“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Those are very sobering verses and you read the language here, the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. And in case we missed it at the beginning, it comes back at the end. These who continue in these sins will not inherit the kingdom of God.
We must be careful not to celebrate sin but to grieve over its reality. May we boldly proclaim Christ, realizing that eternity is at stake.
And I emphasize continue in these sins because the Bible is not teaching here that someone who does some thing sexual immoral will thus never enter the kingdom of God. That goes against the whole gospel. All who trust in Christ, no matter what they have done, all who turn from their sin, repent and believe in Jesus will be saved from their sin, will be welcomed in the kingdom of God. In the words of Jesus to the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise,” so faith in Jesus covers over sin.
So we’ll get to that more when we pray through First Corinthians chapter six, verse 11, but for nine and 10 see the seriousness of continuing in sexual immorality and not turning to Jesus. Idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, stealing, greed, drunkenness, reviling, swindling, these are obviously not the only things. We see other pictures of sin all throughout scripture and the essence, as we’ve already talked about, is whether or not we have repented and believed in Jesus.
But when we read this list in particular, we need to, well, one, see the whole list. We are prone to kind of pick out this or that from the list and say, “This person or that person will not inherit the kingdom of God,” which is true. We’ve got to see the whole picture because if we’re not careful, we can be selective and say, “Okay, adultery is really sinful,” but so is greed and so is idolatry and all kinds of other things in this list. And then two, this is why we don’t celebrate any of these things and why are we in our lives must be very careful not to celebrate any of these things. Sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, stealing, greed, drunkenness, reviling, swindling, no. When we see these things, we should grieve over them, mourn over the reality of sin that keeps people from the kingdom of God.
This is eternity at stake. This is life now and life forever at stake. So we shouldn’t just say, even much like we looked at in First Corinthians chapter five, and obviously it’s different with somebody who is in the church, who is claiming to be a follower of Christ, but when we see friends, family members, co-workers whose lives are marked by these things, we should be driven to our knees in prayer, and calling out for God to show his mercy, and praying for opportunities to share the good news of his love, and taking those opportunities with courage and compassion and grace, sharing how people can be reconciled to God if they will turn from sin.
So God, we do that right now. We just pray. We pray. We’re surrounded by people. We all know people in our lives and before we even pray for others, God, we know were it not for your grace, we shudder to think of where we would be. And we just know we’re not any better. We are saved by your mercy. We still are prone to sin. We want to turn from sin in all these ways in our own lives and we find ourselves falling into sin in some of these ways. So God deliver us from sin and help us. Help us to point them to you, point others to you, those who are right now on a road that leads to not inheriting your kingdom.
God, we pray you’d help us to point them to you. Help us to love them enough to point them to you, to share the gospel with them, not to stay silent, not to work day in and day out, live day in and day out around them and not point them to you. God, give us a zeal for evangelism, a zeal to share the good news of your love that they might inherit your kingdom, that they might be saved from sin, its penalty, and that they would be brought into life with you. God, we pray for that. Use our lives, one, to turn from sin that they might see in us life that’s so much more satisfying apart from these things. And then two, God, please, please, please give us boldness and compassion to share your gospel, that people might be delivered from all these things and brought into your kingdom now and forever. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.