“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” (Luke 9:25).
IN THESE DAYS OF “PROGRESSIVE” PREACHING, WE DON’T HEAR MUCH ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF BEING LOST. But Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). We can hardly talk about the gospel and not discuss the consequences of refusing the gospel. Jesus did not go to the cross to keep us from losing our happiness in this world; He went to the cross to keep His Father from losing the human race forever. How can we love God and not contemplate what it would mean for us to continue in our sin? If any soul refuses His reconciliation, look at what will be lost.
What we will lose. To say no to God’s offer of pardon would mean throwing away everything we were created to enjoy. It would mean losing everything “life” was ever meant to be. And far worse than every other loss, it would mean losing our Creator Himself — agonizing over what we had lost, forever and ever.
What heaven will lose. If the angels rejoice when any lost soul is reclaimed (Luke 15:7), it must surely be that the angels weep when any soul refuses to be reclaimed. Every creature of God is precious to the inhabitants of heaven. The loss of even one is a tragedy that will not be taken dispassionately by those around God’s throne.
What God will lose. God has far more at stake in our salvation than we do. He has more invested in us than we have invested in Him. And so if we are lost, He will lose far more than we. What did He create us to be? That will be lost. What could we have been? That will be lost. What did Christ die to make possible? That will be lost. God waits before bringing to pass the Day of Judgment, hoping that more might be rescued and fewer lost (2 Peter 3:9), but the time will come when judgment cannot be delayed any longer, and on that Day, God will lose many of His sons and His daughters.
No greater tragedy is thinkable. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”
“The man who dies out of Christ is said to be lost, and hardly a word in the English language expresses his condition with greater accuracy. He has squandered a rare fortune and at the last he stands for a fleeting moment and looks around, a moral fool, a wastrel who has lost in one overwhelming and irrevocable loss, his soul, his life, his peace, his total, mysterious personality, his dear and everlasting all” (A. W. Tozer).