In Exchange for Nothing

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  Matthew 16:26


A preacher can write, preach, warn, rebuke, exhort often, but how many actually take heed to whatever is done honorable and according to the will of God regarding these things that mankind needs to know?  Certainly it can be discouraging.


Long before my first article ever written on All Will Stand, there were fiery conversations that were had at my local job.  We would debate back and forth about all sorts of topics from the girl who thought God was in everything, to the manager who thought that the charismatic movement was correct, as well as speaking in tongues, to the one who was Roman Catholic and believed that to be the right path to the atheist who said there was no God. 


There were those who thought women preachers were allowed, some who thought that christian rock was the way to go.  Then there was the couple who actually got Saved while I was working there, believe it or not, as the closer (and eventually night manager) at a McDonald’s.  All of these conversations were had and each day, even with different viewpoints, we debated and both parties, myself and the other, would come in with their ‘evidence’ to present to the other trying to prove our cases.  While my arguments based upon the Bible might not have been accepted, there was not a single ‘lost’ argument, I had help, a good friend and these sorts of things caused extreme growth in the knowledge of the Bible.


Each and every question that I could not answer or point that was made caused me to ask my ministry friend, but also study the Bible (Acts 17:11) to come to the truth of the matter to be able to actually stand firm on the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:15)


For instance, I knew that speaking in tongues was wrong, but after all of the debate, I was able to point clearly to verse after verse and PROVE that it was wrong (1 Thessalonians 5:21).


That was back in 2003 and 2004, things are different now.  I speak to pastors, so-called Christians and others, there is usually no spark of interest, nor rebuke, the conversation will just cease.  At least these folks twenty years ago had an interest and I do believe that two of them out of these people actually got Saved (Acts 20:21)


Sometimes I am surprised that no one even ‘argues’ or debates anymore.  There was a time back in 2015-16, when I was the assistant manager at a Qdoba where one person would have conversations regarding these sorts of things and there would be one other who would listen in.  Instead of being civil, when she heard something she didn’t like, for instance that ‘you must repent’ she, a professed Christian, would drop ‘f-bombs’ left and right, making the other laugh.


In the end, God’s truth was imparted to this young man, though he seemed to decide to go the dark way, considering selling his soul to become a music artist.  I’ve never looked him up, but perhaps he plays concerts somewhere now?  Nonetheless, I would decline an invite to hear him play, if that were the case.  At least he could make an argument that for fame and fortune, should that be the case, he sold his soul to the devil.  In exchange for nothing, most will continue on in rebellion towards God on the broad path to Hell (Matthew 7:13).


The problem is that we are all guilty before God, our Creator. 


“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”Romans 3:23


For which case equates death and eternal hellfire:


“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:23


“And many of those sleeping in the earth’s dust shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproach and everlasting abhorrence.”  Daniel 12:2


There are so many people who simply ‘believe’ the Gospel, that is they believe that Jesus existed, many of them believe He is the Son of God (Mark 1:1), part of the Trinity (1 John 5:7), but they make no real change of heart towards God (Romans 10:8-10; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Acts 17:30-31), they will not give up their lives so that they might save it (Matthew 16:25), there is no repentance. 


You see even the demons believe…


“You believe that God is One. You do well. Even the demons believe, and shudder.”  Jacob (James) 2:19


What about these who obviously were thinking they were doing the work of God?


“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many works of power in Your name?  And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who work out lawlessness!”  Matthew 7:21-23


Workers of iniquity, well they were not allowed access into Heaven, so therefore these will be in the Lake of Fire, for their names were not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27).


“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


Will you give all and allow God to do the sanctification work in your life (1 Thessalonians 5:23) as you grow in Christ (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:8)?  Will you truly repent before God (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), believing into Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior (Acts 20:21), accepting the free gift of Salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10), with no works whatsoever? 


Or are you failing the test?


“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know, yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you; unless indeed you are ones failing the test?”  2nd Corinthians 13:5


What did you give up?


“Then Peter answered and said to Him, Behold, we have left everything and followed You. What then will there be for us?  And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.”  Matthew 19:27-29