1/22/2014 11:08:30 AM
What Will it Profit a Man if He Gains the Whole World and Forfeits His Soul?
This past weekend I participated in a gospel outreach at the Texas State Fair. One of the many conversations I had was with a sincere and humble man who knew that something was missing in the Christian life he professed. I could see the conviction in his eyes as we looked at different Scriptures in my Bible. I then asked him, "Can you give me a reason why you wouldn't give your whole life to this gospel truth? What could possibly be of greater importance?" He paused and confessed that he was Catholic. He explained that if he trusted in Christ alone through faith alone that his whole Catholic family would turn their back on him. I shared with him Matthew 10:34-39: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."
Now at a crossroads of keeping the peace with his family or submitting to gospel truth, he was speechless. So I encouraged him to go through and further study these Scriptures we had looked at on his own. He told me that he would love to, but he has so much going on in his life that he just doesn't have the time. I then asked him for an example of something that was a greater priority than studying the Word of God. He mentioned how time with his family kept him very busy. I expressed to him with great concern how much responsibility is given to fathers and husbands to shepherd their families in Biblical truth. If he did not have the gospel right or familiarity with God's Word, then he was, by default, leading his family in unbiblical principles (Prov. 3:5-7).
My heart broke for this guy as I saw him wavering in his decision to embrace gospel truth and live according to it. Asking questions at the end of our witness such as, "what would keep you from responding to this incredible offer of salvation right now?" can shed light on the sin that has a strong hold on such individuals. I have been amazed as some college students have bluntly responded that they love their sin and don't want to get serious about God right now. In the case of this man at the state fair, he had a greater desire for the praises of man than God (John 12:43). Before we parted ways, I reminded him of Jesus' words, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul" (Matt. 16:26)? I then asked him his name so I could be praying for him. He smiled and sheepishly said, "Jesus." We both knew that this had been a divine encounter. I pray that the Lord would graciously save Jesus and grant him the courage to forsake all for Jesus Christ and to follow Him with all of his heart. We must lovingly reach out to individuals like Jesus and plead with them that nothing else in this world is of greater value than knowing and belonging to our great Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.