Most everyone enjoys finding a good bargain. Some are quite proficient at bargain hunting! Others spend their time watching the stock market and trying to predict which stocks will go up and which ones will make the most money for those who invest. In these uncertain days it just makes good sense to be as economical as you can.
In our text this morning the Lord appeals to our sense of economy, our concern over profit and loss, when He asks the question, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" This morning let's consider the impact of this question from the Lord.
The news of a lost child breaks our hearts and motivates entire neighbor-hoods to do all they can to find them. When we hear of an airplane that becomes lost to radar contact, we send out search planes and helicopters and then anxiously await news of survivors. These losses are tragic, but not as tragic as a lost soul! A lost soul is simply someone who doesn't know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
I. Characteristics of a Lost Soul.
A. They are deserted.
1. If you are without Christ you are utterly alone!
2. You may think that you have plenty of company and that you can all face God together.
3. But on judgment day you will have no one to defend you when you have to answer for your sin.
4. Thomas Paine wrote The Age of Reason and called for people to cast aside their superstitious belief in God, but on his deathbed he cried out, "O Lord, help me! O Christ, help me. Stay with me. It is hell to be left alone."
5. The French atheist Voltaire uttered these words just before his death, "I am abandoned by God and man. I shall go to hell. O Christ, O Jesus Christ!"
6. To reject Christ is to be deserted for eternity.
B. They are defenseless.
1. There is nothing he can do to save himself.
2. He can strive to please God by attending church, giving his money to Christian causes, being a model spouse, and performing a host of other good works.
3. But all the effort in the world to gain acceptance by God is wasted.
4. The only way that a lost soul can gain acceptance by God is to plead guilty, confess his sins, humble himself before God, and ask God to forgive him and save him.
C. They are doomed.
1. Paul said that "...the preaching of the cross to them that perish is foolishness..." cf 1Co. 1:18
2. Note the phrase "to them that perish".
3. Some may wonder what a person must do to be lost for eternity? ...the answer is NOTHING!
4. Picture the desperate situation of a person who is in a raging river and is doing all he can to swim against the current, but the water is swiftly carrying him toward certain death as the river crashes over a waterfall.
5. That is the situation of a lost soul.
6. Jesus said, "...He that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." cf Jn. 3:18
II. The Profit of a Lost Soul.
A. Bad bargain is no bargain at all.
1. My mother had some very strict rules for us as we were growing up.
2. She did not allow us to trade anything.
3. At the time I questioned that rule and occasionally I violated it.
4. The first time I was the recipient of bad deal, I understood the wisdom of my mother's rule.
5. It was a difficult lesson to learn, but I have never forgotten it.
6. If something seems too good to be true...it usually is!
B. Where is the catch?
1. Jesus warns us about this so- called bargain that we are offered.
2. Just think to have all that the world offers...but the catch is that you lose your soul for eternity.
3. Note: 1John 2:16-17
III. The Pricelessness of a Lost Soul.
A. Note the exchange.
1. The second part of the question asked by the Lord is this:
2. "...or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
3. Nowadays if you buy something that you think is a bargain, and find out that it really isn't all that great, you can exchange it.
4. Sometimes a store has a clearance and posts signs that read "NO EXCHANGES-NO RETURNS-ALL SALES FINAL".
5. If you buy on those terms, you are stuck with it whether you like it or not.
6. That is the picture here: a man who realized that he made a bad deal finds that there is nothing that he can give in exchange to get back his soul!
B. The purchase price of a soul.
1. Not even the whole world can redeem a lost soul
2. Peter tells us that believers have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.
3. Note: 1Peter 1:18-19
4. The only rescue for the lost soul is to accept Christ's payment on Calvary and be saved!
Read: Mt. 16:26
To the Christian: Since souls are so valuable, shouldn't we be concerned about reaching men, women, boys and girls with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ? Should anything be more important to us than that?
To the Lost: If you should die today without Christ you would be eternally lost. But it doesn't have to be that way! Jesus Christ was willing to go to Calvary so that you might be saved. Accepting Christ as your Savior will be the best bargain you have ever received! Why not trust Him today?