Scriptures

Those Who Won’t Inherit The Kingdom Of God

Introduction

There are many sins described throughout the Scriptures, all of which will determine our eternal fate if they haven’t been forgiven by the blood of Christ, Acts 2:38 / 1 John 1:9. We should see sin as God sees sin, He hates sin, He despises sin because sin separates us from Him and causes us to become spiritually dead, Isaiah 59:2 / Romans 6:23. It doesn’t matter what the sin is, if anyone hasn’t had their sins forgiven, they won’t receive eternal life.

In this study, we’re just going to focus on those specific sins which God says through His Word will stop us from inheriting the kingdom of God.

Corinthians

‘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 men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.’ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Background

Some Christians in Corinth made a practice of taking their fellow brethren to the public courts and bringing lawsuits against them in order to take advantage of them. Paul rebukes the brethren by telling them if those Christians or any Christian carry on with this attitude, they will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

The reason no one who practices such things won’t inherit the kingdom of God is simply because all that attitude does is create division within the Lord’s church.

Paul tells them if they believe that they can behave like this towards each other and still get to heaven, they’re seriously wrong, they’re only deceiving themselves.

Wrongdoers

Paul doesn’t mess around with his words here, especially when he uses the word ‘wrongdoers’, this is the Greek word ‘adikos’, also used in 1 Corinthians 6:1. Paul uses that word and applies it applies to anyone who behaves in an unrighteous way, 1 John 5:17.

In other words, there were some Christians in Corinth who were persisting in an unrighteous manner and he warns those people that this unrighteous behaviour could lead to their final condemnation. We don’t need to wonder what kind of unrighteous behaviour these Corinthian Christians were practising, because Paul now goes on to tell us exactly what is involved in unrighteous behaviour.

Sexually Immoral

The sexually immoral, ‘pornos’, are those people who practice illicit sexual intercourse, this refers to all sexual sin, Galatians 5:19-21 / Ephesians 5:4-5 / Revelation 21:8.

The people who practice this sin think only of themselves, they only think only about fulfilling their own sexual desires and pleasures, Matthew 5:32 / Matthew 19:9 / Acts 15:20 / Acts 15:29 / 1 Corinthians 5:1 / Ephesians 5:3 / Colossians 3:5 / 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Anyone who practices sexual immorality won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Idolaters

Idolaters, ‘eidololatres’ were simply those who worshipped idols. These were the Christians who created their own religion and their deities in order to fulfil their own desires, 1 Corinthians 10:14 / Colossians 3:5 / 1 Peter 4:3 / Revelation 21:8 / Revelation 22:15.

In Corinth they worshipped Aphrodite, the goddess of fertility, worshiping her consisted of sexual immorality. Anyone who practices idolatry won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Adulterers

Adulterers, ‘moichos’ were those who practiced unlawful intercourse with the spouse of someone else. These were the Christians who broke their marriage vows to stay faithful to their husbands or wives by having sexual intercourse with anyone else other than their husband or wife, Matthew 5:27-28 / Matthew 5:32 / Mark 10:11. Anyone who practices adultery won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Men Who Have Sex With Men

Men who have sex with men, ‘arsenokoites’ were those men who had sex with another male, homosexuals, this also includes lesbians, who men who have sex with other women, and those who practice bestiality, that is those who have sex with animals.

These were the Christians who practiced unnatural sex with other people, Romans 1:24-27. Anyone who practices unnatural sex with another won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Thieves

Thieves, ‘kleptes’ were those who stole from others. They were the Christians who lived in such a way that they didn’t work for a living, rather they lived off what they had stolen from others.

If someone steals from another person or even uses false information to gain more benefits from the government is a thief. Anyone who practices theft won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

The Greedy

The greedy, ‘pleonektes’ were those who had a materialistic spirit, Romans 1:27-32 / Colossians 3:5-7. They were the Christians who were just interested in gaining more materials goods for themselves by any means, even if that meant hurting their neighbour in the process or ignoring other people’s feelings and needs, Ephesians 5:11. Anyone who practices greed won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Drunkards

Drunkards, ‘methusos’ were simply those who got drunk. They were the Christians who drunk alcohol simply to lose their senses. They had become addicted to alcohol and relied on it to help them through the day rather than relying on God to help them through the day, 1 Corinthians 11:21 / 1 Timothy 3:3 / 1 Timothy 3:8. Anyone who continually gets drunk won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Slanderers

Slanderers, ‘loidoros’ were those who speak against others, they were foul-mouthed people. These were the Christians who used abusive words to bring down others and raise their own personal agendas and opinions. Anyone who practices slander won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Swindlers

Swindlers, ‘harpax’ were those who rob with violence. These were the Christians who would stop at nothing to get what they want. They make friends and see others as a means to make any kind of financial or material gain for themselves. Anyone who practices swindling won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians

‘The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.’ Galatians 5:19-21

Background

The apostle Paul is dealing with legalism which was prevalent in the Galatian church. Some Christians were trying to impose the law of Moses, especially circumcision on other Christians but Paul was having none of it. In the passage above, he’s emphasising the difference between working FOR our salvation and working BECAUSE of our salvation, 2 Corinthians 4:15.

