Mark 9:43-50

Talks for Growing Christians

An Exhortation to Practice Ruthless Self-Discipline

Mark 9:43-50

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Lesson Number 40

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Natural desires sometimes must be controlled by drastic and severe action.
  2. Hell is not annihilation.

Practical Application

  1. Human tragedies are not the last word.
  2. Keep salt on your peace table.


  1. List the three categories of desires and appetites and tell what they mean.
  2. Is the Lord telling us to take this portion of Scripture literally or figuratively?
  3. Give some examples of desires that need to be regulated.
  4. Is hell annihilation?
  5. Who said, "You are the salt of the earth." To whom was he speaking?
  6. Explain, "Keep salt on your peace table."


  1. a) matters of the hand, or things that we do (Mark 9:43), b) matters of the foot, or where we go (Mark 9:45), and c) matters of the eye, or what we see (Mark 9:47)
  2. Figuratively
  3. Viewing indiscreet or violent TV or videos, and extremes in sports or other pursuits.
  4. No, it is not a cessation of existence. The Bible teaches that hell is a permanent place of punishment for the damned. The worm speaks of the gnawing conscience; the fire not quenched speaks of eternal punishment.
  5. Jesus. See Matthew 5:13. His disciples, then and now.
  6. Salt prevented the spread of decay. Salt is good, and we are to be salt, a preservative in our society, so we are not to lose the flavor. We are to have peace with one another, but not at the expense of losing the quality of the salt (not at the expense of compromising doctrine).


  1. Ponder the permanence of hell. Does this prompt you to witness to family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, classmates? It should if you are a disciple of Christ.
  2. How are you being salt? Are you maintaining a peace table?


  1. Review the categories of desires and appetites. Are you vulnerable in one or more of these areas? Take care to discipline yourself that you may be grow as a disciple of Christ.

Key Verses

  • "Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another." (Mark 9:49)

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