Quick. What is the most valuable thing you can think of? Gold? Diamonds? Rubies? How about property somewhere in Manhattan? I would concur that each hold great value. but Jesus asked the most probing question of all pertaining to worth and value. He asked, “What would a man give in exchange for his soul?” The fact is that the soul is the most valuable thing in this world. Not land or jewels; not money or precious metals. All of those things will one day fade from view, but the soul of mankind will exist forever. If we are truthful in our answer to this critical question, then our reply must be that nothing is worth that exchange. The rapture will happen and I submit that we are very close to that moment. So to strive to keep your life free from sin and ready for heaven is the greatest quest of all. Partial participation in God and in church is the same as complete disassociation. Consider I Peter 4:18 “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?” This subject of salvation is no trivial matter. It’s not a passing conversation. It demands attention and rightly so. Nothing in this life is worth missing the rapture. Nothing rises above hearing the last trump of God and being caught away as the Bride of Christ.
Not for us only, but we are keenly aware of the lost souls of our community. We reach for every sinner. We seek for every wounded and hurting heart to find these altars of repentance and restoration. The Lord’s Great Commission is our common mission because we value their eternal existence as well as our own.
No one can afford to forfeit that moment which Paul called “the catching away” for any amount of pleasure or worldly pursuits. Our careers which seem so important today will soon be nothing juxtaposed against eternity. Our hobbies which consume our days will be cast aside as fading flowers in that moment when the Lord returns. In fact, everything you see today or this week will have no value at all when He splits the eastern sky.
I once believed that the church held to the rapture, but I am concerned how many are making massive investments in things that are temporal at best. It seems we have moved away from preparing ourselves as Jesus taught in His parable of the wise and foolish virgins. Christians seem out of focus with the Cause of Christ; the subject of salvation; and that inevitable moment which is called “that Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.” Financial ambitions might be acceptable in the right context, but even the loftiest of goals pale in the face of the never-dying soul.
Educational pursuits, vacations, home purchases, and all things noble cannot match The Value of Forever. Surely we are not trading our soul for these things.
I wonder if we have been enchanted by the pleasures of this world so much that we have fallen asleep in the Light. I wonder if routine; the busyness of the day; and the cares of this life have overwhelmed so that we no longer think about Heaven and Hell. I’m not talking about sinful things, just life. Paul writes to lay aside every sin and weight that so easily besets us. Weight and sin are two different things, but they both lead us to the same place: Away from God. Sin is non-negotiable. It’s being separate from a holy God, but weight is more obscure. It not only binds us, but it constrains our pursuit of Christ. Weight is more easily negotiated. We make excuses for our weights, but not a few have succumb to the seduction of permissible pursuits without ever realizing their affects: A diminishing prayer life, Bible time, and distance from the altar. We must return to living a sober life, looking for His appearing, and preparing ourselves for the day when our souls shall be counted. It will happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole