If I Gained the World

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If I gained the world but lost the Savior,
Were my life worth living for a day?
Would my yearning heart find rest and comfort
In the things that soon must pass away?
If I gained the world, but lost the Savior,
Would my gain be worth the lifelong strife?
Are all earthly treasures worth comparing
For a moment with a Christ-filled life?1

Greetings in Jesus’ name, and the Lord bless you and make your life a real blessing to others.

If you have your Bible with you, turn to Matthew 16:24: “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 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? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”

This song speaks of gaining the world and losing a Savior. Oh, it’s quite true to the Word of God, for the scripture says, “What would it profit a man if he gained the whole world and lost his own soul?” Of course the answer is, such an exchange would be a complete loss, for it would be an eternal loss of every priceless possession.

But how can you judge the value of the mortal soul? God valued it so highly that He gave His own Son to redeem it. Those redeemed by His own Son value it, for its great capacity for joy and fellowship with God—the sweetest experience in all the world, and the price paid for it by Jesus Christ, and then the everlasting quality of the soul.

On the other hand, God’s Word says, “The world passes away, and the fullness thereof,”2 so it isn’t any great loss to lose what you can’t keep anyhow. Besides, no one ever owned a large share of this world. In comparison to the whole world, the richest man has owned only a tiny parcel, and the greatest conqueror only conquered a very small portion. Alexander wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. What a miserable death he died. Yet anyone that reads the testimonies of the richest men in history will soon find that owning the world was not very satisfying. Such miserable cries of dissatisfaction came from these disappointed hearts.

So anyone listening in that’s not a Christian and has a love of the world, and it’s the love of the world that’s keeping you from the saving of your soul through the Lord Jesus Christ, oh, we plead with you to listen again to the Word of God: “What would it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul?”

I want to say just a word to the Christian particularly. I want to challenge you to stop for just a moment, for the world can creep into your heart and crowd Christ out with little useless things, little things that are so unnecessary, and putting the emphasis in the wrong place and taking time for things that are of the world, giving attention to material things more than to fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the reading of His Word. Oh, the Devil is so tricky. You can soon crowd Christ out.

But the world never satisfies, we’re saying. We want to exalt for a moment our precious Lord Jesus Christ, by saying how wonderfully satisfying He is. If nothing has satisfied you, if you still have that emptiness, that aching void in your soul, listen to this verse: “Jesus Christ is a satisfying portion.” Millions have testified that this is so, that He has satisfied every desire of their heart. When they knew nothing but the world’s work and the world’s wages, and didn’t find any satisfaction, Christ came into their life and there dawned upon their darkened soul a light so wonderful. As God’s Word puts it, “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

But you, the one listening in that has never known Him, He knows that you do not care about Him. He knows just what you are, yet He humbles Himself, and stoops down to your level and pleads with you to come. He says, “Come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live.”3 Isn’t it wonderful that you’re still alive and God is giving you another chance? That you’re still in the place of hope and you still have the opportunity to meet the Savior?

He says in another scripture: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with me.”4 Oh, if you could only realize dimly what a satisfying portion Jesus Christ is, you’d just leap to accept the invitation.

God grant that you’ll not leap too late. For as sure as you’re there listening to this invitation, and we’re here telling you from God’s Word, just so sure the judgment date is coming. In that hour, you’ll know too late that He was the bread of life that could have utterly satisfied your hunger, and instead you spent your all for that which satisfied not. You’ll know then that He was a fountain of living water, but you refused to come and drink of that which would satisfy your thirst.

You’ll remember how people pled with you, and [the plea] in this verse: “Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live” (Isaiah 55:3). His Word says, “This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”5 Oh, so many times in His Word He pleads for you to come.

You ask how to obtain that which satisfies, the springs of life which will never dry up?—Just for the asking. Tonight there, wherever you are, by your radio, get to God. Accept the gracious invitation. He says, “He that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.”6 Note again, the sixth and seventh verses here in this chapter. God will have mercy, oh, how He loves you and how He longs for you to come.

May I read a verse of this song?

Had I wealth and love in fullest measure,
And a name revered both far and near,
Yet no hope beyond, no harbor waiting
For my storm-tossed vessel I could steer,
If I gained the world but lost the Savior,
Who endured the cross and died for me,
Could then all the world afford a refuge
Whither in my anguish I would flee?

There would be no place to flee to. Do fly to Jesus, He waits for you. He’ll cleanse and forgive and satisfy. He’s still on the throne and prayer does change things.

  1. “If I Gained the World,” by Anne Olander, 1904.
  2. 1 John 2:17.
  3. Isaiah 55:3.
  4. Revelation 3:20.
  5. John 17:3.
  6. John 6:37.