Pawn it all

Today, I heard an Alicia Keys song entitled “Pawn It All”. In the chorus, she said she would pawn a watch, chain, diamond ring, everything just to start over again. How many people wish they could start over again, but are afraid the cost would be too high? I have no idea if Alicia Keys had a spiritual or biblical intent when she wrote that song, but it made me think of Jesus’ words in Matthew.

Matthew 16:24-26

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? NASU

Would you pawn it all to save your soul? Jesus’ offer is that we give him control of our lives here and now in exchange for the redemption of our eternal souls. The funny thing is that when we accept Jesus’ terms, he also gives us a new life here; we get to start life over again without the burden of our sins while Jesus preserves our souls for a life of peace in eternity. At first, it may be hard to see how denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following Jesus is a good deal, but it is. How often have we seen wealthy and successful people that really have no idea how to conduct their lives? Prosperity doesn’t always bring satisfaction. If we come to Jesus and learn from him, we get the bonus of learning to live the abundant life here on earth. For those that refuse, Jesus provides a warning; you are at risk of losing your soul and suffering eternal separation from God. That is hell. Listen to what Jesus said in Luke.

Luke 12:4-5

4 “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. 5 “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! NASU

Jesus is the one who has authority over life, death, and hell. Why would Jesus say the things he said, if hell was not a real place? Jesus was so serious about saving us from hell that he died to take the punishment we deserve, but to be saved we must accept what Jesus offers. You won’t find a better deal anywhere.

What are other scriptures where Jesus speaks of hell or eternal punishment?

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