Sermon #40††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Series: Mark

 

††††††††† Title: ††††††††† The Salt Of Hell And The Salt Of Grace

††††††††† Text:†††††††††† Mark 9:38-50

††††††††† Readings:Office: Paul Harries Auditorium: Merle Hart

††††††††† Subject:†††† Instructions From The Master

Date:††††††††† Sunday Evening - January 18, 1998

††††††††† Tape #†††††† U-47

 

††††††††† Introduction:

 

Mark 9:38-50"And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. (39) But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. (40) For he that is not against us is on our part. (41) For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. (42) And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. (43) And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: (44) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (45) And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: (46) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (47) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: (48) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (49) For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. (50) Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another."

 

I.     The first thing to be learned from these verses is THE PROPER PLACE FOR RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE (vv. 38-42).

 

††††††††† The Apostle John said to the Lord Jesus, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.Ē The man was doing good. He was casting out devils in the name of Christ. But he was not numbered among the Lordís disciples. He was not a member of their little band. He was fighting the same war, but with a different battalion. That did not set well with John. Therefore he rebuked the man.

 

††††††††† However, Johnís rebuke did not set well with the Master. He said to John, ďForbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.Ē

 

††††††††† I grant that it was a strange thing for one who cast out devils in the name of Christ who was not numbered among his professed followers and publicly identified with his disciples. I also acknowledge that it was strange that one who cast out devils in the name of Christ was not associated in any way with the apostles of Christ. Perhaps this man was a disciple of John the Baptist. Perhaps not. We are not told. However, we are told that our Lord Jesus rebuked John for rebuking him. There is a reason for that.

 

The sad fact is, we are all so proud that we are all prone to think that nothing good can be done unless it is done by us, or one by those with whom we are identified.

 

A. We must never be tolerant toward those who oppose the gospel of Godís free and sovereign grace in Christ.

 

††††††††† Let men call us bigots and slander us as narrow-minded sectarians, if they must. Our responsibility is clear with regard to every form of false religion.

 

Isaiah 48:20"Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob."

 

Isaiah 52:11-12"Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD. (12) For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward."

 

Jeremiah 50:8"Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks."

 

Jeremiah 50:45"Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them."

 

2 Corinthians 6:17"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"

 

Revelation 18:4"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

 

2 Chronicles 19:1-2"And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem. (2) And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD."

 

Galatians 1:6-9"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

 

1 John 4:1"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

 

2 John 1:9-11"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (10) If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (11) For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

 

††††††††† There is absolutely no place for compromise with regard to the gospel of Godís free and sovereign grace in Christ. That is the cursed way of Balaam. We must never yield to it. Those who do not believe and preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ are not with us, but against us. They are not the servants of Christ, but the servants of Satan. They do not do good to the souls of men, but ruin them. With regard to such men, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke very plainly in Matthew 12:30.

 

Matthew 12:30"He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."

 

B. However, here in Mark, our Lord Jesus teaches us to bend over backwards and always to be lenient with those who preach the gospel but, for some reason, do not identify themselves with us.

 

††††††††† Sometimes good men are divided. There came a time when Paul and Barnabas, both faithful men, had to part company. That is sad, but a sad fact. As was the case in Elijahís day, so it is today. God still has his thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Many of them are simply not known to me. But if they preach the same message I preach and serve the same Master I serve, they are my brethren. Even if they act out of envy, jealousy, and strife, if they preach the gospel of Christ, let us never be found fighting against them.

 

There are two relevant passages we should look at, which will help us in understanding our Masterís proverbial statement here in Mark (Num. 11:27-29; Phil. 1:15-18).

 

Numbers 11:27-29"And there ran a young man (Joshua), and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. (28) And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. (29) And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!"

 

Philippians 1:15-18"Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: (16) The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: (17) But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. (18) What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."

 

C. Let us never be found opposing Christ (vv. 41-42).

 

1.   Those who serve Christ in any way, no matter how insignificant it may seem to be, shall be honored by Christ.

 

Mark 9:41"For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."

 

2.   It is better that a person had never been born than that he be found persecuting and opposing the Lordís children.

 

Mark 9:42"And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."

 

††††††††† With those things in mind, let us learn always to be lenient and tolerant toward those who profess to be our brothers and sisters in Christ. We simply do not know who belongs to Christ and who does not. We do not have the ability to discern between sheep and goats, or tares and wheat. Remember, ďHe that is not against us is on our part.Ē

 

II. Immediately following his instructions about the proper place for religious tolerance, our Lord Jesus shows us THE NECESSITY OF RIGOROUS SELF-DENIAL (vv. 43-48).

