I think that one of the most powerful questions that Jesus ever asked is this: What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
What can a man give in exchange for his soul? Judas Iscariot thought it was worth 30 pieces of silver. What is your cost to sell out Jesus?
Some years back there was a movie called “Indecent Proposal.” I didn’t see it, but I understand the story consisted of a man who offered a woman $1 million to have sexual relations with him. That was the indecent proposal. As a follow-up to that movie, an interviewer was conducting some on-the-street interviews to get peoples’ opinion of the idea of such a proposal. He stopped and asked one young lady if he were to offer her $1 mil would she agree to the same proposal. Without much thought she said, “Yeah, for $1 million why not? Sure.” Then he asked if her answer would be the same if it was for $1/2 a million She thought a little longer and said yeah, she’d still do that. Then he said, “Well how about for $20?” She got indignant, “Well, no! What kind of a girl do you think I am?” she said. He said, “Well, we’ve already established that. Now we just have to settle on a price.”
What’s your price to sell out your morals? What’s the price to sell out your soul?
Hopefully no amount of money is worth selling your soul, is it? Still, day after day, people affix their price. Jesus tells us to consider that there is no price to account for your life – not that man can pay. Jesus already paid it on the cross! Nothing you have is of greater value to you. Nothing you can hold in your hand, nothing for which you can write a check, nothing that can be marketed, exchanged, or tagged is worth the value of your life of which God has made you steward. If we truly realize it and believe it, then we’ll protect that life in every way we can. That means we’ll lose it in Jesus Christ, so that it can be ours forever.
Malcolm Forbes is the man remembered for coining the phrase “he who dies with the most toys wins.” That was the wisdom of Malcolm Forbes. In fact, that was his ambition. That’s why he collected scores of motorcycles. That’s why he would pay over a million dollars for a Faberge egg. That’s why he owned castles, hot air balloons and countless other toys that he can no longer play with. The real quote should be, “He who dies with the most toys, still dies…
Many people spend all their energy seeking possessions, power and pleasure. Jesus said, however, that a world centered on possessions, power and pleasure is ultimately worthless. Whatever a person has on earth is only temporary; it cannot be exchanged for his or her soul. If you work hard at getting what you want, you might eventually have a “pleasurable” life, but in the end you will find it hollow and empty. The answer to the question, then, is that nothing is of enough value that it can be exchanged for one’s soul. Even if a person were to gain the world, that person would lose his or her soul—and the soul counts for eternity. No amount of money, power, or status can buy back a lost soul. Believers must be willing to make the pursuit of God more important than the selfish pursuit of pleasure. If we follow Jesus, we will know what it means to live abundantly now and to have eternal life as well.
A number of years ago a story appeared which told of a man who picked up a beautiful rock from a North Carolina stream bed and used it as his cabin doorstop. Years later a geologist who was hiking in the area stopped at the cabin and noticed the doorstop, which he immediately recognized as a huge lump of gold. In fact, it proved to be one of the largest gold nuggets ever found east of the Rockies.
Like the man who failed to recognize gold when he held it in his hands, many people fail to recognize the true nature and ultimate value of Jesus. The question is, “What about you? Do you know Jesus? Will you let him save your soul and live for him? Do you see His value as more precious than gold, more precious than your life itself?