Participants: Kevin Hart, Tom Shepherd
Series Code: MBOTB
Program Code: MBOTB00008B
00:04 Welcome back to Books of the Book.
00:06 We have been talking about causes to sin
00:08 in the book of Mark in chapter 9.
00:11 And there's one that we haven't really touched based on
00:13 yet and that is the idea Jesus puts forth about salt.
00:16 Professor could you explain a little bit about
00:18 what the salt means?
00:20 Alright the two verses are Mark 9:49, 50.
00:22 They are short, it says, "for everyone who will be
00:24 salted with fire. Salt is good but if the salt becomes
00:28 un-salty with what will you make its salty again.
00:30 Have salt in yourselves and be at peace
00:32 with one another. "
00:33 It's kind of interesting, he takes 3 ideas,
00:36 all tied together with the idea of salt.
00:39 The first he says, is that everyone will
00:42 be salted with fire.
00:44 Now in the ancient world they used to take and
00:48 put salt on the, as part of the sacrifices.
00:51 Kind of like purification was involved.
00:53 The idea here is that probably in discipleship there
01:00 is going be some kind of persecution experience that
01:02 people will go through fiery person persecution that
01:05 will purify their life.
01:06 So he says don't be surprised that in discipleship
01:09 you will face persecution and it is there to purify it,
01:12 to help purify your life.
01:14 Then he goes on, and now that I'm talking about salt,
01:18 and let me add a little bit more.
01:19 So he says salt is good but if it becomes un-salty
01:24 with what will you make it salty again?
01:26 Have you ever tasted salt that became un-salty Kevin?
01:30 No I think that once that it loses its saltiness it's done
01:33 with, I mean there's nothing with it
01:35 Tom: there's nothing left, that's because in our world
01:37 all we ever use is salt that is pure sodium chloride.
01:41 In the ancient world they had salt that was impure.
01:44 It was mixed with other elements that looked white
01:48 but were not salt, calcium carbonate and maybe some
01:52 other things, and so if you took and poured water
01:55 over this, this sodium chloride would go out of it.
01:58 It would just dissolve out of it with the water,
02:01 but the other salts would not dissolve in the water.
02:04 They would still look like salt, and you would take and put
02:08 them in your mouth and it would not be salty.
02:10 When Jesus talks about this,
02:12 it is a perfect example of hypocrisy.
02:15 Hypocrisy is having something on the outside that
02:19 is different than what you are on the inside.
02:20 So when salt loses its saltiness it still looks
02:26 like salt, this is the Christian who looks like a
02:28 Christian but is not really living the Christian life.
02:30 They are different on the inside in Jesus had a real
02:33 problem with people who didn't live - phonies.
02:36 Tom: they were phonies that's right, they were playing
02:39 a part, the word hypocrisy has the idea of playing a role.
02:41 This brings him to his last statement, "have salt in
02:45 yourselves and be at peace with one another. "
02:47 You should have that salty experience of true
02:49 Christianity and what is the result that it produces?
02:52 Kevin: peace Tom: it produces peace
02:54 Kevin: a community of peace.
02:55 Tom: community of peace I like that.
02:57 So beautiful statements we have about the
03:00 teachings of discipleship here.
03:02 Kevin: I like it, now this brings me to what
03:05 I believe is one of the most important topics
03:07 discussed within the biblical doctrines.
03:10 And I say this because before I became a Christian,
03:13 when I was 18-19 years old, even earlier 16-17,
03:17 I had this idea about God and I can pinpoint it to
03:21 faith core from which it came, I won't say that.
03:24 But I had this idea about God and the idea of people
03:28 burning for ever and ever.
03:29 It says here in the verses that the fire will not be
03:31 quenched, so I had this really horrible image of God
03:34 which was probably one of the reasons why I didn't
03:35 even accept Christianity for so long, until I was 21.
03:39 I always had this picture of God keeping these people
03:43 miraculously alive for ever and ever and they would
03:45 burn and have this kind of the eternal suffering.
03:47 Can you help us out with this idea
03:49 of eternally burning hell?
