What Really Matters

By Paul Smithson:

All human life is precious and sacred as it is bestowed by God in His image. This is true regardless of race, gender, age, born or unborn. God declared that life is  precious and sacred to Him and should be to us when He commanded, “You shall not murder” (“Thou shalt not kill” KJV) Ex. 20:13.  He went on to say in the next chapter that those who disregard His command are to be punished saying, “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death” Ex. 21:12. Did God contradict Himself?  Certainly not.  He simply gave a law then stated the penalty for the violation of that law. We must recognize that there can be no law against crime without a penalty for its violation.  Because where there is no penalty to accompany the law, the law only becomes a wish or a desire and is not actually a law at all. God gave and values human life and expects us to value it as well and shows this by His command and the penalty set forth for those who would disregard it.  God has always viewed human life as precious and sacred. Long before giving the Ten Commandments  through Moses,  God,  after stating that blood is equivalent to life,  declared to Noah, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man” Gen. 9:6.  Jesus declared that all who disregard the will of God and fail to seek mercy and forgiveness will be eternally lost including murderers. “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and sexually immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” Rev 21:8.  

However, God is not just concerned with us refraining from taking someone’s life.  It is His desire that we show love toward all.  Jesus, quoting from the Law declared, “Love the Lord your God will all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all you mind and with all your strength…and your neighbor as yourself.  There is no other commandment greater than these” Mk. 12:30-31.  And Jesus made it very plain in the story of the Good Samaritan that our neighbor includes all people regardless background or race (Lk. 10:30-37). If we all loved God with our all, and loved our neighbor as ourselves, then the will of God would be on earth as it is in heaven.  Then there would be no enmity or strife, war or hunger, riots or dissention.  There would be no divisiveness racially nor religiously.

All human life is precious, yet every living individual houses a soul/spirit which is even more precious.  Our physical lives are temporary, but our souls within our physical bodies will continue to exist throughout eternity.  Jesus emphasized just how much our souls matter when He declared, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?  For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mar 8:36-37.  In fact, He said we should value our soul over our physical life stating, “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”  Mat 10:28. And the Scriptures make it plain that it is our heart and soul that matters to God. “…For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”  1Sa 16:7.   

Speaking of the physical body and the eternal soul,  Solomon stated  that there will come a time for every person when “The dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” Ecc. 12:7.  That is true concerning everyone regardless of race or gender.    Life is precious but is temporary. Thus, it is most important how we live our lives and prepare our souls for eternity because  â€œ is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” Heb 9:27.  This too, is true concerning everyone regardless of race or gender. All those who are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, who have been baptized into Christ and clothed themselves with Christ are one in Christ regardless of race or gender.  â€œThere is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Gal. 3:26-28.  The apostle Paul tells us that our physical body will die and yet be raised and changed at the resurrection at the last day. He explains that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” In the resurrection flesh and blood will be transformed into a body that suited for eternity. (1Cor. 15:50-53).  Thus, the color of one’s flesh has no spiritual significance, as all will be changed and transported to judgment. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” 2Cor. 5:10. Again, this is true regardless of race or gender.   What will make the difference as to whether our souls are saved or lost will not be what color our skin was, or if we were a man or woman, but how as a person we lived our lives, loving God and others.  That is what will really matter.

Paul Smithson

About the Author
Paul Smithson is the evangelist for the Westwood church of Christ in Tullahoma, TN