Jesus' Sake and the Gospel's
By David J. Stewart
Mark 8:35, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.”
So many people live their lives doing NOTHING for Jesus' sake nor the Gospel's. Many men have become successful and famous in their professions; but they are unknown in Heaven. Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” I'd rather serve Jesus.
The majority of the earth's population aren't even saved (Matthew 7:13-14). They are hellbound in their sins (2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9). Of those few people who are genuinely born-again believers, very few care about the things of God. Philippians 2:21, “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.” Most people couldn't care less about the things of Jesus Christ.
That is a very interesting statement... “the things which are Jesus Christ's.” What are those things? Certainly, soul-winning is at the very top (Psalm 126:6; Proverb 11:30; 2nd Corinthians 5:10-11). Also, helping the fatherless and widows in their affliction (James 1:27). Matthew 25:35-36, “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” These are the things of Jesus Christ. Most people are too preoccupied living for themselves to visit the sick in hospitals, to come unto those in prison, to visit the elderly in nursing homes, to cloth the naked, to give drink to the thirsty, feed the hungry and befriend a stranger in Jesus' name. It all boils down to caring.
It is amazing just how applicable the Bible still is today, even thousands of years after it was given to mankind. Philippians 2:21 so accurately describes the world, including the religious world, who ALL SEEK THEIR OWN.
Soul-winners are rare nowadays. It is tragic, for God expects every believer to preach the Gospel (Psalm 126:6) Proverb 11:30; Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 10:15; 2nd Corinthians 5:10-11). Psalms:126:6, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Only a fool would dare claim that winning souls is only the preacher's duty. Every believer is expected to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with lost sinners.
Most believers have been choked by the riches, cares and pleasures of this world (Luke 8:14). They live from party to party, from movie to movie, from game to game, from dining to dining, from pleasure to pleasure, from riches to riches, from apostasy to apostasy and from sin to sin. It's all about them. They are holding onto their earthly life as if it will never end, selfishly planning for their future on earth. Instead of laying up treasures in Heaven as the Lord commanded (Matthew 6:20); they are building up their equity and property holdings here on earth. 1st Timothy 6:7 says you can't take it with you. We were born with nothing, and we'll die with nothing.
I've known numerous people throughout my life who stashed away lots of money, bragged of all their bigtime retirement plans, owned multiple properties, and then suddenly dropped dead... Luke 12:20, “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” They were fools who lived for themselves. Philippians 3:18-19, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” This describes most of the world's population.
Even amongst professed Christians, most people worship money. I worship Jesus Christ. Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” A person cannot serve two masters.
I love the Bible so much. God's Word hits-the-nail-right-on-the-head about life. Listen to the precious Words of Jesus in Luke 12:33-34, “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” The Bible plainly teaches that one's HEART will be where their TREASURE is. It would seem the other way around. It would seem that one's treasure would be where their heart is; but that's not what the Bible says. God says that a man's heart will be where his treasure is at. It is where you invest your time and money that your heart will follow. People who accumulate earthly possessions, properties and investments will grow fond of them. Those who go soul-winning, help the poor and contend for the Biblical faith will grow fond of Heaven.
The Bible teaches that we ought to lay up treasures in Heaven, where neither thieves, greedy people nor scams rob our possessions away. In Heaven, our clothes and personal belongs won't rust, break or become worn out. God will give us wealth in Heaven that cannot be taxed, repossessed or stolen. Nothing in this sin-cursed world is safe. Those who work, slave and sacrifice for worldly possessions will be sorrowful in eternity. Those Christians here on earth, who turn many people to the righteousness of Jesus Christ for salvation, will shine in Heaven (Daniel 12:3).
Luke 12:20, “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” When you die, you can't take any of your earthly possessions with you; but you can take souls with you to Heaven, and lives changed for the Lord. God will distribute rewards to those who seek “the things which are Jesus Christ's.”
The Bible teaches that Christians are despised in this evil world...
1st Corinthians 1:27-29, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
The only thing that matters in this life is what we do for the precious Lord's sake and the Gospel's. Nothing else will matter 100 years from now. Most people, young and old alike, are consumed with their own lives. We hear everyday of another young person dying prematurely. Death is guaranteed for everyone, it's just a matter of when, and then we must all answer to God in eternity (Hebrews 9:27; Romans 14:12).