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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Adrian Rogers » Adrian Rogers - The Value of a Soul

Adrian Rogers - The Value of a Soul

Adrian Rogers - The Value of a Soul

Take the Word of God. Find Mark chapter 8. In just a moment we're going to begin reading in verse 35. But let me tell you something about your most valuable possession; really about you yourself. Your soul, your human soul is of infinite worth. Your soul will be in existence somewhere when this world is turned to dust. When the sun, moon, and stars have burned themselves out, if they ever will, your soul will still go on, endless, dateless and measureless. Your soul, made in the image of God, is worth more than all of the rubies and diamonds and gold and silver that this world has to offer. It will go on, endless, timeless, dateless and measureless.

Now your body may be killed, and your body may dissolve, but your soul, wed to your spirit inseparably, will never, ever cease to exist. Your human soul could no more cease to exist than God Himself could cease to exist, because you are made in the image of God. In the truest sense, you don't have a soul; you are a soul. You live in a body. The Bible calls our body an, "Earthly house" in Second Corinthians chapter 5 and verse 1. Now, God said something about you when He made you that He didn't say about anything else in all creation, and He made it all. But this is what He says about you in the first chapter of Genesis verses 26 and 27. He says that He made you, "In His image". And that's what makes man uniquely distinct from all of the other creatures and all of the rest of His creation. You have a soul; you live in a body.

Now the problem with many of us is this; that we pamper the body and neglect the soul. Suppose there's a boy that falls in love with a girl, and he doesn't really know how to ask her to marry him. So he thinks if he'll just give her an engagement ring, she'll catch the idea. So he has it beautifully wrapped, and inside the wrapping is that velvet box with the satin lining on the inside, and this gorgeous ring is in there. And he gives it to her and says, "Look at this and tell me what you think". And so, he comes back hoping that she will say, "Yes," to him. And he says, "What did you think about my present"? "Oh," she says, "it's beautiful. I love it". And she pulls out the little box. She says, "Look at the hinge. See the little clasp. See how fuzzy it is. And look how soft it is on the inside. Look at that satin". He says, "Yes, but, what about what was on the inside"? "Oh," she says, "you mean that piece of wire and glass? I threw that away. But this is a wonderful box. Thank you so much for it".

Well, she would have room to rent upstairs unfurnished if she did that. But, folks, I'm telling you, there are people who are just like that. They don't understand that the body is the box; the soul is the diamond. We pamper the box. We pet the box. We feed the box. We rest the box and we neglect the diamond that is on the inside. Now I want you to see what the Lord Jesus said about your soul. Look here in Mark chapter 8 and verse 35 through verse 38, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it". Do you want to lose yours? Listen to Jesus, "But whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospel's," and the Gospel means the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for our sins, "the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels".

Now Jesus is saying here is a pitiful and a bad bargain, if a man were to try to exchange his soul for all this wide world. I was in an automobile and I was behind another automobile that said, it had a bumper sticker on it, and said, "If you are living like there's no God, you'd better hope you're right". Oh, friend, there is a God. And you do have a soul. And I want us to think first of all about the fabulous treasure that is your human soul. What makes a soul of such great worth? May I give you five things that makes anything valuable? You want to know what you're worth? You want to know why your one soul is worth more than all the stocks, the bonds, the buildings, the real estates, the schools and the industry put together? Your one soul is worth more than all the rubies and diamonds and gems. Every star in the universe. Your one soul is worth more than that. Your soul!

Well, let me tell you five things that make anything worthwhile. Number one is creativity. Who made it? You see, the creator of anything adds to its worth. Who created the human soul? The Bible sells, tells us in Genesis chapter 2 verse 7 that, "God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul". And Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10 tells us, "We are His workmanship". Now you are the crowning work of Almighty God. A Picasso painting would sell for millions of dollars because of the creativity of Picasso. I have been to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. And, very frankly, I was not all that impressed. But, evidently, it's worth so much because of its creator. You, my friend, are the handiwork of Almighty God. You are the crowning work of God's creative genius. You are the last creative masterpiece of Almighty God. We are His workmanship. Creativity. Think of yourself, friend. You are handcrafted by God. That's one thing that makes your soul worth so much.

Let me tell you the second thing. Not only the creativity that's put into your soul, but the potentiality that is in your soul. You see, a thing is worth much not only because of what it is, but because of what it can be. You, one day, can be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Do you believe that? One day, you can be made like Jesus Christ. That is the potentiality that there is in you. Sitting in your seat this morning are three, not one, but three: the person you are now, the person you may become if you allow yourself to continue to go the same direction you're going till you finally drop into Hell, and the person you might be if you give your heart to Jesus Christ and let Him transform you by His glorious grace.

