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You Can’t Measure the Value of the Human Soul

Mark 8:35-36

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, The Value of a Soul.


Your body will die, but your living soul, made in the image of God, will go on. You should not give yourself rest until your soul’s destiny is settled.

Many say, “I don’t want to surrender my life to Jesus.”

But Jesus said, “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:35-36)

The Value of Your Soul

One human soul is worth more than everything in this world put together. Here are five reasons to treasure the value of your soul:

1. Your soul was created by God.

Something can be valuable because of who made it. A painting by Raphael or Picasso is worth millions. So, who created you?

When God made soul, spirit, and body, He said something about you that He said about nothing else—You are made in God’s image. (See Genesis 1:27.) Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are “His workmanship.”

God crafted you, and that is what makes you valuable. You are the crowning work of God’s creative genius.

2. Your soul represents your potential.

What makes a thing worthwhile is not simply what it is, but what it may become. You represent three persons: One, the person you are. Two, the person you could be if you follow Satan and drop into degradation, despair, and Hell. Three, the person you will be if you give your heart to the lord Jesus Christ. God has a plan to transform you into the likeness of His Son. (See Romans 8:29, Philippians 1:6.)

3. Your soul will exist for eternity.

You are made in the image of God. You could no more cease to exist than God Himself could cease to exist. When the sun, moon, and stars have grown cold, your soul will still exist—somewhere.

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). Your soul will be in either Heaven or Hell. Why should you believe in Hell? Because Jesus did. (See Matthew 5, 8:11-12; Luke 12:5.)

4. Your soul is rare.

You object, saying, “There are plenty of souls!” No. God did not make a double of you. There will never be another like you, just as there are no two snowflakes alike.

5. Your soul is precious to God.

When any appraiser looks at a building, a painting, etc., he is thinking, what will someone else pay for it?

Jesus paid for your soul with His blood. (See 1 Peter 1:18-19.)

What is truly the value of a soul? Picture the blood-drenched slopes of Calvary, and see Christ writhing in agony, as the fires of God’s wrath are burned out on Him. Why? He was purchasing your soul. Jesus walked the burning corridors of the damned and suffered in finite time the penalty that you would suffer in infinite time. Why? He values your soul.

Losing Your Soul to Gain the World

Jesus asked, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) Jesus is talking very logically and rationally. He wants you to understand what a foolish loss it would be, to barter away your soul for the hope of gaining this world.

You cannot gain the world.

Many have tried, and none have. All you will ever gain is a little bit of this world. How cheaply some people sell out! They would rather cling to a few toys, or a few activities, rather than to Jesus Christ.

If you could gain the world, you could not keep it.

The Bible teaches us this: “For the form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:31b). Everything that you call your own? It is not yours; it’s premature junk. The gnawing tooth of time will take it away. If you want to know how much you really have, add up everything you have that money cannot buy and death cannot take away.

So—if you did gain the world, you would lose it, because you would leave it.

If you could gain the world, and keep it, it would not satisfy you.

God made you for Himself. God is the element in which you are supposed to live. (See Acts 17:28.) You will never find satisfaction until you find it in the Lord Christ.

God made a fish to swim in the sea, and a bird to fly in the air. A fish in a tree is not a happy fish. A bird under water is not a happy bird. A man out of fellowship with God is not a happy man. You ask, “Why am I not satisfied?” Because God is the element in which you were made to live (see Acts 17:28), and you will never find satisfaction until you find it in Christ.

The Loss of Your Soul is Tragic

If you try to gain the world, you will lose your soul.

The loss of your soul is immeasurable.

Jesus is saying in Mark 8:35-38 that your one soul is worth more than the whole world. You cannot measure its value.

The loss of your soul is irreplaceable.

Some things can be replaced or substituted if lost, but not so for your soul.

The loss of your soul is irreversible.

Do not get the idea that one day you will stand before God, unsaved, and be able to say, “Now I understand! Dear God, have mercy on me now!” If you want mercy, grace, and forgiveness, you may have them—but you must have them in this life. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). If you live like there is no God, you had better be right.

“The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4b). It does not cease to exist—it lives eternally dying, without God, without Christ, without hope.

The loss of your soul is inexcusable.

You do not have to lose your soul. There is not a reason on earth that you should die and go to Hell. It is inexcusable when Jesus wants to save you. “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” (Mark 8:35; emphasis added).

Who Will Save Your Soul?

There is no greater tragedy than losing your soul. It is a foolish loss. Some of you are being that foolish—you are playing with your soul.

One of these days, life will be over for you, and your soul will be lost. There are people sitting in eternal darkness who would give a million worlds to have the light you have right now, to have the opportunity to know Christ as Savior and Lord. Do not lose your soul!

There is one move you can make, and only one: give your heart to Jesus. There is no reason not to. On the authority of the Word of God, He will save you and keep you saved.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).