Your Soul Self
"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" Mark 8:36
Intro: Today we are going to talk about your most valuable possession.
It is you. It is the essence of what you are.
It is your soul.
Your soul will go on living forever, long after everything else is long turned to dust.
When the sun, moon, and stars have burned themselves out
Your soul will still go on.
Endless, measureless, timeless.
Made in the image of God…, is worth more than all the houses, property, stocks, bonds, rubies, diamonds, silver and gold in the whole earth.
Your soul is what goes on forever into eternity.
Your body may be killed.
Your body may return to dust. But your soul will never ever cease to exist.
From the very beginning when God formed man of the dust of the ground,
and breathed into the nostrils of man the breath of human life: man became a living soul.
You don't just possess a soul
You are your soul.
There is one thing that God said when he made you that He did not say about all the other things He created.
It is what makes you different.
It is what makes you unique.
God said He made you in His image.
You have a soul.
You live in a body.
And you are created in the image of God.
The problem with many of us is that.
We pamper the body and we neglect the soul.
Our body can send us the smallest of signals and we will almost immediately respond to its needs.
For example: The body says, I am hungry or thirsty and we will almost immediately
or a soon as possible find something to eat or drink.
The body says, I am too hot or too cold. We will almost immediately work to adjust the temperature.
The body says, I have a hurt or a pain or some other need.
We pamper the body, we feed the body, we rest the body
But the soul is often left for days, weeks or even month without proper attention and care.
"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" Mark 8:36
The word "soul" appears some 458 times throughout the bible.
If you start at the beginning and work your way through the bible all the way through the ending
You can see an interesting pattern of understanding develop over the course of the several thousand years from Genesis to Revelations.
In the early beginning, they understood the soul was alive
The soul can be cut off from God
The soul clings to a loved one, son or daughter or spouse
The soul departs this world
Then we get into the book of Leviticus and the law
And we discover the soul can sin. Leviticus 4:2
Deuteronomy 2:29 we read that the soul can find God when we seek God with our heart and all thy soul.
The soul can become bitter
The soul can thirst
The soul can be blessed
The soul can be satisfied.
Then we come to a revelation that some seek to destroy the soul.
The devil has an interest in your soul.
Jesus said the devil is the prince of this world.
The devil is greatly at work in our world, and he is after your soul.
God never meant that there would be suffering and war and death.
But Satan came.
The devil was a mighty angel, possibly the greatest of all of God's created beings, and he rebelled against God.
When God built the earth,
He put humans in charge of the earth.
God wanted someone in the universe whom He could love and who would return love to Him.
So He gave man freedom of choice. God said to man, "I put one tree in this garden—you are not to eat its fruit. If you eat it, you will suffer and die" (Cf. Genesis 3:3).
God was testing man. He gave man the freedom of will.
But the devil told man, "God doesn't mean what he says. You're not going to die. If you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will be as great as God" Genesis 3:4-6
So Eve ate the fruit first and then Adam, her husband, ate it too.
And that was the first rebellion by people against God.
God had to keep His word or He would not be a just God.
He had said, "If you eat the fruit of that tree you will suffer and die."
Man ate of the tree, and since then he has been suffering and dying.
But God had a plan. God said, "In spite of their rebellion, I am going to save the human race.
I am going to send my Son to this earth."
And every step of the way the devil tried to kill God's Son, even when Jesus was a baby down in Bethlehem.
And Joseph and Mary had to take baby Jesus and escape to Egypt because Herod was searching to kill him.
Finally, when God's Son was on the cross,
it looked as if the devil had won a great victory, but instead, the devil lost his greatest battle.
When Jesus died, the devil suffered the ultimate defeat
because on the third day Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
The Bible says Jesus has "the keys of Hades and of Death" (Revelation 1:18).
Christ is alive, and He is coming back to this earth again!
Christ is coming again and this time he wants to take "Your Soul Self" with Him.
God has built His Kingdom,
but the devil is also trying to build his.
Even though Satan is a defeated enemy,
The devil is still working to deceive and lead astray as many souls as he can.
In the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus said, "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart" Matthew 13:19.
Another value of your soul is measured by God's concern for saving your soul.
God is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" 2 Peter 3:9
"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8
God sees your soul as the most valuable thing in the world,
so valuable that He sent His only Son to the cross to suffer and die so that your soul may be saved.
And if you were the only person in the whole universe, Christ still would have died for you. He loves you that much.
It is a terrible thing when a person loses their health, or their money, or your friends.
But what does it cost when a person loses their soul?
Not long ago one summer there was a child reported missing.
The word went out child missing.
Many people came to help
police and local authorities called on the State Police with specially trained dogs to search.
The local t.v. station was called to get the word out.
Flyers and posters of the missing child were made and put up all around the area.
Search parties came from all over and were organized into search and rescue teams.
Everything that was humanly possible was done to find that child.
But if a person's soul is lost?
That doesn't get reported by the news.
That doesn't cause much stir or excitement.
Yet the soul is worth far more than all the world.
There is no substitute for your soul.
There is no replacement for your soul.
Suppose all the gold in the world and wealth and riches you could ever dream of owning were yours.
but you lost your soul.
