For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?
— Luke 9:24–25 —
Stanley Dumanig: The Expositor’s Academy | Philippines
In the Philippines, it is not uncommon to see televangelists or so-called outreach ministries trying to entice people to believe that God will fulfill all their felt needs, making them healthy, rich, and powerful. In a country that has a large population of poor and needy people, who would not happily receive a message like that? Even the middle class and rich are quick to believe in a god who guarantees to give them everything their lustful hearts already desire. He who wants to follow Christ must lose his life for His sake. But that kind of teaching leads to hell. It runs contrary to what Christ has said in the text above. The true gospel that saves is a call to self-denial. This is also seen in the verse immediately prior to ours, where Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). The gospel is not a worldly promise about acquiring health, wealth, and happiness. According to our text, it is possible to gain the whole world and still not have Christ or salvation at all! The Christian life is lived by dying. He who wants to follow Christ must lose his life for His sake. Pursuing Christ requires a willingness to sacrifice physical things in this life, or even life itself, for the greater value of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Commitment to Christ requires our all. Don’t invest in the things of this world. Invest in Christ and you will reap profits for all of eternity!