Whosoever Shall Save His Life Shall Lose it
By David J. Stewart
Matthew 16:25, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
One of the most debated Scriptures today is Matthew 16:25, the phrase, “whosoever shall save his life shall lose it.” The Lordship Salvation crowd wrestles the true meaning of this Scripture, as they do other Scriptures to their own destruction.
In Pastor Max D. Younce's excellent book, I'M SO GLAD YOU ASKED!, he Biblically states:
What Does “Whosoever shall save his life shall lose it” mean?
Question: I don't understand what is meant in Matthew 16:25 which says:
“For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Answer: Verses 24 to 27 are speaking of our faithfulness to the Lord, not our salvation. The Lord Jesus is showing that, if a Christian lives his life only for himself and not for the Lord, it will be a totally wasted life. Now, verse 25,
“For whosoever will save his life (i.e., live only for his own pleasure) shall lose it.”
He will lose all the blessings, happiness, eternal rewards, etc. which he could have had from serving the Lord.
“and whosoever will lose his life for my sake” (My life is hidden in Christ, He is first in my life.) shall find it.”
I, then, find out how exceedingly life is worth living when I put Christ first.
In Verse 26, Christ contrasts gaining the world and wasting your life.
“For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (RSV translates “forfeit his life) “or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (RSV, “in return for his life.)
Remember, the words “soul” and “life” are from the same Greek word.
In Verse 27, Christ promises “and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
As we pointed out, this passage (Matthew 16:24-27) is speaking of our service to the Lord after we are saved, not as a condition to be saved.
SOURCE: Dr. Max D. Younce, I'M SO GLAD YOU ASKED!, Volume 1, pg. 149-150; ISBN-13-978-0-9815225-8-6; Morris Publishing.
Amen! The Bible is very clear that some believers will barely escape the fires of Hell and receive no rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ...
1st Corinthians 3:13-15, “Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
This passage of Scripture evidences that there are believers who choose to live selfishly for themselves, wasting their life here on earth; yet we read in 1st Corinthians 3:15 that “he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
Eternal life is a free gift, which cannot be merited in any way. Salvation is received, not achieved. For anyone to teach that a sinner must lose their life in service to God to be saved is teaching a false gospel. Salvation is of the Lord, freely offered and freely received by faith in the Son of God.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” —Romans 12:1
The Gospel is simply this—Jesus died, was buried, and rose again (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). We are sinners and Jesus is the Savior.
“I want to preach the gospel so plainly that men can come from the factories and not have to bring along a dictionary.” —Billy Sunday