In the last couple of days since the Super Bowl, I have seen a number of memes critical of the amount of money spent by the group “He Gets Us” suggesting that if the group wanted to spend according to biblical admonitions, the money should have been spent on feeding the poor. Without question, Christians have a moral responsibility of aiding the poor (Galatians 2:10). But Christians also have the responsibility of reaching souls who are lost in sin with the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). At issue, then, is the question of the value of the immaterial and eternal soul versus the value of a material and temporal body. But before that issue can be settled, it is necessary to determine if an immaterial soul even exists.

Until recently, the existence of a person’s soul was unquestioned. Both Old Testament and New Testament saints, as well as most unbelievers, viewed the immaterial soul as a constitutional reality of mankind. But with the “advances” of medical technology, the idea of a separate facet of the soul has been discarded in favor of strict physicalism or wholistic monism. But how can the non-existence of an immaterial object be verified with the use of devices that measure material entities? I agree with J.P. Moreland and Scott B. Rae who conclude that monism, “…cannot be sustained by a careful exegesis of the biblical text. Holy Scripture clearly teaches some form of anthropological dualism.”[1]

What then, is the value of the soul in comparison to the physical part of mankind. Jesus indicates that the soul is superior in worth to the body in various portions of the New Testament. For example, He asks the question as to how a person is profited if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul (Matthew 16:26, Mark 8:36-37). The difference in value is clearly declared in Matthew 6:25 where Jesus says, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” In the gospel of Luke, Jesus speaks of a rich man who was content in the luxury of his bodily comforts. The man’s thoughts were, “And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” (Luke 12:19). The text goes on to state that God calls the man a fool. Likewise, in the account of the rich man who entered hades with a lost soul, Jesus states that the man wanted his living brothers warned that they would not make the same mistake as he did (Luke 16:27-28). In all of these examples, there is not a problem with the expenditure of money on physical needs or even wants, but all declare the needs of the soul to far surpass the needs of the body.

Some of those who have posted the critical memes state that anyone supporting such an expenditure of money “have read the wrong book.” However, I wonder if those critics have read the whole book at all, or only selected portions that can be taken, outside the context, to support their position. Would Jesus have spent an exorbitant amount to save the soul of anyone? The answer is an absolute YES! The Apostle Paul writes, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9) The context is spiritual riches for us, not physical.
The Apostle John records that is was necessary for Jesus to go out of his way and spend time with a Samaritan woman in order to confront her with the spiritual needs of her soul for salvation. (John 4:1-26) But the most convincing passage of Scripture concerning the extent to which God would spend for the saving of the soul is found in the familiar verse, 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.” God the Father sent and Jesus Christ, the Son came in order that man might have eternal life, not an extension of physical life. The cost was crucifixion.

People may debate whether the expenditure of the great sum of money could have been spent on better means to reach people for Jesus Christ. I will leave that judgment to the Lord (Romans 14:10). But this I will declare, if it was it was necessary to spend even more money than what was spent on the Super Bowl ads for just one soul to come to Christ for eternal life, the money would have been well spent.

[1] Moreland, J.P. and Scott B. Rae, Body & Soul- Human Nature & the Crisis in Ethics, (Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 2000) p. 23

Who We Are:

The Salina Bible Church is an independent, Bible-teaching church, located approximately 6 miles south of Apollo, PA at the intersection of routes 819 and 981.

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