The Preciousness Of A Soul
James L. Reynolds
(1 Peter 1:13-21)  "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; {14} As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: {15} But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; {16} Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. {17} And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: {18} Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; {19} But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: {20} Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, {21} Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."
    We would like to take a brief look this morning at the preciousness of a soul. In so doing it is my desire to bring to you attention a few of the reasons why the soul is to be considered precious.
    I.) Souls are considered precious because they are everlasting.
    By the term ‘everlasting soul’ we do not mean to imply that souls have always been, but we do believe that they always will be. Permit me to offer somewhat of an explanation of the preceding statement. We do not believe that the Bible gives any indication that souls have always existed. Nor do we believe that the Bible teaches that souls are recycled through reincarnation or some other such heresy. The Bible is very clear that the only being which always existed is God, in the three distinct offices and personalities of the blessed Holy Trinity.
    Yet we do believe that the Bible does indeed teach that once God creates a soul, through the miracle of conception, that such a newly created soul will from that time forth forever be in existence.
    Everyone claiming to be a Godly person does not necessarily agree with the above statement. There are those claiming to be God's people who deny the ceaselessness of soul. It is claimed by these individuals that upon death the souls of wicked humans are cast into the fire of God's vengeance and are therein consumed.
    I am not sure how these individuals reconcile the eternal heavenly bliss of God's people with their supposed annihilation of the wicked.
    In the King James Version of the Bible the word 'soul' is used some 458 times in 432 different verses of Scripture.
    Let's note the first time the word 'soul' is used in God's inspired Word.
(Genesis 2:7)  "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
    The Bible here declares that after God had created man from the dust of the ground he was yet an inanimate creature. He had no life, he had no 'soul'. God then breathed into his nostril the breath of life and the man became a living soul.
    Those who attempt to teach that the souls of the wicked are annihilated are quick to point to Ezekiel 18:20.
(Ezekiel 18:20)  "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him."
    While there is no controversy that the inspired Word of God does indeed declare that, 'the soul that sinneth, it shall die', we would do well to pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal unto us just what is meant by that statement.
    Does it mean that the soul which sins will at some time cease to exist just as this mortal body will at one time cease to exist? I declare unto you this morning that it does not declare such a termination of the soul. What it does declare is that 'the soul which continues in sin, without repentance towards God, and faith in Christ, shall die the second death; shall be separated from the presence of God, and endure his wrath to all eternity:'. (John Gill)
    God warned Adam that he would die in the day that he disobeyed God.
(Genesis 2:17)  "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
    We are all aware that Adam, desiring the continued fellowship with his wife rather than the continued fellowship with God, did take of the fruit, did eat and did die.
    Was the death warned of by God only physical death of the body? It was not only physical death of the body for Adam lived hundreds of years after his, and ours in him, transgression against God. Adam's total earthly existence was 930 years.
(Genesis 5:5)  "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."
    I submit unto you that the death which Adam suffered immediately upon his transgression against God was the death of his spirit. Adam died spiritually upon sinning against his Creator and all of his posterity have come forth from their mother's wombs dead spiritually. It is said in reference to Adam that he 'died dying'. That is that his soul and spirit died immediately upon his transgression and that his body began its trek towards death that claimed his body some 930 years later.
    The apostle Paul reminds the Ephesian saints of their condition (spiritually) prior to God's quickening them.
(Ephesians 2:1)  "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:"
    Were these Ephesians physically dead prior to believing in the Lord Jesus Christ? Of course they were not physically dead but they were indeed spiritually dead, just as are all who have ever been born upon this earth, certainly excepting the sinless Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    There is not one shred of evidence in all of God's Holy Word to give any credence to the idea that people have a spark of goodness in them and that if they will merely fan that spark it will ignite into a flame of righteousness. People have no inherent goodness in them because they have no spiritual life in them. Since they are dead spiritually they are unable to do the first thing spiritually good and acceptable unto God.
    Again we ask, 'Are all of Adam's posterity dead spiritually?'
(1 Corinthians 15:22)  "For as in Adam all die,"
    As our federal head Adam acted as our representative and when he sinned and died spiritually we, being in his loins, also sinned and died spiritually.
    So we see from God's Word that upon God's breathing life into him man became a living soul. Then because of Adam's sin against God Adam died spiritually and in Adam the entire human race also died spiritually. This is the first death which God warned Adam about and which all of mortal mankind are subject unto.
    But there is another death awaiting those who die physically in an unrepentant state. Those who leave this temporal existence without acknowledging their awful sins against God and who do not trust only and totally in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ for their standing in God's eternal acceptable presence will suffer yet another death.
(Revelation 2:11)  "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death."

