|Matthew 18:8-9 |
8 Therefore if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from you; it is better for you to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into everlasting fire. [It is one of the other: either while alive on earth we must be freed of all sin, then enter the kingdom, and be restored to the life of God that Adam lost for all men; or we must take our part in the lake of fire when we die.]
9 And if your eye offends you, pluck it out and cast it from you; it is better for you to enter into life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into hell fire.2
2 Therefore if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from you; it is better for you to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into everlasting fire. And if your eye offends you, pluck it out and cast it from you; it is better for you to enter into life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into hell fire. When he speaks of cutting off your hand or foot, or plucking out your eye, Jesus 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 escape hell, sin has to go. He knew that 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. In Matthew, Jesus gives us the same critical warning about the sins of anger that subjects us to judgment and lust for women that is adultery. Mat 5:21-30.
Sinners can't live in heaven, or heaven would be Hell. Only former sinners go to heaven. Until all sin is removed from you heart, until you are purified; you cannot be in the company of God — for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness? 2 Cor 6:14. No one wants children, who lie, or steal, or envy, or get angry, or constantly want something more, or are drunken, or are violent, or wrongfully use others, or cheat — or are disobedient to one's commands. Corruption does not inherit incorruption.
Everyone has to be purified first, and it cannot be instantly done on earth or in the next life. We must learn to loathe and hate our selfish motives and desires before they can be removed to purify us; or else we would drift back into the same selfish patterns of sin. If you die still sinning, you would be absolutely miserable in heaven; all your pleasures and desires, having not been crucified while on earth, are not available in heaven, and you would be miserable without them. You would be yearning for the old wine, which you think is better than the new wine because you have not been prepared, crucified, purified, (the new wineskin), and freed from lusts, anger, sexual desires, resentment, envy, greed, lying, jealousy, foolishness, revelry, drunkenness, pleasures, pride, etc. Even your thoughts would be heard by everyone around you; you would be terrified and wanting to run to darkness where you hope your thoughts would not be heard by everyone. Everyone is going to be purified; voluntarily in this life by the cross, or involuntarily in the next life with far greater pain, difficulty, and loss. See Is there Hope for All for details.