My take on these 2 verses;
“… For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?”
In this life we are taught ‘survival of the fittest’, ‘me first’, ‘nice guys finish last’, and other expression that are beaten into our minds which later develop into our way of thinking and the way we make decions and the way we react in situations. This way of thinking is called selfishness…. it is a disease and there is a cure for it if we choose to accept the treatment. With this treatment we will have to change some things like our diet; what we hear, what we see, what we read, who we hang out with, what influences us, etc. It will be a hard battle, and there will be temptations on the way, but we need to make the dietary change and get the proper nutrition and live a healthier life. While we live this disease filled life, pre-cure, we think “oh if I only had that job, that promotion, that relationship, that house, that family, that raise, that pool, that car, that lifestyle, that scholarship, that degree….”, you get the picture, that we would somehow be fulfilled in life, have that ultimate accomplishment that makes us feel like we are on top “finally”, and we can “finally” be content, happy, at peace, and filled with a never ending joy. Yet to the contrary we are empty because we know deep down that everything we have and have obtained was out of selfishness. Everything was all for the big M-E, it didn’t benefit anyone else in fact you had to hurt and possibly destroy someone else’s life, well being, self esteem, career, marriage, etc… to get where you are. So the question proposed is why would you trade your soul, causing your soul to slowly pass away (dying with every selfish decision, word, action, etc…), just so you can have temporal items which eventually come and go, that lose their value, that constantly need replacement, and that only reflect your selfisness and shallow emptiness. Trading your soul for for these things; what does it profit you? how does it give you fulfillment? does it make you feel like your life is worth living? does it bring you purpose? do youand have joy, happiness, and love? how does it benefit you? When all you have left is NO soul and items, with no Heavenly or eternal value, that will very soon vanish – what do you truly gain that matters? This ‘chasing’ after the world and the temporal never stops by man (you) alone. When you die what will people say about you? Will anyone who ‘actually’ cared about you be in attendance at your funeral? Did you even have true relationships? Probably not. Those people were a lot like you, and only befriended you because of your money, power, status, and ‘things’ – this way they could use you and have/share what you had with the least amount of work and effort…. So when you do see Christ on that last day, what will you have to show Him? Is what you have here be of any value in Heaven? It’s like saying ‘I know I did nothing for the service of others or further your kingdom, but here Christ have the keys to my deluxe coupe mercades benz/ferrari eco hybrid that goes from 0 to 120 in 3.4 seconds in return for the gift of Heaven and eteranal life!” I don’t think so. After thinking on this for a bit, because eventually you will on your own terms, do you think that you could buy favor back, buy your life back, or more importantly your soul? When you sell or trade your soul – which is eternal – to have things that are temporal and pass away – how could you ‘buy’ your soul back? You soldand it to the ‘world’, you gave the ‘world’ something eternal – it wont accept something temporal over something eternal. Thete is nothe ‘return policy’. You could give money to a homeless person, or you could donate to a charity, you could build a house for a 3rd world village, or you could do anything nice, kind, and charitable to make your life have purpose, to help you sleep at night, to buy back and resurrect your soul that you had lost, but it WON’T work. Man alone cannot resurrect a life Christ, and God, alone can – and only Christ, and God, alone! Find God, rest in His grace, live in His son’s sacrifice and receive salvation, then be empowered by the Holy Spirit to go forth and fully turn your back on your sins, confess them aloud to God and ask for forgiveness from your brothers/sisters (those you hurt) and never do it again by taping into Gods power through prayer. Your disease is this world, your fleshy desires, and passions but your cure is Christ’s salvation and the Good News.