"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Value Of A Soul (8:36-37) INTRODUCTION 1. After telling His disciples and others nearby the cost of being His disciple, Jesus asked... "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?" - Mk 8:36-37 2. With these words of Jesus we are reminded of the value of the soul... a. It is the most valuable possession one has b. All earthly possessions, position, pleasure, and power are not worth the value of one's soul! [But perhaps some might wonder...] I. WHY IS THE SOUL OF MAN SO VALUABLE? A. IT IS MADE IN GOD'S IMAGE... 1. Man was created in the image of God - Gen 1:26-27 a. Yet God does not have a physical body like ours
- cf. Jn 4:24; Lk 24:39 b. Therefore it must be our soul, or spirit, that is in God's image 2. This is what enable us to comprehend abstract concepts as: a. Life, death, eternity b. Things of beauty c. A moral sense of ought, right and wrong, good and evil 3. Making us more than just animal creatures - cf. Ps 8:3-8 B. IT IS THAT OVER WHICH WE HAVE MUCH CONTROL... 1. The body is mostly the result of genetics a. We might be able to change a little through exercise, plastic surgery, etc. b. But we cannot stop the eventual aging and dying process 2. The soul, however, is different... a. Despite one's genetics, there is much that can be changed b. With God's help, we can change attitudes, character
- Ro 12:1-2; Col 3:12-15 C. IT DOES NOT CEASE TO EXIST AT DEATH... 1. The body dies, and soon returns back to the dust a. The soul, or spirit, returns back to God - Ec 12:7 b. Awaiting the resurrection of the body - cf. 1Co 15:35-58 2. After which comes the Judgment - He 9:27; 2Co 5:10 a. The soul, in its resurrected body, will bear the brunt of that Judgment b. Either eternal life, honor, glory, and immortality - Ro 2:7 c. Or indignation, wrath, tribulation, and anguish - Ro 2:8-9 3. Which is why we need to evaluate all things (possessions, decisions, actions) from an eternal perspective, from the soul's viewpoint - Mt 10:28; 16:26 D. IT REQUIRES A GREAT COST TO REDEEM IT... 1. What price is required to redeem our souls from the wrath of God's judgment? 2. Nothing less than the blood of the Son of God! - 1Pe 1:18-19 3. Even if we cannot fully comprehend why Jesus had to die, we should able to see that the souls of men must be extremely valuable if His death was necessary [So the Bible teaches that the soul is more valuable than the whole world! And yet, many "sell their souls" for what surely are petty bargains. For example, consider...] II. WHAT WILL ONE GIVE IN EXCHANGE FOR HIS SOUL? A. FOR SOME IT IS EARTHLY RICHES AND FAME... 1. In their quest for riches, they neglect their service to God - 1Ti 6:10 2. Yet they've traded their souls for what is corruptible and can be stolen - Mt 6:19-21 B. FOR OTHERS IT IS THE PASSING PLEASURES OF SIN... 1. Like the young man tempted by the harlot - Pr 5:1-14 a. In a moment's passion, lives are destroyed (AIDS, unwanted pregnancies) b. Marriages and families are ruined 2. Young people in the Bible should inspire us to make the right choices a. Like Joseph - Gen 39:7-9 b. Like Moses - He 11:24-25 c. Like Daniel - Dan 1:8 C. FOR OTHERS IT IS CONVENIENT FALSE DOCTRINES... 1. Of which we need to beware - Col 2:8,18 2. For the devil is a master at this - 2Co 11:13-15 3. Through lack of Bible study, we can lose the most valuable thing we have! - Hos 4:6 D. FOR MANY IT IS SIMPLE NEGLECT... 1. They will not use the opportunities the Lord has given them - cf. Mt 25:24-30 2. They fail to apply the diligence necessary to grow spiritually - cf. 2Pe 1:5-11 CONCLUSION 1. How valuable is your soul...? a. Think of what the rich man in Hades would tell you - cf. Lk 16:22-24 b. Think of what the souls of the redeemed would say to you-cf. Re 7:13-17 c. Think of what Jesus and God have done to save your soul! - cf. Jn 3:16 2. Dear friends and brethren, you don't have to lose your soul...! a. Humbly submit yourself to the will of God b. Let His Word guide you, let no man beguile you of your reward c. Overcome temptations, and suffer for His cause with rejoicing Implied in all these words is that there will be the Day of Judgment (Ac 17:30-31), with possible consequences terrible beyond comprehension (Re 20:11-15; 21:8). Are you willing to risk losing your soul...?