Paul does this by contrasting the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23, with the acts of the flesh, Matthew 7:20-23 / Romans 1:27-32 / 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 / 1 Timothy 1:9-10 / 2 Timothy 3:1-8.

The reason no one who practices such things won’t inherit the kingdom of God is simply because it creates division within the Lord’s church. The list of sins which Paul mentions here in Galatians isn’t exhaustive, but they were certainly sins of the flesh the Galatian Christians were struggling with.

Adultery

Adulterers, ‘moichos’ were those who practiced unlawful intercourse with the spouse of someone else. These were the Christians who broke their marriage vows to stay faithful to their husbands or wives by having sexual intercourse with anyone else other than their husband or wife, Matthew 5:27-28 / Matthew 5:32 / Mark 10:11. Anyone who practices adultery won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Sexual Immorality

The sexually immoral, ‘pornos’, are those people who practice illicit sexual intercourse, this refers to all sexual sin, Galatians 5:19-21 / Ephesians 5:4-5 / Revelation 21:8.

The people who practice this sin think only of themselves, they only think only about fulfilling their own sexual desires and pleasures, Matthew 5:32 / Matthew 19:9 / Acts 15:20 / Acts 15:29 / 1 Corinthians 5:1 / Ephesians 5:3 / Colossians 3:5 / 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Anyone who practices sexual immorality won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Impurity

Impurity, ‘akatharsia’, are those who live an impure life. These were the Christians whose hearts and minds were filled with filth, Titus 1:15. In the Old Testament they would be classed as being ceremonially unclean before God, Leviticus 7:19-21. Anyone with an impure heart or mind won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Debauchery

Debauchery, ‘aselgeia’, are those who have an immoral conduct or practice harmful things or doing offensive things. There were the Christians who selfishly thought about themselves and didn’t care if they offended others by their actions or by the way they dressed.

This would include sexual dancing, drunkenness and sexual immorality, 2 Corinthians 12:21 / Ephesians 4:19 / 1 Peter 4:3. Anyone who practises debauchery won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Idolatry

Idolaters, ‘eidololatres’ were simply those who worshipped idols. These were the Christians who created their own religion and their deities in order to fulfil their own desires, 1 Corinthians 10:14 / Colossians 3:5 / 1 Peter 4:3 / Revelation 21:8 / Revelation 22:15. Anyone who practices idolatry won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Witchcraft

Witchcraft, ‘pharmakeia’, were those who used drugs to put people under their influence. Later they became known as witches, sorcerers, wizards and witch-doctors.

These were the Christians who falsely attempted to exercise spiritual power over someone in order to control them by fear, no wonder God condemns the practice of witchcraft, Exodus 7:11 / Exodus 7:22 / Leviticus 20:6-7 / Deuteronomy 18:9-22 / Isaiah 47:9 / Isaiah 47:12 / Revelation 21:8. Anyone who practices witchcraft won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Hatred

Hatred, ‘echthra’, were those whom wanted to harm others for no apparent reason. These were the Christians who were intent that others would get hurt in some way. They are the ones who would manipulate others against someone else, out of hatred, Titus 3:3 / 1 John 3:15. Anyone who practices hatred won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Discord

Discord, ‘eris’, were those loved and caused division amongst God’s people. These were the Christian who didn’t really love their neighbours as themselves, Mark 12:31.

