Eternal Gain and Loss

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

This Scripture prompts us to ask: What is man’s soul that God places such a high value on it? The Word of God gives man clarity about who he is. It tells us that we are created in the image of God (see Genesis 1:27). The spiritual part of man was created holy and pure by God and equipped with a free will, with the ability to choose and decide for himself. The soul of man is a spiritual being and therefore cannot be seen with the mortal eye. The soul is immortal; it lives on when the body dies. 

The value God places on the soul

After people fell into sin, God said “For the redemption of their souls is costly” (Psalm 49:8). Man could not redeem himself, and no man could have redeemed another, since all have sinned and need redemption. Even the angels were not able to do so. Therefore, the only begotten Son of God was chosen to accomplish the magnificent work of redemption. 

In anticipation of this great atoning sacrifice and in reference to it, the people of Israel were commanded to offer sacrifices. This was done until the time of the great atoning sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of the world. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4). 

Through sin, the immortal soul of man has been plunged into ruin. But thanks be to God that through redemption by Jesus Christ, the soul can be saved from corruption. “For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). In 1 Peter 1:18-19, we read the glorious words: “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

The value of an object is calculated according to what it costs. The redemption of the world cost the Lord Jesus Christ an extremely high price. There are millions of souls who have already perceived the high value of redemption.

The eternal loss of the soul in hell

Eternity is a big, meaningful word. Forever and ever, without ceasing, the soul will continue to live there. What will it mean for the one who has rejected the grace of God, when at the end of his life on earth he arrives there without having obtained salvation in Christ! The Bible teaches that the inevitable fate of unsaved humanity will be an eternity in hell. We find a description of the terrible condition of lost souls in Jude 13: “…raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame, wandering stars, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” 

What would those who have gone into eternity without God and without hope give if they could once again return to the time of grace! How differently they would then use their time!

The glorious gain of the redeemed soul in heaven

Let us now turn our gaze from this gloomy picture and cast a glance over into that life of blessedness and glory which follows a godly and holy life here on earth.

Through the eye of faith, we see God there, Christ, the holy angels, and the loved ones who have passed away in the Lord, who have gone before us. We see our own name inscribed in the Book of Life. How glorious it is to think of this and to have the certainty that one day we will see our Savior and Redeemer face to face. Indeed, if we remain faithful to the Lord, we will one day walk the golden streets and hear the heavenly harps, and we ourselves will join in the heavenly song of praise. In John 12:26, Jesus says, “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him my Father will honor.”

Give up all sin and let the Lord save your soul!

We were created by God for different purposes. But no human being was created for hell. However, where we will spend eternity depends on our spiritual condition at the time when we leave this world. People have lost their money and also their health and have gained them back, but if the soul is lost on that day, it is irretrievably lost, and its eternal fate and destiny is then sealed. 

The Bible tells us clearly that to be carnally-minded is enmity against God. Satan has many people so blinded that they do not even recognize and appreciate their most precious and valuable possessions. They only chase after vain and perishable things and do not care about the salvation of their souls. Judas sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver. Also today, many sell their souls for things that have no eternal value.

In order to obtain salvation, God only requires the sinner to repent, confess, and forsake his sins. To all those who are willing to forsake sin, He offers salvation and eternal bliss. This is the greatest and most glorious gift a person can receive.

Has God already been able to give you salvation, dear reader, or are you still living in your sins?

S.C. Boggs

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