Matthew 16:26 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 what is a man profited … – To gain the whole world means to possess it as our own – all its riches, its honors, and its pleasures.
“To lose his own soul” means to be cast away, to be shut out from heaven, to be sent to hell. Two things are implied by Christ in these questions:
1. That they who are striving to gain the world, and are unwilling to give it up for the sake of Jesus, will lose their souls; and,
2. That if the soul is lost, nothing can be given in exchange for it, or that it can never afterward be saved. There is no redemption in hell.
The world, the devil, and a man’s own heart are opposed to his salvation; therefore it is difficult. The soul was made for God, and can never be united to him, nor be happy, till saved from sin: therefore it is necessary. He who is saved from his sin, and united to God, possesses the utmost felicity that the human soul can enjoy, either in this or the coming world.
If any man will have the name and credit of a disciple, let him follow Christ in the work and duty of a disciple. If all worldly things are worthless when compared with the life of the body, how forcible the same argument with respect to the soul and its state of never-ending happiness or misery!
Thousands lose their souls for the most trifling gain, or the most worthless indulgence, nay, often from mere sloth and negligence.
Whatever is the object for which men forsake Christ, that is the price at which Satan buys their souls.