They were the kind of Christians who would happily split a church over matters of opinion, in turn other Christians are told to stay away from them, Titus 3:9-11 / Romans 2:8 / 1 Corinthians 11:16. Anyone who practices discord won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Jealousy

Jealousy, ‘zelos’, were those who wanted what others possessed. These were the Christians who couldn’t bring themselves to give honour and respect where honour and respect was due, they couldn’t bring themselves to rejoice with those who rejoiced, Romans 12:15. Anyone who practices jealousy won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Fits Of Rage

Fits of rage, ‘thumos’, were those who couldn’t control their anger. These were the Christians who would throw themselves a temper tantrum when they didn’t get their own way, they would often get out of control. Anyone who doesn’t control their anger won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Selfish Ambition

Selfish ambition, ‘eritheia’, were those who wanted all the praise for what they were doing. These were the Christians who wanted public acknowledgment for their achievements, again it was all about ‘me’, ‘myself’ and ‘I’. This was certainly a problem in the Ephesian church, Ephesians 4:17 / Ephesians 6:12. Anyone who possesses a spirit of selfish ambition won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Dissensions

Dissension, ‘dichostasia’, were those who would argue over opinions. These were the Christian who would rather create division in the church, rather than unity, over non-salvation issues, Acts 15:1 / Acts 15:25. Anyone who causes dissensions won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Factions

Factions, ‘hairesis’, were those who taught beyond what God taught in His Word, 1 Corinthians 4:6 / 2 John 9-10. These were the Christians who taught anything to recruit people to their traditions or opinions, Galatians 4:17 / Galatians 6:12.

The reason these people won’t inherit life is because they caused a lot of division in the church over their traditions and opinions. Anyone who causes factions in the church won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Envy

Envy, ‘phthonos’, were those Christians who felt uncomfortable with what other people have, or with other people because of who they were.

These were the Christians who didn’t like anyone when they had more possessions than them and they didn’t like anyone who was in a higher position of power, Proverbs 14:30 / Matthew 27:18 / 1 Timothy 6:4 / Titus 3:3 / 1 Peter 2:1. Anyone who is envious of others or what others have won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Drunkenness

Drunkenness, ‘methe’, were those Christians who loved alcohol more than God. These were the Christians who loved alcohol so much it affected their behaviour and they lost control of their senses, 1 Corinthians 11:21 / 1 Timothy 3:3 / 1 Timothy 3:8. Anyone who loses control through drinking alcohol won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Orgies

Orgies, ‘komos’, are those Christians who are involved in ungodly sexual relations with others. These were the Christians who enjoyed having sex with many people at the same whilst enjoying a banquet afterwards, this was very popular in idol worship. Anyone who gets involved in orgies won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

The Like

Paul’s list of sins here in Galatians are sins of the flesh but his list isn’t exhaustive, as he says and ‘the like’. This simply means that any sin which concerns the flesh will cost someone their salvation. Anyone who gets involved in any kind of sin of the flesh won’t inherit the kingdom of God, Revelation 21:8 / Revelation 22:15.

Ephesians

‘But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.’ Ephesians 5:3-5

Background

The reason no one who practices such things won’t inherit the kingdom of God is simply because all that attitude does is create division within the Lord’s church. Here in Ephesians Paul gives another list of sins which will hinder anyone from inheriting the kingdom of God.

Sexual Immorality

The sexually immoral, ‘pornos’, are those people who practice illicit sexual intercourse, this refers to all sexual sin, Romans 6:13 / Galatians 5:19-21 / Ephesians 5:4-5 / Revelation 21:8.

The people who practice this sin think only of themselves, they only think only about fulfilling their own sexual desires and pleasures, Matthew 5:32 / Matthew 19:9 / Acts 15:20 / Acts 15:29 / 1 Corinthians 5:1 / Ephesians 5:3 / Colossians 3:5 / 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Anyone who practices sexual immorality won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Impurity

Impurity, ‘akatharsia’, are those who live an impure life. These were the Christians whose hearts and minds were filled with filth, Titus 1:15. In the Old Testament they would be classed as being ceremonially unclean before God, Leviticus 7:19-21. Anyone with an impure heart or mind won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Greed

The greedy, ‘pleonektes’ were those who had a materialistic spirit, Romans 1:27-32 / Colossians 3:5-7. They were the Christians who were just interested in gaining more materials goods for themselves by any means, even if that meant hurting their neighbour in the process or ignoring other people’s feelings and needs, Ephesians 5:11. Anyone who practices greed won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Obscenity

Obscenity, ‘aischrotes’ were those who use course or obscene language. They were the Christians who used foul language and their conduct reflected their thoughts, Matthew 12:35 / James 1:19-21 / James 3:5ff. Anyone who uses obscene language won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Foolish Talk

Foolish talk, ‘morologia’, were those who would speak using silly or senseless words. They were the Christians who loved to talk all the time without thinking about what they were actually saying, whatever they did say never made any sense to anyone, 1 Timothy 5:13. Anyone who uses foolish talk won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Coarse Joking

Course joking, ‘eutrapelia’ were those who loved to share filthy jokes. They were the Christians who wanted everyone to laugh, despite how crude their jokes were. They would often make fun of anyone in a sarcastic manner, they often put people down and had no respect for anyone, even religious people. Anyone who shares filthy jokes or makes fun of someone at someone else’s expense, won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Immoral

Although the word ‘sexual’ isn’t mentioned first, it’s still the same Greek word, ‘pornos’, these are those people who practice illicit sexual intercourse, this refers to all sexual sin, Romans 6:13 / Galatians 5:19-21 / Ephesians 5:4-5 / Revelation 21:8.

