How to Lose Your Soul

Text: Matthew 16:26

Our soul is more valuable than anything and everything in this world. Even if we could obtain all of the material things in this would, our soul is more valuable. Jesus said it was foolish to forfeit our soul for the whole world, yet many forfeit their souls for far less. How do we lose our soul? It is easier than many think. Let us notice four ways in this lesson.

Do What You Want in Religion

  • This is the “join the church of your choice” mentality – this has been encouraged for years by denominational preachers; people have been led away from the Lord’s church (Acts 20:28); churches of men are popular because they allow people to do what they want in religion
  • However, Jesus taught that those who simply do what they want in religion will be lost (Matthew 7:21-23) – “many” will stand before Christ in judgment and will be condemned; despite their claim to do things in the name of the Lord, they are guilty of “lawlessness” (no authority)
  • In religion, we must adhere to God’s standard (2 Timothy 1:13) – need authority for all things (Colossians 3:17); claiming to do “good works” is not enough; good works are defined in God’s word (2 Timothy 3:16-17); if we engage in other works (lawlessness), we will be lost

Focus on Material Things

  • Some forfeit their souls in the pursuit of material goods (Matthew 16:26; Luke 12:16-21) – not sinful to be rich, but it is wrong to focus on material things while neglecting our soul
  • Jesus explained that the pursuit of material things will choke out the word (Luke 8:14) – someday this world will be gone (2 Peter 3:10); then what?
  • We must work and earn a living (2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 5:8; Ephesians 4:28) – but we must also remember what is most important (Matthew 6:19-21)

Become Complacent

  • If we allow ourselves to sit back and become complacent, we will lose our soul – the life of a Christian is a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-25); if we slow down or quit, we will not obtain the prize (1 Corinthians 9:27); any Christian can fall away (Hebrews 3:12; 4:11)
  • Paul warned the brethren in Philippi of the danger of becoming complacent (Philippians 3:14) – Paul could not say he had obtained the prize yet (Philippians 3:13); neither could these brethren
  • Peter also warned about a lax attitude toward the devil and his temptations (1 Peter 5:8) – when we let our guard down we are most vulnerable; we will never reach a point when we can stop striving for the goal (Revelation 2:10)

Rely Too Much Upon Others

  • We are not to isolate ourselves from others – but we are responsible for our own salvation (Philippians 2:12); we are individually accountable to the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:10)
  • Some will not take responsibility for themselves but rely upon others for their spiritual well-being – cannot do this with a preacher (Acts 17:11), a church (Acts 20:32; 2 Timothy 2:15), or family (Ezekiel 18:20)
  • We can certainly be helped by others – preachers (2 Timothy 4:2), the church (Ephesians 4:16), and family (Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 1:5); but ultimately, your salvation is your responsibility; we can be saved no matter what others do (Joshua 24:15)


  • God has extended His grace to make salvation possible (Titus 2:11)
  • Do not receive His grace in vain (2 Corinthians 6:2) – take advantage of the gift of God; do what He has required so that you can reach the promised rest

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