03:51 Tom: you look at these verses here and some of the
03:52 verses that people use to talk about that.
03:54 Here it says if you don't, in verse 43, "if your hand
04:01 causes you to sin cut it off it is better to enter
04:04 life crippled then with two hands to go into hell
04:06 in to the unquenchable fire where THE WORM DOES NOT
04:09 DIE IN A FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED."
04:11 Well this is an eternally burning hell he is
04:15 talking about here, what is going on?
04:17 Does Hell burn for ever?
04:20 First we should look at what the term is for
04:24 Hell is here, alright.
04:25 The term is Gehenna in Greek.
04:28 This terminology comes from a word that was linked
04:36 to a place near Jerusalem that was called
04:39 the Valley of Hinnom.
04:42 The Valley of Hinnom is one of the valleys right
04:45 next to Jerusalem itself.
04:47 This became linked with evil kings, evil king Ahaz
04:52 and evil king Manasseh.
04:54 They took and practiced sacrificing their children
04:58 in fire at these places so it was really connected
05:02 with very terrible ideas.
05:04 In the book of Jeremiah this valley is renamed the
05:08 Valley of slaughter, so it does not sound like a
05:12 good place to be with slaughter of God's people
05:15 is going to take place.
05:17 So again we get the idea when it says the
05:21 unquenchable fire and worm that does not die.
05:24 Now this valley evidently became a trash dump
05:27 for the city of Jerusalem.
05:29 The trash dumps of those days there would be fire
05:33 smoldering all the time so you could go up there
05:36 and see a fire burning and of course if you went
05:38 to look at all the trash there would be worms
05:40 going around eating things.
05:42 I mean garbage can of bugs eating things up and devouring
05:47 and that just look like a valley, a place where you
05:52 would decay if you were ended up getting thrown
05:54 in there or something.
05:56 Our author of the Gospel, John Mark, quotes actually,
06:01 Jesus is quoting from a text in the book of Isaiah.
06:04 So we should take a look at that verse
06:06 Kevin: let's do that.
06:07 Isaiah 66:24, so he quotes when he talks about this
06:13 idea of the fire's and the worm that doesn't go out,
06:17 he quotes from Isaiah 66:24.
06:22 Tom: would you read that for us? - sure.
06:24 Kevin: "and they shall go forth and look upon the
06:26 carcass of the men that have transgressed against me,
06:29 for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire
06:33 be quenched, they shall be abhorring to all flesh. "
06:37 Tom: alright now the question is, what in the world
06:40 is this talking about? - right!
06:41 Tom: well Isaiah is talking about a prophecy that
06:46 in some ways you might say has two applications.
06:49 Originally it was a prophecy of what could have
06:52 happened to the Israelites, the Jewish people,
06:55 if they had followed all that God had shown them.
06:58 They would have had total victory over their enemies.
07:02 This depiction here spoken in a language, very
07:06 stark language which gives a description of the corpses
07:11 of the men who have been transgressed.
07:13 Their worm will not die, their fire will not be
07:15 quenched, they will be abhorrent to all mankind.
07:18 It sounds like total defeat, they were totally blown
07:21 away, they were totally wiped out.
07:22 Now the question is, is this language literal language,
07:27 or is it language that is hyperbole?
07:31 Now you remember we talked about hyperbole before
07:33 where you talk about something you say such high terms,
07:37 strong terms it sounds as though wow you would never
07:41 want to do something like that.
07:43 And interestingly enough, Jesus over in Mark 9 uses
07:50 hyperbole doesn't He?
07:51 When He says if you will do something with your hand
07:54 that will cause you to sin cut it off, well that is
07:58 hyperbole that he's talking about.
08:00 He is not telling you to go out and cut off your hand
08:01 just because you committed a sin with your hand.
08:03 But you should think of the sin as so terrible
08:06 that you would rather cut off your hand rather
08:10 than to do that evil deed.
08:13 So he combines hyperbole from here in chapter 9,
08:18 actually with that statement of hyperbole
08:21 in Isaiah chapter 66.
08:22 So the conclusion we draw is, Jesus language is
08:26 hyperbole and is not so literal.
