Read: Mark 9:42-48

It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell. (v. 47)

It is often said that Jesus talked far more about hell than he did heaven. Some very prominent Christian leaders have actually made statements to that effect. The problem is that it’s not true. The number of times Jesus spoke about heaven far exceed the number of times he spoke about hell. Actually, he mentioned heaven about three times as often as he did hell. No wonder we call his message “good news.”

Still, Jesus did not shy away from talking about hell. Not only did he acknowledge its existence, he warned people about it. Obviously from our text today, Jesus took hell seriously. Sadly, our world today does not. The word is used flippantly and without thought. Even in churches, the subject is rarely touched upon by preachers. It is perceived as “too negative.” Yet, if we are to be true followers of Jesus, we must acknowledge it.

From the Bible’s descriptions of hell, obviously we should want to avoid it at all costs. It is a place of awful pain, torment, and evil. So how do we avoid it? Jesus has the answer to that, too: “Whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). So, “believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). —John Koedyker

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for saving us from sin, death, and hell, and opening the gates of heaven to us when we trust in Jesus. Amen.