Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
A few days ago I found a clear plastic bag neatly tied to the post beneath my mailbox. In the bag were two Gospel tracts and a business card from a church in a small town not far from here. One of the booklets, titled “God’s Way of Forgiveness for Your Sins” had the text of Mark 8:36 on its cover.
The other tract is titled “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation” by Ford Porter, which also contains many helpful Bible verses.
The question Jesus asked is as important today as it was when He first asked it: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Jesus emphasized that spiritual priorities are important and matter for all eternity to come.
Ford Porter’s little tract contains a most important message. He emphasizes that the most important question of life is “Are you saved?” Your joy or sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. It is not a question of how good you are. It has nothing to do with whether you are a church member. I remember a Gospel tract I read years ago that was titled “Which Church Saves?” The answer is, of course, that no church saves. Only personal faith in what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us by His sacrificial death on the Cross of Calvary counts for salvation. Let me explain the plan of salvation using some of the Bible verses found in Ford Porter’s original tract combined with some additional verses I have selected from the Bible to make the message even clearer and more accurate.
God’s plan of salvation is simple.
First, you must realize that you are a sinner.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death:
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The death spoken of in Romans 6:23 is not physical death but spiritual death. If we remain spiritually dead we will suffer eternal separation from God in Hell.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
God Himself loved us so much that He gave His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to offer Himself as a priestly sacrificial death for us as the atonement for our sins.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God has commanded everyone to repent. Repentance means to change our mind and change our ways or behavior as a result of genuinely changing our mind by believing that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that He truly offers us the free gift of a changed life now and eternal life now and forever.
Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Just how this all works out to our benefit is simply illustrated by what is reported in the Bible about how the Philippian Jailer became a genuine Christian:
Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Act 16:26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
Act 16:27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
Act 16:28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Act 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Act 16:32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
Act 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
Act 16:34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
Notice the simple message: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:30).
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
If you are not absolutely sure that you are saved, call on the Lord in prayer and ask Him to forgive your sins and give you assurance of eternal life today.