GAINING THE WORLD AS WELL AS GAINING YOUR SOUL
WEDNESDAY 4 AUGUST 2021
No Scripture can vividly set forth the calling of Christ and walking in it in a visible society or world as today's Scripture.
Reference: Mark 8:36 New King James Version (NKJV)
"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul."
This is a sincere heartfelt question from our Lord Jesus Christ and it requires a sober view of life. However, don't ever hate this world because its not what Jesus is saying here. The world is God's creation, bearing in mind that He created all things for His glory. Even the nature itself glorifies God. Therefore, as a Christian, you can cherish the good things of this world but treasure the things of God above all.
Although we must keep the perspective that the world is not our permanent home, it doesn't mean we should despise it and not enjoy or gain it. We can enjoy the world and its wealth as the beautiful creation God has given us. However, enjoying the world from godly perspective is different from walking in darkness or living by the world's value. Therefore, we can have the good things of this world in the right way and also enjoy and use them for the right purposes, especially for Kingdom purposes.
If you study the two verses prior to our referenced Scripture, Jesus said to His disciples, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it" (see Mark 8:34-35 KJV). Did you notice that Jesus wasn't talking about denying the world? He was talking about denying "self", not the world.
Believing in Christ doesn't mean that you will stop being actively involved in worldly transactions and activities. Otherwise, there'll be no need to still be here once you are born again. As Christians, we are Abraham's seed, and as heirs according to the promise, we own the world. Moreover, in Christ, we are trained in a godly way to beware of negative and corrupting influences in the world. So the above Scripture (Mark 8:36) is not really about forgoing the great, lovely and wealthy things of this world. Its about living right to gain your soul.
Beloved, this is why the Word of God is given to us to plan and direct the course of our lives as we live in the world. The Greek word for "world" is cosmos, as mostly used in the New Testament. Cosmos actually refers to the universe considered as a system with an order and pattern. So it is planet earth and its human inhabitants with a system that is not always consistent with God's will. That's the reason in John 16:11(NIV), Jesus called Satan, the prince of this world (Cosmos) because he controls the system.
In 1st John 5:19, the Bible says, "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one" (NIV). Basically, the system of the world is ruled by the evil one, which is Satan but behind this truth, John means that those who are God's children are not under the control of the evil one, even though they are in the world, and this implies that we don't have to be trapped by the evil practices and principles of the world. So if we aren't ruled by Satan and sin anymore, that's awesome, but we live in the world and so, we must enjoy every good thing as God designed it to be in the beginning.
We've been set apart from the shackles of darkness and wickedness of the cosmos, as chosen generation (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV). And since Jesus has given us freedom from the control of the evil one, we don't have to live by worldly values and its sinful desires, for the Bible says, "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14 NIV). This means that we are light to those who are stumbling around in spiritual darkness. How do we shine as light? By walking in righteousness and living a holy life. That way, our soul prospers, even as we transact in the world. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Jeremiah 6:16; Matthew 16:26; 3 John 1:2; Matthew 22:37.
Praise be unto to God, who saved and delivered me from the corrupting powers of darkness and evil to walk in abundance of grace and enjoy the good things of this world. Christ is my enlightening influence in this present world. By living according to God's Word and sharing the glorious Gospel, I'm shining in the world with an inward brightness flowing to others from the fountain of light in me. Hallelujah!