Commands of Christ: 53

Resist temptation radically.

“Woe to the world because of things that cause sin!  Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come!  If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire.  And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the fiery hell.”  Matthew 18:7-9

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire.  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into hell.   And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.  Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,  where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’”  Mark 9:43-49

If we have come to terms with the necessity of dying to ourselves to enter the Kingdom then this command should not even “raise an eyebrow.”  Cutting off a hand or foot or gouging out an eye from a dead person is not a painful process.  Six times in the gospels Jesus said that whoever wanted to save his life in this world would lose it, but whoever loses their life for His sake will find it for life eternal.

Jesus’ command makes it quite clear that anything that separates us from God must be dealt with severely.  It is literally a matter of life and death.  Sin is not something to be flirted with.  We cannot please ourselves and serve God.  If we think we can then we have deceived ourselves and not truly chosen to follow God.  In our own strength, we cannot do this, but if we have truly repented and believed in the Lord, then through the power of the Holy Spirit whom He has given us, we can follow.  If we have not truly turned to follow God, we must do so, or we will be separated from Him for eternity in hell.