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Would You Dismember Yourself?

posted Sep 5, 2011, 2:02 PM by Kelvin Leu   [ updated Sep 5, 2011, 2:03 PM by hbchurch org ]
"And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to go into hell.” 
Matthew 5:30 NASB

Can you imagine cutting your arm off? “No way”, you say? Actually it has been done. Eight years ago Aron Ralston did it. He was the young man hiking alone in a remote Utah canyon whose arm became wedged by a huge boulder. 127 hours later he hiked out after cutting off his arm with a dull knife. This was the only way he could save his life.

You may have seen a similar story this week about Jon Hutt, a logger in Colorado. He drove his rig into a remote area to load logs. He accidentaly got his foot caught and could not get it free. Yelling for help proved useless; he was alone and doomed.

He did the only thing he could do; he took out his pocket knife and began to amputate his toes and part of his foot. “Yes”, he said, “it really hurt, but I had to do it or die.” He was able to drive to a point where he could call for help and was taken to a hospital where he received the medical attention needed. He is alive today because he willingly endured the pain.

These two real-life events dramatically illustrate Jesus’ point. Nothing is worth keeping if it is going to cost you your life, not a hand, a foot, or an eye. Now don’t misunderstand Jesus. He is not saying that the solution to sin is literal bodily dismemberment. If a person habitually practiced lust in his heart, he could still have the same evil thoughts without a hand or eye. His hand or eye is not the real problem. It is his heart. He must decide to change.

Both Aron Ralston and Jon Hutt talk about how hard it was to make the decision. Aron tried everything he could think of to free his arm before coming to grips with the obvious. For Jon the obvious hit him a little sooner.

But for many who are ensnared by sin it seems to take a while before we finally admit that we must heed the Lord. We may know we have a problem, but we try to find a less painful way of escape. We tell oursevles (probably at Satan’s behest), “Surely, there is an easier solution.” Or, we might think, “Amputation would be too painful; I can’t do it.” If either Jon or Aron had denied their dilemma, they would be dead.

Those who listen to Satan’s lies and refuse to discard every stumbling block will suffer a worse death. Jesus calls it “hell”. Jesus’ remedy may sound too radical, but we must “do it or die”. There is no other way.

by  Ken Dart
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