"Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. But if a man be just . . . he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 18:4-5, 9)
What an awesome statement! The eternal Creator of all mankind asserting His ownership over each man's soul to do with it what He deems proper.
What is the worth of one eternal soul created in the image of God? The Creator is the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills. Indeed, the earth and all the galaxies are His, but there is something about a soul that is of far greater worth. A soul can choose, can worship its Maker, and can reflect the very nature of God. Nothing else in all creation has these powers. Yet He owns all souls. He has an unquestionable right to them, and they will never be taken away, for He has created them. Furthermore, their numbers are growing, for He has given His subjects the command and power to reproduce. At each conception He supplies a newly created, eternal soul. Truly, His wealth is great!
How should we respond to His ownership? By obedience! By choosing to act according to His will as revealed in reason, our conscience, and above all, in His written Word, we ascribe to Him the glory due Him. We must jealously guard our affections, reserving the adulation which He deserves for Him alone. We must lovingly care for His creation, including the many fellow souls whom He brings across our paths.
Above all, we must avail ourselves of His gracious provision of mercy and forgiveness through the redemptive work of His Son, Jesus Christ. At that point, He performs another creative act, for "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature |or creation|: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). JDM