To answer the question, how do I inherit eternal life, we must go to the Bible. There one of the most unusual and perplexing dialogs related to salvation rises after a rich man comes running up to Jesus and asks him on his knees, What must I do to inherit eternal life?
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17)
After Jesus asked if he kept various commands and he said he did, Jesus dropped the bombshell on him, which has mystified Christians:
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)
In Mk. 10:22 we learn he had great wealth. So why did Jesus tell this person something different than Nicodemus on salvation (John 3)? Here is the key! Though it is not obvious, the man was greedy and that idol needed to go. How can we be sure about his greed? Because the Lord Jesus told the greedy Pharisees the same crucial advise in Luke 11:39-41:
Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
Mark 10:21 spoken to this rich man is essentially the same as Luke 11:41 spoken to the greedy Pharisees. NOTE: Jesus never told Zacchaeus, who was also wealthy (Luke 19:2-10) that he would have to give all he had to the poor to inherit eternal life! Why? Because greed never had a grip on him, as it did on others. Please carefully read through the New Testament for yourself to learn more about saving faith and eternal life.