The Text

Mark 9:43–48 (CSB)
43 “And if your hand causes you to fall away, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and go to hell, the unquenchable fire.

45 And if your foot causes you to fall away, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.

47 And if your eye causes you to fall away, gouge it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,

48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

The Devotion

Did Christ say anything about hell?

The short answer is yes. And I could sit and over-explain how different English translations choose to interpret the word ‘hell’ (Hades, Gehenna, Sheol, etc.).

The pressing question does not stem from our ignorance of the Scriptures or our inability to do proper keyword searches in your favorite Bible.

The pressing question, “Do you take Christ at his word on his life?” We just got through Christ saying these things:

Mark 9:31 (CSB) … “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after he is killed, he will rise three days later.”

His disciples, whom were without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, could not understand it. Yet, Christ did just that: gave up his life and came back to life three days later.

Christ is the only man who has ever predicted and claim that death and resurrection. So when Christ talks about anything else, including sin and hell, do you and I listen? Do you and I understand? Do you and I believe and trust Christ? If we believe and trust Christ, do we live by his words?

We can’t do that perfectly but we can truly obey because of Christ has done: live, die, and resurrected. In Christ alone, we are born again and we live because the Triune God dwells in us.

God Alone Is Far Above Sin: Hell are for those who refuse to obey the Son of God

Matthew 8:10-13 (CSB) Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith. I tell you that many will come from east and west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that very moment.

John 3:36 (CSB) The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who rejects the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

God Alone Is Far Above Sin: Hell is for those who cause sin and break the laws of God

Matthew 13:41-43 (CSB) The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom all who cause sin and those guilty of lawlessness. They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Let anyone who has ears listen.

Matthew 7:21-23 (CSB) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!’

Romans 1:32 (CSB) Although they know God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die —they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.

God Alone Is Far Above Sin: Hell is for the worthless

Matthew 13:47-50 (CSB) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a large net thrown into the sea. It collected every kind of fish, and when it was full, they dragged it ashore, sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but threw out the worthless ones. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out, separate the evil people from the righteous, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Proverbs 6:12-15 (CSB) A worthless person, a wicked man goes around speaking dishonestly, winking his eyes, signaling with his feet, and gesturing with his fingers. He always plots evil with perversity in his heart; he stirs up trouble. Therefore calamity will strike him suddenly; he will be shattered instantly, beyond recovery.

God Alone Is Far Above Sin: Hell is for those who are not about God’s business

Matthew 24:46-51 (CSB) Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing his job when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delayed,’ and starts to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with drunkards, that servant’s master will come on a day he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

And…

Matthew 25:29-30 (CSB) For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. And throw this good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

God Alone Is Far Above Sin: Gospel is the commandment for all–few believe

Matthew 22:13-14 (CSB) “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

We are all born into sin. We have all chosen sin. We have these moments of goodness but they are not enough to be saved from hell. Born into the right Christ-believe family, albeit a distinct blessing by God, is not enough from eternal weeping. Going to the right church with the right theology, right denomination, right doctrine and right preaching will not save you from the forever gnashing of teeth because the pain and torment is excruciating.

Christ commands all to repent:

Matthew 4:14-17 (CSB) This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, along the road by the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who live in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned. From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Christ commands all to believe and trust in him:

John 6:26-29 (CSB) Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set his seal of approval on him.” “What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked. Jesus replied, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the one he has sent.”

Christ commands all to give him, Christ Jesus the Glorious Savior, Lord, Messiah, King, Judge, and Ruler and God, our sin, causing sin, disobedience, lawbreaking, and our worthlessness:

Matthew 11:27-30 (CSB) All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal him. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

We have all fallen short of the glory of God. Take that inadequacy, lack, poverty, not-enough and give it to Christ because He is God and he demands it from you.

But Christ will not leave you empty:

2 Corinthians 5:21 (CSB) He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

John 14:23-26 (CSB) Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me. “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

John 14:18-19 (CSB) “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too.

John 1:12-13 (CSB) But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:16-18 (CSB) Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness, for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side—he has revealed him.

The Discussion

1. Did Christ say anything about hell?
2. Is it enough to get out of hell?
3. What is Christ promising if we obey and trust in him?
4. How can we believe and trust and live in Christ?

The Prayer from the Psalms

My Glorious Lord
Save me from your wrath.

Save me to you.

Give me life and let me dwell with you forever.

Amen.