“For what doth it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul. Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37).
Everything has its price; our cars, our homes, the clothing we wear. All of our material possessions have a price. Even the intangible things such as love, honor, justice and liberty have a price. The price if love is paid in the currency of joy and heartache. The price of honor and dignity is paid in both gratitude and rejection. The price of justice and liberty are paid in the currency of blood, sweat, tears and many times with the lives of those who step forward to pay what the price demands.
But there is yet another intangible that also carries a price. This one is the most important thing that belongs to every man, woman, and child. Every single human being possesses this intangible treasure from the tiniest pre-born baby at conception to the most aged person on the planet. From beggars to billionaires—from the noble to ignoble—from the most well known to the most unknown, and from every continent on earth; every living human being possesses this one thing that is the most valuable thing in all of creation: our immortal souls.
Housed within the mortal body resides the immortal soul. It’s value is so beyond any price, that no mortal can ever pay for its restoration.
When God created Adam and Eve, He made Man “in His image” and the stewardship of their souls and those of the world’s progeny was entrusted to Adam. But through the deceit of Satan, and the outright rebellion of both Adam and Eve, they lost and forfeited their souls, and thus the souls of all who would come after them. Furthermore, as a result of their rebellion, that which was of infinite worth was lost and the price to buy it back was infinite.
Mankind was doomed. For in that incredibly tragic event, Man lost the most valuable thing that any creature in all of creation has ever been given—his immortal soul. It was a loss that could never be regained by mortal Man because it’s price was infinite; and Man, though his soul is immortal, is not infinite. Only God is an Infinite Being.
Adam’s forfeiture of that which God had freely given him meant that every human soul conceived from that point on (after Adam’s disobedience) would be lost—separated from God, and thus separated from being able to live in God’s presence throughout eternity.
The only alternative for an infinite offense was an infinite punishment, and thus fallen Man was doomed to spend eternity in a place that was never meant for Him—hell.
The lake of fire was created as the eternal abode of suffering and punishment for Lucifer (now called Satan), the fallen cherubim who instigated and led a rebellion among the angelic hosts against the Most High God.
And although Lucifer was the most highly ranked angel in heaven, and though he had been granted great power and authority in the heavenly realm, nevertheless, he was still is, a created being—while Jehovah God, the Most High, the Ancient of Days, is and always has been infinite in His Being.
God has no beginning and no end. He is the Self Existing One. The Creator of all things who Himself has no beginning or end. He is the great I AM.
Why is this important? It is vital to a biblical understanding of sin for mankind to know:
1. The person of God.
2. The character and nature of God.
3. The origin of sin.
4. The penalty of sin.
5. The remedy for sin.
Before one can understand the value of his eternal soul, he must first come to understand the gravity of what happened in the Garden of Eden at the fall of Adam and Eve, and the enormity of what was lost in that occurrence. And, in order to understand the penalty that was incurred with their actions, we must come to understand the infinite value of that which was lost.
For that which was lost must be found, and that which was forfeited must be redeemed or else there could be no hope for the immortal souls of all mankind.
In coming to an understanding of the value of an immortal soul, the first thing we need to consider is the Person of God, who He is and His purpose for creation. Of course it would be the height of folly to presume that we as mortal creatures could ever hope to understand the infinite and holy God who created all that is; but what we are able to grasp of God, in our fallen state, is revealed to us by God Himself.
You see, above all, God wants Man—His crowning creation, to know Him. After all, before Adam and Eve rebelled, mankind was created by God “in His image” and was given “the breath of life.” God did this so Man could worship and commune in complete and seamless intimacy with Him. The “breath of life” that God “breathed into his nostrils” was not just physical life, but spiritual life. That spiritual life, that eternal soul, is what distinguishes Man from every other life form that He created; because Man was created with an immortal soul that could commune with His Creator.
Thus, when God “formed man from the dust of the earth” and then “formed woman from the body of the man,” God wrapped up all of creation with His “crowning creation” (man and woman), who were in power and intellect “lower than the angels,” but who had been created with a body, mind and soul that was made to worship God—that was also made “in His image.”