Think of the potentiality that there is in one human soul. You don't see yourself as God sees you with His creative genius. It's said that one time Michelangelo looked at a block of marble. He was the great sculptor of yesteryear. And he said as he looked at that block of marble, "There's an angel in that block, and I'm going to set him free". And he made a magnificent statue out of a cold block of marble. That's what God wants to do for you. There was a man; his name was Russell Conwell. He was a Baptist preacher, and he was a great man of God, and he pastored the Baptist Temple in Philadelphia. And he also founded Temple College. And the way he founded Temple College was by going about and giving thousands of lectures. It was one lecture really. But the title of that lecture was, "Acres of Diamonds". And he told about a man who lived in Africa who had a farm. But he learned that others were discovering diamonds.

And this man wanted to have diamonds. He wanted to be wealthy. He wanted to be rich. So he sold his farm and went off all over, searching for diamonds. He never found any diamonds and eventually drowned himself in despair. But the person who bought the farm from this man one day was crossing a stream, and he saw an unusual looking rock, a stone. He picked it up. And you know what it was. It was an incredible diamond. And then they found out that the farm was loaded with diamonds. The man who had sold the farm was standing in acres of diamonds. And he didn't realize what he had! He never developed what he had, going looking for something else. Your heart is on a search. Friend, you are standing in acres of diamonds spiritually, the potentiality that is in you. I'll tell you something else that makes something worthwhile and that is durability. How long will it last?

Now, if you have something that's not going to last very long, then obviously it doesn't have as much value as something that will last longer. Your soul, as I've told you, will go on endless, dateless, measureless through all eternity. Your soul will be in existence somewhere when the sun, moon, and stars have grown cold, either in Heaven or in Hell. You could never cease to exist any more than God Himself could cease to exist. And you say, "Did you say the word Hell"? Yes, I said the word Hell. Jesus Christ had more to say about Hell than any other preacher in the Bible.

The former pastor of this church, R. G. Lee, said, "Some people say it's cruel to talk about Hell". He said, "I'd rather be called cruel for being kind than to be called kind for being cruel. And the cruelest thing that a person could do would be to fail to warn somebody about the Hell that is to come". Your soul is durable. It will last either in Heaven or in Hell. It will go on and on and on. Daniel chapter 12 verse 2 says, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the Earth shall awake; some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt". Your soul will have everlasting life or everlasting shame and contempt. How long is everlasting? How long is eternity? Have you ever thought about eternity, that you're going to be in existence, your soul, for all eternity?

Billy Sunday was the Billy Graham of his day. Billy Sunday used to talk about how long eternity is, and he said, "Just imagine that the Earth is here and there's a far-off distant star. And this Earth is to be moved from its location to that star. And there's a little bird who will come and take a grain of sand and fly away with that one grain of sand, and he will fly if possible, on through outer space till he comes to that distant planet, that distant star. It takes him a million years to make the trip this way and then a million years to come back to Earth. And he gets another grain of sand. Another million years, he makes the trip this way. Another million years, he comes back". And then Billy Sunday said, "When that bird, traveling a million years one way and a million years back, grain by grain, has moved Earth to that distant place, it would only be breakfast time in eternity". Friend, I'm telling you that you have a soul that will live on and on and on, and it is creativity, it is possibility or potentiality, it is durability that makes your soul of great worth.

Let me tell you another thing that makes your soul of great worth, and its rarity. The more rare a thing is, the more valuable it is. Your soul is absolutely unique and rare. God made you unique. There's not anyone else like you. You are His handiwork and you are totally rare. I understand that the rarest stamp is the one-cent stamp of British Guyana. I understand that the rarest coin is the Argenta of Athens, a silver dollar, the first silver dollar. But you are absolutely unique. God never makes copies. You are the rare work of God. There'll never be another just like you. It is rarity that makes something valuable. And then, last of all, I'll tell you what else makes a thing valuable, and I guess this is the bottom line. And it is desirability, desirability.

Any realtor will tell you, if he goes to do an estimate, an appraisal on a piece of property, it doesn't matter how much you've spent on it, it matters not how much you've painted it, it doesn't matter how much you have enjoyed it. What will that appraiser tell you its worth? What somebody'll pay for it. Is that not what determines worth? I mean, as far as he's concerned, what will somebody pay for this? And on the basis of that, he makes his appraisal. You want to know how much you're worth? Go to bloody Calvary. See Jesus Christ in agony and blood dying upon that cross. For Peter tells us in First Peter 1 verses 18 and 19, "You were not redeemed with corruptible things, such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as a Lamb without spot and without blemish".

