|Luke 9:23-25 |
23 And he said to them all, "If any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. [To follow is to be led by the Spirit. To be led, you must persistently and patiently sit in humble silence to wait on the Lord, as you listen for his word within your heart to speak to you; then you must obey Him. Self-denial occurs by obeying the Lord's commands you hear instead of your will, (His will, not your will); this is the inward cross of self-denial. First, He will lead you out of darkness to a sinless state; to then guide your thoughts, words, and works; which works show His glory and love to the world.]
24 For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. [When you continually deny yourself and obey the Lord's commands, you will eventually die to your selfish life on the inward cross of self-denial, and thereby save your soul to live Life in union with God.]
25 For what profit is it to a man, if he gains the whole world and loses himself [his soul] or is cast away [into outer darkness]?1
1 For what profit is it to a man, if he gains the whole world and loses himself [his soul] or is cast away [into outer darkness]? 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 more 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, "Man's eye has not seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, 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."