“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:36-37
A simple question, really, yet how serious of a question. This question is so serious that it pertains to EACH PERSON. What is Jesus saying here that a man could lose his own soul or exchange his soul for something?
I heard a pastor say once that he heard of a very rich man who was old in years, near the end of his life. Someone asked the rich man, if he could have anything else, what would it be? The rich man’s reply was a little bit more money. No one is going to gain the whole world, if one could, there would be nothing else to get, no extra money, no extra toys, no islands, no private jets, the list could go on into infinity. For that reason, it is not possible to gain the whole world. Yet men do try to gain numerous positions of power and wealth, to which there is no end to their acquiring.
This same pastor went on further, breaking down the discussion of the rich man. He spoke about how kings, those who would have plenty of power and wealth, would give it all in exchange for an extension of their life, for just a few weeks. Think about that for a moment.
As those who have presumably ‘gained it all’ are near the end of their lives, would not most give it all up to just extend their life for just a brief time? Most of us will never be in positions to have such power or wealth, but this is relevant to EACH PERSON. Imagine if a rich man were to come up to you.
This rich man is nearly blind and only has a small field of vision in one eye. The one whom the rich man speaks to, is but a poor worker, just making ends meet. The rich man invites the poor man for a dinner at a fabulous restaurant. Presented before the poor man is the finest food and wine, this just after having been picked up by a limo for the ride to the restaurant. Around the rich man are beautiful women, some who seem to know the proposition that is at had, wondering if the poor man might consider their well-keeping. As the poor man is overwhelmed with the choices of fine food before him, the rich man begins his conversation, at hand is an offer.
The rich man tells the poor man how he might have everything, but he is unable to enjoy it because his eye sight is so very bad. He offers to bestow 90% of his wealth to the poor man, in exchange for his eyes. The deal is simple, the poor man becomes wildly rich and able to buy whatever he desires, but he takes upon himself the handicap of the rich man, blindness. The rich man gets back his vision and is able to once again see, but will have just enough money to live a very modest life the remainder of his years. The poor man only has until the end of their dessert to decide what to do, and if he chooses to trade his eyes for the rich man’s wealth, it will be done immediately, there are surgeons and doctors waiting for his phone call.
Such an unlikely scenario, though I know there are some who would actually trade their eyesight for power and wealth. Yet how much more is the soul worth? These bodies die, but the soul lives forever! We all know that you ‘can’t take it with you.’
“Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell down upon the ground and prostrated himself; and he said: Naked I have come from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. Jehovah has given, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed is the name of Jehovah.” Job 1:20-21
Most people will scoff at the idea that they are exchanging their souls for anything. Yet understand that, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end of it is the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12
Remember, each person will stand before God Almighty INDIVIDUALLY and be held accountable. The reality is quite simple, either your name is written in the Book of Life, you have repented of your sins and believed into Jesus Christ, His Son, OR you have not. You are either exchanging your soul for your refusal to repent and believe OR you are His bondservant (Rom. 1:1), a Christian, a true Believer.
“And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God. And books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, out of the things which were written in the books. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one, according to their works. And Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.” Revelation 20:11-15
“Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10
Will your soul go to Heaven or Hell? Will you rather the praise of men and deny your Creator? Would you refuse to repent of your sin and believe into a loving Savior? Would you rather focus on ‘your life’ and not die to yourself, picking up your cross daily and following the ONE who CREATED your soul? God has made in quite clear in His Word what the results of refusing to accept Salvation are.
“for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” John 12:43
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. The one believing into Him is not judged; but the one not believing is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:16-20
“Then He said to them all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life on account of Me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27
For most people they will not even come close to gaining the whole world. Most will not be rich, nor powerful. Most in fact will have a life that is riddled with troubles and problems. Many will spend that life on alcohol, medication or drugs, to deal with their ‘issues’. They will refuse to consider the real issue: sin. What will most people give in exchange for their soul: DISBELIEF.
“Then He said to Thomas, Bring your finger here, and look at My hands; and bring your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing. And Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God! Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those not seeing and yet believing. And truly Jesus did many other signs before His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:27-31