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What does it profit...?

The Bible is the answer book!

But... when we read the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God, we are often faced with questions. Here’s an excellent example: “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:25, ESV).

There is an obvious application of this verse. If someone seeks to gain the pleasures and possessions of this life, and at the same time rejects God’s free and gracious gift of salvation, then he or she is an eternal loser!

When John D. Rockefeller died, someone asked his accountant, “How much did the old boy leave behind?” His answer: “All of it!” I don’t know about Rockefeller’s spiritual condition, but if he died without Christ, he left the earth penniless and destined for eternal destruction.

The Rich Young Ruler inquired of Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18, ESV). The young man worshipped power, possessions, and pleasure and he was unwilling to de-throne his god. He held tightly to his stuff and lost his soul to an eternity of anguish.

Solomon, the richest and most powerful man of his time, turned his back on God and sought personal pleasure. Reflecting upon his life, he wrote: “So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure ... and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:9-11, ESV). Solomon summed it all up, saying, “Vanity of vanities. All is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, ESV).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught this important lesson. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21, ESV).

Jesus also said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” And then in the next verse, the question that we’ve been considering... “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:23-25, ESV).

Jesus provided the perfect punch line! To put Jesus on the throne, we must unseat ourselves! To gain eternal treasure, we must focus on eternal matters.

The guy who dies with the most toys, still dies!

Ask yourself, “Am I investing for eternity? ... Have I leveraged God’s grace for God’s glory?”


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