– Billy Graham
What is it worth to gain the whole world and yet lose your own soul? On Judgment Day it will be worth nothing!
Gaining the World, Losing Your Soul
Jesus had some very hard sayings but He spoke them out of His loving concern for those who would reject Him as a warning, saying “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul” (Mark 8:36-37)? Why would He say that? It was because He knew that we would tend to deny Him before others which is why He followed this statement by saying “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
Losing Your Life to Save It
Jesus’ often spoke in ways that are just the opposite of the way the world thinks and operates. For example, in the same chapter of Mark He says “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:34b-35). What Jesus was saying is that if we lose our own life for His sake and follow Him and not follow our own ways, then we will save our lives. The cost of this is to take up His cross and follow Him daily. Anyone that “would come after” Him must “deny himself” and that denial of self is losing one’s own life for His sake.
A Family of Enemies is Worthy of Christ
When Jesus was telling the crowds just how high the cost of following Him would be, He said “I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matt 10:35). Just ask anyone who is alone in their faith in their family if this is true. Jesus goes on to say “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt 10:37). If someone worries more about losing their family relationship more than they do in having a saving relationship with Christ, then they are not worthy of Him. It is just that simple.
We might not be able to relate to Jesus’ sayings where we live because in some nations, we have the freedom to worship but in much of the world, a person that trusts in Christ risks losing their family, their job, their reputation, and even their life for His sake. You could gain a great relationship with your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, and your employer but is it worth gaining the whole world while losing your own soul?