– Billy Graham
Destined to Burn Up
Jesus told His disciples “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” (Matt 16:27)? Obviously, there is nothing that can redeem a person’s soul. Only Jesus Christ can save us, but possessions will all be burned up someday so we need to build on the foundation of the Word of God and faith in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote, “each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done” (1st Cor 3:13).
Those Things That Remain
Of those things done in the body or while we’re here on earth, only those things that we do for Christ will pass through the fire and remain. Paul wrote that “If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward” (1st Cor 3:14), but “If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1st Cor 3:15). Even a cold drink of water will not be left unrewarded as Jesus said, “he will by no means lose his reward” (Matt 10:42b).
The Value of a Soul
Can you put a price on a soul? No, you cannot, because either a person spends eternity separated from God or they spend eternity in the presence of the Lord, so how can we place a monetary value on eternity? It’s not possible because your soul and mine is beyond cost and of infinite value. It takes the precious blood of the Lamb of God to redeem our souls. No amount of possessions will do any good on the day in which we stand before the presence of the Lord.
Jesus reminds all of us that “the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done” (Matt 16:27), so if we have only done for ourselves and used our possessions for our own selfish interests, we have exchanged our possessions for our soul, and that is a fatal mistake that cannot be rectified.