The Salvation of the Rich Young Ruler





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Published on May 27, 2012

The Salvation of the Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-27) by Rev. Angus Stewart
I. The Proof
II. The Events
III. The Lessons

Alfred Edersheim: "For, 'looking at him' in his sincerity and earnestness, 'He loved him'—as He loves those that are His Own. One thing was needful for this young man: that he should not only become His disciple, but that, in so doing, he should 'come and follow' Christ ... And, although we hear no more of him, who that day went back to his rich home very poor, because "very sorrowful," we cannot but believe that he, whom Jesus loved, yet found in the poverty of earth the treasure of heaven" (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, vol. 2, p. 341).

A. W. Pink: "Concerning the rich young ruler of whom it is said Christ 'loved him' (Mark 10:21), we fully believe that he was one of God's elect, and was saved sometime after his interview with our Lord" (The Sovereignty of God, p. 201).

David J. Engelsma: "However one might explain Mark 10:17-22, the incident of the rich young ruler who asked Jesus about inheriting eternal life and went away grieved, Jesus' love for the rich ruler was a saving love, that is, a love that desired his salvation. The context concerns inheriting eternal life (v. 17) and entering the kingdom of God (vv. 23-31). If, then, the rich ruler perished in his sins, it is possible that the Christ of God loves a man with a love that desires his salvation, but that He fails, nevertheless, to accomplish the desired salvation. This necessarily raises the further question, 'Did Christ in His love for and desire to save some persons who yet perish also carry this love and desire to save to the cross?' For Mark 10:32ff. proclaims the cross, especially verse 45: '... the Son of man came ... to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.' In this case, Christ died for persons who go lost forever. The doctrine of limited atonement is denied. Scripture condemns the notion of a universal, ineffectual Messianic love as false. Christ loved 'His own,' loved them "unto the end," gave Himself to the cross for them alone, and effectually gives eternal life to every one of the (see John 13:1, 18; 17:1ff .). From the fact that Jesus loved the rich ruler, we may, must, and can only conclude that the rich ruler was one of the elect and that, later, he was converted, gladly selling all he had, giving to the poor, and following Christ. Jesus suggests as much in verses 23-27: what is impossible with men is possible with God, even the salvation of a rich man" (Standard Bearer, vo. 71, p. 321).

Don Doezema on the rich young ruler: "He felt a 'lack.' That already, it would seem, is a fruit of the work of the Spirit in the man's heart. That this is a correct evaluation of the young man is borne out by Jesus' reaction to him. Immediately after the young man affirmed that he had kept the commandment from his youth, we read that Jesus, 'beholding him loved him' (Mark 10:21). That can only be the love wherewith Jesus loves His own. And that love is an efficacious love, a love that accomplishes its purpose" (Upon This Rock, vol. 1, p. 428).


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