By: James L. Kilgore
Let us carefully consider the word “soul,” for a few moments. I cannot define it and I believe it would be impossible for you to define it to your own satisfaction. You do not have a soul, you are a soul. I cannot see you; I only see the fleshly temple you live in. We are clothed with a fleshly tabernacle, and we see through the fleshly eyes. We hear through the physical sense of the fleshly ears. We .feel with the physical sense of the nerves. We speak with vocal cords, but we are not the fleshly body.
We can search carefully through the New Testament and find many definite facts, concerning the soul. We learn from the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man that the soul is indestructible, and that it will live on after death, and will exist throughout eternity.
In school we learn through the study of science that nothing can be ultimately destroyed, we can only change its form. The same can be true of the soul. The soul of man can be changed in form and nature but cannot be ultimately destroyed.
If the soul of mankind is to live on forever, then there must be a high value placed on it. Jesus is saying in our text, in other words, if a man could accumulate all the wealth of this world, all the gold, all the silver, all the diamonds, all the money, king’s wealth, queen’s wealth, president’s wealth, ruler’s wealth, and put it all together until it becomes a great mountain of riches; yet the soul of man is of more importance, and is more valuable that all the wealth of the world.
The poet said:
“To lose your wealth is much
To lose your health is more,
To lose your soul is such a loss
that nothing can restore.”
Men seek wealth in this life, thinking in doing so they are finding security. And I suppose if a person has enough money he can buy his way out of most any condition. We are told in Zeph. 1:13-18. “Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: They shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof. The day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: The mighty men shall cry bitterly. That day is the day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like blink men, because they have sinned against the Lord: And their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of
all them that dwell in the land.”
There was a time when thousands of German people felt secure. They had their nice homes, and many fine possessions. They felt pretty much at ease. But war came along and bombs began to fall, troops began to march in, and within a short time their possessions were gone, and their homes were destroyed. There is no security in wealth. And though a man gain the wealth of this life and lose his own soul, what will it profit him.
The soul will always be dissatisfied without Christ, both in this life and the next. Eternal dissatisfaction is the fate of the soul that rejects the Saviour.
We fail to realize the value of a soul inasmuch as we are not as concerned as we should be.
In following the life of Jesus, we notice the many times he was concerned about the need of others. Matt:9:36, “And when he saw the multitudes he was moved with compassion, because they fainted and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” Matt. 14:14, “And Jesus went forth and saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” These are but few examples of the concern Jesus had for the need of others. He wept over Jerusalem with compassion and love.
A few weeks back a young man in the air force, at Lubbock, Texas was sentenced to die in the electric chair for the murder of his sweetheart. His last words were “everyone has been so good to me.” And then I thought of the many thousands who have died and who will die as did this young man, and the only goodness is the little bit that is
shown them in this life. Because once they begin to sink into the awful blackness of eternity, they will never know any more goodness, or kindness.
I heard the story of a man who was an alcoholic, and his wife was a fine Christian woman. He would come in at all hours of night and make her get up and prepare him a hot meal. She always did it with a smile upon her face and a song on her lips. One night one of his companions came home with him, and seeing her kind attitude, he asked her how she could be so kind to her husband, after he had been so mean to her? She answered, “I must be good to him, and I intend to show all the love and kindness to him that I possibly can, because I know, unless he changes his life, that in Hell there will be no one there to be kind and good to him. I am afraid all he will ever know is just the little amount that I show him here.”
Dear friends, how can we be satisfied to go through life without a vision for he lost? What about the city in which you live? How many souls will you be held accountable to God for? Will blood of the unsaved drip through your fingers, as we stand before God? What about your schoolmates? Are you living close enough to God that they can see
a difference? Think of the people on the job; they each have an immortal soul. Have you mentioned Jesus to them? I am afraid if we aren’t careful, our time will be taken up with too much foolishness, and frivolity, until we fail to realize the value of the souls that are lost.
Another thing the New Testament teaches about the soul is that it can be lost. The soul is indestructible, but it can be lost.
To be lost means to be separated from God. When God first created Adam, “He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and man became a living soul.” He placed man in the Beautiful Garden of Eden, where he could come and commune with him, and have fellowship with him. Hew made him in his own likeness. He could not have communion with the beasts of the field or any of the other animals because they were not made in His likeness.
The Scripture says, “God walked with Adam in the cool of the day.” But there was a day that man sinned and broke the commandment of the Lord. In doing this, Adam broke the fellowship that God had with him. Adam was driven from the garden to never again have that sweet communion and fellowship with God. But I believe the heart of God still yearns for that fellowship. He made a way whereby man once again be restored to that place he lost. Galatians 4:4. “And when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that
we might receive the adoption of sons.” Jesus bore our sins in his own body on the tree, at Calvary, that once again mankind could be brought back into divine fellowship with God.
II Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is long suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
It has been said that God is not willing that we should be lost, inasmuch as he made a way for our escape, and inasmuch as the angels of heaven rejoice over one sinner that repenteth, more than the ninety and nine that need no repentance. And then, the lost in hell do not want us to come there. The rich man in hell asked if someone could be sent back to warn his brothers not to come to that awful place. Then we can see, the only one that wants us to be lost is the Devil, and he will do everything within his power to cause us to be lost if possible.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN THE GOSPEL TIDINGS, FEBRUARY 1994, BY JAMES L. KILGORE, PP. 6,10. THIS MATERIAL MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.