Gain – Loss


Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”  This concept of Profit and Loss is what Accountants, Banks, Investment Brokers, Businessmen are all interested in.  Farmers sow a little seed and plan for a bountiful crop to obtain much gain, and they certainly do not want a crop loss.  We go to work and put in many hours of effort, and at the end of the week we eagerly anticipate a gain for that effort by a boost in numbers in a Bank Account, a gain.

Our wonderful Lord Jesus asks us to now look from the physical life over into our spiritual side, and for us to seriously consider the Spiritual Profit and Loss Accounts therein.  Isaiah 51:6-8 “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.  Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart [is] my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.  For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation from generation to generation.”

Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

2 Peter 3:10-12 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.   [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”

How much effort do we put into that which will all be burnt up, and yet our soul or spiritual life is fading away with a gross lack of attention and nourishment.  Peter tells us that the externals will all vanish away, and all that is to be left is our character and our spiritual life, that is if we even have cultivated one.  If one was to step up to you with a big set of scales and weight the physical, and then the spiritual of your life, which one is the biggest, would the difference be by much or little?  Our text for today asks us to get very seriously and to consider this matter, and then to take an immediate and decided action to re-balance the trend and to prioritize that which has eternal benefits rather than the short term physical that will so soon fade away and disappear.

John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  So come to Jesus right now, fall in his arms, confess that you have been side tracked, and put things right and start afresh with a new and bountiful relationship with our wonderful Lord Jesus.

The Saviour saw that men were absorbed in getting gain, and were losing sight of eternal realities. He undertook to correct this evil. He sought to break the infatuating spell that was paralyzing the soul. Lifting up His voice He cried, “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26. He presents before fallen humanity the nobler world they have lost sight of, that they may behold eternal realities. He takes them to the threshold of the Infinite, flushed with the indescribable glory of God, and shows them the treasure there. The value of this treasure is above gold or silver. The riches of earth’s mines cannot compare with it.  {COL 106}

Christ calls upon every one to consider. Make an honest reckoning. Put into one scale Jesus, which means eternal treasure, life, truth, heaven, and the joy of Christ in souls redeemed; put into the other every attraction the world can offer. Into one scale put the loss of your own soul, and the souls of those whom you might have been instrumental in saving; into the other, for yourself and for them, a life that measures with the life of God. Weigh for time and for eternity. While you are thus engaged, Christ speaks: “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36.   God desires us to choose the heavenly in place of the earthly. He opens before us the possibilities of a heavenly investment. He would give encouragement to our loftiest aims, security to our choicest treasure. When the riches that moth devours and rust corrupts shall be swept away, Christ’s followers can rejoice in their heavenly treasure, the riches that are imperishable.  {COL 374}

It is so with the soul. The heart is to be carefully kept and guarded. “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?” Mark 8:36, 37. Christ must abide in the heart by faith. His word is the bread of life and the water of salvation. Trust in its fullness comes to us through constant communion with God. By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ we gain spiritual strength. Christ supplies the lifeblood of the heart, and Christ and the Holy Spirit give nerve power.  {CH 593}

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”  Please open the door to your heart and let the Saviour in.