The Worth of a Soul

Just How Valuable is a Human Soul?

Mark 8:37

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

14 Feb, 2010  AM


I.       Introduction (Mark 8:37)


A.     If I ask you this morning what is your most precious possession - I wonder what you would answer? Your Family? Finances? Physical health? Some treasure that you hold onto?

B.     There is something much more precious than any other possession - your own soul.

C.     It just by itself is worth far more than a million euros, or millions of millions of euros ... even beyond billions of euros. The US national debt currently stands at $14 trillion dollars (about 10 trillion euros) and yet not even THAT amount of money could make a dent in the value of a soul!

D.     Jesus says your soul is worth more than this whole wide world. All the oceans, all the mountains, all the continents, all the silver, all the gold, all the rubies, all the diamonds, all the stocks, all the bonds, all of the resources put together - all of it ... is not worth one single solitary soul!

E.      By this question that Jesus asks, He is telling us just how valuable our soul is!


II.    Message


A.     What is a Soul? The Definition of a Soul (Gen 2:7)


1.      When God looks at you and me, He sees souls! He sees the human race as SOULS, not bodies


a.       Acts 2:41 “and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

b.      Acts 27:37 “And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.”


2.      We are more than what we see. We are a Trinity of a being (1Thes 5:23) Made up of three parts


a.       You have a Body

b.      A Soul

c.       a Spirit


3.      You don’t have a soul, you ARE a soul. God made you a living SOUL! Not just a living body!


a.       You are a soul - it doesn’t belong to you, IT IS YOU. You have a body - you ARE a soul.

b.      We are BODY SOUL and SPIRIT - But, what’s inside, matters most!


1)      On a grave in Nantucket, Massachusetts: “Under the sod and under the trees,  Lies the body of Jonathan Pease. He is not here, it’s only the pod: Pease shelled out and went to God.”

2)      Humorous but truthful!


c.       Your body is an outer shell that contains something eternal – your soul!

d.      Your spirit is an inner shell that contains something eternal – for God’s Spirit to dwell in


4.      Your soul is that part of you that is the source of all your emotions and your will:


a.       It is where your REAL heart is

b.      Your soul is what dreams, wishes, yearns, desires, wonders

c.       It is what decides, chooses, trusts, and fears

d.      It is what loves, hates, enjoys, rejects

e.       Your flesh/body/skin/bones doesn’t do any of that! Your soul does all that!


5.      Your soul is in the shape of your body and has everything your body has (Rev 6:9)


a.       Eyes, a mouth, a voice, a tongue (the rich man in hell)

b.      A heart, feelings

c.       Hands, feet, arms, legs

d.      All of my outer hands and feet and eyes and skin are only coverings of the real me and my real eyes and hands and feet that are on the inside!

e.       Your soul is the only part of you that really matters!


6.      Your soul is the image of God in you (Gen 1:26,27)

7.      In simple words, your soul is the REAL YOU! – it is your personality. Your body is only a covering, a shell, a tent that YOU dwell in (2Cor 5:1-8)


a.       One of these days, we will leave this robe of flesh

b.      Rachel’s soul left her before she was buried (Gen 35:15-19)

c.       Paul looked forward to the time of his “departure” (2Tim 4:6) – same with ME!


B.     The Condition of the Soul.


1.      Now it get’s serious. Now we all stand in front of the Bible like an X-Ray machine, and we see the condition of our soul, and it is not going to be pretty!

2.      Modern man is convinced that he is evolving, improving – BWAH HAH!


a.       Never mind World War 1 and World War 2, Korean, Vietnam, 100 years war.

b.      Ignore all the crime and injustices in the world today.

c.       Ignore all the full jails and prisons – can’t build them fast enough

d.      Don’t read about all the court cases and the crimes that FILL our streets and our schools

e.       Don’t listen to the reports of domestic violence and abuse


3.      Let’s look at the infallible record of God’s word and see just what condition our souls are in


a.       Jer 17:9, 10 - Desperately wicked

b.      We are sinners – breakers of God’s laws; rebellious against God’s word; resisters of God’s Spirit; stubborn against God’s will

c.       Ephesians 2:1-3 


1)      Dead in trespasses and sin – spiritually DEAD

2)      Simply following the course (pattern) of this world (like a stick floating on a river, headed for the falls) – mankind is not following God!

