what they asked Christ right after the young man went away
in defeat. "When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly AMAZED, saying, WHO
THEN CAN BE SAVED? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this
is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Mat. 19:25-26
Good question, isn't it? "WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?" Who can follow such high
standards? Who can truly follow these two foremost commandments? Who is without sin?
The answer is NO ONE! "For all have sinned, and COME SHORT of the glory of God"
(Rom. 3:23). And the result of sin is death and Hell. "FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS
DEATH." Rom. 6:23
Trying to earn our way to Heaven is a hopeless endeavor. That's why Jesus said,
"With men THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE[.]" However, all is not hopeless; there is a solution!
Jesus finished His statement by adding, "BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE
POSSIBLE." We may not be able to save ourselves, but God can surely save us-- and
He has already taken the first step! The Bible says:
"For God so loved the world, that HE GAVE his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him SHOULD NOT PERISH,
but HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE." John 3:16
Friend, the two commandments we looked at are the biggest proof that we can't save
ourselves--we need a Saviour! Christ died on the cross to become our Saviour. He made
salvation possible. Please continue reading to find out how you, too, can be saved . . .
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9 Baptism, good deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are all examples of good works that cannot save you, because: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he [Christ] saved us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8-9)
THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you. "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9
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