“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—where ‘their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’” (Mark 9:43-44)
Only through willful rejection and open denial that the Bible is the word of God can someone claim there is no heaven and no hell. A popular song states a common attitude toward heaven (and by implication, hell): “Everybody wants to go to heaven…but nobody want to go now”. Living that philosophy will never get you heaven! Heaven is reserved for those who fight the good fight, finish the course and keep the faith (2 Tim. 4:7-8). In today’s passage, Jesus uses exaggerated language to warn against sin and it’s result: hell. Remove every obstacle that keeps you from entering into life eternal – no matter how dear to you. If it is your hand; cut it off. If it is your foot or your eye; do the same (Mk. 9:45-48). Are you willing to sacrifice the things that are valuable to you in order to go to heaven? If not, then because of your sin you will be “cast into hell” – just as Jesus said (Mark 9:43, 45, 47). Yes, heaven is real, and so is hell. Jesus died for you so you can go to heaven. But, you must live for him in order to go there. Be sure you are living for heaven.