Today’s Devotional is taken from Mark 9:42-48
In our world today, people have an aversion to talking about Hell and sin. It is very offensive and distasteful. People would rather talk about Heaven and forgiveness. It is important to understand that when we ignore sin and the consequence of Hell, we are robbing the power of the Gospel of Christ.
Please look at Mark 9:42-48, “42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’”
Verse 42 is not just about children, but about those in the faith that have been led astray to sin. A child is used as an illustration for the followers of Christ. Those who follow Jesus are little, small, and vulnerable. To lead someone who is a follower of Christ to sin, it would be better if a millstone were tied around their neck and they were thrown into the Atlantic than the consequences of them going to Hell. This is a warning about causing others to sin. Jesus loves us so much. We are all little ones in the sight of God. Therefore, if you are the cause of a Christian to sin, fall from their faith, mess up their relationship with Christ, then it would be better if a millstone were tied around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. Doing this calls for the most severe punishment, going to Hell. If your life is the cause of another’s life’s shipwreck, then you will be held responsible for your actions.
Verse 43 is directed for us. If we are doing something in our lives with sin, then we will be held accountable for what we do. Although Christ died for you, if you have asked Him to forgive you, you should not want to continue to sin. But if you intentionally sin, read what Jesus said about that in Verses 43-45, “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.” Your hands and feet need to be under the control of Jesus so that you will not do things that are not pleasing to God. Your feet should be under the control of Jesus so that you will not be tempted to go somewhere where you shouldn’t go.
In verses 47-48, “47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’” If you are looking at things that you shouldn’t look at, then you need to stop. If your computer is tempting you to look at pornography on line, it would be better for you to smash your computer. Jesus said that you would be better to tear your eye out that to go to Hell. Understand this, if you are still playing with sin and not growing in Christ, then you have a spiritual problem which you better get eradicated as opposed to going to Hell for sin.
Although, the exaggeration of the millstone, gouging your eye out, cutting off your hands and feet are used to make a point. Jesus is talking about the costly and radical renunciations of sinful habits. He has identified the fallen heart as the origin of all defiling sins as mentioned in Mark 7:20-23, “20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
In verse 48, Jesus’ images of the undying worm and unquenchable fire teach the unending torment awaiting those who die under God’s wrath, and thus the eternal significance of each’s individual response to God’s holy law and His Gospel. Mark 9:48, “‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’”
Playing fast and free with sin in your life can affect others and potentially cause them to sin. Your indifference to sin can cause others to stumble and fall away from faith. If you feel that you can come to Christ and He set you free; that you can just do what you want or continue sinning, you are greatly mistaken. What defiles a man or woman comes from inside of that man or woman. Each of us are tempted by our own evil desires. It is only through Christ and total commitment to Him that we can fight these desires. Total and true commitment leads to a transformation of the heart and a change in our lifestyles and actions. If one was involved in sexual sin prior to coming to Christ, it is not good to go to an R rated movie where you are watching sexual situations on screen or over the internet. This temptation can open yourself up to sin. Your eyes may take a second, third, or fourth look at the pornography you are watching in this R rated movie. You were bought with a price; therefore, you do not belong to yourself. You belong to Jesus, therefore glorify God with your body. You must do this in a way that is radical, because without holiness, no one will see the Lord. We must work out a strategy to eradicate sin. The only way to do that is to trust God and refrain from participating in opportunities to sin. If one was an alcoholic before coming to Christ, it would be best not to frequent bars. Taking that one drink can cause you to fall backwards.
When do we need to take action? The Bible says that we need to act now but in contrast, Satan says that we can do it tomorrow. We must humble ourselves and we must turn all our focus on Jesus Christ and ask Him to forgive us, change our hearts, and live our lives in a way that is holy and acceptable to Christ.
Alistair Begg, Truth for Life, Sermon “Sin is Serious, Hell is Real.”
The Reformation Bible
Photo Credit: Trinity Kubassek; Pexels.com
Copyright July 16, 2019. The Lantern & Shield Times, a Division of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries.