Cut It Off And Pluck It Out

Matthew 18:8-9

            What is it that stands between you and Christ? What keeps you from trusting him? What keeps you from surrendering your life to him? What keeps you from bowing to his dominion as your Lord and King? Without a doubt, for most who read these lines and are yet without Christ, there is one particular something that keeps you from him. What is your darling sin?

            Is it some vile immorality? If so, the very shamefulness of the thing ought to make you flee from it. Is it the love of the world, the fear of man, or the desire of favor, fame, and fortune? That man who is willing for these vanishing vanities to live and die under the everlasting wrath of God is a fool. Is your darling sin the forbidden love of a man or a woman of the world, whose heart is enmity against God? I know of no idolatry more powerful. Yet, it is an absurdity. Where is the man or woman who can rival the Lord Jesus Christ? Should you gain for your lifelong companion one who hates God, who will not worship God with you, who despises the message of his grace and the praise of his name, you would only marry sorrow, pain, and misery. You would be better off marrying a rattlesnake.

            Perhaps the thing that keeps you from Christ is your business, your wealth, or your desire for fame and fortune. You fear, perhaps you know, that obedience to Christ would ruin your plans. I know many who daily make a deliberate choice between the glory of God and personal gain, between the will of God and the world, between the worship of God and a little more wealth. If it be so with you, the words of our Lord are plain. If your eye offends you, pluck it out. If your hand or foot keep you from him, cut them off. It is infinitely better to enter into eternal life with Christ with one eye, one foot, or one hand, as a poor, lonely soul, than to possess all the world and be cast forever into hell. Though many foolishly try, you cannot serve God and mammon. Christ demands universal surrender.

            If you get Christ, it will matter nothing to you what you lose; but if you miss Christ, it will matter nothing to you what you have gained. It comes to this - Will you hold to the world and go to hell or let go of the world and go to heaven. Christ or the world - Which will it be? There is no middle ground. The issue ought to be decided before you lift your eyes from this page. In the name of God, I call you to make a choice now - Christ or the world?

Don Fortner