 

††††††††† In these verses our Savior tells us plainly that we must willingly give up anything and everything, which stands between us and him. The hand and foot which are to be cut off, and the eye that is to be plucked out, if they offend, if they keep us from following Christ are idols which we must destroy with our own hands. Though they are as dear to me as my right eye, my right hand, or my right foot, anything that stands between me and Christ, anything that keeps my soul from him, is to be cut off, no matter how painful and costly (Lk. 14:26-27, 33).

 

Illustration: We all have to go to the cemetery. There we must bury our idols. The sooner, the better.

 

Luke 14:26-27"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (27) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."

 

Luke 14:33"So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."

 

††††††††† At first sight, our Lordís teaching in this regard seems hard and rough. But there is a reason for it. Compliance is absolutely essential. If we do not tear every idol from its pedestal in our hearts, the idol we most cherish is sure to drag us down to hell.

 

Galatians 5:24"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."

 

1 Corinthians 9:27"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

 

††††††††† If we would follow Christ, if we would be his disciples, we must consecrate ourselves to him day by day with deliberate, unyielding determination.

 

III. The third things plainly revealed in this passage of Scripture is THE REALITY OF EVERLASTING HELL (vv. 43-49).

 

††††††††† I get calls fairly often from people who talk almost glowingly about ďhellfire and damnationĒ. While I abhor the attitude of those who seem to gloat in the fact that some people are going to hell, faithfulness to your souls demands that I warn you plainly about hell and eternal judgment.

 

††††††††† I do not know what hell is, or where it is. I do not know what the fires of hell are, or what the blackness and darkness of hell are. But I do know this - The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, warns us repeatedly of a place of torment reserved for the damned, a place where the worm never dies and the fire is not quenched.

 

††††††††† These are awful expressions. They call for meditation more than exposition. Ponder them. Consider them. Reflect upon them. Think about them. It matters not whether you regard the language as figurative or literal. If they are taken figuratively, the worm that never dies and the fire that is never quenched are figures of real things. This much is certainÖ

 

A. There is a real place of eternal torment called Hell.

 

1.   In hell, the gnawing worm of a guilty conscience never dies or is, to any degree, silenced.

 

2.   In hell, the fire of Godís wrath is never quenched.

 

††††††††† The torments of the damned can never satisfy the wrath and justice of the holy Lord God for sin. Therefore, our Lord makes reference to the sacrifices of the Old Testament, in which God required every sacrifice to be salted with salt. In verse 49, he says,Ö

 

Mark 9:49"For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt."

 

††††††††† If you die in your sins, if you perish without Christ, you will be cast into hell to suffer the everlasting, indescribable horror of the wrath of God. There the worm of your tormenting conscience will relentlessly gnaw at your soul. There the fires of Godís wrath will burn forever.

 

††††††††† Here, our Lord Jesus tells us that the fires of Godís wrath in hell will do the same thing that salt does to the flesh of slaughtered animals. As the salt preserves the flesh from putrefaction and corruption, so the fire of hell, while burning, torturing, and tormenting you, will preserve your body and soul in being. In other words, the very fire that burns you will keep you from being consumed. Your soul shall never die. Your body will not consume away. You will lose none of your powers, faculties, or senses. Rather, they shall all be intensified! That is what our Lord means by you being salted with fire and the fire being unquenchable!

 

B. In hell there will be no mercy for your soul.

 

        No Blood Atonement!

        No Repentance!

        No Mercy!

        No Christ!

        No Hope!

 

IV. Now, in verse 50, our Lord Jesus speaks about THE SALT OF GRACE AND PEACE.

 

Mark 9:50"Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another."

 

A. Give diligence to make your calling and election sure.

 

††††††††† Let us make certain that we have the salt of Godís grace in us, that salt of grace, which will preserve us and sanctify us in Christ. Do not be satisfied with a mere profession of faith. Make sure you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not be satisfied with a religious experience. Be sure you have the salt of Godís grace.

 

2 Corinthians 13:5"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

 

B. Children of God, be sure you have peace with one another.

 

††††††††† In the Old Testament the covenant of peace is called the covenant of salt (Num. 18:19; 25:12). Here our Lord Jesus takes opportunity to admonish his disciples, who had just been disputing about who should be greatest, to promote and maintain peace among themselves. It is the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace which is the strength and preserving quality of Gods church in this world. If we would truly promote peace, we must always season our speech with the salt of grace.

 

Colossians 4:6"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt."

 

Ephesians 4:29"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."

 

Romans 12:18"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."

 

Romans 14:19"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."

 

2 Corinthians 13:11"Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."

 

Application:

 

OLD YELLER -The only thing you can do with a mad dog is kill it.