THE PRICE OF A SOUL

Matthew 16:26

 

I.Intro.

A.the Lord Jesus never spoke more solemn or meaningful words, than our text

1.in our text He places a value upon the human soul that is beyond all the wealth of this world, in terms of things that men count as valuable

2.the value Jesus places upon a human soul in this statement far exceeds the wealth of the world

3.the word “world” means all of God’s material creation

4.think of it, the stars, solar systems and planets; Jesus said that one soul is of more value than them all

B.why did Jesus put such value on a human soul

II.the soul is so valuable because of what man is, and because of God’s purpose for man

A.when God spoke the worlds into being, when He filled this earth with all its living creatures, He looked upon it all and said that it was good

B.God was not satisfied

1.God is love, and love wants an object like itself upon which it can bestow its affection

2.His Fatherly heart was hungering for a family of children, so He said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” - Genesis 1:26

3.then the Bible says, ”So God created man in his own image, … male and female created he them” - Genesis 1:27

C.the crowning work of God’s creation was a being into whom He breathed the breath of His own life, with a capacity to love like God, which could return the love of God – Genesis 23:7

1.man could respond to and receive that unparalleled love

2.man was created with a capacity to think God’s thoughts, to live His life, to hold fellowship with Him, to walk in communion with Him, to live with Him

3.God came down in the cool of the day to walk with the man whom He has made; there was a blessed, holy and wonderful fellowship between the two

D.the purpose God had in the creation of man was not just to have a being like unto Himself who could appreciate and respond to His love

1.His other purpose was that man should be the lord of creation, and that one day he should reign with Him, and share His glory throughout eternity

2.what a glorious purpose God had in the creation of man

3.sad to say, many men deliberately turn their backs upon such a destiny, and deliberately defeat the purpose of God in their lives, and choose to follow the Devil instead

a)they allow themselves to be deceived by the devil, and dragged from the glorious purpose of God into endless night, separated from God

b)by this choice, they live defeated lives, and rob God of the glory that rightly belongs to Him in their life

E.this is why Jesus said, “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul”

1.man profits nothing by misses out on the infinite, loving, glorious purpose of God in their life

2.when we miss out on the purposes of God, we forfeits the opportunity to share with Him His glory through eternity

III.the soul is so valuable because it is to live forever

A.the soul is valuable because of the fact of eternity and the immortality of the soul

1.have you ever stopped and contemplate eternity; have you ever tried to grasp the thought of eternity

2.have you ever thought about the fact that you will be living somewhere forever

a)when Abraham heard the call of God and started out seeking “a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God,” we were not

b)when Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse, we were not

c)there will never be a time anymore, that we will not be living somewhere

d)when all the stars have burnt themselves out, we will still be living

B.when we think of a soul banished from the presence of God forever, it is an awful and awesome thought

1.listen to the cry from Hell that Jesus spoke of - Luke 16:24

2.for over 2000 years that poor, tormented soul has been crying for one drop of water

a)not a drink of water, not a full rounded drop of water, just that which clung to the tip of a man’s finger

b)he just wanted the tiniest bit of relief from the tortures of Hell

c)for over 2000 years he has been crying for that drop of water to cool his tongue which has been parched in that flame, but he has not gotten it yet

d)that is only the beginning; throughout all eternity he will be crying for that drop of water, and will never get it

3.the tortures of Hell are terrible enough if they were for only one day

a)if they lasted a thousand years, then the human mind could never comprehend the terrible torture and awfulness of the fact of Hell

b)when eternity is added to the doom of the soul, then we can understand why Jesus would say, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul”

C.it must be an unspeakable tragedy to be lost

1.the Son of God was willing to die, so that men might be redeemed

2.the Son of God was willing to empty Himself of His glory and take upon Himself the form of a slave and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, so that men might be saved

3.the Son of God was willing to make His soul an offering for sin

D.the same soul for which Jesus died, men and women will throw away for nothing

1.they place no value on it; they throw away their souls for a small portion of this earth’s pottage

IV.what would you give for your soul, after it is lost [what shall a man give in exchange for his soul]

A.what does Jesus mean here

1.after a man has lost his soul, after he has forfeited his right of salvation, what would he give for one more opportunity to make the right decision

2.after it is to late, after he is in Hell and realizes its awfulness, what would he give if he could get back just one of those chances he had to get right

3.of all the souls in Hell today, what would they give to sit here and hear one more gospel sermon, one more invitation from the Lord; what would they give if they could have just one more opportunity

B.if someone forfeits their chance and goes to Hell, they would give ten thousand worlds to hear that still small voice at the door of their heart, asking to come in

C.we should not think about what we will do after it is too late, but what we are going to do about it now

V.what does Satan offer for your soul

A.God gave us the ability to think logically and intelligently; Now is the time to settle this question; we need to face it honestly and seriously

B.the Devil offers the satisfaction of our lower nature

1.if we delight in it, we are then living on the plane of the beast of the field

2.we will not be living the life of man, if we turn ourselves over to satisfying the lower desires of life

C.the Devil offers a festive time

1.we must remember that all the Devil offers, in the end “biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” - Proverbs 23:31-32

2.in the end, we will curse the day we listened to the Devil’s lies

D.the Devil offers what he cannot deliver

1.he is the father of lies; He tells us it will be easy if we follow him

2.we will not find a soul anywhere, who has found happiness following the Devil

3.God has made man with such a capacity and with such a nature, that he will never be satisfied nor happy until he rests in Him

E.the abundance of things that a man possesses will not satisfy human life

1.look down the path a way, and see what Satan has brought those who follow him

2.he has wrecked hearts and ruined souls

3.look at the tears; listen to the sighs of the suffering, to the groans of the dying, to the weeping and the wailing and the gnashing of teeth

F.why can we not learn from observation, without having to learn by experience

VI.what does God offer for our soul

A.He offers us His love

B.He offers us the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse us from all sin, to break the fetters that sin has forged upon our soul and about our life - John 8:32, Isaiah 61:1

C.He offers us “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” - Philippians 4:7

D.He offers to make our sin-stained soul as white as snow - Isaiah 1:18

E.He offers to make us a child of His, a son of His, an heir of His, and joint heir with Jesus Christ

F.He offers us the privilege of one day being like Jesus

G.He offers us the privilege of reigning with Him - Revelation 3:21

H.think about it: “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul”

VII.your soul is worth too much to go to hell

A.do not trifle with God, “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation”

B.why do people go to Hell

1.they will not think, they will not follow their own better judgment

2.they do not believe in the Bible

3.because they intend to be saved sometime, but they will not do what their own reason and their own better judgment tell them to do now

C.by holding out an empty hand of faith, in one instant of time, any of us may receive as a gift of God eternal life