In order to understand why God places such value on the human soul, we must first understand the Person of the God who made all, as much as our finite minds can grasp of that which is infinite.
First of all, even though the Word Trinity is not used in the Bible, the concept of the Triune Godhead runs all through the Bible. There is but ONE God, yet He exists in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son (who was incarnated in human flesh in the God-Man Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit.
Each One is eternal in existence, utterly holy in character, distinct and individual, yet each Person is part of the One Godhead. As the old hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy” states so beautifully, “God in three persons; blessed Trinity.”
Thus God has been, and is, and always will be both singular and plural, complete within Himself.
As expressed by the late Dave Hunt in a masterful work: “In Hebrew it reads, ‘Jehovah our Eloheim [gods] is one [echad] Jehovah’” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29). ( An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith, p. 191)
This distinction and unity is fundamental to a correct view of the doctrine that is essential to one’s understanding of salvation. Any view point or teaching that denies the doctrine of the Tri-une (3 in 1) nature of God, or denies the fact that Jesus Christ is fully God and has existed from all eternity—is a false gospel and cannot save anyone.
Let me repeat: To disbelieve or refuse to accept the biblical teaching of the Trinity, which includes the full Godhood of all three persons who make up the Godhead, is a false gospel that cannot save the lost!
Once again, Dave Hunt stated so plainly why the full deity and full humanity of Jesus Christ is vital to Man’s salvation: “As Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God, so when the Son became man He brought that fullness of the Godhead with Him into flesh.” (An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith, p. 19)
In Him [Jesus] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).
You see, when we finally grasp the astounding truth that the very God who created us loved His fallen creation – Man (who alone above all other creation was made in His image) so much that He had already provided Himself as the redemption of fallen Man—only then can we even begin to comprehend the depth of love and mercy that God’s grace bestows on “all who will come to Him by faith.”
Nor did Man’s rebellion and subsequent fall take God by surprise. God already knew before creation that Man would fall into sin; therefore, before He created him, He had already planned for Man’s redemption.
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the Antichrist], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
Do you begin now to see the value that the Lord places upon a human soul?
So much value that Jesus Christ clothed Himself in mortal flesh to come to earth to live as a sinless man, die a sinner’s death (yet being without sin Himself), resurrect three days later victorious and triumphant from the grave—in order to pay the infinite price for sin that mortal man can never pay. And He did this in order to buy back (redeem) our sinful, guilty souls from the kingdom of the Evil One who holds all of fallen mankind captive in sin’s chains.
Now, can you see the value that God places on a human soul? Can you see now why He states emphatically that it is only through Jesus Christ and His blood, shed as a ransom for sin, that salvation and peace with God is made possible? Our redemption—our salvation—comes only through the shed blood of Christ.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Oh beloved, the value of your soul is of such infinite worth that the Creator of all things came to earth to pay the infinite price of sin demanded by the infinite justice of His own holy nature. He died to redeem you and me, and all He asks is that we come to a Him by faith believing that He is God, who died and rose again according to the Scriptures.
When we come to Him by faith, then He covers us in His saving grace and gives to us His righteousness so that when the Father sees us, He sees not a lowly and despicable sinner, but a sinner saved by grace and clothed in the righteousness of His Son.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Oh dear ones, if God places such value on your life and hell-bound soul that He would die to redeem you, what is the value of your soul to you?
It is the greatest tragedy of life that Man considers his immortal soul of such little worth that he willfully exchanges it for the most sordid, vain, vacuous, debauched and worthless things imaginable!
There are some who will “give in exchange for [their] soul(s)” the luxury of wealth, prestige, or power. Men and women who will sell their souls and destroy the souls of others in order to garner power, wealth and fame.
There are those whose souls mean so little to them that they gladly sell their souls for fame, popularity, and a huge following of other lost souls who will fawn upon them and grovel at their feet in adulation and worship.