Put your ear on the beating heart of God and hear God say, "I love you, and I want you". Come down lower and see Jesus dying there upon the cross. Why? Because He wants your soul. He paid that price for you! That's how desirable you are to Him. I have a friend. His name is Mike. He's an evangelist. Mike told how he got saved. He was just throwing his life away like so many kids are today, just throwing their life away, didn't care about anything. Somebody said, "Mike, if you had something that you really didn't care about and really didn't want and didn't value at all, but somebody else wanted it very, very, very much, Mike, if you didn't want it and somebody else really did, would you give it to them"? He said, "Sure". "Mike, Jesus wants your soul. He desires you". And somehow Mike's eyes were opened and he gave his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm telling you, you are desirable to Him.

Now I want us to move to a second thing. Not only do I want us to think about this fabulous treasure, your soul, but I want us to think about a foolish transaction. Look if you will now in Mark 8 verses 36 and 37, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul"? Now he's talking here about a transaction, an exchange. Now you have a treasure. It is a fabulous treasure. It is your soul. But now, notice a foolish transaction. Now this is Jesus, the Master Teacher, talking. He's talking about a man who bargains away his soul in the vain hope of gaining the world. That's so foolish, so pitiful. Let me give you three reasons why that is so pitiful. Number one: nobody gains the whole world, anyway. Nobody has ever done that. Not one person has ever gained this world.

I'm amazed how cheaply some people will sell out for Jesus Christ. Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. I believe there are people sitting in this congregation who would give up Jesus before they'd give up getting a new refrigerator. It is amazing. I mean, there are people who say, "You know, I don't want to go down there to that church. Man, if I go down there to that church, they'll want some of my money". You're wrong. God doesn't need your money, mister. He doesn't need your money. He owns this world. But people are so motivated by this. Nobody has ever gained the whole world. Secondly, that would be so foolish because what part of the world you gain, you can't keep. The gnawing tooth of time, the foul breath of decay will take your treasures one day and disintegrate them.

In the 8th and 9th century, there was a king of France. His name was Charlemagne. They called him, "Charlemagne the Great". He had all of the wealth, all of the pomposity of a king. But Charlemagne the Great died. Later, centuries later, they opened the tomb of Charlemagne the Great. They went in there, and all of the treasures and things were buried with him, very much like a pharaoh. And they had Charlemagne the Great buried sitting on a throne. They had him with a crown on his head. But his flesh had been eaten away. There's only a boney skeleton there. And no longer did the crown fit. It kind of slipped down over his boney skull. And they had put in the lap of Charlemagne the Great a copy of the New Testament. And he had a boney finger on the text that I'm preaching from this morning, "For what should it profit a man, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what should a man give in exchange for his soul"?

You can't gain the world. And if you gain the world, you can't keep it. And I'm going to tell you something else. If you could gain it, and if you could keep it, it would never satisfy you. That's why it's such a bad bargain. You were made for God. God made you to know Him, to love Him, and to satisfy Him. Pleasures cannot satisfy. Possessions cannot satisfy. Philosophy cannot satisfy. God made you for Him. God made a bird to fly in the sky. God made a fish to swim in the sea. God made you to know Him and to love Him. You take a bird out of the sky and put him under water, he's an unhappy bird. Take a fish out of the sea and put him in a tree, he's an unhappy fish. Your element is God. And if you don't know Him, you're going to be like a round peg in a square hole. You're going to be like a fish in a tree, like a bird under the water. God made you for Him. "In Him we live and move and have our being." Acts 17 verse 28.

This world cannot satisfy you, friend. Let me tell you why it's such a tragic loss. We're talking about a tragic loss. Well, number one: If you lose your soul, it is an irreversible loss. Don't get the idea that one day you can step out of Hell back into Heaven. No, there's a great gulf fixed. And when you come to the judgment day, and I'm going to be preaching in this series of messages on the final judgment, it'll be too late when you come to the judgment to plead for mercy. There'll be no mercy there. If you want mercy, you may have it, but you must have it in this lifetime. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, "It's appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment". And you'll be standing before God, and the recording angel will be there. And you'll have no Jesus. You'll have no salvation. Your sin will not be forgiven. And that recording angel will say, "What shall I write"?

