A certain ungodly tavern-keeper who liked music decided to attend one of John Wesley’s meetings to hear the singing. He had resolved, however, not to listen to the sermon. He sat with his head down and fingers in his ears. But when God wants to speak to a man’s soul, He has His ways.
A Fly flew on the man’s nose and when he attempted to drive it away, he heard nine words that changed his life. He heard Mr. Wesley say, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” From that moment he had no rest in his soul. He returned the next night, listened intently and was converted.
Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” The human soul is a priceless treasure; it is the real you. In fact, the Bible teaches that your soul is more valuable than the whole world! And yet, many people “sell their souls” for what surely are petty bargains.
The Bible teaches that we are body, soul, and spirit. We also see that a great price was paid for the soul, but not in an earthly sense, (1 Peter 1:18-19). The value of Something is determined by the price paid for it and by whom. Jesus Christ allowed himself to die on a cross for your soul. His death pays the penalty for the sins of those who believe in Him by faith. But just as the man in this parable neglected and lost his soul, it is possible for you to lose your soul forever. I want to share with you three reasons why many people will lose their soul in the end.
Read Luke 12:16-21
1. Wrong Preparation
This man’s life was busy in pursuing the comforts of this life and not on pursuing God. He wanted to build bigger barns, but God brought in a new perspective. The farmer won’t live to see them. In fact, he won’t even live to build bigger barns. He made plans only for this life but not what comes after. God was not in his life. He did not consider God at all.
Jesus wants us to see things from the right perspective. He told the young man who came to Him: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
In Luke 12:24-30 Jesus advised us to not to worry about earthly possessions. You can lose your soul if you plan for yourself alone. You were created to pursue a relationship with God; riches or sin can never satisfy your soul, (Matthew 6:33).
In the parable, God called this man a fool. He had amassed great wealth but was poor toward God. Oswald Sanders said, “Nothing is wrong in seeking great things. But it is wrong to seek great things for yourself.”
Jesus reminded us of the need to remember God – the source of all our blessings. God wants us to invest in things that have eternal value. We must invest our lifetime, talent, knowledge – in the work of His Kingdom, (Matthew 12:33). Live life in the light of eternity and we shall be greatly blessed.
All that the farmer has – will not go to him, and will not go with him. Life without God is meaningless. Man thinks he can find true fulfillment in this world – we want to have “plenty of good things laid up for many years” and then we can “take life easy; eat, drink and be merry” (Luke 12:19). But Jesus says true fulfillment can only come through a relationship with our God. “Security in life does not lie with barns but with God.”
2. Wrong Intention
The chairman of the community charity called on a notorious miser. “Sir,” said the fund-raiser, “our records show that despite your wealth, you’ve never once given to our drive.” “Do your records show that I have an elderly mother who was left penniless when my father died?” fumed the tightwad. “Do your records show that I have a disabled brother who is unable to work? Do your records show I have a widowed sister with small children who can barely make ends meet?” “No, sir,” replied the embarrassed volunteer. “Our records don’t show those things.” “Well,” said the miser. “I don’t give to any of them, so why should I give anything to you?”
This man’s heart was filled with pride and self-reliance – He was a self-made man. Charles Spurgeon said, “There are 2 sins of a man that are bred in the bone: one is self-dependence and the other is self-exultation.”
1 Timothy 6:17-18 says, “Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them.”
Further Proverbs 21:26 says “All day long the wicked covets, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.”
The real issue here is not your possession (rich or poor), the issue here is your focus—self? The command is general. “Do not neglect to do well and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16). The problem today is the church is poor because Christians do not give to the Lord!
Here’s an illustration: A pastor stood before his church and said, “I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the church has all the money it needs. The bad news is that it’s all still in your wallets.”
Remember, At the close of life, the question will not be how much have you got, but how much have you given. Not how much have you won, but how much have you done? Not how much have you saved, but how much have you sacrificed. Not how much have you honored, but how much have you served?
3. Wrong Goals
This man had set a good goal assuming that he would be around to enjoy his wealth – not knowing that that night would be his last. (James 4:13-14)
Here’s another story. The pastor was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy man in Texas. After the meal, the host led him to a place where they could get a good view of the surrounding area. Pointing to the oil wells, he boasted, “Twenty-five years ago I had nothing. Now, as far as you can see, it’s all mine.” Looking in the opposite direction at his sprawling fields of grain, he said, “That’s all mine.” Turning east toward huge herds of cattle, he bragged, “They’re all mine.” Then pointing to the west and a beautiful forest, he exclaimed, “That too is all mine.”
He paused, expecting the pastor to compliment him on his great success. The pastor, however, placing one hand on the man’s shoulder and pointing heavenward with the other, simply said, “How much do you have in that direction?” The man stared blankly for a moment, then hung his head and confessed, “I never thought of that.”
Most of us don’t realize that we are just one breath away, one heartbeat away, or one accident away from eternity. No one is ever prepared for that moment until they have made peace with God, (Mark 8:36)
What if you heard those words: “Today, you will die.” Are you ready for that? Will you be able to give an account for the way you’ve raised or are raising your family? Can you give an account for what you’re doing with your talents and abilities? What about giving an account for the way you’re spending your time and energy? How about giving an account for what you’ve done with the money and wealth that God has blessed you with? Are you ready to give an account for the way you’re using your body and managing your appetites?
Someday, there’s going to be a knock at your life’s door. Death will be waiting outside. The music will suddenly stop. The frantic whirling of the dancers will cease. And you and I must answer the door. Soon thereafter, what we did with the gift of life will be required of us, (Hebrews 9:27)
When God enters, this farmer realized that there was one thing he did not prepare. He made a good plan to store his crop, made a good plan to save up for the future, he made a plan to enjoy himself. In fact, he has done many things well but he did not prepare for his own soul. Death was not in his planning book. A person does not know when his or her time is coming. You can avoid being one of those people who lost their souls by, (I) Admitting to God that you are a sinner, (Romans 3:10;23); (II) Believing that Jesus died for your sins, (1 Peter 3:18); (III) Committing your life to Him as Savior and Lord, (Romans 10:9).
Image: Gerry Balding
A message by Rev. Roy Isaac