(Revelation 20:6)  "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

(Revelation 20:14-15)  "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. {15} And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

(Revelation 21:8)  "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

    As previously stated there is also a another death coming to those who die outside of the Lord Jesus Christ. Termed, 'the second death' by the inspired writer, this will be a torment for those unrepentant sinners which has no termination.
    Will those unrepentant souls who have temporarily parted with their mortal bodies be completely annihilated or consumed by God's holy and righteous fire as some cultists teach?
(Revelation 14:11)  "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."
    The term 'eternal life' is used 26 times in the King James Version and the term 'everlasting life' is used 11 times. Please note with me one instance wherein the Holy Spirit declares the ceaselessness of souls, both those who are redeemed in Christ and those who die in an unrepentant state.
(Daniel 12:1-2)  "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. {2} And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
    Based upon the above scripture and many others which teach the ceaselessness of the soul I confidently declare unto you that mankind's souls, when once created by the omnipotent hand of God through the miracle of conception are everlasting, that is they will never cease to exist.
    Many worldly possessions of mankind are valued by how long they will last. When we buy a product we are often concerned with its longevity. If for instance we were purchasing an automobile and were told that it would only last a year I'm quite sure that none of us would be interested in it. One of the greatest selling points of any product is how long the warranty is on it. When the manufacturer places a long warranty on their product we are being assured that it will last and therefore it will be of value to us.
    As we journey through this life we are constantly replacing things which wear out. Be it our clothing, our automobiles, our houses or a multitude of other things. And, most of us can attest to the fact that our bodies are also wearing out.
    We have probably all heard someone say, in reference to an item that wore out, 'Oh well, nothing last forever.' Well beloved I take exception to that statement. Each of us assembled in this building today have something which will never wear out or never cease to exist. I am, of course, referring to the everlasting soul which God placed in you at the moment of your conception. That soul will never cease to exist. And for all here this day I pray that it will forever exist in God's acceptable and joyous presence because you have trusted in the substitutionary atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Sadly, millions have already realized and millions will realize the ceaselessness and preciousness of their souls only after it was too late for that realization to be of any benefit unto them, as did the rich man in Luke 17:19-26
(Luke 17:19-26)  "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: {20} And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, {21} And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. {22} And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; {23} And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. {24} And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. {25} But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. {26} And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence."
    II.) Souls are considered precious because they are of more value than all of the world's riches.
    As frail and finite creatures we often deceive ourselves as to what is of value in our lives. In this great country in which we live we are so accustomed to a high standard of living that we sometimes take these things for granted, never stopping to consider that much of the word's population does not have what we would deem the bare necessities of life.
    Yet amidst the numberless benefits which the Lord daily loads us up with our old carnal and materialistic nature assures us that if we had a better car, a better house, a better wardrobe or a thousand other things we would be happier. Yet, with each of these new acquisitions we become more of a servant unto those possessions.
    The Lord is to be greatly praised when He gives His people such a disposition as the apostle Paul was blessed with.
(Philippians 4:10-13)  "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. {11} Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. {12} I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. {13} I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
    The apostle was confident that through the Lord Jesus Christ he could accomplish all things and that his temporal state or condition was of no real significance.
    There is an annual list published of America's most wealthy people. Some of the people have amassed such great fortunes that the average American such as us can not begin to comprehend it. I do not know any of the people on these lists nor of their relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. I do know however, that if they do not trust the safekeeping of their everlasting souls to God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ they are paupers.
    If Bill Gates, Donald Trump and the other billionaires exit this life without being clothed upon with the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ they will one day stand before Him and acknowledge that all of their amassed wealth was of no profit unto them, yea moreover it was a snare and a stumbling block unto their eternal well being.
(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?"

(Mark 8:36)  "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

(Luke 9:25)  "For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?"

    The kindness of God is exemplified here in that He records for us three times this warning against seeking riches and ignoring the preciousness of one's everlasting soul.
    Christ here declares that the combined wealth and treasures of the 'whole world' are of no value when compared to one's own soul.
    Now lest some would misunderstand me I hasten to point out that the Bible does not say that there will be no wealthy people saved.
(Mark 10:17-27)  "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? {18} And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. {19} Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. {20} And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. {21} Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. {22} And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. {23} And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! {24} And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! {25} It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. {26} And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? {27} And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible."
    As our dear Lord states it is the trusting in riches which is the snare unto mankind that many throughout history have fallen prey unto.
    So we see that every person has an eternal soul which is of more value than all of the world's combined wealth.
    III.) Some souls are precious unto God because of the price which was paid for their redemption.
    One day all will realize how precious their souls are to them.
    For many it will be an unending anguish and torment of that soul as they continually charge themselves with the terrible foolishness of ignoring the value of their everlasting soul.
    In this life things are often given a value based on what someone is willing to pay for them. I have seen objects sell at auctions for amounts which are ridiculous as compared to what would be the normal assessment of that objects worth.
    Many types of art and collectibles are valued strictly by what someone is willing to pay for them. Have you ever asked someone what something is worth and were told, 'Whatever someone is willing to pay.'?
    These objects derive their value not from their intrinsic worth but solely from what someone is willing to pay for them.
    It has been said that the founder of Papa John's pizza single handedly drove the common person out of the collector car market some years ago. It is reported that if he saw a car he wanted he would pay whatever it took to buy it, sometimes paying several times the normal value. This caused a value to be placed on the cars based solely upon what someone was willing to pay for them.
    For many who have been enabled to trust in the substitutionary atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as their only hope of acceptance in God's holy presence there will be unending joy and bliss as they rejoice in the value which God placed on their souls.
    These redeemed saints will in no wise entertain any thoughts that their souls are valuable unto God except in and only in the price which was paid for their redemption. No one who will ever enter the celestial kingdom of God's glory will have the slightest opinion that they were of some value in and of themselves. They will forever rejoice that they have value only in the infinite value of the one who gave His life for their redemption.
(1 Peter 1:18-20)  "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; {19} But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: {20} Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,"
    May the blessed Holy Spirit cause each of us this day to see that we are everlasting beings, possessors of everlasting souls and that by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ God places a value upon our souls greater than the wealth of this universe.

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