Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to header Skip to footer


Am I good enough for eternal life?

From the February 2012 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Jesus promised his followers, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life” (John 10:27, 28). This “eternal life” is the salvation all Christians hope will be the culmination of a life well lived, but such a hope raises the question: Are we good enough for eternal life? 

In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke we read the story of the man who asked Jesus, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16). The basic assumption in this man’s question is that in order to be good enough for a future eternal life or salvation, he had to find the right “good thing” to do. Rather than accepting the man’s presumption of eternal life as a future reward based on present good works, Jesus redirected the man’s thought. Jesus replied, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God” (19:17). Jesus’ rejection of his own personal goodness mystified me, as I’m sure it did the man, too, since I regard the man Jesus as someone who did so many good works that surely he deserved the title “Good Master.” But what became clear to me is that the “Good Master” was emphatically making the point that the only source of good is God, not man. 

If this is true, then how can a man ever be good enough for eternal life?

Sign up for unlimited access

You've accessed 1 piece of free Journal content


Subscription aid available

 Try free

No card required

More In This Issue / February 2012


Explore Concord—see where it takes you.

Search the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures