Person in a Beige top on a Mountain Cliff.


We should be careful to note the two things here contrasted. It does not necessarily mean the gaining of the present and the loss of the future, for those who lose the future do not necessarily get the most out of the present. Nor does it mean that in order to gain the future we must lose the present – for those who gain the future really get the best out of this life too. [Taken from How to Prepare Sermons by William Evans]

Read Matthew 16:26 or Mark 8:36

1. The World gained and the Soul Lost

A. The world is everything in the world and appeals to the senses. 1 John 2:15-17 summarizes these as the lust of the flesh; the lust of the eye; the pride of life.

B. To gain the world means to get all it has to give along these lines. Now the soul is the man “himself” (Luke 9:25)

C. In other words, the soul is the inner, real manhood and womanhood. To lose the soul means to lose oneself.

2. Every Person has a Valuable Soul

A. Man is made of Body, soul, and mind. The Bible confirms the existence of the soul, (Genesis 2:7)

B. The soul is of infinite value because of its divine origin. Because of the price paid for its redemption.

C. Because of the great contention for its possession and also because of the eternal destiny awaiting it.

3. The Great Danger of Losing the Soul

A. There’s a sense in which it is already lost. But there is a final loss that takes place in the future. The soul may be lost by trying to gain the world.

B. A supposed gain “if”. An uncertain gain, (Luke 12:20); A difficult gain, (1 Timothy 6:10); An unsatisfactory gain, (Ecclesiastes 1:1-18; 2:1-26).

C. The loss of the soul is permanent and irretrievable. No exchange can save it when once its doom has been pronounced.


This text invites you to picture yourself at the judgment bar of God, hearing the sentence of doom pronounced upon you. Then ask yourself the question of this text: “What shall it have profited me, gaining as I did the whole world, seeing I have now lost my soul, for which loss there is no exchange, no redemption?

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