Then there are those whose souls have been completely ignored or forgotten by them. They are not aware of the destiny of their souls, or if they ever think about their immortal souls, then that knowledge gets pushed back into their minds by the daily tyranny of the mundane. They just don’t take the time to think upon the question, “What happens to my soul when I die?”
For many, the value if their souls is worth nothing more than a prestigious career, an upwardly mobile life filled with material pleasures, or fame, or power, or lust, or greed or avarice. Oh, the absolute folly of an immortal soul that is exchanged for the foolishness of this world.
But there comes a time in each person’s life when the value of their soul will be weighed in the balance of God’s judgment. And at such time, absolutely nothing that is of this world will balance the scales of justice in their favor, because they will have learned too late the value of their everlasting souls.
These lost souls that Jesus died for and was oh so willing to redeem, now stand accused and abandoned to Hell for all eternity because they all “fell short of the glory of God.” Jesus died to redeem these souls, but they rejected His so great salvation, and are now—too late, faced with the folly and tragedy of their rejection of God’s grace that was so freely offered to them in life.
In hell today, is the rich young ruler whose earthly wealth meant more to him than Jesus. He exchanged his soul for worldly wealth, and when he died, realized too late that he had made a horrendous and unchangeable exchange. Too late he understood his gracious choice. The moment his life left his body, it was eternally too late to change his soul’s destination.
Oh dear ones, right now, tormented in Hell are the souls of barons and beggars, the rich and the poor, the noble and the ignoble, the powerful and the lowly, presidents and paupers, popes, and protestants, the well known and the unknown.
Hell is full of all classes and races of people from every strata of life and from every continent on earth. And the one thing that each one individually has in common is the fact that each and every one of them exchanged their souls for something that they thought was of more value than the destiny of their souls.
If we could peel back the dimensional barrier between here and eternity, from hell we would hear the never-ending shrieking, rending cries of “Too late, Too late, TOO LATE!” Too late, the lost souls realize the worth of their souls, and too late they recognize that it was they themselves who rejected the blood of Christ that would have saved them. Oh, is there any sadder or more tragic thing than to “gain the whole world and lose one’s own soul?”
But, if we could peer into heaven and hear what goes on there for those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, there it is a vastly different scenario. In fact, the Word of God describes for us just such a scene. It is yet future, and the astoundingly thrilling thing is that when that as yet future time comes into being, all we who have been redeemed will be there taking part in the joyous sounds that fill all of heaven with shouts of “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!” (See Revelation chapters 4-5.)
My dear ones, I plead with you to stop right now what you are doing and take time to consider your soul. It is immortal. It will live on forever after the death of your earthly body in one of two places. Jesus felt the worth of your soul to be of such infinite value that He shed His blood to procure and provide for the redemption of your soul.
All you need to do to avail yourself of that salvation is this:
1. Come to grips with the fact that you are a sinner, that you can never be good enough, do enough, or have the ability to change yourself into anything that even approaches the holiness that God requires in order to be able to live in heaven. You are lost, and without the righteousness of Christ to save you, you will die in your sins. Your soul will spend eternity in hell.
2. Accept that Jesus is God; that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that it is through His sacrifice in our place that is the only way to eternal life.
3. Call out to Christ to forgive you of your sins and to seal His Holy Spirit within you.
This is the most important decision you will ever make. Your eternal destiny hangs in the balance with what your decision is regarding your soul and Jesus Christ.
I urge you; I implore you to stop and consider the eternal destiny of your soul. Do it now before it is eternally too late. Life is uncertain; death is sure.
The question that will not go away is this: What will you give in exchange for your soul? To decide not to decide is a decision. It is a rejection of salvation. You cannot avoid making a choice. A refusal to decide or a deferral to decide is to take an unimaginable risk. Jesus Christ died to save you. Come to the cross. The price for the value of your soul was paid there for you and for all who will come to Him by faith. Don’t wait to discover the value of your soul too late.