What benefit will it be to you if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (Mark 8:36)

What do YOU want most in life?
A great marriage? A successful career? Wealth and security? A name for yourself? Health and prosperity?

Where the desires of your heart are, is where YOU will be - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. These will be what you give your most time and attention to:
If you want a great career, you will spend most of your time and talent on that....
If you want material things, that make you feel like "someone" - a great house in a great neighborhood, the latest car, clothes, and vacations - you will spend most of your time and money on acquiring these...
If you prize beauty and health, you will spend your life doing what you can to "turn back the clock", be it vigorous workouts, plastic surgery, costly cosmetics, beauty treatments, hair styles, and expensive clothing...
But what happens when you die? Even if you've made a great name for yourself that outlives you, what good will it do you, when you are spending eternity in unending torture and pain in hell?
Maybe you don't believe in hell - maybe you believe you will be reincarnated and live other lives on earth...
Or maybe you believe this life is all there is - after you die, there is nothing else...
Or perhaps you believe that God is a loving God who will overlook your sins - after all, you aren't as bad as most people...Maybe you think that when you give money to charity, go to church, take some time out to do good things, that these will all count toward "earning" your way to heaven...
But what if your soul DOES live on forever after your death - either in heaven or hell?
What is YOUR SOUL worth to you?
Did you know that when you spend your life focused on ANYTHING more than God, you are breaking the 1st and 2nd Commandments??   You are in fact putting another "god" before the Lord God and "worshipping an idol". An idol is not just a statue that you might bow down before, it is ANYTHING that takes your time, energy, attention and commitment AWAY from God!   "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10)
The Bible clearly states that if you have broken just ONE commandment, you have in effect broken them all and you are guilty of the punishment of death and an eternity in hell: "For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23)   "The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalm 9:16-17)   "Every man shall die for his own sin." (2 Chronicles 25:4)   Jesus warned: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)
Does this sound like a JUDGMENTAL and UNLOVING God? What would you think of a human judge, who was passing a judgment on a mass murderer? Would you think that judge was judgmental and unloving to send that murderer to prison for the rest of his life? Would you think the judge was loving if he set the murderer free to kill other people? What if the murderer offered the judge a million dollars? Would that be good enough to purchase his freedom? What if the murderer vowed he would never kill again? Would that be good enough to let him go free?
God is above all, HOLY and RIGHTEOUS - He will NEVER do anything WRONG. When we compare ourselves to His Perfection, we can easily see how short we measure up to being even "good". BECAUSE God is Holy and Just and Loving, He cannot be good AND let sinners go unpunished. Even if you have done many wonderful, good things in your life, if you've sinned, you are still guilty of those sins.   "When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it." (Ezekial 33:13)
It doesn't matter if you vow to live a better life from now on, if you've sinned only once, you are guilty and time doesn't change that fact. If you value your soul, you want to go to heaven when you die, right? So how do you do that?
What if I told you there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO!
There is Someone who paid the price for your death sentence already. He gave His life up in exchange for yours, and He did this for you even when He knew that you would live selfishly to please yourself, and even when he knew you would do all kinds of bad things in your lifetime... "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)   That Someone is JESUS.
This wonderful gift of salvation from the punishment of hell is offered to you through the broken body and bloody sacrifice of Jesus, God's own Son, Who exchanged His life for yours when He died on the cross, so that you can be counted as "cleared from all sins" and enter into heaven...
Would you follow someone who was a great teacher? Would you follow someone who promised he could teach you amazing secrets? Would you follow someone who promised you great wealth and happiness? Would you follow someone who offered you the secret to eternal life? Maybe you would, but what if that person died, or betrayed you, or proved himself to be a liar? Your faith in him would fail.
But what if you met someone who told you that He loved you so much, that He would die for you, so that you wouldn't have to pay the price for anything bad that you have done - you could still receive a great reward, an eternal life in heaven. What if He explained that this gift was paid for by His own body and blood, at great cost to Himself, but freely offered out of love for you. And that He rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, in heaven, interceding continually on your behalf. Would you follow Him? Would you leave behind everything else you thought was important, and seek after this Person? Would you love and serve Him in return for His great gift? Would you love Someone Who loved you that much?
Will YOU love Jesus that much?
So how do you receive this incredible gift??   You need to repent of your sinfulness - this means that you agree with God that you have sinned, that you have fallen short of His perfection, and you agree that there is NOTHING you can do about it. You can't stop sinning on your own, no matter how hard you try, and you will not be able to do anything good enough to make up for it. This is what Jesus means when He says we need to "die to ourselves." We accept that there is nothing inside of us that makes us good enough in God's eyes. When we humble ourselves and admit that, THEN we are able to see we are in great need of a Saviour - the ONLY One who can heal us from our sinful ways and help us to live the life we need to live. Only when we truly understand and accept this, will we call upon Jesus. Realizing the most wonderful and loving price He has paid for us, we are so truly thankful and willingly turn our lives over to Him. And we believe Him when He tells us, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) We put our trust in Jesus ALONE to go to heaven when we die, and NOTHING else.
"And when he (Jesus) had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 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. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." (Mark 8:34-38)
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

Copyright 2004 Cherie Marie Leck ~ www.CraftDesigns4You.com
Craft Designs for You, 380 W Main St #1158, Wytheville, VA 24382 U.S.A.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute this tract freely, provided the copyright information remains on each copy, and this tract is not altered in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions.