Summary: A salvation message based on the parable of the rich fool.

The Value of the Soul

Luke 12:16-21

Introduction: Illustration – Recently, a 20-year-old University of Washington student named Adam Burtle posted an unusual item on the Internet auction site eBay. The bidding began at 5 cents on this particular article and eventually reached $400 by the end of the auction. It was listed under the heading of “20 yr-old Seattle boy’s SOUL, hardly used.”

Burtle, a professed atheist, stated in the listing that potential buyers should “realize I make no warranties as to the condition of the soul. As of now, it is near mint condition, with only minor scratches.” Apparently, this isn’t the only time this Internet auction site has been used for the “sale of a soul.” A spokesman for eBay pointed out that eBay had blocked such auctions before; Burtle’s posting somehow slipped through the cracks. Of course, He intended the ad to be a joke but it does say something about the value that people today place on their immortal soul.

Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, “For 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?” The human soul is a priceless treasure; it is the real you. In fact, the Bible teaches that your soul is more valuable than the whole world! And yet, many people “sell their souls” for what surely are petty bargains.

We are more than just material beings and science and psychology has proposed; the Bible teaches that we are body, soul and spirit. We also see that a great price was paid for the soul, but not in an earthly sense. 1st Peter 1:18-19 says, “you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold,… but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

The eternal Son of God Jesus Christ allowed himself to be killed on a cross almost 2000 years ago for your soul. His death pays the penalty for the sins of those who believe on Him by faith. He didn’t stay dead though – on the third day he came back to life and is now sitting at the right hand of God waiting for you to call to Him for forgiveness. Don’t neglect the most precious possession you have – your soul – by failing to believe the good news of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Just as the man in this parable neglected and lost his soul, it is possible for you to lose your soul forever.

I want to share with you three reasons why many people will lose their soul in the end. And then, I will tell you how to avoid being one of them.

Three reasons why many people will lose their soul…


a. This man’s life was focused on pursuing the comforts of this life and not on pursuing God.

i. You can lose your soul in the quest for riches

ii. You can lose your soul in the quest for the passing pleasures of sin

b. You were created to pursue a relationship with God; riches or sin can never satisfy your soul. (Mt. 6:33) (Augustine quote)

c. In the parable, God called this man a fool. He had amassed great wealth, but was poor toward God.


a. This man’s heart was filled with pride and self-reliance – he was a self made man

i. You can lose your soul because of pride

ii. You can lose your soul because of self reliance

b. Illustration: Tim McVeigh last words – Henley “Invictus”/compare with words on the tomb William Carey…

c. Captain, if you insist on being the pilot of your soul, you will crash onto the rocks to your own destruction! Humble yourself before God today by coming to the cross! Let Jesus take the helm! He’ll bring you to safe harbor!


a. This man made the assumption that he would be around to enjoy his wealth – not knowing that that night would be his last. (James 4:13-14)

i. You can lose your soul by waiting for “just the right time”

ii. You can lose your soul by taking time “to sow your wild oats.”

b. Most of us don’t realize that we are just one breath away, one heartbeat away, or one accident away from eternity. No one is ever prepared for that moment until they have made peace with God…

c. “We are always complaining that our days are few and acting as though there would be no end of them.” - Seneca

Closing: Don’t be a fool and lose your immortal soul by failing to respond to God’s offer of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We are but pilgrims in sojourners in this life. If God sees fit, we may live to be 70 years old or older, but what is that in light of forever? There is a God in heaven that loves you. So much in fact, that he sent his only Son Jesus to die for you and He raised Him from the dead on the third day.

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