The Value of Your Soul
July 1, 2012
By Billy Graham
Jesus said that your soul is worth more than the rest of the world put together. He asked, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). It is impossible for us to grasp what is meant by “the whole world.” For this is not only the physical world or the geographical world. It includes the business world, the scientific world, the intellectual world. Jesus said that the soul is worth more than all the world.
Why is your soul so valuable? First, the value of your soul is measured by its eternal quality. It will never die. You are going to live forever. Your body will die, but your soul, the part of you that is made in the image of God, will never die. Your soul—your spirit—will live forever. It is that part of you that has understanding and wisdom.
Many people have knowledge, but they don’t have wisdom. The Bible says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). A great British historian said some years ago, “Man, by his knowledge, has brought himself to total annihilation.”
Knowledge without God and without wisdom is very dangerous. That’s one of the problems in the world today. We have a lot of knowledge; we have a lot of learning, but the Bible says you can be “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). We lack the wisdom to use our knowledge.
Your soul is that part of you that has judgment. It makes decisions—moral decisions—what is good and what is bad. Your soul also involves your will. Your will chooses or rejects things that are brought before it. Your soul is that part of you that has emotion, like love and fear. It has memory—the mental capacity for storing up knowledge of ideas and events. There is something down inside us that is beyond science to know. The Bible calls it soul or spirit.
We tend to put all of our emphasis on the body with its pleasures and its physical appetites. But the soul also has appetites. The soul longs for God. Down deep inside every person’s heart is a cry for something, but he doesn’t quite know what it is. Man is a worshiping creature. He instinctively knows that there is something out there somewhere, and he longs to know that something or someone. Your soul longs for vital contact with God. Your soul is valuable because it is eternal—it is forever.
Second, the value of your soul is measured by the devil’s interest in it. Jesus said the devil is the prince of this world. He is the god of this age. The devil is greatly at work in our world, and he is after your soul.
God created a perfect world. He and man were friends. God never meant that there would be suffering and war and death. But Satan came. He was a mighty angel, possibly the greatest of all of God’s created beings, and he rebelled against God.
When God built the earth, He put humans in charge of the earth. God wanted someone in the universe whom He could love and who would return love to Him. So He gave man freedom of choice. God said to man, “I put one tree in this garden—you are not to eat its fruit. If you eat it, you will suffer and die” (Cf. Genesis 3:3). God was testing man. He gave man the freedom of will.
But the devil told man, “God doesn’t mean what he says. You’re not going to die. If you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will be as great as God” (Cf. Genesis 3:4-6). So Eve ate the fruit first and then Adam, her husband, ate it too. And that was the first rebellion by people against God. God had to keep His word or He would not be a just God. He had said, “If you eat the fruit of that tree you will suffer and die.” Man ate of the tree, and since then he has been suffering and dying.
But God had a plan. God said, “In spite of their rebellion, I am going to save the human race. I am going to send my Son to this earth.” And every step of the way the devil tried to kill God’s Son, even when He was a baby. Finally, when God’s Son was on the cross, it looked as if the devil had won a great victory, but instead the devil lost his greatest battle. When Jesus died, the devil suffered a mighty defeat, because on the third day Jesus Christ rose from the dead. The Bible says Jesus has “the keys of Hades and of Death” (Revelation 1:18). Christ is alive, and He is coming back to this earth again!
God is building His Kingdom, but the devil is also building his. Even though Satan is a defeated foe, he is still working. In the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus said, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart” (Matthew 13:19). Jesus pictured Satan as an enemy battling and bidding for the souls of people.
Third, the value of your soul is measured by God’s concern for saving your soul. God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). God sees your soul as the most valuable thing in the world, so valuable that He sent His only Son to the cross to suffer and die so that your soul may be saved. And if you were the only person in the whole universe, Christ would have died for you.
Fourth, the value of your soul is measured by the severity of its loss. It is terrible when a person loses his health, or his money, or his friends, or, worse still, his character. But what about the loss of a soul?
I live in the mountains of North Carolina, and many times in the thick woods and forests of that state children get lost. Many people come to help—the military sends helicopters and soldiers. They bring in specially trained dogs. Everything possible is done to find the child. The newspapers print the story, and the television stations report the story. But if a man’s soul is lost, that isn’t reported by the media. Yet the soul is worth more than all the world.
Suppose you had all the gold in the world and all the clothes you could ever dream of owning, and you lived in a magnificent home, and owned all the oil in the Middle East.
Suppose it was all yours, but you lost your soul. Jesus said it would be a poor bargain.
Even if you could get everything you wanted, it wouldn’t give you peace. You would still be searching. Great riches cannot make you happy. Much pleasure cannot make you happy. Only the peace of God coming into your heart through Jesus Christ can bring peace and joy and happiness.
Are you prepared for eternity? Are you sure that you have been born from above? The Bible says that you can be sure. The Bible says that there is a Heaven, that there is a hell. You choose where you spend eternity, and many of you are choosing right now.
Fifth, the value of your soul is measured by the price paid for its redemption. The Bible says, “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). What are you doing with your soul? Are you gambling with your soul, taking a chance with it?
I am asking you to make sure of your relationship with Christ. Christ demands more than just churchgoing, more than just baptism, more than just being good. He demands your total surrender—the surrender of your mind, your heart, your body, every part of you—to the Lordship of Christ. If you have a doubt in your heart that you have totally surrendered to Christ, do it now. Make sure of your salvation. Make certain that you know Christ.
Repent of your sins. Confess your sins, acknowledge them and turn from them.
Receive Jesus Christ into your heart by faith, making a total commitment to Him, and to Him alone. ©1982 BGEA
Scripture Quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version.