3)      Obeying the prince of the power of the air (like puppets) – not obeying God

4)      The children of disobedience - not the children of God!

5)      Living in the lusts of our flesh

6)      Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind

7)      By nature the children of wrath.


d.      Ephesians 2:12 


1)      Without Christ

2)      Aliens from the commonwealth (riches) of Israel,

3)      Strangers from the covenants of promise

4)      Having no hope,

5)      Without God in the world!


e.       Romans 3:10-18 “As it is written”


1)      There is none righteous, no, not one:

2)      There is none that understandeth

3)      There is none that seeketh after God.

4)      All are gone out of the way

5)      They are together become unprofitable

6)      There is none that doeth good, no, not one.

7)      Their throat is an open sepulchre

8)      With their tongues they have used deceit

9)      The poison of asps is under their lips:

10)  Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

11)  Their feet are swift to shed blood:

12)  Destruction and misery are in their ways:

13)  The way of peace have they not known:

14)  There is no fear of God before their eyes.


4.      In other words, we are ruined on the inside – DEPRAVED


a.       We love sin – maybe not all sins, but we love OUR sins – to each his own!

b.      We love darkness rather than light

c.       We love ourselves rather than God

d.      We love sin rather than righteousness

e.       You would rather be angry than forgiving

f.       You would rather hold a grudge than honour God and humble yourself

g.       You would rather die than get right with God and live His way

h.      We would rather lose our family than give up drink

i.        We would rather lose our health than give up cigarettes


5.      We were BORN that way - Psa 51:5 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” At birth, I was a selfish, self-centred sinner!


C.     The Value of a Soul.


1.      Its Design makes it Valuable – you have been MADE like GOD! Designed to be just like Him with all the emotions He has, all the feelings, all the creativity, all the speech and thoughts that are like Him! No computer even comes close to imitating what we can do just by design!

2.      Its Designer makes it Valuable – GOD made you, not an accident


a.       Which is worth more? A Ford or Mercedes – a banger or Lamborgini?

b.      Are you wearing Calvin Klein? Nike? Addidas? or Dunnes?

c.       The almighty, infinite, all wise GOD made you and me. Your designer makes you priceless

d.      We are the crowning work of Creation. We are not an accident of evolution!


3.      Its Durability make it Valuable


a.       When you buy a car or a house, you want to buy something that is going to last

b.      THAT is what makes it valuable. No good buying something for €3,000 that you know next week won’t run anymore, or will leak and fall in on itself at the first sight of rain!

c.       The body is the house in which your soul is. 

d.      The body will one day die.  It will be put in the ground and will one day not be around. 

e.       But  when the he sun has become a cold, dark cinder, and when time shall be no more, your soul will still live and be in existence somewhere, either in heaven or hell

f.       Your soul, made in the image of God will exist forever and ever and ever and ever.

g.       The body will rot; the mind may go; but the soul is eternal and immortal.


4.      Its Demand makes it Valuable (Contrast Ps 142:4 with 1Peter 5:7)


a.       What else determines value? How RARE something is! 


1)      Did you know that Gems are worth more than Gravel?

2)      I read somewhere that the rarest autograph is the signature of Christopher Columbus.  The rarest stamp, is the one cent British Guyana stamp.  The rarest coin is the Argenta of Athens, the first silver dollar.  And all of these things are extremely valuable because they are so rare.

3)      You say, "There are many souls." But God never makes duplicates.

4)      Good news is that God offers ETERNAL life to every Soul!!!


b.      If no one WANTS something - its not WORTH anything at all.

c.       I may not be worth much to you, but according to God, I am worth EVERYTHING!

d.      Do you want to know how much He was willing to PAY for this lost soul of mine?


1)      Go to Gethsemane, hours of anguish. watch Him weep. 

2)      Examine the blood drenched cross at Calvary.

