Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:26-28
 “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?  For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.  “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming to his kingdom” (NIV Bible).
Let’s face it; we live in a world that bases our success on how much stuff we’ve accumulated.
And Jesus, on the other hand, told us that our success won’t be based on stuff.
Matthew 6:24 (AMP)
 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in).
So I guess what we really need to be asking ourselves each and every morning before getting our day started is “What’s really important to us?”
Are we more concerned with our bank account that the account we have with Christ Jesus? Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:10,
 “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
And it isn’t always money.
For a lot of us, we put the stuff that money can buy ahead of our RELATIONSHIP with the Lord. And for a lot of us, it comes down to not so much how much we’ve got but what we do hang on to what we’ve got.
For some of us, even if we don’t have much, we put our relationship with the Lord on the back burner in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. We live in a material world that shoves it down our throats by having the latest and greatest.
We want more, more, more!!!
Yet we fail to hear the Lord’s words of wisdom on how we handle our STUFF.
Read what He says…, Matthew 16:26 (a)
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
What we need to remember, and I don’t want to ever take things from Scripture out of context if I can help it, that this particular sentence was spoken AFTER Jesus encouraged us to deny ourselves of worldly pleasures, take up our crosses and follow Him.
He was asking us what would it matter if we had everything of earthly value in our possession; what if we had everything we ever wanted? What if we never wanted for anything because we already had everything there was to have?
And we were still locked out of Heaven.
If we could have it all and do nothing but seek the pleasures of this world we would still be waiting in the end.
Because if our SOUL was lost, we couldn’t and wouldn’t find anything to replace it.
You lose it, it’s gone forever!
You lose it to Hell and it’s lost forever!!!!
Even so, we as the Body of Christ seem to not see the importance of a person’s SOUL.
Yet Jesus wanted us to understand that we gain nothing from the world if we turn our backs on God.
YOU CAN’T PUT A PRICE ON A SOUL –
If you die with the most toys, you still die.
You can work hard all your days and have everything money can buy.
You can hold all kinds of powerful positions, awards hanging on the wall, trophies on your desk…and your portfolio will never stack up to the condition of your SOUL.
THE HUMAN SOUL will either go to HEAVEN or HELL. It will either be SAVED or LOST. There isn’t a middle ground, no exchanges, and no do-overs once we close our eyes for the last time.
Your family can’t buy your way or pray for your way out of Hell.
You can’t bargain your way out either.
You may be wondering right now as you read my words why I’m writing a blog on a subject like our souls.
You may be sitting there thinking “I’m saved, what difference does it make?”
What about those that you know who haven’t made that decision?
I wonder at times if any of you give two cents about the lost people who you know?
DOES HELL EVEN KNOW THAT YOU EXIST?
I remember the story from Acts in the Bible about the demon-possessed man who told some Christian wannabes “Jesus I know, Paul I’ve heard of. Who are you?”
When you fail to tell them about the life-changing, life-saving POWER of Jesus Christ, you’re basically telling them that it’s okay that they go to Hell!
Is that a harsh statement to make?
Matthew 16:26b – “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Jesus asked this follow-up question regarding our service or lack of it to Him.
What will you give to SAVE your soul?
What are you willing to SACRIFICE, give up?
What’s ironic here about life is this: The more we live for our own selfish needs, the more miserable we become. But the more we do for the Lord, and the more we do in His name, the happier and more satisfied we become.
Can we really put up enough for our souls?
Jesus seems to be telling us that there are many people who would rather spend their entire life pursuing gold, silver and “stuff” in this world of ours than to hear about your Jesus.
Is there anything in this world that you possess right now that can or will be a suitable payment in exchange for your SOUL?
Jesus knew ahead of time that people would wait until the last-minute and get in by the “skin of their teeth.” Who in their right mind would ever believe that this world gives us the best we can get and that’s all there is to it?
If we were to correctly answer this question, we would have to say we would give EVERYTHING in exchange for our soul!
And we should be willing to do it right now!!
And we should want to tell everyone we come in contact with!!!
And why is that?
No one is guaranteed one minute beyond now.
We could leave here this very minute and step into ETERNITY. And the truth is that so could any of your friends, neighbors, or relatives who think they’ll skate by because they’re nice and don’t bother anybody.
And a lot of those ‘nice people’ aren’t gonna make it because they’re embarrassed that someone will find out they’ve become “religious”.
Mark 8:38 says: “If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
I sometimes find myself wondering how much of my church family, and when I say “church,” I mean the greater Church, is ashamed of their relationship with Jesus Christ. A lot of self-professing Christians talk a good game on Sunday, but when it’s time to put up, they clam up!
What will you give in exchange for your soul?
Better yet, what will you give in exchange for your SAVED SOUL?
If you are SAVED, you were SAVED with time to spare.
What about that person who isn’t SAVED yet?
If living for your own selfish desires does nothing but make you miserable and unsatisfied, why not SURRENDER ALL of that and turn it all over to Christ?
EVERYTHING I do, say and experience can attribute to what He is doing in me.
HE BOUGHT ME with His blood on the Cross!
So what would I give up in exchange for my SOUL that belongs to Jesus?
EVERYTHING OF ANY VALUE!!!!
We have something much better to look forward to ~ Matthew 16:27 (AMP)
 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory (majesty, splendor) of His Father with His angels, and then He will render account and reward every man in accordance with what he has done.
The same JESUS of Genesis 1 is the same JESUS of John 1 and Acts 1.
It was JESUS who originally said “I’ll be back,” not The Terminator.
None of us know the date and time that He shall come but the bottom line is that everyone is going to know when He gets here.
Acts 1 says:  “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you to heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
It will be unlike any event in human history. And those who have intentionally lived to fill their pockets and fatten their bank accounts will find themselves in a world of trouble. For all that they have won’t be enough to pay the COST for their SOUL.
On that day there will be TWO kinds of people in the world. Those who have a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ and those who don’t!
The SAVED and the LOST.
There’s GOOD NEWS for you if you feel that you’re missing the mark.
We can prepare for ETERNITY now. We still have time to turn it around right now.
You may not be guaranteed one more minute but you can make a commitment to Christ for the next minute of your life right now.
It’s impossible to live a perfect life. No one can. But if I have learned nothing else in this long life of mine, over those years I’ve learned the difference between living for Jesus and living for me.
Jesus came to SEEK AND SAVE the LOST.
He commanded us to go into the world to SHARE the Good News, to witness for Christ, to disciple, baptize and teach.
A few years ago my wife gave me for Christmas one of my favorite Bible verses framed and hung on the wall over my desk as a reminder of my commitment to spreading the good news–to teach and disciple others around the world for Christ.
He will come back soon I hope. But in the meantime, what will He find us doing?
Source: Bible Study Tools, Matthew 16:26-27
Bible Translations: NIV Bible, except where noted.
IMAGES: Google Image Search, setting advanced;
Romans 10:15 “How beautiful are the feet…” image unknown source.