Jesus said it would be a poor bargain.
That is so foolish.
Nobody ever gains the whole world anyway.
But it is even more amazing to me at the people who sell out Jesus so cheaply.
Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
We can put that into today's monetary value. It would be around $325.00
But I am convinced that there are people who will sell Jesus out for less than that today.
People are so motivated by money.
Let me tell God owns this whole world.
God doesn't need your money.
He already owns everything.
But He wants you.
When I invite people to church I have some tell me they are out of work and can't afford to come.
So we prayed for them to get a job and the next week they get a job.
And they say they can't come to church because they have to work.
Let me tell you if God answers a pray for you and you are out of work
And the next week you suddenly get employed.
I don't care if you have to work on Sunday.
I would be afraid not to start a Monday night bible study. Or a Thursday morning prayer meeting.
Let me tell you we need to have a little more respect and fear for God.
People will sell out their soul so cheaply.
"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?"
Now watch this.
What can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Suppose someone comes to you and says, "I have an offer."
I have a transaction I would like to make.
This person has the authority and the ability to do this.
You know that he does.
He says, I will give you anything and everything you want.
You want money…, you can have it.
You want pleasure…, you can have it.
You want popularity and power you can have it.
But there is something I want from you.
I want your little finger.
I am going to amputate your little finger that is what it will cost you to have anything and everything.
Most of you wouldn't
but there are some people, there are many people in the world who would say yes to that deal.
What if the exchange were a little different?
What if instead of your little finger
He wanted your arm?
But still, you can have anything and everything this world has to offer.
You can have all the wealth, all the pleasure, all the influence in all the world.
There would be some, lots of people, who would still say yes to that bargain.
Let's go farther, what if it were your hearing? Or your eyesight?
You would say, wait a minute, that wouldn't be a good exchange if I couldn't see or hear.
The point I am making is that everything has a point where it doesn't make sense to make the exchange.
But let me tell you there are people in the world today who are paying far too much for way to little.
I mean you are giving your soul away.
Not your eyes, your ears, your hands. Your soul.
In exchange for what?
A few extra dollars here or there.
A few minutes of pleasure here or there
Popularity, applause, trophies that are here today and gone tomorrow.
Have you counted the cost? If your soul should be lost?
There is a story that old time preachers use to tell.
It seems that there was a man who decided to move from Europe to America.
He thought about how he would transfer all his wealth and take it with him.
So finally he decided.
He came up with the idea to sell everything he had of value
And he purchased one large diamond.
When he got to America he intended to exchange it for money and start a new life.
On the way over he took the diamond out of his pocket.
Some people around him saw the diamond, how large it was.
Again the next day the man took the diamond out of his pocket and held it in his hand.
People were talking about how wealthy this man must be to have such a large diamond.
The more the people talked the more the man liked the notoriety and attention.
The next day the man took the diamond out of his pocket and held it over the rail of the boat and the water.
People gasped as they watched.
He got, even more, attention when he took it in his hand and tossed it in the air and would catch it.
The people continued to talk and guess about this man's wealth.
Even though this one diamond was all he had of value in the whole world.
Then one day you guessed it.
He took the diamond out of pocket…, tossed it into the air…, he missed it…, it bounced…, it rolled….
Right past the rail and over the side into the deep deep ocean.
The man said, to himself…, what a fool…, how could I have been so careless.
Yet there are people today who are taking the same chance with your soul.
It is all that you have.
Yet people sit in churches unmoved, their hearts unbroken,
Taking a chance with their eternal destiny.
Betting on tomorrow, that they will someday surrender their life and turn it all over to Jesus.
Don't be so careless with the most valuable thing you have.
Even if you could get everything you wanted, it wouldn't give you peace.
You would still be searching.
Great riches cannot make you happy.
Much popularity cannot make you happy.
Only the peace of God coming into your heart through Jesus Christ can bring peace and joy and happiness.
The eternal soul only has one of two conditions.
The first is eternally separated from God.
If that condition is not remedied during life here on earth by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior John 14:6,
that soul is separated from God for eternity with no remedy.
The other condition is that of being a born-again soul.
That person is in fellowship and relationship with God through the LORD Jesus Christ during this life
and will then enjoy His presence of the Lord in eternity forever.
I want to call you to decision this morning.
The decision to surrender your heart, body, and soul to God,
Accept the LORD Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and LORD.
Will you give yourself fully, completely, to God?
Will you so live your life so that Jesus is first, Lord and Master of who you are?
That is the only move you can make today that makes any sense.
Nothing else matters.
Will you give "Your Soul Self" to God?
Closing: What are you doing with your soul? Are you gambling with it? Taking chance with your soul?
Are you born again?
The Bible says that you can be sure.
You can know
I have been reading the instructions: You don't have to miss out on Heaven if you don't want to.
You can know for sure today.
You know by the salvation Jesus offered free on the cross.
Are you putting your relationship with Christ first and foremost in your life?
It is that simple.
I am asking you to make sure of your relationship with Christ.
Christ demands more than just churchgoing.
More than just baptism, more than just being good.
He demands your total surrender—the surrender of your mind, your heart, your body,
every part of you—to the Lordship of Christ. God wants "Your Soul Self."