08:28 Now someone may say, I'm not totally convinced pastor,
08:32 can you show me other Bible verses that point that
08:35 same direction, that hell does not burn forever?
08:39 Yes, let's take a look at a few of these verses.
08:41 We want to see why hell does not burn forever okay.
08:51 We have a graphic that can help us to understand
08:54 these other verses.
08:55 Malachi 4:1-3 tells us that the wicked will be
09:01 burned up into ashes.
09:03 What a fire goes out, its burn up, it's gone.
09:07 Revelation 20:14 says the lake of fire is the second
09:10 death, it is not the second dying.
09:12 Exodus 21:6 actually tells us about a servant who would
09:17 serve somebody forever, which meant as long as he lived.
09:21 Then we also have Isaiah 66:24 the hyperbole about
09:26 total defeat and Mark 9, hyperbole about avoiding
09:31 sin and destruction.
09:33 In fact, there is another verse that is the most well-
09:37 known verse in the Bible, John 3:16 which actually tells
09:41 us about Hell and whether it lasts forever.
09:44 We want to show this verse to you in a graphic.
09:56 Kevin: perish, it does not say they will burn forever!
09:59 Tom: it does not say that burn forever, it says perish!
10:01 they will be destroyed.
10:03 So if this is not an eternity of burning hell.
10:05 Now we quickly need to move over to Mark chapter 10
10:08 we only have a couple minutes left.
10:09 I would like to read verses 41-45.
10:14 James and John asked this question that they wanted to
10:18 wish, in Jesus says will what do you want.
10:20 They said we want to sit on your right hand and you're
10:23 left in glory, that was the one wish that they wanted.
10:25 Here is how Jesus taught the disciples what they really
10:28 should be thinking about.
10:29 "Hearing this the ten began to feel indignant with
10:32 James and John. Calling them to himself Jesus said to
10:35 them, you know that those who are recognized as rulers
10:38 of the Gentiles lorded over them. And the great men
10:41 exercise authority over them, but it is not this way
10:44 among you, but who ever wishes to become great among
10:47 you, shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be
10:49 first among you, shall be slave of all. For even the
10:52 Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
10:54 and to give his life a ransom for many. "
10:58 It sounds very much like what we read in chapter 8
11:02 and then we came back to chapter 9.
11:05 Taking your cross, the first shall be last and the
11:09 last shall be first Kevin: self-denial.
11:10 Servant of all and here Jesus talks about
11:13 the leadership in the Christian church.
11:15 You hear a lot in various organizations today about
11:18 servant leadership, where does it begin?
11:21 Well Jesus says here that in the Christian faith you
11:26 are to serve one another, you are not to be served,
11:28 you are not to be the master, rather you are to be a
11:31 mentor to people.
11:32 You are not to lord it over them, you are to serve them
11:35 and take care of them and bless them and encourage them.
11:38 Don't look for the greatest place, look for the lowest
11:40 place where you can serve.
11:42 You know it has been said often that the greatest
11:45 teachers, first were the greatest students.
11:48 You can't lead others to the foot of the cross, to the
11:51 feet of Jesus until we first learn how to follow Him.
11:54 This is kind of exemplified here.
11:56 There's something that is added on here that is very
11:58 interesting were Jesus says, "for even the Son of Man
12:00 did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his
12:03 life a ransom for many. "
12:05 He was a great example, it's wonderful in Christianity
12:08 that we follow Jesus, that we follow His example.
12:11 and His was such an example of self-sacrifice and of
12:14 service, so a wonderful, wonderful shiny light before us.
12:18 And once again we are out of time.
12:20 Professor, once again thank you so much for coming and these
12:23 are just great truths that we are learning here.
12:25 The gospel of Mark is wonderful, it is good to be with you.
12:28 We want to thank all of you for watching and don't
12:32 forget it is not about being served it's about serving others
12:36 And don't forget also that what is your sole really worth?
12:39 If you had all possessions in the world is it really worth it
12:42 to lose your own soul, certainly not.
12:45 God is good and God loves you don't forget that.
12:47 Join us next time on Books of the Book