Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17, NKJV)
We are not told why this man ran to Jesus. We assume he urgently desired to talk with Jesus before he lost his opportunity. (We should not delay to urgently run to Christ for salvation and the spiritual blessings only He gives.) He knelt before Jesus in an obvious expression of deference and honor. (We ought to approach Jesus with reverential honor.) The man recognized Jesus as “Good Teacher.” (Jesus emphasized His goodness was linked to His divine nature, since “No one is good but One, that is, God,” Mark 10:18). The man was interested in eternal life, and wanted to know what to do to inherit it. Note, Jesus did not tell him there was nothing he could or should do. Jesus told him to keep the commandments of God (which the man had kept from his youth, Mark 10:19-20). Jesus loved the man, but he lacked one thing. His heart was not fully given to Christ. He loved his possessions more than following Jesus (Mark 10:21-22). He had to change his heart – his allegiance – to follow Jesus and inherit eternal life. When you run to Jesus, where is your heart? Be sure your heart will do whatever it takes to “take up the cross and follow” Jesus (Mark 10:21).
“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” (Ezekiel 18:20, NKJV)
Personal accountability for one’s sin is a consistent, Biblical theme. We cannot blame others for the sins we commit, including our ancestors. We do not bear the guilt of Adam’s sin; we bear the guilt of our own sin. It is a deceptive, demonic doctrine that says we inherent depravity from Adam, or that we inherit a sin nature due to Adam’s sin; It is not biblical truth (1 Timothy 4:1). Without question, sin and death entered the world through Adam. But, “death passed to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Ezekiel affirms the same truth. Each person bears the guilt of his own sin – “the soul who sins shall die.” We do not inherit sin, or righteousness. Let us cast off the false doctrine of inherited, total depravity. Our sin separates us from God. Yet, God’s marvelous mercy and grace offers us freedom from sin and death through faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23; 1:16-17). By accepting personal accountability for your sin, you can be convicted, converted and saved (Acts 2:36-41).
1 The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, 2 “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? 3 “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel. 4 Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die. (Ezekiel 18:1-4)
Israel used this proverb of sour grapes because they believed they were being punished unjustly due to the sins of their fathers. In effect, God answers, “No, you are being punished for your own sins”. Children do not inherit the sin of their fathers; not its guilt and not its punishment (see John 9:1-3). The doctrine of total hereditary depravity does not come from the Scriptures. It comes from the theological contortions of men. Every soul answers to God for itself, because all souls are His. Your life is a gift from God. Live your life as a blessing to God and to men. You will answer to the Lord and receive either eternal life or eternal death for what you have done (2 Cor. 5:10; Matt. 25:46). We all will.