Beware of Hell! (Mt 5:27-30)

We come to encounter God. Everything leading up to hearing God is heart prep to hear from Him. With that said… Let’s read Mt 5:27-30 asking God to reveal Himself to us (READ TEXT).

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Why this text? It is next. Who is the message for? Us (Not someone else). Jesus continues to stress the condition and desires of the heart OVER actions alone. Actions are always (!) preceded by thought… what is in our heart. Heb 4:12-13 is what happens as we read God’s Word…

The word of God is living & active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul & of spirit, of joints & of marrow, & discerning the thoughts & intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked & exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

God works thru The Spirit & Scripture to eradicate the sin in our heart. We are expected by God to work with Him to: 1) Agree about our sin {1 Jn 1:9-10}, 2) Repent of it {Mt 4:17} 3) Fight it {Ac 26:20} and as a result 4) Be holy {1 Pet 1:15-16}. ((Ro 8:29, God WILLS our sanctification!)) *PAUSE*

The best gage of our heart is what we THINK! What do we think, but never say? What do we think when we’re alone? What do we think about others? What do our thoughts reveal about us? Again, EVERY action is ALWAYS preceded by the thoughts of our heart! Mt 12:34-36…

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, & the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak

One more thought before we examine our focal passage… God’s view of sin is spiritual adultery against HIM! Ja 4:4-5, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship w/ the world is enmity w/ God? Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (Pause) So yes… our thoughts are important & viewed by God as what we really are. Sinners in need of Jesus!

Mt 5:27-30 does deal with physical adultery, but there is spiritual adultery against God. In several passages God equates sin with adultery (Jer 5:7; Eze 23:37; Hos 1:2, 2:2).

(Mt 5:27-30) The point of application Jesus uses is universallust of the heart. There is not a person alive who has NEVER had an improper sexual thought about someone else. NONE. It may have been as a teenager, or afterward. You may have forgotten, but it HAS happened. We’re all guilty and thus all condemned. And the penalty? HELL (V 30b).

This is the second time Jesus refers to hell (Mt 5:22). But here He begins to explain the severity of hell. He uses hyperbole (Extreme illustration) to help them understand the seriousness of sin and its consequences. He is NOT being literal with them. 5:29-30

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.

Tear our eyes out? Cut our hand off? Throw them away? The picture of actually doing that is gory… gross… gruesome… disgusting… ON PURPOSE! Jesus is giving insight to what hell is like. In fact, let’s consider what our thoughts can lead to ETERNALLY…

While it is impossible to give a perfect description of hell, Jesus gives insights several other places. And by the way… Jesus talks about hell than the rest of the N.T. writers combined. What I will be describing comes from several NT passages (Mt 22:13; Lk 16:19-31; Rev 20:13-15). While I can’t give all the particulars of hell, I can communicate some of what is written in Scripture…

Eternal damnation begins the moment earthly life ends (Lk 16:23a)

There is complete consciousness in hell… and upon death, torment begins immediately (Ditto)

In hell the person has no identity, no personhood, they are an eternal NOBODY. (In Lk 16 the rich man’s name is never given while Lazarus’ is! Reversal from earth to heaven)

The person is completely ALONE! No friends, no family, no other person at all.

There is total, complete, and absolute darkness. Debilitating darkness (Mt 22:13)

The person’s hands and feet are bound so they cannot move… ever (Mt 22:13).

The ONLY thing the damned person can see (Somehow) are believers comforted by God (Lk 16:23).

In hell people remember every chance they had to be saved and rejected it (Lk 16:25!).

Jesus describes hell as torturous fire that is never extinguished, w/out relief, EVER (Mk 9:48)

Hell is the place where the worms do not die (Mk 9:48). I suggest this is representative of something eating at us. Think of it this way: Imagine being angry, bitter, depressed, emotionally full of guilt, distraught… full of anxiety, hostility, and regret. Imagine terror & fear gripping your heart constantly. Put all those together AND MORE at one time. Now… imagine all those growing in you & getting worse & worse & worse as eternity passes… without ANY relief… EVEReven for the slightest moment.


Yet those in hell do not want to leave! The rich man didn’t ask to leave hell, he wanted Lazarus to be sent (Lk 16:24). They remain as evil & sinful as they were on earth. In fact, their rebellion & hatred of God increases forever. And so God’s wrath never “catches up” to cleanse them of their sin. They store up more and more sin which brings more and more of God’s wrath…….

Those are the reasons people scream. Those are the reasons they gnash their teeth. And listen, this description of hell really doesn’t even touch the tip of what hell is really like. It’s just a feeble attempt to describe it from what we do know…

But Hell is NOT the FINAL place of the damned. In Rev 20:13-15… after God pronounces His final judgment… “Death and hell are cast into the Lake of Fire.” Hell is where all who rejected Christ are held until they enter a place somehow worse than hell… The Lake of Fire. Hell is NOT Purgatory!!!

Do we care? Does it matter to us our unsaved family & neighbors & friends will end up in hell? We have the message that can save them… Jesus! If we believe there is a hell & people w/out Jesus will go thereAND WE DON’T TELL THEMwhat does that say about us?

Heavenly contrasts. I cannot say what I’ve said about hell w/out also talking about what Jesus gives ALL who believe in Him eternally. I’ve got to say a few words about heaven!

At death believers are escorted by at least two angles into God’s presence (Lk 16:22)

God rejoices to see us (Ps 116:15)

We see Jesus face to face (1 Jn 3:2)

There is immediate comfort from God (Lk 16:25)

Our unique name is called out from the book of life (Rev 2:17, 17:8)

We are given a crown of righteousness (2 Tim 4:8)

We are given mansion (Jn 14:1-2)

Jesus Himself serves us at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb (Lk 12:35-37)

We receive rewards to be enjoyed for eternity (1 Cor 3:11-15)

All our fears and tears are wiped away (Rev 21:4)

There is ABSOLUTE & PERFECT joy, peace, contentment, & love among everyone there.

But there is one thing I can’t quite understand. I don’t know if this happens just before all the things I just mentioned, but it probably does so as to make all be blessings of heaven that much better. This is found in Is 66:24… the LAST verse in Isaiah

And they (God’s people. Inhabitants of heaven) shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against Me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh (Jesus’ description of hell in the New Testament).

There are two groups: Believers & unbelievers. Two eternal states: Heaven & The Lake of Fire. There are two options: Believe in Christ for salvation or reject Him to eternal damnation. The decision is yours. “Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” Or you can put off the decision for later… if you are granted “later.”

Jesus lived, died, and was raised to save you. Today is the day of salvation! Won’t you come & receive the free gift of eternal life?

(Picture Credit)