JohnSWilson3 Blog

Words on Losing the Soul Life

From the last section of Hebrews 10 I have been led to other passages related to the soul life and God’s desire to express Himself by saving, preserving, obtaining, and possessing our soul life by His Spirit through His body. There is a lot to chew on here and I have been doing so for many weeks.

I have purposefully left much of the passage to help in understanding of the context, but of course like any letter it should also be viewed in the wider context of the letter or teaching given.

After Hebrews sections I have the provided the passages in the Thessalonians and Ephesian letters and then the gospels. I have inserted in the text the original meaning of some of the words from the NASB.

Hebrews 10:

32 But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33 partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. 34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. 35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.


39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving (possession or obtainment) of the (soul life).

Hebrews 4 (I have capitalized the Divine Word of God):

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. 12 For the (Word) of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of (soul life) and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Hebrews 6:

9 But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. 10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

13 For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” 15 And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. 17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the (soul life), a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

1 Thessalonians 5:

4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

2 Thessalonians 2:

13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain (obtain) the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

Ephesians 1:

11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Matthew 10:

37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his (soul life) will lose it, and he who has lost his (soul life) for My sake will find it.

40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

Matthew 16:

21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

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 (soul life) will lose it; but whoever loses his (soul 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 life)? Or what will a man give in exchange for his (soul life)? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.

28 “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Mark 8:

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and *said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

34 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his (soul life) will lose it, but whoever loses his (soul life) for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his (soul life)? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his (soul life)? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Luke 9:

21 But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.”

23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his (soul life) will lose it, but whoever loses his (soul life) for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Luke 17:

28 It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; 29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to keep his (soul life) will lose it, and whoever loses his (soul life) will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. 36 [Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.”] 37 And answering they *said to Him, “Where, Lord?” And He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered.”

John 12:

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; 21 these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip *came and *told Andrew; Andrew and Philip *came and *told Jesus. 23 And Jesus *answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his (soul life) loses it, and he who hates his (soul life) in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

27 “Now My (soul life) has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.” 30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. 31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.

“…they crucified him…With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last…placed it in a tomb…’He has risen!’ “
August 7, 2009, 2:40 am
Filed under: B Gospel According to Mark
The last two chapters of Mark, just like the last chapters of all the gospels are so dark. But in the end Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John provide a resounding trumpet that breaks that darkness that Jesus “has risen!” What does that mean for me/you? Later in Chapter 16 Jesus gives some final thoughts while in His eathly form- “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Throughout the book of Mark Jesus showed the darkness of men, my darkness, your darkness. I need someone to save me from them! I know I can’t do it, even if I try to deny it, it’s still their, but thankfully Jesus can rid me from that darkness! But Jesus showed through the book of Mark that I need to be a part of a small group of followers of Jesus who can help me on the way, sharing life in our homes. Jesus living in them and me, Jesus, helping us through each other, Jesus expressing Himself through each other, as Mark says in his conclusion of his book “the Lord worked with them…” How is the Lord working with me/you?

“She has done a beautiful thing to me…”
August 7, 2009, 2:39 am
Filed under: B Gospel According to Mark
This morning while reading Mark 14, as I read those words, I was again struck by the intimacy of them. Jesus is saying this to those in the same house in Bethany who were being harsh to a woman who had just used a year’s wages of very expensive perfume and had poured it on Jesus’ head. Somehow they felt that she shouldn’t have wasted the perfume but should have sold it and given the money to the poor. I kind of sense this is what happens between God’s people some times or at least those who focus on Jesus as a religion and those who focus on Jesus in a relationship. The words come screaming at me….”She has done a beautiful thing to me.” Can Jesus say the same to me/you? The body of Christ is also called the bride of Christ. This reminds me of the bride and bridegroom from the Song of Solomon. What beautiful things am I/we doing? Is it really “to” Jesus or is it to me/you? The bride of Christ is called “beautiful” because Jesus says she is “beautiful.” By the way Jesus said these words while reclining at a table in a home. How am I/we expressing Jesus together with other followers of Jesus in my/your home so that He truly is made beautiful to others?

“Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
August 7, 2009, 2:39 am
Filed under: B Gospel According to Mark
At the beginning of Chapter 13 of Mark as I read these words I am reminded of the many spires of the huge church buildings here in Sugar Land & Houston and many other places I’ve been. Then Jesus makes a startling reply: “Do you see all these great buildings?….Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” The sense is that Jesus’ disciples because they were amazed with the huge building of the temple at that time that they lost sight of the true “temple of God” the Lord who was sitting in front of them. Is it possible that I/we can do the same thing? Do I/we focus on having more stuff and enlarged ego more than on Jesus? Jesus who is the living temple, the one who should have been adored and magnified but was suddenly taken and crucified. No wonder Jesus told the disciples to “watch out that no one deceives you….So be on your guard…Be on guard! Be alert!” I believe that sometimes if not often times our perception of church is more on the building itself instead of on the people of God…The people of God whom the Bible says are now the temple of God. Christ indwelling His followers. To find God, is it possible we just need to find some other followers of Jesus who are focused on Jesus, and that’s all?

“Love the Lord…love your neighbor…”
August 7, 2009, 2:37 am
Filed under: B Gospel According to Mark
As I get to the later chapters of Mark, here in Chapter 12, the great commandment is deposited out to everyone by Jesus. Jesus’ said “There is no commandment greater than these.” Because of how Jesus speaks of them, its seems to indicate that one cannot exist without the other, that they are inseparable from each other. Can I really love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength and yet not love my neighbor as myself? Can I really love my neighbor as myself and yet not love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength? The followers of Jesus were called “the Way” describing the way they lived. Do I live like Jesus by loving the Lord with all my being and loving my neighbor as myself? Do I have something against my neighbor? I think Jesus’ would say “go and be reconciled.” If I cannot, what does that say about my loving the Lord? How is my relationship with Jesus? If I do not love the Lord, what does that say about my relationship with others? Paul says that the followers of Jesus were also the body of Christ and each are members of His body. If I love my brother or sister in Christ, am I loving the Lord? How can I love the Lord without loving the body of Christ, no matter who they may be?

“Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’…”
August 7, 2009, 2:36 am
Filed under: B Gospel According to Mark
As I get to the middle of Chapter 11 in the Book of Mark Jesus’ statement is remarkable! The Jewish temple was meant to be a place for God’s people to come together, enjoy a meal and fellowship with their Lord, a place of relationship, a place of prayer. The religious rulers had made the temple into an organization, a business, where they controlled the people by their traditions, in contrast to Jesus’ who came to serve and not to be served, Jesus who desired a people who would love Him unconditionally. I believe prayer is more than the little bit of words we say so the Lord will bless our meal, but more of a relationship with Jesus. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name I am in your midst” Jesus said. Can it be that when we have a focus solely on knowing Jesus together with a few other Christians in a home, accepting each other unconditionally, enjoying a meal together, sharing the struggles of life together, depending on Jesus together, life can be radically different? I believe Jesus would say “absolutely!” Can I, we find a few other followers of Jesus who would be like minded to solely focus on Jesus and His purposes? Could our homes be called houses “of prayer for all nations”?

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…”
August 7, 2009, 2:35 am
Filed under: B Gospel According to Mark
God has been showing me now more than ever about true leadership, spiritual leadership. From Mark Chapter 11 Jesus describes true spiritual leadership, leadership that is based on serving others and not on being served. I have to admit that being served by others is kinda’ nice, especially for the ego. But God didn’t call me to have my ego swelled but to love Him and my neighbor. Jesus, earlier in this chapter, just described again to His disciples how He would be betrayed, condemned to death, mocked, spit upon, flogged, and killed…but that “later he will rise.” I’m not sure how I’d feel at that moment if a good friend told me something like this. James and John decided to ask to sit at His right and left “in your glory” so somehow they thought He was going to take over as the King of Israel, like they all assumed. Ego is a powerful force in the human heart. Lord thank you that you have saved me not only from my sin but also from myself! How am I loving others? Am I lording it over others? How am I loving Jesus? Is my,your church leadership lording it over others? Is there really a need for a church heiarchy, doesn’t a clergy whether they say it or not, really show that they are a separate class of Christians, doesn’t even the position show that? According to Jesus “not so with you.” In the body of Christ no one lords it over anyone, we are all equals…learning together to love Jesus and one another. We are all one in Christ, for those who follow Jesus. The Lord leads through all of His body. Do I really love Jesus and others?

“Everything is possible for him who believes…”
August 7, 2009, 2:32 am
Filed under: B Gospel According to Mark
In Mark Chapter 9 what a striking comment that Jesus makes- “Everything is possible for him who believes”! How often have I prayed prayers like “But if you can…” No wonder Jesus said ” ‘If you can’?” Do I really know that Jesus is who He said He is? Is He not the Lord God and Creator?! Lord let me be like that father and exclaim “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” The disciples had good intentions of helping a father whose son was “possessed by a spirit” but couldn’t help the father and then an argument occured between them and the crowd and teachers of the law. The disciples ask Jesus the reason for why they could not help the boy is telling….”This kind can come out only by prayer.” Prayer, it seems to me, is really about relationship with Jesus. I think Jesus’ is saying that our quality of relationship with Him is just as important, if not more, as doing what He tells us to do. What is the quality of my relationship with you Lord? Do I really talk to you like you are my life, my wonderful Savior? Are my prayers just rote and ritual like some magic formula? Like the father exclaimed “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

“If anyone would come after me…”
August 7, 2009, 2:31 am
Filed under: B Gospel According to Mark
I have to admit that as I read these words from Mark Chapter 8 I am always struck by Jesus’ intensity and urgency. I guess if I had so many days to live the words I would speak would be more intense and urgent…what would I say? Would it be specific and real? I think Jesus’ words were very specific and very real. He said “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.” Jesus says that a follower of Him is one who denies himself, takes up his cross, and follows Him. How am I being selfless? How have I taken up my cross? Do others see me as a follower of Jesus because of these? More importantly does Jesus see this in me? But my focus is wrong, it’s not what I do, while that is important…but is my focus on Jesus? Has Jesus captured my very being? Does He enthrall my life? If not, why not? Jesus, capture me, enthrall me, fill me. If Christ is my life, and he is, then He will live that life through me. Jesus, capture me, enthrall me, fill me.

“He does everything well…”
August 7, 2009, 2:30 am
Filed under: B Gospel According to Mark
As I read these words of the people who commented on Jesus in Mark Chapter 7, I couldn’t help but be amazed at Jesus again! These are some words to think about…”He does everything well.” Each word conveys tons of meaning! How can you comment on those words? Lord do everything well- seems to be the right response, but as I pray that, I know that I’ve put my flesh and lack of faith into that prayer because Jesus “does” everything well! Lord thank you that you do everything well – seems to be the best confession. The people responded to Jesus that way because as they said “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” Jesus met needs in peoples lives while traveling, in peoples homes, and in the work places. When Jesus did, people were “overwhelmed with amazement.” Is it any wonder that when the religious leaders compained against Jesus that Jesus said of them: “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” What traditions am I holding onto that is preventing me from meeting needs in peoples lives? What traditions in the body of Christ that I belong to are we holding onto that is preventing me and us from meeting needs in peoples lives? Am I, are we, really following Jesus? Am I, are we, really allowing Jesus to work through me, us, so that others would respond “Jesus does everything well”?