On more than one occasion while soul winning I’ve asked people what their most valuable possession is. I then quickly supplied the typical answer, which most people would say – their house, their health, their family, their money, etc. None of those are even close to the correct answer, which is their SOUL. The Lord Jesus said:
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36,37)
By asking those two questions, the Lord Jesus placed the highest price tag on man’s invisible and intangible SOUL. Why? Because it will exist FOREVER beyond the grave in either Paradise (Lk. 23:43; 2 Cor. 12:4) or a smokey, windy and fiery placed prepared for the devil and his angels (Psa. 11:6; Mt. 25:41; Rev. 14:11; etc.) sometimes called the second death. Because our SOUL is our most valuable possession, we therefore need to emphasize its importance and guard it accordingly. That in turn will magnify the spiritual over the temporal and natural. As we focus on the spiritual, other related truths come into focus:
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mat 10:28)
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. (1 Pet 2:11)
To live a Christian life in our sinful society will surely bring some form of persecution our way, even to the point of martyrdom! As Jesus sent the Twelve Apostles out preaching, he gave them the aforementioned Mt. 10:28, which states we need to fear God most, who alone can “destroy” our SOUL and body in Geenna (or hell). Jesus taught them to not fear plural men who may be killers, but fear God first and foremost for that reason. Jesus wanted the Christians to know they could, through persecution, lose their salvation and possession of eternal life. Peter, who was one of the ones who got that warning directly, later wrote in 1 Peter 2:11 that sinful desires war against the SOUL.
The SOUL is not the body (Mt. 10:28), as the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach. The SOUL can be “destroyed,” but that doesn’t mean annihilated, as various groups say. The Christian’s righteous SOUL is warred against by sinful desires, but we can abstain from them and keep ourselves pure. We don’t have to yield to sin and become defiled and brought to our spiritual death, but such does happen. To overcome we need to endure to the end (Mt. 10:22; Heb. 3:14), and having the correct value of our SOUL in mind will help immensely, even if we have to lose everything in the process as some have:
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Rev 12:11)