“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” [Mt 5:29-30]
When Jesus spoke these words, He was letting us know that hell is a very real place, to be avoided at all costs. Jesus was not teaching literal dismemberment of the body. What He was teaching is that we must be willing to take whatever measures are necessary in our lives to avoid sinning against God.
When I was living in Philadelphia, a young man joined our church. Previously, this man had lived a life of sin, getting involved in drugs. At some point, however, he repented of his former way of life and turned his heart to God. Every now and then, his old group of friends would get together with him. Whenever this happened, this young man would end up back on drugs again. Finally, he realized that if he was going to overcome this area in his life, he was going to have to ditch his old friends all together and make new friends, ones that would help him in his walk with Christ, not hinder him. Taking Jesus seriously at His words, this man realized that it would be better to enter Heaven with no friends than to enter Hell with thousands of them.
Sometimes we have to make difficult choices in our lives if we want to walk in spiritual victory and avoid transgressing against God. This means avoiding certain places, books, movies, music, situations, and yes…even people, for not everyone has the interests of Christ in mind. When I was working as a legal secretary, I refused to eat lunch with the women in the Medical Malpractice Department, where I worked. They would gossip, speak maliciously about everyone, and tell filthy jokes. Because I didn’t want to get sucked into this kind of behavior, I ate lunch somewhere else all by myself. Some of the other secretaries took offense, thinking that I thought I was too good for others. But I knew that if I sat down with them, it would only be a matter of time before I started talking like them, so I avoided them all together. It is better to enter Heaven unpopular with men than to enter Hell loved by all.
Before I turned my life to God, I dated several men who wanted nothing to do with God. When we would go out, they wanted to engage in activities that were forbidden by God’s laws. But when I turned my life to God, I had to make a decision. Was it going to be them and what they wanted or Christ and what He wanted? In the end, I ditched the men and went with Christ.
We cannot be afraid to make difficult choices when it comes to keeping ourselves from sin. In fact, Jesus taught us that we must be willing to make those choices when circumstances call for it.
Nothing or no one is worth losing your eternal soul. To forfeit eternal happiness with Christ for a few years of pleasure on the earth is a hideous swap.
We all would do well to take Jesus seriously in what He has taught. When it comes to your eternal soul…
…no risk is worth it.
Join the new media evangelization. Your tax-deductible gift allows Catholic.net to build a culture of life in our nation and throughout the world. Please help us promote the Church's new evangelization by donating to Catholic.net right now. God bless you for your generosity.
|Print Article||Email Friend||Palm Download||Forums||Questions||More in this Channel||Up|
Write a comment on this article|