The Value of a Soul
Do you know that you are lost? Has the awful truth ever dawned upon you? No, not going to be lost hereafter, but lost right now, “condemned already.” Have you realized the fearful fact? Do you believe it? Or must I bring forth arguments to convince you? Would you have me picture the sorrows that await the impenitent ere you will turn and be saved? Have I to persuade you?
Nay, verily! For if the Spirit of God deal not with you, what hope have I? “No man can come to me,” said Jesus, “except the Father draw him.” Does He draw you, and are you now ready to listen? Well, then, let us proceed, and the solemn thoughts that I now suggest, you will do well to ponder seriously.
First of all I want to say that God would not have provided salvation for you if you were already saved. The need of atonement is sufficient evidence in itself that men are lost. Why did He give His only begotten Son to die on the cross? Why the great plan of Redemption? If men were not lost, if there was no necessity for their salvation, then the atonement was useless, and Jesus Christ died in vain.
But was it useless? Did He suffer in vain? Surely not! It was because God knew that men were lost, and must have a Saviour, that He gave His Son. And the very fact of Christ’s death proves that men are lost. Salvation, my friend, was provided for you by God, in order that you might “not perish but have everlasting life.”
If you are not lost God would not urge you to be saved. The very fact that He so faithfully warns, so earnestly pleads and invites, should be enough to convince you that you are not safe as you are. Do you not hear His voice? Have you not read again and again His entreaty? Listen then as He speaks to you now: “HO, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” Isaiah 55:1.
“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked foraske His way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” Isaiah 55: 6,7.
“Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Ezekial 33:11.
Is not this sufficient to prove that you are lost? Why, then, should God urge you to turn from your own ways and come to Him? Why should He be so anxious for you to be saved? Man, listen! You are lost, and you need salvation!
Oh, that you could realize what it means to be lost! – could know the value of a soul! Have you ever stopped to think? Can you estimate correctly, or work out the solemn question that God has asked, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36 have you figure out the gain and loss, and can you show any profit?
Come, now, let us endeavour to weigh up things in the scales of God. On one side the world with all its pomp and power, all its wealth and fame, all its joys and pleasures. Put them all in, pile them up high, let them glisten and sparkle in all their brilliancy. Take wealth, the millions of the nations, along with the undiscovered diamond and radium stores still unearthed. Put it all in the scales. Now add the position of kings and queens, the fame of authors. poets, artists, philosophers, statesmen and world conquerors. Then bring the pleasures, joys and pastimes of the centuries; and take all these along with everything else that men count dear and place them on the scales.
Go now to the Prince of life and ask Him to place a soul, just one soul, in the other side. Now behold the result! The scales, though weighed down by a world and all it contains, rise in a moment, and lo! the soul of man has not yet been fully valued. Empty he entered the world, and empty he will leave it in spite of all he may amass while here. He can take nothing with him of this world’s goods.
Then, “what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” All the sorrows of the world, all the tears that human eyes have shed, all the anguish of age-long bereavements, all the sufferings of the great wars, and all the torture of unnumbered broken hearts, cannot compare for a moment with the awful misery of one lost soul.
Lost, lost, lost! No God, no hope, no light,
Bound for a land of death and endless night;
Lost to the Christ who gave His life for thee,
Doomed to a world of woe and misery!
But oh, glorious truth! sublime proclamation!
“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” …the sheep out on the cold, bleak mountainside, far away from the fold, the sinner who has wandered from the narrow way, helpless and undone, “without hope and without God in the world.” You, my brother; you, my sister; you, who feel and know you are lost! Jesus Christ is come to seek and to save you. He is ready and willing to receive you now.
Will you leave your wanderings; will you, like the prodigal son who “came to himself,” retrace your steps to your Father’s house, assured of a warm and happy welcome? The paths of sin you have trod so long, the life of evil you have lived till now, the follies of the world from which you have turned again and again disappointed, and the pleasure of sin in which you have indulged so often-come, leave all; the Shepherd calls you to Himself.
“For whosoever drinketh of this water,” Jesus warns, “shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” John 4:13,14.
Oh, lost one, tell me, what has the world done for you; how has it rewarded you? What have you derived from sin? Has it not smiled upon you at first, then cast you out, and left you bruised and bleeding by the roadside, without shelter and without home?
But Jesus Christ – will He treat you so? Ah, no! He came “to seek and to save” you, for He knew you were lost. Come to Him then, forsake the husks of the swine, let Him strip off your dirty rags of poverty and sin, and clothe you with His righteousness. Even now, as you feel yourself sinking for the last time, send up a cry of distress, and say: “Save, Lord, or I perish!”
Saved, saved, saved! my sins are all forgiv’n;
Christ is mine! I’m on my way to heav’n;
Once a guilty sinner, lost, undone.
Now a child of God, saved through His Son.