Are You Kidding? Pluck Out My Eye.

There are things in the life of some people that cause them to sin continually. For some reason they just cannot seem to muster up the strength to get past that particular sin. And this was the situation Jesus was addressing in Matthew 5:29-30 in which He said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” A few years ago I was teaching a Sunday School class of about twenty five people on the beatitudes; and when we came to this portion of scripture I stated what I believed Jesus was saying to the crowd that day. An older gentleman was in the class who had previously told me he had formerly been a pastor of a church in California with four thousand people in his congregation; went into a rant, hit the ceiling so to speak, turned red in the face, and said very loudly, “That is not what Jesus is talking about!” I don’t know if he had a bad night the night before, or if he wasn’t feeling well that particular morning, or what his problem was. But what I said should not have raised the ire of anyone; and by the time he finished his outburst everyone in the class was wondering the same thing.

Granted, this particular denomination had some points of view on scripture I did not hold, such as their adamant stance on water baptism, whereas a person cannot be saved unless they are water baptized. And this did eventually cause my wife and I to leave the church because I believe a person is saved when they confess Jesus as Lord of their life according to Romans 10:9-10, which says, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth cconfession is made unto salvation.” Water baptism is not mentioned in those scriptures as a prerequisite for salvation and in my mind not pertinent to the salvation experience itself. But back to my story; the comment I made to the Sunday school class that day was, “A person has to do whatever is necessary to get control of the sin in their life. Sometimes that will take extreme measures, sometimes it won’t, but if the sin isn’t brought under control, it will cause that person to go to hell.” Jesus used extreme terms such as, the plucking out of one’s eye, and cutting off one’s hand, to show that it is absolutely necessary that the sin in a person’s life be removed; because they cannot, or should not, let that sin send them to hell. I continued, He was also stating, “If a person is not willing to go to the extreme to remove the sin from their life, the end result of that decision may not be to their liking. Nobody wants to go to hell, but there are people who do.” The class ended that day without any further interruptions, but the gentleman never came back to the class as long as I was teaching it. That’s too bad; because I would have loved to have found out what his point of view was on those scriptures, but I never got the chance to ask; he died a few months later.  DThrash



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