Soul Exchange by Pastor Carl W. Mann, II
Mark 8:37 (KJV) “Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
I understand that President Donald Trump wrote a book titled, “The Art of the Deal.” I haven’t read it, and most probably won’t – not because I am not interested, but because I am reading the “Book” that the Greatest “Deal Maker” has written – the Bible. Now, for those who would presume that I am suggesting that no other book should be read other than the Bible, I want to categorically deny that claim. However, one of my Core Values is, “Don’t read any other book at the EXPENSE of the Bible.”
I believe that our Heavenly Father is the Greatest Deal Maker! However, it we look at His “Deal” through our lost, carnal eyes, very few, if any of us, would agree with my belief. You see, most “deals” that are made on this earth are made to benefit all the parties in the “deal” in a manner that increases their financial, social, physical, or emotional well-being. If we view God’s “Deal” through our carnal vision, appears that He is the “Loser” and anyone who is saved is the “winner.”
God is complete in Himself! There is nothing that He needs that He does not already have. There is nothing that can increase His Power and Position, and there is nothing that can decrease His Power and Position. Since He has all knowledge, there is nothing He must learn; therefore, creation cannot teach Him anything. There is no place that He has not visited; therefore, there is nothing new that He must discover.
What kind of “Deal” would God need to make with lost humanity that would increase His well-being? The answer is simple – NONE! Yet, offers an extraordinary “Deal” to lost humanity that would provide a means whereby He would offer His Righteousness for our unrighteousness, IF we would “exchange” our allegiance to ourselves for His Lordship.
In today’s standards, this “Deal” does not make any sense whatsoever! In fact, most of us suspect there is a “catch” to such an “Exchange.” To many, this would be like a man offering a $100.00 bill for a penny to some stranger. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve thought about it!
For instance, I’ve thought about talking with an individual I had not met before. After talking with him for a while, I would ask if he has any change in his pocket. If he said, “Yes.” I would ask him if he would reach into his pocket and choose one coin and show it to me. In case he suspected that I was going to steal it from him, I would tell him he could hold on to it – I just want to look at it.
Suppose he pulls out a quarter. I would ask him to hold it closer so I could examine it. I would look at it intently, making a “Hmm” sound periodically, then ask him to turn it over. When he turned it over, I would say, “Just what I thought! Very interesting!”
I’m sure he would respond with, “What’s so interesting about my quarter?!” I would reply, “Nothing, r e a l l y! BUT, I’ll give you a $20.00 bill for your quarter – right now, no questions asked!”
What do you suppose most people would do? Do you think they would quickly make the exchange? I’m sure they would if all I did was say, “Does anyone have a quarter they will exchange for a $20.00 bill?” BUT, because I would take the time to examine it closely as if I were “looking through it,” I think they would be tempted to question why I would be so willing to part with $20.00 IF their quarter was only worth 25-cents.
I think many would question my motives; and, I think they would begin to believe that they possessed a “rare” quarter that some stranger was trying to “cheat” them out of!
What do you think the same man would do if I asked him, “Do you have any more quarters like this one?” I believe he would be convinced that the quarter he possessed was worth more than he thought when he first placed it in his pocket. However, today’s quarter is worth less in value based on its precious metal content. (Presently, it costs 11.14 cents to produce one quarter.) SO, the truth is – the quarter is worth less than it presents itself to be! This is true for us as well!
Ultimately, I would hope that the man would ask, “Why are you willing to exchange your $20.00 bill for my quarter?” It would be an excellent opportunity to witness to him!
Okay, okay! Some might be thinking, “Well, you were only tricking the man! You said you would exchange your $20.00 bill only to get the opportunity to witness. You should make the exchange!” I TOLD you I’ve only thought about doing this!!!
BUT, the proposition applies to all of us! God sent His Son into this lost and dying world to offer and “Exchange” for our souls.
The Holy Spirit gets the attention of a person’s spirit and engages him in a spiritual conversation. While this conversation is not exactly like my proposition, it nonetheless resembles such, “Would you be open enough to show me what brings you the greatest peace in your life? What is it that you hold on to for comfort?”
You see, all who are lost do not realize that their misery is the only thing that they are most familiar with; therefore, it is their “lostness” that brings them the most comfort – it is all they know. After the Holy Spirit acquires the attention of the lost soul, IF that soul is willing to further engage in the spiritual conversation, the lost man will either talk about what is most important to him, or he will share his deepest angst.
The Holy Spirit will “open the eyes” of the engaged soul and will cause him to see the real value of his “treasure” or “sin,” which will result in the lost soul “seeing” that all that he is, all that he has done, and all that he will do is worthless in the Presence of God. ONLY after the lost soul’s eyes are opened will the Holy Spirit reveal Jesus Christ as the Savior Who is willing to “Exchange” His Righteous Life for his unrighteous life, and Who will “Purchase” his meaningless life with His Own Blood.
In doing this, making the “Soul Exchange,” the Lord Jesus gives immense value to an otherwise valueless soul.
- In that “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19), revealing the Excellent Love that God has for all humanity, any legitimate claim against God that He is uncaring is eliminated.
- In that Jesus came into an environment that was slightly less hostile than the depths of Hell, a lost and dying world, with one purpose to “Seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10), any legitimate claim against God that He is uninvolved with the world is discarded.
- In that Jesus Christ of Nazareth went to Mt. Calvary and shed His Blood for the sins of the world on a Roman Cross (John 3:14-18), any legitimate claim against God that He is an Absent and Abusive Father, is abolished.
- In that the Holy Spirit did NOT leave Jesus in the grave, but gave Him Power to be Resurrected (Romans 8:11), any legitimate claim against God that He places unrealistic demands upon His people is obliterated.
- In that Jesus Christ of Nazareth shed His Own Blood to redeem lost souls (1 Peter 1:19), any legitimate claim against God that He does not value life is destroyed.
In the “world’s economy,” the real value of an item is measured by how much someone is willing to pay for it. In “God’s Economy,” the real value is measured by whether someone is willing to “die” for it or not. What is the real value of a man’s soul? God sacrificed His Son to redeem the souls of them who would accept His Son! Such a “Deal,” does NOT make sense to our human way of thinking! Nonetheless, that is the “Deal” the Greatest “Deal Maker” offers!
Jesus asked a most important question, “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Jesus offered His Blood to extend the invitation to make the greatest “Soul Exchange!” However, do we value eternal life more than our present life? If so, are we willing to accept God’s “Soul Exchange?” If we are willing, it means we are willing to “die” to our old selves, surrender our ragged clothes of unrighteousness, and be clothed in the “Life of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
If we are unwilling to accept God’s offer to make His “Soul Exchange,” we will hold on to our life of unrighteousness, and will reckon that our lost condition is of greater value than the Righteousness of Christ that leads to eternal life. We will presume that the “quarter” we are holding is of greater value than a $20.00 bill!