The Litmus Test : For Christians Only
Printer-Friendly Version  The Litmus Test : What Stands Between You and the Free Gift?

What Stands between You and the Free Gift?

Eternal life is a free gift.[1] Okay, that’s clear. But to whom is it given? According to the word of God it is available for all who overcome everything that is set against the freedom to drink of the water of life.

And He said to me, “It is done, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” (Revelation 21:6,7)

Now some people would think you were a heretic if you said that one had to actually do something to gain eternal life. But it’s true, there are obstacles that stand in the way of the free gift the Father offers all who trust in His Son. Oh yes, there’s that word: trust. The rich young ruler was one who could not overcome the obstacles that kept him from inheriting eternal life. He would not trust Yahshua.

“One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Mark 10:21-22)

But the rich young ruler’s trust was in his riches:

Then Jesus [Yahshua] looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God?” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:23-24)

So, what Yahshua said in verse 25 was the case for him:

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. (Mark 10:25)

In order for the rich young ruler to overcome the obstacle that stood between him and eternal life, he had to do what Yahshua commanded him to do. The disciples understood that this was foundational for all those who would follow Him, not just for this particular man, as some say. So they asked, “Who then can be saved?” Yahshua went on to tell them the certain[2] good news, which applies to all who wish to receive the free gift of salvation.

So each one must overcome the obstacles, which stand in the way of faith, which grants trust (or belief); and trusting Him completely will motivate us to obey all His commandments.[3] So we see from the example of the rich young ruler that eternal life is only given to those who overcome whatever would stand in the way of drinking freely from the water of life.[4]

The Obstacles

Yahshua saw and understood the obstacles that would keep someone from coming to Him to receive the free gift of eternal life. He outlined these things extensively in the gospels, such as:

  • Possessions
  • Family
  • Your own life

In Revelation 21 it goes on to talk about how those who do not overcome these obstacles are the worst kind of criminal, deserving of the second death.

“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

First in the list of the worst criminals of humanity in Revelation 21:8 is the cowardly and unbelieving — those who have the privilege of hearing from someone sent from the Father exactly what they must do in order to receive the water of life, and yet they shrink back from trusting and believing.[5] The rich young ruler turned out to be a coward and disbelieved the Son of God. He may not have been like all the rest of the criminals in the list of Revelation 21:8, but he became the worst of them all.


[1] Romans 6:23

[2] Not to be doubted or denied; established as a fact.

[3] 1 John 2:4; Matthew 28:20

[4] Revelation 22:17

[5] John 3:18-21

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