For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)
The Greatest Question
Men have sought the answers to life in many ways. Everything man does is the pursuit of finding a place of happiness and he believes that his worth is discovered in his own wisdom. The quest for meaningful life is exhausted in the pleasures of the flesh, the accumulation of money and the prideful heart of arrogance. In a laughable exercise of futility, the boastful man will show the world how smart he is by his physical presence, mental sharpness and bounty of wealth. He rules over other men with an egotistical hand of superiority walking tall among the multitudes of less fortunate and less deserving. His stature among men is great and many marvel at the idol he has become. Life for the prideful man is what dreams are made of and the world envies his success. And then a remarkable thing happens. The man dies.
All men who possess the riches of the world share the common fate as every man. Death is not a respecter of persons. Wealthy men die just like the impoverished. Morgues are filled with the bodies of those who are no different than the other. A shell of a human body lies cold and lifeless without any trappings of wealth and power. There is no pleasure in the body. Death has sealed the fate of the rich man and the poor. The youthful body used for the pleasures of life begins to decay returning to the dust from whence it came. There is no beauty in the dying body. No wisdom and no words of pride. Death silences life. And then a remarkable thing happens. The spirit of the man that lived for the pleasures of carnal man faces an eternal awareness and the face of a God he chose not to believe.
The greatest question that man will answer is what will he exchange for his eternal soul. All men are eternal creatures. When conception occurs in the womb of a woman an eternal being is created that will never cease to exist. The body will grow and mature but in reality the soul of man possesses the physical body waiting to be released in death. Death does not allow the transfer of wealth, fame and pleasure. What is common to all men is no matter how they lived life they all die the same way. Jesus poses the rhetorical question of what is there in the entire world that is worth losing eternity for? How will men face the judgment of the Lord God Almighty with a life spent in the folly of carnal pleasure? Hell is a place of eternal torment. It is unceasing. There is no escape. Jesus described it as a place of fire without end. And men will live in the pleasures of their folly and face God unprepared.
Life is very short and yet upon this vapor of time an eternity depends. A man will gain the whole world and enjoy every particle of life that is given in the flesh – and then he will die. Sadly, eternity is without end for those who deny God. Disbelieving in judgment does not negate the reality of suffering the consequences of selling the soul for a parcel of carnal pleasure. All men will dwell in eternity. Jesus declared that most will find themselves apart from God in darkness weeping and crying out for a relief that will never come. Pleasures on earth will quickly be forgotten and despised. The soul was exchanged for the lie of pleasure, wisdom and fame. You are reading these words. You will die. What will you exchange for your soul?