And if your hand offend you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell…
At any rate multitudes have come to regard hell as a place to be afraid of, not because of its wickedness, but because of its suffering. Theirs is a bitter mistake. It is a grotesque and misleading interpretation of that state of which Jesus tells the nature. His words assuredly point to the conclusion that a man may be in hell here as well as yonder; may be gnawed by its worm and burned by its fire now as well as hereafter. You do not lack proofs of this present truth in human life, perhaps within the range of your observation, if not of your own experience. It may be that no more striking illustration can be supplied than that of Lady Macbeth, as painted by our great dramatist. After the murder of Banquo she cannot rest. She rises from her bed and walks about. She rubs, and rubs, as if washing her hands, and continues it for a quarter of an hour. She fancies she sees a spot of blood on them. She cannot take it out; her hands will not be clean, and she cries, "Here's the smell of the blood still;. all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! oh! oh!" That sigh and cry show how "sorely her heart is charged." Yet there is no repentance in her anguish. She argues in defence of the evil deed still. She is suffering mentally; she is in agony — not for the vileness of the crime she has urged on, but for its interference with her comfort and peace. Thus her case affords an instance of how a soul may be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing the teeth before it goes, with the uncleansed spots of sin, into the shadow of death.
(D. G. Watt, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: