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Faith Toward God (31)


In our last broadcast, we noted a man, who in a bid to preserve his soul in pleasures for many years to come, through a barn-expansion project, actually ended up losing his soul. We noted that the fourth root cause of fear among many Christians today, is the fact that they would rather seek to extend their lives here on earth, than preserve their souls in eternity. It may actually sound appropriate to want to preserve or keep your life here on earth, than face the threat of death, in the pursuit of Gods Will; but a life preserved on earth by anyone other than by God, is a life preserved out of fear, and such a life accounts for nothing, except to be burned in hell in eternity! If you are going to enter into life in eternity then, you must be ready to give up your life here on earth, by entrusting it unto God, Who is able to keep it unto the day of Christ. Paul, the apostle, said in 2 Timothy 1:12, for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. This statement brings us to the fifth of the root-cause of fear in a believer in Christ. But before we begin to look at this, let us briefly restate the first four root-causes of fear in many believers in Christ:
1. They are not interested in doing the Will of God;
2. They are not prepared to deny themselves;
3. They are not prepared to carry their cross and follow Jesus;
4. They want to preserve their lives here on earth; and,
5. Now to the fifth root-cause of fear in so many Christians: They are ignorant of the true value or worth of their souls in eternity. The Lord Jesus in addressing His disciples in Matthew 16:24-26a scripture verse we have been studying for some time now, with a view to gleaning the root-causes of fear in Christians, and thus a lack of faithsaid in v.26, For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Here lies a major root-cause of fear in Christians today. In the parable of the rich man whose grounds brought forth much increase in Luke 12:16-21, which we read in our last broadcast, the Lord observed that this mans focus was for his soul to enjoy the increase of his grounds here on earth. How wrong this man wasfor his soul was called up to heaven by God that same night! Brethren, the human soul is the part of man which does not end after the body has died; the soul of man lives on after physical death. So long as an individual lives right before God here on earth, his soul will find eternal rest and blessedness in eternity; but when a man lives contrary to God while on earth, his soul will be lost forever, after his physical death. So, while this rich man was thinking of his soul as an earthly entity, fitted for earthly pleasures, the reality was that God, Who made man, knows that the soul is a moral entity which must live according to Gods precepts, if it is to be secure and blessed in eternity. Thus, while the man was offering his soul earthly pleasures, which are temporal and unsatisfying to the soul; God called it forth, so that the man would give an account of his selfish lifestyle here on earth. For the Lord said of the man, and all who are like him, So is he that layeth treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. The rich man was more concerned with laying up treasures for himself here on earthbuilding houses, naming streets after himself, having parties every weekend, travelling all over the world enjoying the good life, and so on. Not once did this man give thought to God in all that he was amassing. He did not consider that it is God who gives the power to get wealth. Today, we find many Christians and their false teachers, who are dissuading people from financial obligation to their churches, saying that tithing is an Old Testament injunction, but they are quick to quote an Old Testament verse that promises Gods blessings upon them. There are Christians who are so concerned for whether or not they will be poor, so much so, that they would rather keep money in the bank than use it for the work of God here on earth. Without being dragged at this time, into the fray of whether or not, tithing is an Old Testament injunction, and which has no New Testament basis; let us state unequivocally here, that if you are a believer in Christ, you are under obligation to be financially involved in funding the work of God in your local assembly. Whether or not you believe in paying tithe, you are under obligation to fund the gospelhundred-fold return or not! Now back to our discussion: the bible makes it abundantly clear that where a mans treasure is, or his interest lies, there will his heart be also. Hence, for a man whose treasure or interests lie here on earth, his heart also, will be here on earth. For such a man, the things he values will have an earthly denomination or currency; but the soul of man is of an eternal denomination. The soul is therefore of a much higher value than anything on earth can be used to pay for. Now, every time a person does something he likes, which is not what God likes, he is gaining earthly pleasures; but in so doing, he is trading off his soul. And this is why the Lord Jesus asked the question in Matthew 16:26, For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Many people are trading off their souls for earthly pleasures because they dont know the value of the soul; and when they try to give a valuation to the soul, it is usually in earthly denomination, but the soul cannot be bought with any earthly currency or treasures. For example, the soul of man feeds on what his eyes, ears, and thoughts receive in terms of morals. So, if the soul is to be morally upright, it must focus on the things of God, listen to the word of God, and have the mind of Christ. In the absence of these, the soul becomes morally bankrupt, so much so that, merely attending church services cannot change anything. So, when a man spends time on worldly things, which on the surface seem to be good, but which in reality are morally bereft, his soul will suffer moral decay, and when he dies, his soul will descend into hell, where it belongs, because of the immorality in it. Thus, the Lords question: if you gained the whole world, and became the first citizen of the world; or were adjudged to be Miss World every year till you died; or were the richest man in the world; and so on, but your soul had not received things of heavenly importancepurity, the fear of God, the righteousness of God, the grace of God, the word of God, and having the mind of Christthen, you would have sent your soul into hell! And the Lord asks, What shall a man give in exchange for the soul? The soul is of so great an eternal value, that nothing on earthnot even all the monies on the earth put together, nor all the treasures on the earth, like, gold, diamonds, crude oil, titanium, and so oncan pay for it to be rectified after it has been defiled. Let us read Psalm 49 from the Amplified Bible: HEAR THIS, all you peoples; give ear, all you inhabitants of the world, Both low and high, rich and poor together: My mouth shall speak wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. I will submit and consent to a parable or proverb; to the music of a lyre I will unfold my riddle (my problem). Why should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of those who would supplant me surrounds me on every side, Even of those who trust in and lean on their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? None of them can by any means redeem [either himself or] his brother, nor give to God a ransom for himFor the ransom of a life is too costly, and [the price one can pay] can never sufficeSo that he should live on forever and never see the pit (the grave) and corruption. For he sees that even wise men die; the [self-confident] fool and the stupid alike perish and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is that their houses will continue forever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands their own [apart from God] and after their own names. But man, with all his honor and pomp, does not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the fate of those who are foolishly confident, yet after them men approve their sayings. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol (the place of the dead); death shall be their shepherd. And the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their form and beauty shall be consumed, for Sheol shall be their dwelling. But God will redeem me from the power of Sheol (the place of the dead); for He will receive me. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Be not afraid when [an ungodly] one is made rich, when the wealth and glory of his house are increased; For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not descend after him. Though while he lives he counts himself happy and prosperous, and though a man gets praise when he does well [for himself], He will go to the generation of his fathers, who will nevermore see the light. A man who is held in honor and understands not is like the beasts that perish. It is because the soul of man cannot be bought with money or earthly possessions that Christ came to make the only payment that can be made for the soulHe laid down His own life in exchange for the souls of men. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, the bible says, do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, whom you have of God? And you are not your own, for you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. When Christ died on the cross at Calvary, He paid the redemptive price for the soul of man; so, every individual who acknowledges Christs redemption of his soul and His lordship over him, becomes a redeemed soul, and the possession of Godbut not in an evil sense. As a result, he is expected to live no longer for himself, but for God (2 Corinthians 5:15). What is interesting about the redemption of man is that there is no one anywhere else who can ever make that paymentthe bible says in Acts 4:12, Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. The only name that redeems a man is Jesus Christ! Now, because many Christians do not know or appreciate the value of their souls, they easily give in to all sorts of fleshly and worldly passions; they are more fearful of what people will say, than what He Who redeemed their soul says; they are more focused on what they can get here on earth, than the glory that is awaiting them in eternity, if they would but live for God here on earth. And, unscrupulous men have entered in among the brethren and with their deathly doctrines, have convinced many Christians that the glory that is being spoken of in scripture is the glory of a car, a house, a fat bank account, a heavy contract, a good job, and so on. So much is this falsehood believed on by those who should know better, and who should believe what God has said in His word, that it is now common place for a whole church convention to be devoted to the pursuit of a glory here on earth, which is no glory at all. Yet Christ, when He was offered the glories of this world, not only rejected it, but also rebuked Satan, the offerer. Many Christians have conveniently forgotten that the bible teaches that Christ in you is the hope of glory. This quote is taken from Colossians 1:27, and it conveys some interesting truth:
a. To enjoy the glory of God, Christ must be in you. Now, Christ cannot be in you except you have first genuinely repented of your past sins, and received the forgiveness of God by faith in Jesus Christs atoning work on the cross at Calvary;
b. The glory is something that we hope for. If you hope for something, then, it is not presently available, but something to receive in the future; and,
c. If you are really to enjoy the glory at the end of the Age, Christ must be in you till the end of the Age. This means that you cannot have Christ come into your life now, and then live as you like, and expect Christ to remain in you. Samsons life story is a testimony for all to learn from. Samson always assumed that God was with him, because, for all the reckless and sinful life he lived, the Holy Spirit was always there. But a day came when the Holy Spirit left, and Samson did not know!
Friend, God wants you to understand that your soul is so valuable to Him, that He sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to come and die for your sins, so that you will not perish. But if you equate your soul to possessions, then you are making the word of God of none effect, which means there is no faith, for faith cometh by hearing the word of God. And if there is no faith, then there is fear! But if you have a right perspective to the value of your soul, you will know that it was redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus; that it is kept by the power of God here on earth; and that it is to God that you must turn in faith and surrender your entire beingbody, soul, and spiritso that you can live forever. There is nothing you can do to pay for your soul, so, go to the only One who has already paid for your soulJesus Christ, the Son of Godreverence and obey Him, totally and completely!

Let us pray!