The people who practice this sin think only of themselves, they only think only about fulfilling their own sexual desires and pleasures, Matthew 5:32 / Matthew 19:9 / Acts 15:20 / Acts 15:29 / 1 Corinthians 5:1 / Ephesians 5:3 / Colossians 3:5 / 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Anyone who practices sexual immorality won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Impure

Impure, ‘akathartos’, are those who live an impure life. These were the Christians whose hearts and minds were filled with filth, Titus 1:15. In the Old Testament they would be classed as being ceremonially unclean before God, Leviticus 7:19-21. Anyone with an impure heart or mind won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Greedy Person

The greedy, ‘pleonektes’ were those who had a materialistic spirit, Romans 1:27-32 / Colossians 3:5-7. They were the Christians who were just interested in gaining more materials goods for themselves by any means, even if that meant hurting their neighbour in the process or ignoring other people’s feelings and needs, Ephesians 5:11. Anyone who practices greed won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Summary

I mentioned earlier that the list of sins Paul has mentioned in 1 Corinthians, Galatians and Ephesians isn’t an exhaustive list, but one thing is very clear, those who are involved in any of those sins listed will inherit the kingdom of God. In other words, they will not enter into a full or final experience of salvation, 1 Corinthians 15:50-51 / 1 Corinthians 15:53 / 2 Peter 1:5-11 / Acts 14:21-22.

Welcome To The Church

Imagine inviting someone along to worship with you on a Sunday morning, imagine if they asked,

what are the people like?

And you reply,

‘oh, you’ll find recovering sex addicts, recovering idolaters, recovering adulterers, men who used to have sex with men, recovering thieves, recovering greedy people, recovering drunkards, recovering slanderers and swindlers, recovering impure people and people who were into witchcraft, those who used to cause division, those who were jealous, those who used to lose their temper, those who were selfish, those who once enjoyed orgies, you’ll find recovering obscene people and people who used to tell filthy jokes. And a whole bunch of other people who were involved in similar things.’

The chances are if we rolled out that list to a stranger after inviting them to worship, they wouldn’t come anywhere near the church. But the truth is, this is a perfect description of the church, these are the very people which make up the saved.

Notice what Paul writes when he’s writing to the Corinthians church.

‘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 6:11

Notice what Paul writes when he’s writing to the Galatian church.

‘So also, when we WERE underage, we WERE in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.’ Galatians 4:3

Notice what Paul writes when he’s writing to the Ephesian church.

‘For you WERE once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.’ Ephesians 5:8

Recovering Sinaholics

Paul says that in each of these congregations, these WERE the practises of some of those people before they became Christians. The truth is we’re all recovering sinaholics, we’ve all got our past and we’ve all got our baggage and we’ve all got our struggles.

Some are more obvious than others, but we all have them and we all need to remind ourselves that it shouldn’t surprise us if the church is full of sinaholics, it’s a hospital for the sinfully sick.

Good News

The good news is that Jesus not only came to save sinners, Romans 5:8, He came to transform our lives, John 10:10 / Philippians 3:14. Jesus also tells us how to have our sins forgiven, Mark 16:16 / Mathew 28:19 / Acts 2:38. He understands that we will have our struggles with our individual sin, Hebrews 4:15, but He longs to help us to live right for Him, Romans 8:34 / Hebrews 7:25.

Conclusion

There are a few people who want to justify and excuse their sinful behaviour by telling us that they can’t help who they are, they were born that way. We know that no-one is born a sinner, we choose to sin, we learn it from others but to justify our sinful behaviour by saying ‘I can’t help it, that’s just the way I was born’, is as logical as saying ‘I’m going to rob a bank because I was born a thief’ or ‘I’m going to kill someone because I was born a murderer’.

The point is if people are going to use that argument to defend their behaviour, then they can’t argue against anyone else who practices any of the sins listed above because they will argue the same. If people are born adulterers, drunkards and liars etc, then Paul wouldn’t be able to tell them, they won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

The sad truth is, God’s Word clearly tells us if anyone is involved in any sin, then that sin, will lock that person out of heaven forever.

‘Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.’ Revelation 22:15

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Romans 3:23

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