Archive for the ‘judgment’ Category

Your Soul Has Great Value

February 15, 2019

There are two really good posts that I wanted to share here today.  The first, from Truth 2 Freedom’s blog is entitled, Why So Many Religions and False Teachers?

There are a lot of false teachings in the world. Paganism, Gnosticism, Buddism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confucionism, Shaminism, even Judaism, Polytheism, Pantheism, Deism, Darwinism, Naturalism, Secular Humanism, Feminism, Agnosticism, Atheism, and Islam…ism.

All these different ways to get to God or be a god or deny God. But Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one gets to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

Of course, not everything that claims to be of Christ is truly of Christ (Matthew 7:21). Like Catholicism, Mormonism, Unitarian Universalism, Oneness Pentecostalism, Heaven Tourism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Eastern Orthodoxy, Word of Faith, the New Apostolic Reformation, and Rob Bell.

So why all these false religions and teachers? Why would God allow there to be so many, many lies? Two reasons: Testing and judgment.

The Bible says of those who refused to love the truth and so be saved, God “sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in their unrighteousness” or their sin (2 Thessalonian 2:9-12).

InDeuteronomy 13:1-4we are told, “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ you shall not listen to that false prophet. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul.”

When it comes down to it, there are only two religions: you either worship the created or the Creator, when we understand the text.

The second one is Five Reasons Why Your Soul Matters.

When our children were very young, we spoke about the soul like this: “I have a soul. My soul is inside me. I can’t see it, but it lasts forever.”

Jim Packer says that your soul is your “conscious personal self,” the “I” that knows itself as “me.” Your soul is the identity that makes you who you really are. It is the seat of your memory, and your feelings, and your imagination, and your convictions, and your desires, and your affections.

In Mark 8:35-36, Jesus says our soul has great value. Do you know why this is? Here are five reasons why your soul matters more than anything else you have.

1.) Your soul is breathed into you by God.

The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Genesis 2:7)

Grasping this is of huge importance in knowing who you are, and why your life is of such great value. Adam was created in two stages. There were two steps in the process by which God gave him life.

The first was that God, “formed the man of dust from the ground.” God formed a body. It was made from the dust of the ground. Now in this way, the man and the woman were similar to the animals: “Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens” (Genesis 2:19).

There is a second stage in the creation of Adam which shows why we are different from animals:

The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Genesis 2:7)

God breathes life into this corpse, and this makes Adam different from the animals. He is more than a body. Adam is a living soul. This soul is capable of knowing God and enjoying God, and it is capable of sinning against God, something the animals cannot do.

This is at the heart of what God is saying when he says, “You are made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26-27). God has breathed life into you and that life will never end.

2.) Your soul is the source of all your achievement.

The body apart from the spirit is dead. (James 2:26)

Think about everything that is important in your life, and you will say, “Yes, that came from my soul.” Think about this in relation to the world.

Think about music: The symphony, classic rock—where did these things come from? They came from the soul of the composer who wrote it.

Think about art: The ability to depict beauty came through the hands of the artist, but where did it come from? It came from the soul of the artist.

Then think about sports: You may say, “Surely sports depends on the body.” But James says, “the body without the spirit is dead” (James 2:26). Every great sports achievement has come through relentless commitment, disciplined desire, and the determination of the athlete, which is of course in the soul.

When I meet someone who is super fit, I want to say, “This has come from your soul. All the work you have put into sculpting your body came from a desire in your soul. Without that desire that was in your soul, you would be a couch potato!”

All that you achieve in life, everything that is achieved in the world, will arise from the life of the soul.

3.) Your soul is the cause of all your sin.

Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (James 1:14)

Where does sin come from? James 1:14 is a very important verse in the Bible because it tells us how temptation works.

Temptation comes to us through the world, the flesh, and the devil. The problem is that, wherever it comes from, it attaches itself to the soul. Our souls are sticky toward sin. Sin attaches itself to our souls.

If this was not the case, then temptation would not be a problem for any of us. If it was pure, then when you saw a house that you couldn’t afford, your soul would say, “I can’t afford that, and I don’t need it,” and you would move on. Because of our sinful desires. When temptation comes, the soul receives it, retains it, welcomes it, embraces it and holds on to it.

The problem is that our souls are not pure. So what happens is that you see something, whatever it is, that someone else has, and you say, “That’s what I want,” and it sticks.

4.) Your soul will last forever.

Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. (Matthew 10:28)

Your life had a beginning, but it does not have an end.

One day you will die and your body will be laid in the ground. But your soul will last forever. So, “Do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.” Your soul has an endless life. That’s why it’s so important. It’s immortal. It has a beginning, but it has no end.

I have a soul. It’s inside me. I can’t see it, but it lasts forever.

Some of you are actively trying to decide if you are going to follow Christ, knowing that it’s costly. You need to know what’s at stake. You try to save your life and you lose it. But Jesus says “If you lose your life to me, you will save it.”

5.) Your soul will experience everlasting joy or misery.

The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. (Luke 16:22-23)

Our Lord tells the story of two men who died. One of them was carried to Abraham’s side. Certainly not the poor man’s body. That would have remained on the earth. So what was carried to Abraham’s side? Not the poor man’s body—his soul!

Then we read: “The rich man also died and was buried,” so everyone knew where his grave was. His body was placed in a rich man’s tomb, with words and dates carved into it. What then was in hades? Not the rich man’s body. It was in the tomb. It was the rich man’s soul!

The point here is very simple: Death takes life from the body, but not from the soul. When you die, your soul goes on to one of two places: One is a place of great joy. The other, according to Jesus, is a place of great torment. And there is a great gulf fixed between them (16:26). You can’t get from the one to the other in either direction.

There is a heaven to pursue and a hell to avoid. You have a soul: Your soul can be saved and it can be lost. To lose your soul is the ultimate disaster, because it is the only loss from which you can never recover.

Do you see now why your soul is so valuable?

[This article was adapted from Pastor Colin’s sermon, “Valuing Your Soul,” from his series Soul Care, Part One]

Five Reasons Why Your Soul Matters — Unlocking the Bible

Hat tip: Truth 2 Freedom’s Blog

Hat tips to all links.


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