What will determine my eternal destiny?
This is a question that you must have been asking yourself if you have been paying attention to the story Jesus used to teach regarding two different eternal destinies. What determines our destiny? Is it something that we can obtain by our own efforts? Can we get to Heaven for being “good”?
I am sure you have noticed that Jesus does not tell us that the rich man was a bad person. Instead, he represents a category of people: Those who trust in themselves and their “works” or accomplishments instead of realizing that their “good works” will never be good enough for God. In their hearts, there is no conviction of sin; they rely on themselves and do not realize that they are in a desperate state—they need a Savior.
Have you noticed that all through the story, the rich man’s name is never mentioned? We do not know the rich man’s name. And even though he must have been very well-known at his time on Earth, he was not known by the Lord. On the contrary, we know that the one who went to Heaven was Lazarus. We know him by name because God knew him by name. In fact, his name means: “God has helped.” On Earth, he was miserable, unhappy, homeless, sick, hungry, and when he died, no one buried him. In the eyes of man, no one cared about him; he seemed helpless. But Lazarus was helped by God; he was taken to Heaven by angels. His trust was in the only one who could help him and love him just as he was. His name indicated how much God cared for him. Lazarus’s external condition allowed him to realize how much he needed God. He needed to be saved; He needed a Savior just as we all do.
Where is your trust placed? Have you put your trust in yourself, your works, money, and accomplishments, or in God?
Thousands of years ago, a prophet named Isaiah proclaimed, “You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags...” (Isaiah 64:5–7) NVI. Isaiah put it perfectly: Even when we try our best, it is not enough. What we consider to be right, in the eyes of God is like a filthy rag.
All these things can sound discouraging if we forget the Gospel. We have a Savior, His name is Jesus. We are saved by His work when we trust that what He did for us was enough to make peace between God and us. His life was a gift to us; salvation is for everybody and is for free. We do not have to pay or do anything except for believing in our hearts and confessing with our tongue that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. I cannot wait to share this compelling news, could you? Who's your One?