With a broken heart, God will say, "Write lost, L-O-S-T beyond time, beyond hope". It is an irreversible loss. Ezekiel chapter 18 verse 4, "Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine. The soul that sinneth, it shall die". But not only is it an irreversible loss. Friend, if you lose your soul, it is an immeasurable loss. I mean, all of the wealth of the world cannot compare to the value of your soul. It is an irreplaceable loss. If you lose other things, you can replace them. We've lost things. We've replaced them. But you can't replace your soul. There's no substitute for your soul. There's no replacement for your soul. A newlywed couple had just moved into their little apartment. He came home to find his wife in tears. He said, "Sweetheart, what's wrong"? She said, "I baked you some biscuits, and the dog got up on the table and ate them". He said, "Now, sweetheart, don't cry. We can get another dog".

There are some things you can replace. But if you lose your soul, it's an irreplaceable loss. It's an irreversible loss. But here's the main thing. Listen. Jesus said in Mark 8:36, "What should it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul"? Now think with me. You can't gain the world. If you could gain it, you couldn't keep it. If you could gain it and keep it, it wouldn't satisfy you. And then He says, "Why would you trade your soul of immeasurable value for the things of this world, because it is an inexcusable loss". You don't have to lose your soul. It's absolutely, totally inexcusable. Three men were in a restaurant, so I'm told. One, a believer; two were unbelievers. The two unbelievers got in an argument. And one unbeliever put his finger in the face of the other man, who was Hell-bound, and said to him, "You go to Hell".

The Christian was sitting there listening to that. He leaned over to the man who'd just been told to go to Hell and said, "Listen, I have been reading the instructions. You don't have to go if you don't want to". "You don't have to go". There's no reason that you should go. It is inexcusable for you to go to Hell. Now, now think with me. Jesus is talking about a transaction. He said in Mark 8:36 and 37, "What should it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul"? Now watch this, "Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul"? Now think with me. Suppose somebody comes to you and says, "I have an offer. I have a transaction I want to make".

And this person has the authority and the ability to do this, and you know that he does. And he says, "I will give you anything and everything you want. You want money? You can have it. You want pleasure? You can have it. You want influence and prestige and power? You can have it. But there's something I want from you". "Well, all right, what is it? What is the exchange"? He says, "I want your little finger. I want to have your little finger amputated. That's what it'll cost. But you can have all of the wealth of the world. You can have all of the power you want, all of the influence, all of the pleasure, all of the fun, all of the friends, but it'll cost you a finger"ю

Would you take him up on that deal? Maybe you wouldn't, but I'm telling you there are millions in this world who'd say, "That? Sure, it's a deal". But now, wait a minute. Let's change. Let's move the ante up a little bit. Suppose he were to say to you this time, "No, it's not your finger; it's your arm. I want the entire arm. But, remember, you can have everything you want". Would you take that deal? Some would. But, wait a minute. What if he says, "Not your finger, not your arm; I want your ability to hear. You will never be able to hear another thing, but you can have everything". Or what if he said, "I want your eyes. You'll never be able to see. I want your eyes and your ears, but you can have everything".

You'd say, "Wait a minute. What good is everything? You want my eyes? You want my ears? You want this and that? And you're going to give me everything? No! I don't care if you give me the whole world"! There's a place any thinking, reasonable person would draw the line and say, "I will not pay". Is that not right? Obviously! Listen to me. I am preaching this morning to people who are giving far more to gain far less. I mean, you are giving your soul, not your eyes, your ears, your hands, your soul, and you're not gaining all of the pleasures of this world. You see, listen to what Jesus is saying in Mark chapter 8 verses 36 and 37. Jesus is saying, "What should it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his soul? Or what should a man give in exchange for his soul"?

Now let's move to the third and final thing. I want you to think of the fatal tragedy. This is a story of tragedy. Notice again Jesus is saying in verse 36 the man loses his soul. I mean, he loses his soul. "Have you counted the cost, if your soul should be lost? Though you gain the whole world for your own? Even now it may be that the line you've crossed. Have you counted, have you counted the cost"? The devil doesn't want you to think about what I'm saying today. The devil wants you to lose your soul. Old-time preachers used to tell a story. I've heard it many times. You've probably heard it. Probably based in some truth, of a man who was leaving the old country to come to this country. He didn't know how to transfer all of his wealth so he could get a new start. And he thought, "Well, there's something that always holds value. It's a diamond".

And so he took all of his assets, bought one precious stone, a diamond. He intended to come to the United States, sell that diamond, and begin his business, his life anew. He was on the steamer coming over. He took his diamond from his pocket and looked at it. Very beautiful. Friends around looked at it. And he enjoyed the notoriety of holding that and looking at it. He tried to act casual like he was a very wealthy man. He acted casual about it. Of course, it was all that he had. And then people began to talk about his diamond and how wealthy he must be. So he took his diamond and held it out like that, and held it over the edge of the briny, blue ocean. Everybody kind of gave a gasp. He put it back in his pocket. He was feeling like a very important person.

