"PROFIT AND LOSS"
Intro. What is your greatest ambition in life? If you could be anything you wanted to be, or have anything you wanted to have, what would you choose.
I. TRUE PROFITS ARE NOT REALLY KNOWN UNTIL YOU GAUGE THEM AGAINST THE LOSSES.
A. Jesus asked, "What is a man profited if he should gain the whole world but lose his own soul?"
1. It is interesting that Jesus was offered the whole world by Satan.
a. Satan took him to a high mountain and showed to Him the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, and offered them to Jesus if He would just bow down to him.
b. Jesus refused to bow to Satan. What profit would the whole world have been to Him if it meant bowing to Satan?
c. Many people today are bowing to Satan in order to receive short term gains.
d. They are compromising their morals for a few dollars or a few moments of pleasure.
2. We are told in the book of Hebrews that by faith Moses when he came of age refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.
a. He could have been known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter and thus have the treasures of Egypt at his disposal.
b. He chose rather to be identified with the people of God. Why?
c. He viewed the issues from the eternal perspective. "He had respect for the ultimate reward.
1. The ultimate reward of a good life is eternity with God in heaven.
2. The ultimate reward of the life of sin is eternity in hell forever separated from God.
3. Moses lived for a hundred and twenty years. He was forty when he cast his lot with the people of God.
4. That meant that he could have had eighty years in the wealth and opulence of the courts of Egypt.
5. Moses has now been with the Lord for twenty three hundred years. There in the glories of the eternal riches of heaven. He appeared with Christ on the Mount of transfiguration.
6. If you would ask Moses today if he had made the right choice, what do you think he would answer?
d. There are many in history who have given their souls for power, glory and fame. If you should for instance ask Hitler if he made the right choice after just about 50 years in hell, what do you suppose he would answer you?
e. We are told that Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.
f. The worst thing the Lord had to offer him was the reproach of Christ. The best thing the world had to offer him was the treasures of Egypt.
g. He compared the worse the Lord had to offer with the best the world had to offer and choose the Lord's offer. The final profit of the choice must be measured after death.
C. What is a man profited if he gains the world and loses his own soul?
1. Job asked his friends, "For what is the hope of the hypocrite though he has gained, when God taketh his soul from him?
2. We need to measure things by the long term consequences.
a. Drugs may give you a great temporary high.
b. Forms of sexual perversion may give you powerful and exotic sensations.
c. Having a million dollars in your bank account may give you an awesome sense of power.
d. What is the true value of these things if in the gaining of them you lost your own soul?
D. Jesus told the story of a rich man who was prospering beyond measure. He came to the place where his barns were not big enough to hold all his goods. He questioned as to what to do and he decided on a program of tearing down his barns and building bigger barns to hold his goods. He said, "I have enough to take care of my needs for many years. I will take it easy, I will eat, drink and be merry. That was his estimate of his situation, but God said, "Thou fool, this night thy soul will be required of thee, and then who shall have your goods?" He thought he had great profit, but he lost it all in one night. He thought himself wise, God thought him a fool. You may have one estimation of your condition, and God another. I would be interested in what God thought of my condition.
II. GOD'S ESTIMATE OF THE HUMAN SOUL.
A. As far as God is concerned that is the most valuable commodity that you possess, because it is eternal.
1. All of the material things you have are temporal, including your body.
2. Your body may be good for eighty years or so, but what is that in ratio to eternity?
3. The awesome thought is that in the eighty or so years you are determining your eternal destiny.
B. Many people are deceived by the delusion of Satan that there is plenty of time to make things right with God. You should live a little before putting yourself under the discipline of Jesus Christ.
1. Number one you never know just how much time you have, like the rich man in the story of Jesus, God might be saying fool, this is your last day on earth.
2. Secondly you haven't really started living until you turn your life over to Jesus Christ.
a. I have never heard one testify that they were glad waited so long accept Jesus Christ, the Christian life is such a drag, they are glad that they had their fun first.
b. I have heard thousands of testimonies of people who have shared how they wish they had accepted Jesus earlier in life, they didn't know that life could be so filled with joy, peace and contentment. I have seen them lament over the mess they made of their lives as they were pursuing a good time, doing their own thing.
C. Long, long after the material things are gone, your soul will be living on.
1. Peter talks about the dissolution of this whole physical universe.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
[Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,
Looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
a. In light of the temporal nature of the material Universe Peter tells us that we should be living a holy manner of life in godliness. That we should be diligent in our walk that we might be found in Him, in peace, without spot, and blameless.
b. Note that even the end of the material universe is not the end of existence. We look for a new heaven and a new earth.
2. Paul speaks of the day that these bodies of ours are dissolved or our spirits are loosed from this body. That is not the end, we have a building of God not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
3. It is absolutely wrong to think that death is the end of existence. The Bible tells us that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that, the judgment.
D. The constant emphasis of the ministry of Jesus was that of the superiority of the things of the spirit over the things of the flesh.
1. This is the emphasis of the New Testament. "The mind of the flesh is death, the mind of the Spirit is life, peace, and joy.