June 19, 2017
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
We are looking at Who Owns The Title to your soul – your life? According to John 8:44, Satan does! (the natural condition when we are born into this world – see the last blog). But we have the opportunity to change that ownership! And Jesus gives us the invitation in Mark 8:34 through 37:
Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up
his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose
it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his
own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
You might ask, “How is it that the evil one Owns The Title to my soul? I thought we were created in the image of God! ” Yes, according to Genesis 1:26 and 27 we were. But when our first parents in Genesis 3:1-7 gave in to temptation and obeyed Satan rather than God, the ownership was transferred. Not only does the devil have Title to your soul (in your natural born state), but he has Title to the whole world system! This is shown in Luke 4:5 and 6 – the second temptation he offered Jesus:
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the
kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him,
“All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been de-
livered to me; and I give it to whomever I wish.”
The ownership of all the kingdoms of the world…and their glory includes the societies of those kingdoms – and the people who make up those societies! And if a person remains under the devil’s jurisdiction, that person will follow Satan all the way into eternal hell! (See Revelation 20:10; 21:8).
We started to examine what we must do to change ownership, looking into verse 34 of our featured Scripture. This is extremely important! I strongly suggest you review Monday’s blog to nail down what you must do! Then do it! But let’s go on:
• Mark 8:35 – “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” The understanding of this verse depends on the correct interpretation of “his life”. One of the big lies that Satan fosters on people is that they are in control of their own lives! But God says something different! (See Job 12:9, 10; Ezekiel 18:4; Luke 12:15-21). The life to which Jesus is referring in verse 35 is the life of which we think we are in control! (See James 4:13-17). If we hang on to that thinking, we are in trouble, especially eternal trouble! To lose your life means to have all that you have lived for – strived for, expended your energy for – turn into dust and ashes! And then you will hear the Lord Jesus say, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41).
But if we give up that ‘control’ and give over the dominion of our life to the One who originally designed us, we will save our life! The contrast is vividly pointed out in John 10:10. The Lord tells us, “The thief [Satan] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” The first mention of life in this verse means eternal life! (See John 3:36; I John 5:11-13). The second mention points to this temporal life. Why do I say that? Because in heaven, obviously life will be lived abundantly! What then does the abundance consist of here and now? Perhaps many things, including the Lord’s presence, provision, protection, etc. But I believe it especially refers to the nine manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22 and 23 (Easy-to-Read Version): “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” If you have these qualities in your life, you will truly live life more abundantly!
• Mark 8:36 and 37 – “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” I remember the man whom my wife worked for years ago. He was a good man by society’s standards. But he was not a Christian. One day he was telling us about his family: “All my children have turned out great! They are all educated, have good jobs and families. What more could you ask for? ” But two paragraphs above, I described what the Bible says about losing your life. There is no profit in all that you have worked for being consumed by God’s judgment fire! And I am sure those facing the great white throne judgment of Revelation 20:11 through 14 would do anything to exchange their soul at that time of judgment! (See Revelation 6:15-17). But, as it says in Psalm 49:7 and 8 (Good News Bible): “We can never redeem ourselves; we cannot pay God the price for our lives, because the payment for a human life is too great. What we could pay would never be enough….”
So, it comes down to this: If you want to give God The Title to your soul – your life; if you want to have eternal life, and have life more abundantly, then accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, and follow Him closely as your Lord!