2/4 Mark 9:43

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."

A popular effort today emphasizes that Jesus' focus was love, and therefore they downplay any mention of hell. It's cafeteria-style Christianity: "I'll have a little of wisdom and a large helping of love but none of that judgment, thank you." If we are going to use the Word of God as a source, then we need to accept all that it teaches. Jesus spoke more about hell than He did about heaven. He came for the very purpose of saving us from hell. He suffered and died in our place that we might have a just way to escape from the condemnation we deserve that would destine us for hell.

In our passage for today, Jesus is telling us to become radical in our dealing with sin in our lives. He does not want us to literally cut off our hands, but He is telling us how urgently we need to forcefully deal with sin in our lives. You must remove whatever tempts you. You must deal with whatever enables you to continue in a particular sin. Is the computer giving you access to porn? Download a filter or give the computer away. Does your route home take you by that bar where you drink too much? Change your route home. Does the TV consume your valuable time and keep you from the Word? Call and cancel paid programming or give away your TV.

How you will spend eternity is the most serious of matters. Whatever keeps you from a full commitment to Christ can eventually destroy your life unless you deal with it. Jesus was urgent and extreme in His call for us to take action against sin in our lives. That is because of His great love for us. We may think we are in Jesus, but our actions show where our hearts truly reside. If you really love the Lord, you will hate evil (Psalm 97:10).

Consider: Is there habitual sin in my life that needs to be dealt a death blow?