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“JUST ONE SOUL” INCLUDES MY SOUL

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    As of July, 2014, the world’s population was 7,245,489,359.

1.      Every one of these individuals has a soul.

2.      Every one of these individuals has a soul that needs to be saved.

3.      If we saved “just one soul,” all of our efforts, time, and money would be worth it.

 

B.      A thought that we want to consider that centers upon this year’s theme is:  “Just One Soul Includes My Soul.”

1.      Each one of us is part of that 7.2 billion.

2.      Each one of us has a soul that needs to be saved as much as any other soul.

 

I.                   THE IMPORTANCE OF MY SOUL

 

A.    Every human being has a soul (Zech. 12:1).

 

The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

 

B.      The only soul that has been given to me is my own.  The only soul that I have control over in the area of salvation is my own.

 

C.     Jesus stressed the importance of each person’s soul in Matthew 16:26.

 

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

 

1.      If we saved every other person on the earth and lost our own soul, what good would it have done us?

2.      God desires for all men to be saved (I Tim. 2:3-4), and one of those individuals is me.

 

II.                WE MUST SAVE OURSELVES

 

A.    Acts 2:40

 

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

 

B.      Two thoughts:

1.      Only we can make up our minds to be saved by the grace of God.

a.      Others can desire it for us.

b.      But, only we can make up our mind and move ourselves in obedience to the will of God.

2.      Saving ourselves does not mean that we devise our own plan of salvation.  We must follow God’s plan as laid out in the New Testament (Rom. 1:16-17).

a.      Saving yourself means doing what God has commanded.

b.      See Acts 2:40-41

 

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:  and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

 

c.       Paul noted that the Jews were trying to establish their own way of righteousness (Rom. 10:3).

 

For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

 

NOTE:  As long as they did this, they were lost and needed to be saved (Rom. 10:1).

 

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

 

C.     The book of Acts is filled with examples of conversions.

1.      These individuals saved themselves.

2.      When we do what they did, we will save ourselves.

 

III.             ONCE SAVED, WE MUST KEEP OURSELVES SAVED

 

A.    The Bible warns that a child of God can return to the world, fall from grace, and be in a worse condition (II Pet. 2:20-22).

 

For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and, the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

 

1.      Who?  Those who escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

a.      The only way to escape the pollutions of the world is to become a Christian.

b.      A person does this by obeying the gospel of Christ (John 8:32).

2.      When?  Peter is writing about what happens “after” one has escaped the pollutions of the world, that is, after one has become a Christian.

3.      What?  The Christian is entangled in the world again.

a.      Entangled (1707):  entwine, involved with

b.      The Christian begins to act and live like those in the world.  His life is filled with the practice of sinful, carnal things.

4.      Weightiness:  The latter end is worse…

a.      The latter end is more aggravated:  worse

b.      It would have been more appropriate, that is, better, to have never known the way of righteousness than to know and turn from it.

c.       The description is more abhorrent.

1)      Dogs eating their vomit

2)      Sows that were washed returning to the mire

 

B.      Because we can turn from God and go back to the world, the Bible exhorts us to do certain things in order to be saved.

1.      Endure (Mark 13:13).

…but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

 

2.      Practice self-control (I Cor. 9:27).

 

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection:  lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

 

3.      Continue in the doctrine of Christ (I Tim. 4:16).

 

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them:  for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

 

4.      Labor (Heb. 4:11).

 

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

 

5.      Keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 21).

 

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto everlasting life.

 

6.      Be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10).

 

…be faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

 

IV.             DANGERS TO OUR SOUL

 

A.    Pride (Prov. 16:18)

 

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

 

B.      Lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6)

 

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…

 

C.     Lack of commitment (I Tim. 4:15)

 

Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear unto all.

 

D.    Indifference (Rev. 3:16)

 

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

 

E.      Personal lusts, longings, desires (I Pet. 2:11)

 

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.

 

F.      Evil friends (I Cor. 15:33)

 

Be not deceived:  evil communications corrupt good manners.

 

 

G.     Wealth and worldly things (Luke 8:14)

 

And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

 

H.    Separation from the local congregation (I Cor. 12:21)

 

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:  nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

 

I.        Unbelief (Heb. 3:12)

 

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    Matthew 16:26

 

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

 

B.      Philippians 2:12

 

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.