Souls Cannot Be Dry-Cleaned (Part 1)
A couple times a year I usually have to take some items to the dry cleaners. It's typically a tie or a suit that I've spilled food on and stained. When this happens to other articles of clothing, I simply give the soiled garments to my wife and she can get the stains out. Most clothes can be cleaned in the washing machine at home, but certain garments are labeled "Dry Clean Only." How can one know when it is okay to wash a garment instead of having it dry cleaned? Well, it all depends upon the material the clothing is made of. And, thankfully, the clothing manufacturers give cleaning instructions on the tag for you and I to read. If special care is necessary, the tag will indicate it. All we have to do is read carefully and follow the directions. If we fail to obey the directions, however, we may end up learning a costly lesson if our clothes are left permanently stained and consequently ruined.

So, it is always wise to heed the directions of the garment maker. Likewise, when it comes to souls, the Maker's care guide--the Bible--says "wash." God doesn't tell us to dry-clean our souls! Why? Well, for the simple fact that dry-cleaning a soul will not remove the stain of sin. Those who attempt to clean their souls without using water will only end up ruining them in the end. But it doesn't have to be this way, dear friends! If all will read and carefully obey the Lord's cleaning instructions, no souls will be ruined.

There are four primary points I want to share with you in this series of lessons to further explain some of the truths I've already declared. We'll consider two of the points at this time.

This is true for our own souls and the souls of others. In Matthew 16:24-26, Jesus said - "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Dry-cleaning a soul is a very costly mistake since it leads to the ruining of a soul that is more valuable than the whole world. Every soul is priceless!

Things like ketchup and mustard do not stain the soul, but sin does. God said - "'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the Lord, 'though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isa. 1:18). After David sinned with Bathsheba, he recognized that God alone could remove the stain of his soul. He cried out to the heavenly Father - "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin" (Psa. 51:1,2). David realized that his sin had stained his inner man (his spirit), and he knew that only God could wash him completely and cleanse him of his sin.

We will continue this study in our next lesson.