Men are familiar with words such as: profit, gain, loss, give and exchange. From petty trading to big time investments, from banking to the great stock exchanges these are very familiar words. Transactions and trading are hourly phenomenon everywhere across the globe.
SOUL AS ‘COMMODITY’!
Jesus Christ said, or rather, asked: “FOR WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN, IF HE SHALL GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL? OR WHAT SHALL A MAN GIVE IN EXCHANGE FOR HIS SOUL? – Mark 8: 36, 37. Jesus here captures these business terms and applies them to the saddest and yet most sweeping transaction and trading going on in God’s universe. And for its seriousness, He asked it doubly. It is a twin-question.
Aside these business terms, we also see the ‘commodities’, being traded as it were: souls, on the one hand, and the world (either in part or whole), on the other hand. It takes two to trade and in this case you and Satan, I am afraid, could well be the actors. Adam lost his soul in that transaction. Jesus saved His when the devil introduced same. Today there is a divide that puts all men either behind Adam or Jesus. How is your soul? Have you made it a commodity? Have you taken it to the market place of Satan? While you think about that, let’s say few things about the ‘pricelessness’ of your soul, and yet its troubles, before we consider this twin-question of the Savior, evidently the most critical question under the sun.
SOUL, PRICELESS SOUL!
The soul is such a priceless thing that no mortal man can grasp its full worth. No mortal man! Partly because of the deceitfulness of sin, and also of riches, and partly because men do not see the soul with the human eye, they do not want to or seldom recognize the soul as priceless. But because Satan has some insight into the pricelessness of the soul (he being a spirit being), not only blindfolds men in this matter by multiplying iniquity but engrosses men in what they can see: the world and the things that are in it. He gives them the world and its ‘hellish pleasure’ but secures their souls. There is trading going on.
While Satan is seeing priceless souls of men that he must ruin at all cost (as affront to his Creator), men on the other hand, are seeing the world as ‘priceless’ and are doing everything to get it (and so, they are not only exchanging their souls for the world but actually signing with the devil in his affront to our Creator). That is the very sad layout.
Thus, man is blind not only to the actual reality of his soul and of the world but the purpose and demand of God, his Creator. Satan catches on this three-fold foolishness of man! And so today, he (Satan) is still playing the Eve on men. There is a transaction! All the reasons men stomach or advance for not turning their souls over to God but holding on to sin or ‘pleasures of this world’ are seen in this three-fold foolishness. But how the soul (one soul) is priceless! This takes us to the all-important question.
There is nothing in the faculty of mortal man to fully imagine let alone fully know the greatness, preciousness and extent of ‘pricelessness’ of one soul. Nothing! Jesus just gave us, by His question, an eye-opener into the incalculable worth of the soul. And that is beside the inherent fact that: Not only that nothing can be used to exchange it but that all things put together cannot be used to exchange it.
He that created or gave the soul asked: ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ One soul is more important than all that God ever created on earth (excluding of course other souls of men, for these are equally His as your soul). We want to break this down as much as possible lest you take so much for granted.
What will it profit a Mr. A (and supposing you are), if he owns, to the exclusion of all other human beings, the air and all the world’s waters so that no man does anything with air or water except he (Mr. A) sells to those who can afford it (and think about how rich he would be) but loses his soul? What will it profit same Mr. A? Supposing he adds to that the ownership of all creatures in all of air, sea and land, and then all mineral belts and agricultural belts across the globe, so that, again, all men are practically at his mercy in these resources but yet loses his soul, it will yet profit him nothing.
And supposing our man (and remember we are assuming he could be you) even adds all the world’s industrial, commercial and tourist centers to all these and yet loses his soul, it will profit him nothing, as these are nothing compared to a lost soul. Let him add Fleet Street and all media houses between the two poles; Microsoft and anything computer in the globe; Google and all internet concerns wherever they are; Hollywood and the so-called entertainment industry continent by continent; Sheraton Group and the hospitality industry everywhere on earth; Johns Hopkins Hospital and all medical cum pharmaceutical outfits under the sun; Harvard and all education and research institutions from coast to coast, and yet loses his soul: What shall it profit him?
And yet still: Supposing he goes even further to add all technologies of the world (be it military, information, industry or what have you); all the transportations of the world (sea, air, land – rail or road); all works of architecture, engineering et cetera; business enterprises from cottage industries to blue chips to multinationals wherever they are world-wide, and loses his soul, what profit?
