Sunday, June 17, 2012

Those Who Will Not Enter the Kingdom

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

In my bible study group last week, we focused on several passages that discussed the work of the Holy Spirit. Of all the passages we read, this one gripped me the most. It begins by listing the habitual sins of those who will not inherit or, in other words, enter the Kingdom of God. If any one has ever had a question about what God considers sin and who won’t enter heaven when they die, this verse, among others, plainly provides the answers.

The passage, written by the apostle Paul to the Christians in Corinth, begins by saying the sexually immoral won’t enter heaven: That’s anyone who’s not married and is having casual sex. Idolaters are people who worship anyone or anything that takes first place in their lives other than God, such as work, family, kids, the pleasures of life, money, drugs, alcohol, themselves, false gods, etc.

Adulterers are those who have sex with someone else outside of their marriage. Then the passage mentions male prostitutes and homosexuals, those who are in sexual relationships with people of the same sex (men or women). The Lord mentions thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers (people who regularly say vicious and false statements about others), and swindlers (individuals who often obtain money or property fraudulently—hence the phrase “ill-gotten gains”).

Then, Paul writes “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” This part of the verse is most comforting, because just as the Christians in Corinth received Christ when they were still practicing these sins and were then washed clean by the Holy Spirit, so was I. The Corinthian Christians were not without sin before they received Christ, and neither was I. But once they came to Christ the Holy Spirit washed them clean. They were now holy (sanctified) and forgiven (justified) of all these sins. And once they were washed clean, they stopped practicing these sins to live a life that honors the Lord. That’s what the powerful work of the Holy Spirit does in our lives the moment we place our faith in Christ for our eternal salvation. The Holy Spirit washes us clean from all our sins, makes us holy, and gives us the power and desire to turn from sin.

May we pray for our friends and family members who don’t know Christ and who are habitually practicing the sins mentioned in this passage without remorse, which will prevent them from inheriting (entering) the Kingdom of God. There was a time when I was not qualified to enter the Kingdom, but because of God’s grace and mercy, I was able to respond to His call to salvation and have now crossed over from death to life. May we bless and praise His Holy Name.


  1. I think all of us, at one point in time or another, have committed one or more of the sins on that list. So as you say, Paul's words are comforting for those of us who have turned to Christ. But scary for those who are still caught in that sin...

  2. That's a powerful text that I believe is hard for many people to receive today because of the morally lax society we live in. All the more reason why we need to be reminded of what God has to say about it. His truths apply to all generations. And thank God for the blood of Christ. No matter what sinful activity we practice, we can be washed, sanctified, and justified through Christ and the Holy Spirit. Like you, I am a living witness.

  3. Excellent thoughts on these important verses. Our society totally dismisses so much of what God says is important. It is so sad. It isn't politically correct to say anything that anyone does is a sin. I have the feeling that God is not "politically correct", but He is definitely correct.

  4. HI Judy...good message.....unfortunately I know some who talk about God and yet live less than His best....doing things that hurt others and even themselves. I think that must hurt
    God's heart even more than someone who never felt His kindness. Wishing you a beautiful weekend.

  5. Washed...sanctified...justified What a God we worship! You've made my heart sing this morning, Judy.

  6. Praise the Lord! He is so loving, faithful and full of grace. I thank God for the blood of Jesus that washes us from all our sins. That's a very potent passage and one that I'm sure confronts and checks many. I'm grateful for Paul's reassurance, "And that is what some of you were..."

    Rejoicing in Him.

  7. Hi Judy, when you get a chance, if you don't mind, please check out my last post on my blog and give me your feedback. I wrote it in May but there's some similarities to this post of yours. The Lord had us focus on different aspects and use different texts, but again, the message has some similarities.

    God Bless!

    1. Hi Beverly,

      I read the post you're referring to above and left you a message on that blog. Let me know what you think.


  8. Amen! How I praise and thank God for his grace and mercy! Where would we be without them. I did enjoy the read.


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