Don’t Lose Your Soul

Lose your soul

Don’t lose your soul!

Mark 8:34-Mark 9:1

  1. What is your desire?
  • Jesus starts this discourse with “whoever desires” as a statement to those who are around him that may or may not want to follow him
  • The statement is more of a question, “if your desire is to follow me, let me tell you what its going to take”
  • Matt 7:21-23 READ Is a challenge to those who think that mere words of desire are enough to please the father are going to be poorly mistaken
  • The truth is that there were many people then and there are many people now, who are not following Jesus, but merely trying to ‘hedge their bets’ by covering all bases to ensure that they can make heaven
  • But Jesus challenges that- he says- what’s your desire? Is it to follow me? I’ll teach you, but check your heart!
  • What does it mean to you?
  • What is your desire? As you’re coming to Jesus, what is it that you truly desire from him?
  • One of the greatest heresies of the present age is the heresy of the prosperity Gospel- it produces a slew of people who only followed Jesus because of a desire for material wealth and physical healing
  • Many people just want some fire insurance or a group of people to hang out with, mend a relationship,
  • Its like wanting to be married and not actually have a relationship with the person you’re married to
  • Check your desire! Lord, why am I following you? Is why I’m following you biblical?
  • Do I desire what you can give me more than I desire you?
  • James 1: 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
  • Don’t believe that desires don’t matter- if you desire the wrong things- it will lead to death
  • The call?
  1. Deny yourself
  • let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me
  • Jesus says that they path to following Jesus is to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him
  • Now- many people will misinterpret this to say that ‘we all have crosses to bear’ but that’s not the interpretation of this verse
  • A cross in Bible times meant one thing- a disgusting bloody public display of death upon a person
  • And Jesus says- You have to table what you want, and be prepared to die for what you believe
  • John 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.
  • This is a promise of Scripture!
  • Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
  • You can’t get this twisted- the path to follow Jesus is a path where you deny yourself, your desires, your plans, your wants, and you put them before Jesus
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Are you denying yourself? Are you putting Christ before yourself or putting yourself before Christ?
  • I will tell you- ITS NOT EASY- You want what you want when you want it not what JC WANTS
  • Paul said- 1 Corinthians 15:31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
  • How do you pick up your cross? You have to come to the point where you truly lay your life before Christ and say- Jesus- whatever it is that you want of me, I will do. I will be that.
  • People want to think cosmically on this- but truthfully, its not the huge things- it’s the small things that are hard to die to- most especially our own desires and wants-
  • We want to experience comfort and avoid pain and will do whatever we can to do it
  • 1 Peter 2:20-21 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
  • You have to take up your cross-
  1. Lose your life
  • 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
  • I asked you to consider what your desires are because your desire is connected to your action, whatever you desire, is where your action will be. Do you desire to follow Jesus? Do your actions line up with it?
  • This statement from Jesus- about having a desire to save your life makes clear- if you’re trying to hold on to it- you’re going to lose it. You gain by losing in this example
  • Christ never preached for you to live for yourself. He never preached he would follow you.
  • Jesus says- if you’re holding on to YOUR life you’re going to lose it, but you’ll GAIN it by losing it
  • Totally backwards to what the world teaches today.
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Lose your life! Give yourself over to the things of God and his ways and see what he does with your life! You get by losing in this deal. If you want God’s best in your life- give up your own life
  • Have this mind set:
  • Romans 8:36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
  • Embrace death! Embrace the dying to self- Look for opportunities to be less and elevate gospel!
  • This isn’t about being a jerk- There are some very self righteous people that I know that find it a badge of honor that people don’t like them- problem is, its because they are a jerk- not the gospel!
  • 1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
  • Losing your life isn’t about losing your friendships because of your inability to be nice
  • Work at loving people! Forgive everyone! Desire restoration in your relationships! Own things that aren’t your fault. Look for opportunities to give up your own wants, needs and desires.
  • The biggest thing you give up is your TIME- People need people- and they need time with YOU
  • If people don’t want to be around you, its probably because your life is about you
  • But its for THE GOSPEL- The willingness to get people to follow Jesus- I’m trying
  • Here’s the greatest challenge:
  1. Don’t lose your soul
  • 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
  • The distinction of Jesus is you have two choices- gain the whole world or keep your soul
  • I’m not sure what the “whole world” is in Bible times- but I’m sure its not much different than today- prestige, power, material wealth, status, influence all the things that the world scrambles after- The greatest one being MONEY- because MONEY is POWER
  • This is why people buy lottery tickets- its not because they want money- they want the power to do whatever they want to whomever they want and not have to be beholden to anyone
  • Luke 18:25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
  • Its not impossible- its just difficult-
  • Remember- Jesus just talked about dying to self- and then uses this as the follow up- losing your soul happens when you gain the whole world
  • Shark Tank- Billionaire who had his first job and was told to do something and wouldn’t do it and got fired- he said “I’m never going to be made to feel that way again” Billionaire
  • Proverbs 11:4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death.
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Are you trying to gain the whole world? Because if you are, you are in danger of losing your soul!
  • Again, there is nothing wrong with money- money doesn’t have emotions- it’s the desire for the WORLD that will cost you your soul!
  • 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
  • If you can make a ton of money and still serve Jesus- then do it! Money fuels ministry!
  • But I know many people that have wandered from the faith because they wanted STUFF
  • It’s a dangerous slope that only you can determine if you’re falling away-
  • I’ve never met a person who was spiritually sound who didn’t tithe. Never.
  • Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
  • How do we do that?
  1. Don’t be ashamed
  • 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels
  • I love how Jesus makes it so clear- This generation is adulterous and sinful it needs the disciples to not be ashamed of who they are and what they believe- they need to be BOLD
  • What does it mean to be ashamed? It means that you are embarrassed for what you believe and you are unwilling to put yourself in a position of having others pour shame on you
  • Simply saying that Jesus is the only way to heaven and that all others will not make it will put you in the crosshairs of society. Not even talking about abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation
  • Jesus was crucified for what he believed and preached and we are afraid of others!
  • 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
  • The cost of being ashamed is that Jesus will be ashamed of you. Do you want that?
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Be diligent in not being ashamed! Which isn’t to say you have to be mean about it, just be honest about it! I say “you know what I believe” or “The Bible teaches me this”
  • You got to know what the word says!
  • Live out: Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
  • Brian kid from elementary school unwilling to fight Brad “because I’m a Christian”
  • What does not being ashamed look like? Looking for opportunities to share the Gospel! Unashamed about what you believe. Unwilling to go against God in your business dealings!
  • 2 Timothy 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
  • 1 Peter 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
  1. Grow the kingdom
  • Mark 9:1 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”
  • Interesting part of the Bible here- Many scholars say its erroneously placed in 9, shoulda b in 8
  • This part is merely a prophecy- a statement that some of these men would live to see Pentecost
  • That they would see what the present day kingdom of God looked like.
  • What does it mean to you?
  • You have a chance right now to live in the present age of the Kingdom of God!
  • What you do right now matters! What you do changes the world!
  • Be willing to be who Jesus is asking you to be and FOLLOW HIM! Die to SELF. Put him FIRST. Live for HIM. Don’t be ashamed!
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