“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man 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: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 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? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:24-27).
Exchanging is an act of giving one thing and receiving another. Jesus knew/knows the mentality of mankind (Matthew 9:1-4, John 2:23-25, and Acts 1:24). He knows that people, in general, have at least something or someone they are willing to go to Hell for. He put this point, as we began our study with, in terms of a marketplace exchange. It would be wise for us all to examine ourselves and find out what/if we have a price.
When we look around us in this world it is not generally difficult to see where the priorities of others lie. Many around us are dedicated to their education, then to a career, and then to the things they can gain from the money they make in their careers. In the United States of America almost every single person you meet considers material possessions to be the most important things in their lives. Now, they may say “family” or “God” verbally, but the fruit of their works is NOT time with God or their families. Their time is spent getting money and buying what they perceive to be happiness with that money. Like the rich fool, it is most generally always about building bigger barns (Luke 12:13-21).
How about you? What does the fruit of your time spent point toward? Are you a good brother or sister in Christ, spouse, parent, child; based upon how much time you invest? Does your time spent reflect that the Lord and His kingdom is where your devotion lies (Matthew 6:24-34 and Colossians 3:1-4:6)? What does an honest examination of where you put forth your efforts reflect about what you consider to be valuable gains?
Are Worldly Gains Godliness?
Certainly, being a faithful Christian includes working (II Thessalonians 3:10) and providing for one’s family (I Timothy 5:8). However, providing a home and working for a mansion are not the same thing. Providing food and clothing does not have to be high priced labels or meals at the best restaurants. When people serve the god of covetousness (Ephesians 5:5), they often excuse such by saying they are trying to provide for their loved ones. That is just dishonest. Those who want their children to “have the best things in life” are just damnable sinners. The “best things in life” come at the cost of the souls of all involved. Moses realized this and left it all behind (Hebrews 11:24-26).
When you examine your thinking, is it important to you that you have “the best”? Do you work for more and lack contentment? Do you think that it is good and godly to build up your material gains? Think about the following: “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (I Timothy 6:3-12).
If you are using the Scriptures to justify any sort of materialism, you are one that ought to be avoided by the faithful. What does that tell you? If you think owning more somehow amounts to something, you think differently than God does (James 2:1-5). The desire to “get more” in the way of earthly possessions ought to show you that your thinking is all wrong. The fact is, being rich in this world’s possessions makes it harder to be saved.
Earthly Wealth = Near Impossibility Of Being Saved
Jesus was clear in teaching against the desire of material possessions (Matthew 19:16-22). He said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24). So, if you want to be rich and get more, you are saying you want to make it nearly impossible for you to be saved.
Material gains do not equal godliness (Proverbs 13:7 and Revelation 3:14-22). Don’t love the things of this world (I John 2:15-17). Don’t let this world influence you (Romans 12:1-3 and I Corinthians 3:18). Exchanging your soul for material things is outright stupid!