HE PAID THE PRICE TO ESCAPE!
By Duane V. Maxey
In Mark 9:43-48, Jesus told us if a HAND, FOOT, or Eye offended us (i.e., caused us to sin) we should cut that member off and cast it from us, for “it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.”
HOW DRASTIC! — but Jesus was merely pointing out the fact that it would be better to lose any extremity of our body, or to go through any pain and suffering in this life than to go to hell. THAT IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION!
However, we must remember that Jesus was NOT trying to teach us that OUR BODIES CAUSE US TO SIN, for in 1 Corinthians 6:18, we read, “EVERY SIN THAT A MAN DOETH IS WITHOUT THE BODY; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”
After one has committed sin, he cannot truthfully say, “The DEVIL made me do it,” nor can he truthfully say, “My HAND, made me do it, my FOOT made me do it, or my EYE made me do it.”
It is NOT ONE’S BODY that causes him (or her) to sin, but rather, it is ONE’S SINFUL HEART that causes him (or her) to sin, the HAND, FOOT, or EYE being only part of our body involved in committing that sin which was caused by an EVIL HEART. The fact is unless one’s HEART IS PURIFIED by the sanctifying grace of God, one could still go to hell with neither hands, feet, nor eyes.
BUT, BACK TO JESUS’ STATEMENT: — which illustrates that it is better to sacrifice anything we have in this world, no matter how costly and painful it may be, than it would be to avoid those painful sacrifices and end up in the Lake of Fire!
How so? — Because the painful losses and sufferings of this world last only for a period of time, but the pain and losses suffered in hell ARE ETERNAL! — it is a place where is “THE FIRE THAT NEVER SHALL BE QUENCHED!”
I remember when, shortly after I graduated from high school, I took a job with R. L. Polk, taking the national census. It so happened that a young woman who had been one of my classmates also hired on to take the census, and the young fellow who was either her husband or boyfriend came with her.
During this time, I recall my classmate’s “boyfriend” boasting about how he “escaped” from being in the army: HE MADE A PAINFUL SACRIFICE TO DO IT, BUT IT WORKED!
He purposely let the iron-track of a military tank run over one of his toes, horribly crushing it, and thereby rendering him “physically unfit” to serve in the army!
Thus, the title of this message: — “HE PAID THE PRICE TO ESCAPE”!
I don’t know, maybe he had in mind that, beyond being released from the military, he might even obtain some benefits by claiming that it was the army’s fault that his toe was crushed. Whatever the case, let me tell you something: — As painful as that was, no matter how much I might have wanted to escape from the military, I doubt that i would have purposely let that happen to ME!
BACK TO THE MAIN POINT OF THIS BRIEF MESSAGE: — Sadly, there are probably many individuals who have made painful sacrifices to escape from certain things in this world, or to obtain sums of money, or whatever — but probably most of those same individuals have been UNWILLING to suffer those losses and pains in this life that are necessary to become, and remain being, true Christians — unto life’s end!
To put it differently, they were UNWILLING TO PAY THE PRICE TO ESCAPE THE EVERLASTING SUFFERING OF HELL IN THE LAKE OF FIRE!
HOW WONDERFUL THAT CHRIST DID PAY THE PRICE THAT WE MIGHT ESCAPE THE DAMNATION OF HELL! However, as I bring this message to a close, let me ask THIS thought provoking question: — After you have left this world behind — after I have departed from this world — shall you and I have so lived and so endured all of the losses and pains God put us through in this life that others will think to themselves of us, “In obedience to Christ, and by His grace, HE PAID THE PRICE TO ESCAPE the sufferings hell”!?
No, none of us shall enter Heaven through works of righteousness which we have done, but THERE IS A PRICE OF OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST THAT WE MUST PAY, if we are among those placed on His NAIL-SCARRED, RIGHT HAND at the Judgment, and hear His Eternal Invitation: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). Selah.