“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:25, NIV84)
I imagine that we make hundreds, even thousands, of choices every day. Most of them do not amount to much. We decide what we should have for breakfast. Should I have another cup of coffee? What should I wear to work? You get my point? Choosing is something we do continuously throughout our lives. Our verse today challenges us to step back from these daily choices to see one major (global) choice we make that has huge implications. Jesus wants to know whether we in general are living for the kingdom of this world or the kingdom of God. Notice the “or.” This is not a “both/and.” It is an “either/or.” We either live for the kingdom of God or we don’t.
Jesus tells us that the implication is the gaining or losing of our very souls. Read the verse again: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” What good is it, my friends, if we gain everything this world can offer? How long do fame, fortune, health and relationships last? Think a minute. Exactly! They last until they are taken away, or we die. But the key is that they don’t last forever. Only the things of the kingdom of God last for all eternity. So what is the choice we all face? We are given the choice to live for this world and find that we lose our souls along with all the stuff when we die. Or we choose the truths of the kingdom of the God who gives us life for now and for eternity.
So, what is the answer to Jesus’ question? “No good!” It is no good for a man to gain the whole world but lose his very soul.