Here is an excerpt from tomorrow’s message on Judges 14:5-11, The Consequences Of Samson’s Distraction. Samson is on his way to marry a Philistine woman, a woman he has no business marrying, a woman he is forbidden to marry according to God’s Word, and on the way there encounters a lion. By the grace and intervention of God he is able to overpower this lion and kill it, but that lion SHOULD have acted as a warning to Samson that he was going down the wrong path. Unfortunately, Samson seems either unaware of or unconcerned about God’s clear warning and continues on his chosen path. How should he have handled it? That’s what this excerpt is dealing with…
Mark 9:43-48 “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, 44 [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] 45 If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, 46 [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] 47 If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, 48 where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.”
I want you to understand what this is teaching us today. Samson encounters danger because he is doing that which he ought not to do. He encounters danger because he is distracted and tempted by sin. That’s what sin and distraction do. They keep us from our real purpose, wherein lies the safety of God’s protection, and they push us out into the danger of living outside God’s will. Sin and distraction always place us in harm’s way. And Jesus is telling us in Mark 8 that the way to handle that sin and distraction is to radically address it. We are to go on the warpath against sin.
John Owen said: “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.”
Jesus says if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. He doesn’t mean that literally of course, but the application is simple enough. If that relationship keeps causing you to sin, keeps putting you in the dangerous place of temptation, then END that relationship. If you’re constantly under pressure and temptation to look at pornography, then get rid of your computer, or cancel your internet. If your kid’s football games keep causing you to miss church, take the kid out of football. What I’m saying to you today is that you need to begin taking the danger of sin seriously, and you need to begin addressing that sin in your life.
We’ve been talking about and praying for our friend Hannah. I hope you’ll continue to pray for her. Hannah has cancer. Do you know how they sometimes treat cancer. They apply chemo and radiation. Chemo and radiation essentially kill perfectly healthy parts of your body. They kill blood cells and they damage organs, etc, all in the hope that while killing healthy parts of you, they also kill the unhealthy part of you that is cancer. Now why would they take the chance of killing healthy parts of you so as to kill the cancer? It’s because they understand just how dangerous cancer really is. Cancer is so dangerous, you cannot live with it. It will eventually kill you. So it’s better to kill the healthy parts of your body in the hopes of also killing the cancer, than it is to live with the cancer as it continues to infect the healthy parts of your body. Bottom line: Cancer is MORE dangerous than chemo. So too, sin in your life is MORE dangerous than radically addressing that sin. But how do we address it?
That’s the best part. God has already addressed it for you, because he has already forgiven you of that sin. He has already paid the penalty and price for that sin on the Cross, all that’s left is for you to acknowledge that fact and give that sin over to Him.