In the Kingdom of God Loss Is Gain: Luke 9:24-25

In the Kingdom of God Loss Is Gain

Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain

Luke 9:24–25
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? (ESV)

In the Kingdom of God Loss Is Gain

This verse speaks of one of the great paradoxes of the Kingdom of God. Think of the missionary and martyr, Jim Elliot, who gave his life for the sake of the gospel and for the salvation of a remote tribal people.

Jim and four other men were speared to death by South American Indians in the Ecuadorian jungle. Their killers were from the same tribal group for whom they had prayed for six years. The five missionaries had given their all, committing their lives to save these men.

After his death, these famous words were found scribbled in Elliot's journal: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

Later, the Auca Indian tribe in Ecuador did receive salvation in Jesus Christ through the continued efforts of missionaries, including Jim Elliot's wife, Elisabeth.

In her book, Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testimony of Jim Elliot, Elisabeth Elliot wrote:

When he died, Jim left little of value, as the world regards values ... No legacy then? Was it "just as if he had never been"? ... Jim left for me, in memory, and for us all, in these letters and diaries, the testimony of a man who sought nothing but the will of God.
The interest which accrues from this legacy is yet to be realized. It is hinted at in the lives of Quichua Indians who have determined to follow Christ, persuaded by Jim's example in the lives of many who still write to tell me of a new desire to know God as Jim did.

Jim lost his life at age 28 (more than 60 years ago at the time of this writing). Obedience to God may cost us everything. But its reward is priceless, beyond worldly value. Jim Elliot will never lose his reward. It is a treasure he will enjoy for all eternity.

On this side of heaven, we cannot know or even imagine the fullness of the reward Jim has gained. We do know that his story has touched and inspired millions since his death. His example has led countless lives to salvation and myriad others to choose a similar life of sacrifice, following Christ into remote, unreached lands for the sake of the gospel.

When we give up all for Jesus Christ, we gain the only life that is life indeed--eternal life.

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Your Citation
Fairchild, Mary. "In the Kingdom of God Loss Is Gain: Luke 9:24-25." Learn Religions, Aug. 25, 2020, Fairchild, Mary. (2020, August 25). In the Kingdom of God Loss Is Gain: Luke 9:24-25. Retrieved from Fairchild, Mary. "In the Kingdom of God Loss Is Gain: Luke 9:24-25." Learn Religions. (accessed June 3, 2023).