Mark: Life is Short - Do NOT Have an Affair
What good does it do to gain the whole world and yet to lose your soul? What can compare with the soul and what will you sell it for? Jesus has a way of quickly getting us to ponder the most important matters of life and beyond in this passage from Mark.
The whole world cannot make up to a man the loss of his soul. The possession of all the treasures that the world contains, would not compensate for eternal ruin. They would not satisfy us, and make us happy while we had them. They could only be enjoyed for a few years, at best, and must then be left for evermore. Of all unprofitable and foolish bargains that man can make, the worst is that of giving up his soul's salvation for the sake of this present world. It is a bargain of which thousands, like Esau, who sold his birth-right for a mess of pottage, have repented--but many, unhappily, like Esau, have repented too late.
Any man may lose his own soul. He cannot save it. Christ alone can do that. But he can lose it, and that in many different ways. He may murder it, by loving gin and cleaving to the world. He may poison it by choosing a religion of lies, and believing man-made superstitions. He may starve it, by neglecting all means of grace, and refusing to receive into his heart the Gospel. Many are the ways that lead to the pit. Whatever way a man takes, he, and he alone, is accountable for it. Weak, corrupt, fallen, impotent as human nature is, man has a mighty power of destroying, ruining, and losing his own soul.
Let these sayings of our Lord sink deep into our hearts. Words are inadequate to express their importance. May we remember them in the hour of temptation, when the soul seems a small and unimportant thing, and the world seems very bright and great. May we remember them in the hour of persecution, when we are tried by the fear of man, and half inclined to forsake Christ. In hours like these, let us call to mind this mighty question of our Lord, and repeat it to ourselves, "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
These words were meant to stir us up to exertion and self-denial. They ought to ring in our ears like a trumpet, every morning when we rise from our beds, and every night when we lie down. May they be deeply engraved in our memories, and never effaced by the devil and the world! J.C. Ryle The Gospel of Mark
Sermon discussion questions for parents to use with their children:
What are the two roads laid out ahead of everyone?
Which one does Jesus call us to take?
What are the reasons He gives to encourage us onto the right one?
What meaning does the title of this sermon have and why is that so opposite of how people think today?