|Mark 9:43-48 |
43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed, than having two hands to go into Hell, into the fire that will never be quenched; [Jesus is emphatically telling us that Hell is horrible, and that if we wish to to escape Hell, sin has to go. He doesn't want us to maim ourselves. He wants us to come to Him so He can purify us and free us from all sin through obedient faith to the commands we hear Him speak to us as we wait on Him in humble silence.]
44 Where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out. [This verse did not appear in early manuscripts; along with verse 46, it was added by scribes, repeating the valid verse 48. Most bibles leave this verse blank or omit the number entirely.]
45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than having two feet to be cast into Hell, into the fire that will never be quenched;
46 Where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out. [This verse did not appear in early manuscripts; along with verse 44, it was added by scribes, repeating the valid verse 48. Most bibles leave this verse blank or omit the number entirely.]
47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into Hell fire;3 [In Matthew 5:28-29 Jesus tells that even looking at a woman with lust is sin enough to lead us to Hell. If we are to escape Hell, while on earth we must be freed from even the desire of our sins. All men's hearts are defiled and must be purified by Jesus to enter the Kingdom of God while we are on earth.]
48 Where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out. [What worm? The person in Hell quickly becomes aware that he is no better than a worm, which is a symbol of extreme lowliness; the Lord spoke of himself being considered nothing but a worm by the Jewish population of Jerusalem just before they demanded his crucifixion in mass.]
3 If you are still sinning, you would be better to cut off your foot, or pluck out your eye, or cut off your hand — anything is better than going to Hell. He doesn't want us to maim ourselves. He is only illustrating how serious continuing to sin is. Jesus is desperately trying to tell us that to enter the Kingdom and to escape Hell, sin has to go. He knew false ministers with false gospels promising freedom to continue to sin would arise after he left. Changes in our heart through the missing cross to purity can take away the desire of the hand, foot, and eye to cause us to sin.
Regarding the fire that is not quenched. The Hell Fire-Damnation preachers threaten the everlasting fire; which fire is everlasting. But look, the baptism of the Holy Spirit burns up the chaff with unquenchable fire, which cannot be put out. Mat 3:11-12. Now few would argue that one is burned forever by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. For sure, to be cast in the lake of fire in order to be purified is a painful experience of great loss; an experience to be avoided at all costs; there a person sees himself as a low worm, wishing to die, but unable to die. The fires itself lasts forever, but a person is not left in the fire forever — except the original deceiver, Satan. The smoke from the burning of the whore (the false church) arises forever, but not from the deceived; the smoke is like a memory that is never forgotten. See Is There Hope for All for more on this subject.