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Summary: A look at the teaching on Hell in the larger context of the dispute among the disciples.

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The Seriousness of Hell Part 2

The Book of Mark

Mark 9:42-50

I. Introduction:

A. When I was in the Navy while on a cruse overseas we visited Portugal.

1. On a tour we visited the city of Fatima where there is a very large Roman Catholic church and a shrine.

2. In the court yard of the shrine was a small building with steps all around its base.

3. There were several people moving around this building and its steps on their knees.

4. The hope of these people was that if they humbled themselves enough by the physical pain and suffering of crawling around on the stone steps they would somehow please God.

B. You might ask me how this relates to the topic of Hell that we started last week.

1. Jesus discussion with the Disciples revolves around their pride and desire to be top dog in the administration of the Kingdom.

a) They were arguing about their positions in His Kingdom and they also desired to keep others out of their exclusive little group.

b) Jesus counters that by explaining to them that greatness in the Kingdom of God is diametrically opposite to the world’s concept of greatness.

c) He goes on to make clear to them the seriousness of their actions by describing the horrific suffering of Hell and the incentive that horror gives for avoiding it.

2. We know from the study of God’s word that a person can’t enter into the kingdom of God by any human means.

a) We are saved by Grace through Faith not works

b) We can do nothing to earn our salvation.

c) Either by righteous acts or self mutilation.

3. If that is so then what is Jesus talking about here?

4. Is He advocating self mutilation?

5. The people I witnessed in Fatima believed this.

a) They were trying to make themselves righteous through their pain and self inflicted suffering.

b) It is the same thing with the people who allow them selves to be crucified in other parts of the world at Easter time.

C. Metaphor

1. Jesus often used descriptive language to make a point.

2. Here He uses metaphoric descriptions of what lengths people should go to in order to avoid hell.

a) Cutting off your hand

b) Cutting off your foot.

c) Gouging out your eye.

D. So what is the point of all of this?

1. What is Jesus trying to tell His disciples and us?

2. He is trying to teach the disciple about the importance of being a humble servant to their fellow believers.

3. What He says in vs.42 through 50 is still spoken in the context of who is greatest in the kingdom.

E. Last week we defined what hell is and the suffering that is attached to it.

1. It is a serious place.

2. It is a place that no one wants to spend eternity in if they really understand how bad it is.

3. This week I want to look at Jesus’ teaching on hell in the larger context of the dispute among the disciples.

4. Context is very important when studying a passage of scripture.

a) If you take a verse or a passage out of context you can lose the whole point or worse come away with a false understanding.

b) Remember the context of this whole passage starts in Vs.33.

II. The seriousness of Hell in the context of the Kingdom.

A. Concerning others: offending a believer vs.42.

1. Little ones who believe in Me.

a) The word is used to describe some one of small stature or one who is insignificant.

b) Jesus uses the term to describe believers.

(1) Vs.36-37

(2) Matthew 18:10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.,

(3) Matt.18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish..

c) Anyone who causes even the most insignificant believer to stumble faces dire consequences.

2. Stumble.

a) The word means to trip up someone.

b) To do something that causes them to sin.

c) We are not an island, our words and actions affect others.

d) Ro.14:1-12

e) 1Cor.8:9-13.

3. Millstone.

a) Used for grinding grains at a mill.

b) This is the 1st century equivalent to cement boots.

B. Personal responsibility vs.43-48.

1. We are responsible for our own actions.

2. We can’t blame it on others.

3. Three areas.

a) Hand

(1) The things you do.

(2) This has to do with actions on your part.

b) Foot.

(1) This is where you go.

(2) Do the places you frequent have the prospect of causing you or another believer to stumble?

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