Summary: what's our attitude towards sin?
We continue our study of chapter 9 of the Gospel of Mark…..
We will hear some difficult passages from our Lord Jesus Christ today. And so, we will note what we can directly learn; but there may be subjects which you may disagree with me and I would love to hear from you during our lunch time.
As I mentioned earlier, let us make sure we note what is clear in this passage.
1. Jesus warns of causing one to “stumble” or stumbling personally. What does it mean to stumble before God?? Stumbling before God means sinning before God; and what is sin?? Sin goes against the way of God. And so, we can note a second truth from thispassage…
2. God has a perfect way! And when we don’t go God’s way, we will stumble!
What’s the next direct truth we can note from this passage?
3. There is a place called hell! And what does Jesus say about hell?
v43-47: life after life on earth
v43-44: fire never goes out - ??
v48….?? – eternal decaying of body!!
The next truth we have to note is the opposite of Truth #3. If there’s an eternal hell after life on earth…
4. There’s an eternal heaven (God’s Kingdom – v47) after life on earth!
And truth #5 is from v49-50,
5. Everyone needs “salt”! What does salt do??
Salt gives flavor, heals, and preserves!
Salt can also cause high blood pressure; so let us make sure we can tell the difference between good salt and bad salt. Jesus is talking about good salt here.
Now, if God created every person on earth and every person needs salt, where will good salt (flavor, healing, and preservative) come from??
God provides “salt” for every person; and we can note that Jesus calls His followers to salt of the earth.
But in v50, Jesus tells us that people can lose their saltiness! I think here’s the point - People can choose to lose what God gives even if it is to be good for that person.
And so we note 5 main truths and obviously there are much to apply from them and we’ll highlight the main ones later.
But now let us discuss the difficult teachings of our Lord Jesus. Let’s take a look again what Jesus stated directly from each verse: In v42, Jesus states that if you cause a young Believer to sin, you are to basically kill yourself. In v43, Jesus states that if your hand causes you to sin, you are to cut it off. In v45, Jesus states that if your foot causes you to sin, you are to cut it off. And in v47, Jesus states that if your eye causes you to sin, you are to pluck it out! Let us note that v42-47 are direct commands from Jesus Christ, the Son of God! Now, if your head is spinning about these commands, like mine was when I first read it, it doesn’t tell us, how do you think the first disciples took those teachings??
Take a look again at v10…. v32…
When the disciples could not understand Jesus, they just ignored Him! After v42-50, the first disciples likely ignored Jesus’ teaching! Should we just ignore what Jesus was trying to teach here? It is God speaking to us and we must not ignore it!
I think there are 2 major problems with what Jesus was commanding:
1. What would happen to a person if they completely followed what Jesus was teaching in v42-50??
One problem with Jesus’ teaching in v42-50, because a person constantly sins, there would be no parts of the body left to try and live with; is that really a life that God wants people to live? Jesus Himself said, He came to earth so that people can have life to the fullest. How can one live life to the fullest when all you have left is your nose?
And the bigger problem is this, one can cut off every part of the body but if the heart is not right, they still cannot go to heaven!
Romans 10:9 - If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. A person’s heart can only be righteous by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ!
And so, why did Jesus say all of that in Mark 9:42-50?
I believe Revelation 21:27 and our Scripture of the Week 1 Peter 1:16 gives us the answer. As heaven is described in Revelation 21….Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.