It engages in quiet competition. Each branch debates on the best way to prosper. They look at one another to see what may be working for the other group and decide what the others are doing is what they should be doing. The goal-bring in more people. The business-the church!
All too often we hear of what’s wrong with the church. Seldom do you hear what is right with the church. Granted more times than not we have to concede to the truth that the church has failed in its mission.
Today, I want to introduce a major reason why the church seems to be failing. They have lost sight of the value of the human soul.
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38 NASB)
The issues of God and the issues of man differ radically. Mark 8:34-9:1 shows how much they differ.
A possible outline: (POSB, Mark 8:34-9:1, pages 158-161)
- The issue of discipleship: indulgence vs. denying self (34)
- The issue of life: saving life vs. losing life (35)
- The issue of value: gaining the world vs. saving the soul (36-37)
- The issue of Messiah: being ashamed vs. confessing Christ. (38)
- The issue of death: tasting death vs. seeing God’s kingdom (9:1)
Today I want to focus on the issue of value. (My Outline)
I. What is of value to you?
- An example might be your iPhone
- An example might be you IPad, tablet, etc…
- An example might be your vehicle.
- An example might be your identity. (Clemson, Carolina, Sexual Orientation)
- An example might be an item of personal value.
II. What is of value to Jesus?
Simply stated Jesus values most the salvation of your soul.
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.
He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:1-10 NASB)
The Greek word translated soul is the same Greek word translate life. Jesus used the word life in two senses. There are two stages, two beings, two existences to the same life. The life that exists on this earth and the life that shall exist beyond this earth, in heaven. Once a person is born into this world, he will exist forever. It is just a matter of where he goes after life in this world: to be with God or to be apart from God. The human soul exists forever. It is eternal. It never dies. It never ceases to exist.
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36 NASB)
He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. (John 12:25-26 NASB)
III. What is of value to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ?
- It could be the church’s heritage.
- It could be the church’s bank account.
- It could be the church’s building.
- It could be the church’s member’s
The Value Of A Soul
His clothes were old and ragged; in his hand he held a glass. He was our
city’s poorest drunk, a man of lower class. “Lord, you don’t know that
man,” I said. “He’s lived his life in vain. He’ll bring disgrace into
the church and reproach upon your name.”
“I’d like to know him,” Jesus said, “but he does not know me. But if
you’ll help me reach him, then what a change you’ll see. I’ll take that
wretched, sinful life and cleanse it with my blood. And when he gives
his heart to me, I’ll fill it with my love.”
“His soul cannot be purchased with the wealth you’ve seen today. But I
was sent to die for him; my blood has paid the way. He’s my lost sheep,”
the Savior said, “And I love you both the same, But if you think he’s
worthless, then I surely died in vain.”
“So when you look upon someone whose life is wrecked by sin, If you’ll
just have compassion, then you’ll share your brother’s pain. You must
not look upon his past or what he seems to be. But look beyond his many
faults and know, I’ll set him free.”
“Don’t look at him as just a man and only see his shame, But see him as
a precious soul that I have died to save.” “This earthly wealth,” the
Savior said, “cannot draw men to me. But I paid a price upon the cross,
to set this whole world free.
Stand. Look across the aisle. Take a glance at those behind you, in front of you, and those by your side. Now I ask you, what do you value most? Is it the soul of those you know, those you meet? Is it yours?
Give your life to Jesus. Receive Him as your Savior.
THINGS FOR WHICH PEOPLE TRADE THEIR SOULS…
1. For some people, it is earthly riches and fame
In their quest for riches, they neglect their service to God – 1Ti 6:10
Yet they have traded their souls for that which is corruptible and can be stolen – Mt 6:19-21
2. For others, it is the “passing pleasures of sin” a. Like the young man tempted by the harlot – Pr 5:1-14
1) In a moment’s passion, lives are destroyed (AIDS, unwanted pregnancies)
2) Marriages and families are ruined b. Young people like Joseph, Moses, and Daniel should inspire us to make the right choices – cf. Gen 39:7-9; He 11:24-25; Dan 1:8
3. Then others allow their souls to be sold for some convenient false doctrine
Of which we need to beware – Col 2:8,18
For the devil is a master at this – 2Co 11:13-15
Through our own lack of Bible study, we can lose the most valuable thing we have! – cf. Hos 4:6
4. Finally, many will trade their souls through simple laziness!
They will not use the opportunities the Lord has given them – cf. Mt 25:24-30
b. They fail to apply the diligence necessary to grow spiritually – cf. 2Pe 1:5-11
Until Next Time,