The next day he happened to saunter out on the deck and people gathered around, and he took it and tossed it up and caught it. Tossed it up and caught it. They would gasp every time this would happen. And he kind of enjoyed the notoriety. He was sort of a big man on the deck. And you know what happened. Tossed it one time. He reached for it. It bounced. He reached for it again. It bounced out of his hand, sunk to the ocean floor. The ship sailed on. He said, "What a fool, what a fool I am. All that I had and I lost it". You say, "Adrian, that's probably not a true story. Nobody could be that ignorant". Some of you are playing more carelessly with your own soul. "All that I have, all that I have". And people sit in churches, haughty, unbroken, unbowed, unbent when their eternal destiny is at hand. I'm not talking to you about what Adrian is saying. I'm talking to you about what Jesus is saying when He said in Mark 8:36, "What should it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul"?

Friend, your soul is worth billions of worlds like this one. And I want to call you to a decision this morning. From my heart, and I've prayed on my knees about it, that God would help me to cause you to do today, friend, what you need to do. I want to tell you a story. There was a man who was an artist and a chess player. He painted a painting. A young man is playing chess with Satan. Satan has the dark pieces; the young man has the light pieces, and they're playing. The outcome of the game would determine the destiny of the man's soul. If the young man were to beat Satan at the game of chess, then he would be ever free from the power of sin and evil. On the other hand, if Satan were to master the young man, the young man would be forever Satan's slave. The man who painted the painting was a chess master.

Now, in chess, the idea is to checkmate the other person. And if you can checkmate the other person, say, in four moves, the game is over. You just simply say, "Checkmate". There's no way you can escape. And in this painting, Satan has so moved his pieces on the chessboard that it's obvious that he has moved the young man into a position where he cannot win. It is checkmate. The young man is sitting over here and his hand is hovering over his pawn, trying to figure out the move that he can make. Over here is Satan, knowing he's won the game. There's a gleam in his eye. Chess players would come and see that painting.

There was a man named Paul Morphy. He was from Louisiana. He was a master. He was a champion of chess. As a matter of fact, he finally retired as a champion because the strain on his brain playing this game. But he went to the art gallery to see this painting. There's the young man with his hand up there. Morphy didn't want to lose. He didn't want to lose this, this tournament, as it were. He put himself in the place of the young man, and he stood there in his mind and he's making a move. He's thinking. He's making a move, this, this, this. Five minutes he stands there. Ten minutes, twenty, thirty, forty, thinking and thinking. And then he sees something that the man who painted the painting had never seen, and he's figured out a way that the young man can win. And right there in the museum he says, "Young man, make that move! Make that move"!

I know very little about chess, but I know something about the Bible. And I'm telling you there's only one move that you can make, and that is to repent of your sin and give your heart to Jesus Christ. If I had a thousand souls, I would give every one of them to Jesus. And, friend, I have read the directions. You don't have to go to Hell. There is a move that you can make. "What should it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what should a man give in exchange for his soul"? And very simply I'm going to ask you today to do something. I'm going to ask you today to do what you'll be glad you did when you stand in the presence of God. I'm going to ask you to put your faith where God has put your sins, on Jesus. Receive Him as your Lord and Savior. And I promise you, on the authority of the Word of God, He will save you and He will keep you saved for all eternity. You don't have to lose your soul.

Would you bow your heads in prayer? Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. And I'm going to lead you in a prayer. And in this prayer I want you to pray and ask Jesus Christ to come into your life, forgive your sin, and save you. Pray this prayer if you're not absolutely certain that you're saved, or if you're absolutely certain that you're not saved. Pray this prayer:

Dear God, I know that You love me. I know that You want to save me. Jesus, You died to save me and promised to save me if I would trust You. I do trust You.

Young man, pray that prayer. Don't play foolishly with your soul. Pray that prayer. "Lord Jesus, I do trust You right now with all of my heart". Young lady, ask Him into your heart. Businessman, your money will not help you at the judgment. Ask Him into your heart:

Come into my heart, Lord Jesus; forgive my sin, save me, Lord Jesus. (Pray it from your heart) Save me, Lord Jesus. Save me.

Did you ask Him? Then by faith pray this way:

Thank You for saving me. I receive it by faith like a little child. You're now my Lord, and my Savior, my God, and my Friend. Thank You for saving me. I'm weak. You're strong. So begin now to make me the person You want me to be, because I've got to grow. I know You'll help me. And help me, Lord Jesus, never to be ashamed of You. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.

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