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This is a very good question that seems to have puzzled many people.  Let’s see if we can get a clear understanding from the Word of God.  Let’s begin by reading Matthew 19:23-24, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”  The Lord spoke these words to His disciples after watching a wealthy young man leave His presence; rejecting the Lord because of the influence of his own personal wealth.  His desire was to go to Heaven, but he was not willing to ‘let go’ of his riches so that he might ‘lay hold’ of the Heavenly riches promised to those who believe on the Lord Jesus.

Why is it difficult for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God?  The Apostle Paul spoke of such things in 1 Timothy 6:9-10where he wrote, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”  This speaks directly of someone whose desire is to be rich, who have a love of money, who covet after more.  The Lord Jesus said in Mark 10:24, “…how difficult it is that those who trust in riches should enter into the kingdom of God!”  We can see that it is not the riches, per se, that would hinder someone from putting their faith in the Lord, but it is those who love riches, who desire to be rich, and those who trust in their riches.  These things can put a barrier between us and the Lord.  It is difficult to let go of worldly possessions when all your passion is for earthly possessions.

King Solomon knew the danger of wealth.  He prayed in Proverbs 30:7-9, “Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”  He realized the danger in having so little that he might steal and speak the Lord’s name in vain.  He also realized the danger in having so much that he might lose sight of his need of the Lord.

Going back to our portion, the Lord remarked in Matthew 19:24, “…It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”  How are we to understand this statement?  The Lord is obviously using a figure of speech to get His point across.  While some have understood His words to refer to a shorter gate around the city of Jerusalem, where a camel would have to kneel to get through, I believe we find the most appropriate understanding when we take the Lord literal here.  While it would be very difficult for a camel to kneel and crawl through a gate, the Lord is not speaking of a difficulty, He is speaking of an impossibility.  It is impossible for a camel to go through a needle’s eye.  Notice the response of the disciples in verse 25, “When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?”  They understood the impossibility of the situation the Lord was explaining, so they asked how anyone, then, could be saved. 

The Lord’s grace makes the impossible possible.  We read the Lord’s words in Matthew 19:26, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”  What is impossible for men to do, like trying to put a camel through the eye of a needle, God can do with ease.  It is the power of God, alone, that can change a person’s heart and cause him to repent of his sins and put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  All the riches in the world, all the wisdom, all the reasonings cannot change a man’s cold and hardened heart.  It is only the power of God, through the Gospel of Christ, that can convict and change a person’s heart.  Paul wrote in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…”  It is the all-powerful God that can take an enemy of the Lord and through faith, turn him into a child of God.  The Lord said in Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”  Have you bowed your knee before the Lord and accepted Him as your Lord and savior?  He can change your heart, He can make you a new creature, He can make you to become His child when you trust the Lord as your savior.  You can do none of these things on your own.  (126.6)