Sunday, March 23, 2014

What Shall a Man Give in Return for His Soul

Got Jealousy?

I get jealous, I really do. I have to be mindful of the stuff I watch, etc. because sometimes it gets me green with envy. Why? Someone might see something on television or the internet and say to me, “Wow, that person is really talented!” Yeah, I have talent too but I do not get to work on it day and night and become a sensation! …Do I sound bitter? I am actually thankful for all that I have. I will be honest though, like I mentioned above, at times I wrestle with being envious.

You Want a Picture with Me?!

I was in a show (many moons ago) that was actually very popular in Asia. (It was a live, theater show…with a bit of "Beauty and the Beast", “The Lion King”, and other productions in it) And, as cast members we would get stopped while out in public and asked for pictures and our autograph. I remember thinking, “Me? You want a picture with me? I’m nobody. One day you are going to look back on that picture and say to yourself, ‘Who was that?!’”

What is My Point?

At the end of the day, I sit and reflect on what my life was like then and how it is now. Would I trade what I have, currently, for that life I left behind? No. I would not. Sure, I miss the “good ol’ days” but I was walking in the flesh at that time. These days, I walk in the Spirit…and that (plus my family) is worth so much more to me than anything else.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Matthew 16:26. ESV.)

I suppose I should be thankful for that glimpse I was afforded. I will never wonder, “What if.” I got to experience what it is like to have “fans”. And it was fun. It was a great “place” (or time) to visit… But I would not want to live there.

John Piper stated the following:
Jesus said, "What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul? For what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26). If the soul is lost, the whole person is lost. And there is no way to negotiate to get it back. When this war against the soul is over, it's over. There is a great gulf fixed and none can cross one way or the other—from heaven or from hell (Luke 16:26). If the anti-soul forces win this war, the soul is lost forever.

So this is one of the great issues in the world. It affects everybody without exception. And it affects everybody forever. And it affects everybody forever in an ultimately serious way. And yet our world does not give serious attention to it. There is no column in the newspaper, there is no public service announcement on the radio, there is no soundbite on television, there is no values-clarification course in our schools, there is no government agency or even a welfare pamphlet that counsels us how to wage war for the eternal life of our souls. We are told how to wage war against AIDS; against sunstroke; against mosquitoes; against drunk driving and pollen and depression and rape and fire and theft and cholesterol and dandelions. But the world we live in gives no counsel on how to fight for the eternal life of the soul.

Our modern world is massively preoccupied with the inconsequential. We are so oblivious as a culture to what will one day seem so obvious that we will call ourselves blind for not seeing it—namely, the eternal well-being of the soul and its relation to God. Is it any wonder that Peter begins this second section of his letter the same way he did the first one by calling us "aliens and strangers" (cf. 1:1)?
(By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org. http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/the-war-against-the-soul-and-the-glory-of-god)
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