Today’s Thoughts – Can you bargain for your soul?
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 23, 2010
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36-37)
Can you bargain for your soul? There are some really good questions in life. You know like when you begin to ask yourself, “What will I do for the rest of my life?” “Whom will I marry?” “Is there meaning to my life?” These are all really good questions, but they are not great questions. Great questions go a little deeper and have staying power for our lives. A great question stands the test of time and here in Mark’s gospel, Jesus gives us a great question: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Now that is a great question.
It is a great question because it brings us up short, makes us think, and it stands the test of time. It demands that we the listener give reasons why it would be “good” for someone to “gain the whole world” and yet be willing to “forfeit his soul.” Now before you go off on some odd Hollywood tangent thinking that Satan wants to make a deal for your soul, you are wrong. This rather silly and odd idea comes from a misconception of who Satan is and what he can or cannot do. Satan cannot gain or bargain for your soul. In reality, he has no use for it. This rather idiotic idea often comes from a misinterpretation of when Jesus told his followers, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (Luke 12:4-5) He was talking about the Pharisees who wanted to kill him and God who has the power to throw you into hell, if you do not make the right choice in life to follow his Son, Jesus.
While Satan is an accuser, a liar, and pridefully demonic in nature, he did not create hell, God will. He is not in charge of Hell, God is. And, he has no power to grab anyone’s soul, only God has that kind of power because God is the one who created you and him.
Now, back to Jesus’ question, “What could you give God in exchange for your soul?” this is what he is really asking his disciples and us this morning. The answer is you have nothing you could exchange for it, nothing — except, denying yourself and following Jesus. God had a plan and that plan was his Son would come into the world, share the good news of his coming, be betrayed, die on a cross, and rise again after three days. Jesus was exchanged for your soul. He is the payment price God accepted for your pathetic ignoble life. Come to grips with this reality Dear Child of the Lord, you have absolutely nothing God is interested in whereby you could bargain with him concerning your soul. He has already paid the price. Stop trying to bargain with him and deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow him. Can you bargain for your soul? You now know the answer.
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 25 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2010 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission. You now have my permission…