Let it be now even said of him that this man, who can be you, also own the World Bank, IMF, all Swiss Banks, NatWest Bank, every other bank, every other financial institution and indeed all monies of the world (be it individuals, corporate, NGOs and governments at all levels everywhere), so that there is now no need for either Wall Street and other stock exchanges or money markets or indeed any market for that matter in the whole wide-world (which, of course, is total slavery of every other man since they can now only live by slave labor) a-a-nd yet loses his soul, it will profit Mr. A nothing. In fact, let him add anything known to man that can possibly be added. That is nothing compared to his soul.
The whole world as you can possibly know or imagine it today, that is if we are to take it from Adam, is nothing to be compared with your soul. That includes all the wealth of Nimrod, the Pharaohs, Ahasuerus, Czars, Caesars etc, and the greatness of all world empires in history, and past and present civilizations. Get it all, get the whole world and lose your soul! God forbid! One soul, even your soul, is more than them all. Think about it!
CALVARY: APPRECIATING THE CROSS
Why must Jesus necessarily go to the Cross? Why Calvary, why at such expense! The answer is seen in God’s independent, unconditional and matchless love for man (John 3: 16) on the one hand and His strong unwillingness for the soul to perish (2 Peter 3: 9) on the other hand because of its unequalled pricelessness. Why John 3: 16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”, 2 Peter 3: 9 says that, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”.
If the soul of one man is worth more than what humanity can possibly imagine, how about the souls of two, thre
e, four … men? How about the souls in your community, nation and the world today? How about the souls of the various worlds (or ages) from Adam? You can now really understand why God is not only willing that any should perish but why He planned and secured our restoration ever before man even sinned, as it were; for Jesus is the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13: 8; 5: 6) and indeed “the works were finished from the foundation of the world” (Hebrews 4: 3b, but take it from verse 1 for proper understanding). And you can now understand why He came down in Christ to pay the price of reconciling us to Himself. Of course, you can now also understand why the angels of God rejoice in heaven over one repentant soul.
Because God cannot allow a thing as precious as your soul and mine to languish in eternal fire of damnation, He brought ALL to our rescue. You cannot, now, afford to allow that indescribably priceless soul to perish for some pot of porridge or snappy hellish pleasure. You really cannot.
You know ‘time’ as a whole is like a snapshot let alone the few years God has allotted to each man here. Think eternity, think the God of eternity and you will not be drawn away by Satan in this market place with its ‘commodity trading’ governed by him, for indeed ‘what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’
CALVARY: ANSWERING THE CALL
You may not understand the full depth of the Savior’s twin-question, the limitless worth of the soul, the boundless wickedness of Satan and sin, the length and breadth of God’s matchless love nor the indescribable horror of Hell and equally indescribable bliss of Heaven, but you can answer the gentle call of the Savior. Your soul has been completely paid for and that by the priceless Blood of Jesus Christ. JESUS PAID IT ALL!
Paul, telling those who have already gone to the Savior to found grace and peace with God, said in 1 Corinthians 6: 20 and repeated same in 7: 23 that, “ye are bought with a price”. And John by revelation saw these people (the redeemed or those bought with a price who kept their station) in Heaven telling their Savior in worship: “… Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy Blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5: 9, 10). You can be among these redeemed, and that is the only reason why this material has come your way. Let this reason come alive.
You may, therefore, earnestly want to present your soul to the Savior for cleansing today. His Blood washes whiter than snow. Your soul is priceless, and it can be free today, and that by the priceless Blood of Jesus.
The soul is too precious and inestimable. Only sin can soil and ruin it. Sin is infinitely wicked and inestimably damning. Only the Blood of Jesus or The Lamb of God is its undoing. The Blood deals with all its cause, effect and guilt. It not only purges all sins away, but takes it all from the sight of God and you are counted by the Omniscient God as one who has never sinned all your life. Think about it! Yet, more than that: God sees Jesus in you.
This is actually what has happened to you: “ And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, HAVING FORGIVEN YOU ALL TRESSPASSES; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2: 13-15, caps are mine). You are free, free from all contrary powers and their works wherever they may be. You can now say: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2: 20). Praise God!