The Value of The Soul
THE VALUE OF THE SOUL
I have a few pictures that I want to show you…these are things that are highly valued in our society…
- This is a Lexus car. One advertisement says of this car, “Experience Amazing.”
- Here is an X-Box. For teenagers and young people; even some adults these are highly desired.
- Here is a pair of Nike sports shoes. These are “the” brand for athletes.
- Here is a Louis Vuitton hand bag. I don’t know much about these but I understand they are a kind of a status symbol.
- Power, popularity, influence, sexual attraction and affection? Just watch the news and you find that these are apparently highly valued.
I could go on and on and show you picture after picture of all kinds of things…but I only have one more to ask you about. How valuable is this? (Your SOUL)
- Judging from what people do most of them don’t put much value on their soul (and that may be true for some of us).
- God tells us how much our soul is worth in that He gave His Son to die so that our souls could be saved.
- And here in the passage that was read. Jesus says, “For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul?” So from what Jesus says your soul is worth more than anything individually or collectively that this world has to offer.
- Our soul is the only thing we possess that is eternal and it is the only thing we will possess when we stand before the Lord to be judged.
- And yet, evidently most people don’t think the soul is all that valuable because most people in the world will and do exchange their SOUL for things of the world; things like these, things that will not last.
We have all seen in the news, instances where mobs of people go into a business or a department store, grab armloads of merchandise like X-boxes and Louis Vuitton purses and Nike shoes and walk out without paying for it.
- Every day we hear of another instance where individuals violently beat someone and hijack their “amazing” car.
- We read of human sex trafficking; drive by shootings; and sexual perversions. And is it any wonder? One thing that seems to be a common practice today is, instead of getting married, just living together. (Is it any wonder that our culture has migrated into some of the sexual perversions that we see today? Children learn from their parent’s example and if mom and dad don’t care about God’s design, why should they. When a man and a woman go through a marriage ceremony and repeat their vows that speaks of God, and His design; and it speaks of commitment to everyone in attendance, especially small children. And years later when children born into that marriage see wedding pictures and how beautiful mom was in her gown that inspires little girls to do the same. But if parents show no regard for God’s will and His design, then why should their children. So is it any wonder we are seeing all this sexual confusion and perversions?)
- And every day we witness the fight for power, influence, and popularity.
- People lie, steal, make excuses, and blame everyone else for their bad behavior…behavior that puts their souls in grave danger…but that is ok because, after all, “the things of this world are of more value than your soul!”
This is the example that the world sets before us.
- And in keeping with the world’s example parents start teaching their children at a young age “to lay up their treasures here on earth” and the one with the most “things” is the one who wins.
- And by the time they reach adulthood they are fully indoctrinated.
And it is easy to be lured into this trap.
- In fact, there are some who were once part of our number who have, like the Prodigal Son of Luke 15, left their heavenly Father and have been drawn to the “distant country.”
- The allurement is strong. But is it really worth it?
Obviously our Lord doesn’t think so. Remember Matthew 6:19-20. Jesus says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
- All the things that the world says are more valuable and important than your soul will only be destroyed.
- But not so for those things that are heavenly treasures.
Remember in Luke 12:16-21 the rich man who was very productive and decided to build larger barns to store his grain and his goods.
- And he says, “I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come: take your ease and eat, drink and be merry.”
- Remember what God said to him: “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared? So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Remember the “Rich, Young, Ruler” of Mark 10:17-22. He had it all. He was rich, he had power and influence, and he had youth and morality.
- But the one thing that he didn’t have was eternal life and the tragic thing is, he wasn’t willing to give up any of his earthly possesses, wealth, or power to get it!
- As a result the Bible says, “He went away grieved.”
In Mark 9:43-48 Jesus tells us that we would be better off being lame, crippled, and blind in this life and enter into heaven than it would be to be whole and enter into hell.
Everything in this world, all the luxuries; all the things; all the X-Boxes; all the Louis Vuitton purses…all of those things will be eaten by moths, destroyed by rust, left to someone else or ultimately be burned and yet people act like they are more valuable than their souls.
I suppose that one of the reasons why most people strive for what the world has to offer is fear.
- Fear of missing out; fear of doing without; fear of not being happy; fear of not fitting in or being powerful, or popular, or sexually attractive.
- People seem to always be trying to gain the approval of their peers.
But again Jesus says that there is something much more valuable. Look what He says in Matthew 10:28: And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
- If your soul is destroyed in hell; what benefit is it if you gain the approval of your worldly peers? None indeed!
So, what do we do? What do we do as we see some of our brothers and sisters in Christ, some of our family members, some of our children and grandchildren, some of our friends dangerously in the process of forfeiting their souls for the things of the world?
2 Tim 4:1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.
2 years ago over $240 billion dollars was spent in this country on advertising telling people that you just can’t live without this purse, or this car, or this set of ear buds, or this game console.
- Or if you want to have fun, or be popular, or if you want to be attractive physically and sexually, or if you want to be successful, it is essential that you drink this, or wear that, or act this way.
- Almost every social media site, Tik Tok; Twitter; Facebook; Snap chat; all have advertisements that do the same thing.
- Most movies; most books; most magazines; most music whether it is country and western, rock and roll, hip hop, soul, or rap promotes worldly values
- People are bombarded from all sides with the allurements of the world.
That is why it is critical that we, as the Lord’s people, step up and boldly proclaim the word of God and warn not only our brothers and sisters in Christ, not only our children and our grandchildren, about gaining the world and losing their souls…but we must also warn those who are in the world.
- Because if we don’t, then who will.
And I don’t believe that we have to be harsh. I don’t believe that we are to be judgmental.
- I don’t believe we are to be pushy or condemning.
- But I do believe that we are to be honest.
- And, like the apostle Paul says in Gal. 6:1, I believe we should try to “restore one in a spirit of gentleness.”
- And I believe what the apostle Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:7; that God has not given us a spirit of timidity; but one of power and love and discipline.
- I believe that if we don’t try, no one else will.
In 1 Cor. 13 the apostle Paul says, “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things; Love never fails.”
- When we see a brother or sister or anyone else who is “forfeiting” their soul, if we sit back silently do we really love them?
Yesterday I had a man who claimed to be a follower of Christ tell me that he was seriously considering moving to Russia because things are so bad in this country and that things are only going to get worse. Perhaps he is right; perhaps things are only going to get worse.
- But I do not believe that God wants us to jump ship. I believe He wants us to “snatch as many as we can from the fire.”
We must quit being afraid of hurting people’s feelings; we must instead be concerned about their souls, and in love teach them that if they don’t get to heaven, nothing else matters.
What about you? If your life were to end today or this week, what would be the eternal destination of your soul? You can put that concern to rest if you will “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him.” Will you come…
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023