Wednesday, June 17, 2015

“What Shall It Profit?”

    I recently read an interview conducted with a gentleman who has lived most of his adult life in the public eye.  You would instantly recognize the name, and likely think positively about the man, his personality, his accomplishments, and even his charitable endeavors (which are many and significant).  I feel this way, and have long respected this luminary who has certainly conducted himself more circumspectly than many other famous figures.

    Accomplished.  Wealthy.  Respected.  Winsome.  Generous.  Many adjectives might describe the public figure I reference.  However, after reading the interview, a verse came to mind that remains in my thoughts, and which troubles me even as I write these words.

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

    In more than 60 years of public life, the man I reference has never given any indication of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Moreover, the interview I read implied that he does not believe and that he has no interest in the Savior or a life that honors Him.  Thus, despite achieving that which many would consider enormous success in many ways, the truth of the matter is that to this point, the man has wasted his life.   "I am the life" proclaimed the Lord Jesus.  "To live is Christ" declared the Apostle Paul.  "He is thy life" wrote Moses (John 14:6; Philippians 1:21; Deuteronomy 30:20).  Anything less than this definition of genuine living does not meet the standard of life, as defined by God (the only definition that matters).  Thus, in real terms, the figure referenced, despite such a notable existence and experience, is not even truly alive.  He is dead, and if in the relatively brief time that remains of his earthly sojourn he does not entrust himself to the Prince of life, he will also experience the "second death" of an eternity apart from God (Revelation 21:8).  

    These troubling thoughts have led to many prayers in the last few days, prayers for a man who has, again, wasted his life.  He likely doesn't know it.  Or perhaps he does.  What good are memories, accomplishments, fame, wealth, and earthly accolade when one stands on the precipice of eternity without Christ?  The Holy Spirit bears witness of such truth to all, and I pray that in these days when the curtain of life begins to close on the man I mentioned, he will realize, repent, and receive the saving grace of the Lord Jesus.  The alternative is too terrible to imagine, namely, the reality of a wasted life and a forfeited forever.  "What shall it profit a man…"

"And He spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:16-21).

Weekly Memory Verse
    Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life.  He that cometh to Me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.
(John 6:35)    

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