|Matthew 16:24-26 |
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. [To follow Christ you must persistently (daily) and patiently go to Him to sit in humble silence as you wait on Him, listening and watching for his word within your heart; when you hear Him, then you must obey Him. To obey is to follow. Self-denial occurs by obeying the Lord's spoken commands heard instead of your will, (His will, not your will); this is taking up the cross, which is the power of God to free you from sin. The cross is to your will and your carnal mind, which must be denied.]
25 For whoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it.3 [if you live after the flesh (the sinful nature), you will die; but if through the Spirit you mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, you will live. Rom 8:13. To find the superior life of God, you must crucify your selfish life on the inward cross of self-denial, and thereby find the Life of God in union with God. You lose your life at the conclusion of your crucifixion of self, with many many acts of commanded repentance, several trials with suffering, and then the baptism of fire, which is the baptism of death. For detail on this baptism of fire and death, see the footnote to Matthew 3:11-12 on this site.]
26 For what benefit is it to a man, if he should gain the whole world, but lose his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"4
4 For what benefit is it to a man, if he should gain the whole world, but lose his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Notice! NOTICE! The Lord has just told us that to own the whole world is less valuable than a man's soul. The soul is move valuable than all the wealth, all the power, all the pleasures, and all the sought after exotic locations in the world combined. We have no idea what we have been given — the soul — because we cannot see what can become of that soul if we carry our cross to the death of our sinful nature. As Paul has said: But as it is written, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has there entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those who love him." From the Word of the Lord within:
"Truly, I say to you, all the truth is magnificent; you will marvel when you see it.
There are very few people who, when they see what God is, would turn down union with him. "
Stephen Crisp spoke these words in his recorded sermon:
Where there is a great deal of pride, malice and envy, the spirit of Christ will root it up, and all that evil that the enemy has planted in men, he will pluck it up, and bring in everlasting righteousness, and plant love in the same soul, and establish and settle it. Such a one will have more joy, pleasure and delight, under the government of the Spirit of Christ in one day, than anyone can have that is governed by the evil spirit in a thousand days.
From the Word of the Lord within: "The potential fulfillment of the soul is beyond your ability to grasp. No soul is immortal apart from me."
The fulfillment of the soul's potential is beyond man's wildest imaginations; it offers something to every man that is beyond our ability to grasp. If we fail to become free of sin in this life, when we see what we could have become, we will be devastated. Everyone will be devastated at what they could have obtained while living on the earth; and those who thought they had loved God will be further devastated over what they failed to give to Him in their life on earth, which was to deny their selfish nature, seek his guidance, follow it; thus to then bring honor and glory to Him by producing the fruit of the Spirit. To miss the opportunity to bring honor and glory to your creator, who created you and of all the universe and heavens, is to miss your lifetime's opportunity.
Those who die in their sins will shudder with deep sorrow when they look back at their petty, worthless, ridiculous pursuits while they were on the earth, when they could have followed God's promptings and realized the rewards that they then see and understand, but which will forever be unattainable for them. That sorrow will never leave those who fail to attain the kingdom in this life on earth.
Further, from the Word of the Lord within: "After death there is a sense of regret over their life. Everyone will be known by what they have said and done."