3)      Watch Jesus endured the darkness and depravity. He paid the price in pain for your pardon.


e.       Maybe at some time in the past somewhere your  sweetheart said “I’d rather die than live without you.” Maybe...maybe not. If you would have said “So long-see ya”  He would have went and found another woman (Not one as good as you of course) 

f.       But Jesus looked at us and said to His Father “Father, I’d rather die than live without my Bride.”  And He did!

g.       Luke 19:10, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that  which was lost."

h.      1 Peter 1:18-19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”


D.     The Loss of a Soul (Mark 8:36)


1.      We worry about losing things: the loss of health, many have worried about the loss of jobs, and loss of friends

2.      But there is a loss that is tragic – disastrous – catastrophic

a.       Not lost like a set of keys – misplaced. They can be found!

b.      But lost like, FOREVER lost – no way to get it back!

c.       Alexander the Great- Adolph Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte- At one time each of them ruled the world - they conquered continents. But they were all LOSERS!

3.      Some people childishly hope that when they die, everything goes black, and they just “disappear” – that is a false hope – it is the lie of the devil

4.      Everyone is at risk of losing their soul, unless Someone saves it for them!

5.      The results of our sin are eternal - death (Rom 6:23a)


a.       Not just death as in death of the body! No! That would be too easy!

b.      No! There is an end, that never ends!


1)      Luke 16:22,23

2)      Hebrews 9:27

3)      Matthew 10:28

4)      Matthew 25:41

5)      Rev 14:10,11


c.       God is referring to a place called HELL – experiencing the righteous wrath of God

d.      You don’t believe in that? Then you are rejecting the word of Jesus Christ, not of the church, or some religion, or some tradition, but of God Almighty!


6.      Do you know why Jesus wept when He saw the multitudes?


a.       Not because of the wrath that was coming upon them

b.      But because they didn’t care the wrath was coming upon them!

c.       It would be like walking around Port-a-prince in Haiti last month a few days before the earth quake and trying to convince people to run for their lives, only to be laughed at, and scorned

d.      You would weep knowing what was ahead, and that these people, 110,000 of them could be saved, but they wouldn’t listen!



E.      The Redemption of a Soul (Luke 19:10)


1.      Ah! Thankfully there is a way of escape! A way of salvation! There is a way to save your soul!

2.      The soul is the part that Christ seeks to save – not your body, not your wallet, not your bank account!

3.      Not by good works, or by paying a load of money (1Pet 1:18,19)

4.      The only remedy for sin in your soul is the cleansing blood of the Lamb of God (John 1:29; Lev 17:11)

5.      That’s why Jesus came.


a.       Not to be the greatest Teacher of all time – even though He was

b.      Not to do such impossible miracles – even though He did them

c.       Not to rebuke the hypocritical religious leaders – which he did very well

d.      But to give His life, HIS SOUL as an offering for sin (Isa 53:6,7,10,11)


F.      The Door of a Soul (Rev 3:20)


1.      Jesus is knocking, pleading, waiting

2.      So am I! (2Cor 5:11a)

3.      So are a lot of other people in your life – praying for you, inviting you, talking with you

4.      Sinner, Please turn to Jesus – (Matthew 11:28,29)

5.      Christian, please have some compassion on souls (Psalm 142:2; Jude 21-23)

6.      Please! be obedient to God’s word (Matthew 28:19,20)


a.       The door of the soul must be knocked on and knocked on, and talked through, and reasoned with

b.      God has given us plenty of keys to try to unlock doors (Acts 26:18) – USE THEM!


III. Conclusion


A.     What is your soul worth?

B.     What is it worth to YOU?

C.     I know what it is worth to God!

D.     But it needs to be worth something to you!


1.      More than your popularity

2.      More than your health

3.      More than your smartness and intelligence and education

4.      More than your money and career


E.      Not just talking about your soul, but the soul of your Dad, your Mom, your sister, brother! The soul of your wife, your son, your husband, your daughter! The soul of your best friend, and the soul of your worst enemy

F.      They all have a never-dying soul, that is precious to God, and of eternal value to God

G.     He has gone to the cross for them, and for you!

H.     Will you not respond, and let Him save you this morning?