“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Every man has a desire within himself to have and to know. We are designed to know. But I ask you oh man, what gain is there in knowledge without the fear of God in your life?
How much does a man need to know to follow Yeshua? Does he need to have the knowledge of the stars? Does he need to understand philosophy? How much of Godliness is there in philosophy? But take the one who puts his treasure in serving God in His life, to make it his number one priority, and you will see a man who walks humbly before his Maker. It doesn’t matter whether he has studied astronomy, or whether he has read Plato, a man who sets his heart after God to serve him learns more about God than the greatest scientist in all the world. The man who humbles himself before a Holy God learns the ways of the Almighty, who created the stars. What is greater, the creation, or the One who created all things?
Consider the first letter of John, starting with verse 1, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete”
How can a man think to himself the things he fills his life with, his business, his golf game, all the things he sets his mind to, neglecting those things that will actually matter in then end, when he lays there on his death bed, waiting to pass on into eternity- how can he think to himself that what he knows, without the fear of God, will suffice when he comes before the Judgement seat of God? Will he think of the Gospel that he neglected? Will he think of all the time he wasted on himself all the while ignoring the One who has the Eternal Life? Will he recall all the times he kept his mouth shut, and his heart shut, to the fellowship available with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ?
A man will spend his whole life seeking to know things. He may fill his library with many books on many subjects. Or the preacher may fill his study with commentaries. The Doctor may fill his office with medical books from around the world. The Professor may fill his library with all the great thinkers. And man will continue to fill his mind with knowledge, and become proud of the things he knows. But what does it avail if, in all his knowing, he does not know the fear of God?
What is more distracting to a man than what he knows? The show of knowing is one of the greatest boasts a man can have, and one of the greatest deceptions a man can suffer.
The man who knows thinks of himself, and desires others to think of himself, as wise. His knowledge, in his eyes, makes him wise. But I ask you, oh man, what is wisdom without the fear of God?
Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
How much will a man fill up his life with that does not profit his soul, nor indeed, the soul of anyone around him? How wise is it to spend your whole life going after knowledge of things, and none of those things has to do with the salvation of your soul? A man will seek after wealth, for the same reasons he seeks after knowledge. It is the pride of life. But what does it profit the man who lies dying with nothing between him and God Almighty?
You can speak many words of knowledge as you lay upon your death bed, but they will not comfort your soul. But, on the other hand, having lived a life pleasing to God will comfort your mind in the end. Having a conscience clean from a life of selfish ambition will comfort. The Apostle Paul in defense of his testimony says he did his best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and man (Acts 24:6).
And for those who seek to know so much, and live proud in their own knowledge without the fear of God, do you know you will be accountable for the way you’ve spent your life?
Romans 2: 6, “who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.”
Consider the words of Ecclesiastes 1
2“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”
3What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun?
When you lay on your death bed the only thing that will matter is whether you served God with your life, whether you loved God. This is Wisdom, oh man, to love the Lord thy God with all of your soul, all of your mind, all of your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.
You may have spent your life seeking after perishing wealth, or seeking after all knowledge that did not lead you to God. You told yourself it was your duty as a husband, a father, a business man, to spend your life in this way, neglecting the Gospel; neglecting your relationship with God by not following His Son whom He sent into the world to save that which was lost.
It is not too late to withdraw your heart from vanity. It is not too late to redeem the time you have left. You can once again turn from your own ways, and repent of following your own paths, and come again to the Savior of your soul, where you will find rest for your soul. Once again take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him; put your attention on Yeshua, and He will direct you in your path. He will satisfy your every longing. And when that day comes when you lay upon your bed for the last time, you can hear the Master say to you, well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into my rest.
I pray for every soul that reads this writing you will consider your own way in this world. How much have you given your thoughts to vanity? How much of your time have you given to waste, not valuing your own walk with the God who created you, and calls you by name?
Please consider your walk with the Lord today. Make things right with him before you take another step.