for the Faith
The first mention of not inheriting the kingdom of God is found in Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth.
By saying the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God, Paul is stating that the wicked are not children of God, nor are they adopted heirs of eternal life (Romans 8:17). This does not mean that anybody who has ever committed one of these sins will be denied entrance to heaven.
What differentiates a Christian’s life from that of a non-Christian is the struggle against sin and the ability to overcome it.
A true Christian will always repent, will always
eventually return to God, and will always resume the struggle against
sin. But the Bible gives no support
for the idea that a person who perpetually and unrepentantly engages
in sin can indeed be a Christian. The 1 Corinthians passage lists
sins that, if indulged in continuously, identify a person as not being
redeemed by Christ.
Before closing, I would like to expand a little about Idolatry.
An idol is anything that replaces the One, True, Triune God. The most prevalent form of idolatry in Bible times was the worship of images that were thought to embody the various pagan deities. These types of idols were impotent blocks of stone or wood, and their power exists only in the minds of the worshipers. The testimony of Scripture is that God alone is worthy of worship. Idol worship robs God of the glory that is rightfully His, and that is something He will not tolerate (Isaiah 42:8). Even today, there are religions that bow before statues and icons, a practice forbidden by God’s Word.
Even for those who do not bow physically before a statue, idolatry is a matter of the heart/pride, self-centeredness, a desire to become a God, and ultimately rebellion against God.
Scripture is clear that there is only one God, and He alone is to be served. This desire to become god has its origin in the Garden of Eden where Satan tempted Eve to eat of the tree with the words “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). This has been man’s desire ever since, …to be god and, as we have seen, the worship of self is the basis of all modern idolatry. Denial of the deity of Jesus Christ, or denial of the deity of The Holy spirit, as revealed clearly in scripture, is idolatry. Is it any wonder that God hates it?
Idolatry extends beyond the worship of idols and images and false gods. Modern idols are many and varied. All the various forms of modern idolatry have one thing at their core: self. They worship at the altar of the god of self. This brand of modern idolatry takes various forms.
Many worship at the altar of materialism which feeds their need to build up their egos through the acquisition of more “stuff.” Our homes are filled with all manner of possessions. We build bigger and bigger houses with more closets and storage space in order to house all the things we buy, much of which we haven’t even paid for yet. We rush out to buy the newest item, garment or gadget and the whole process starts over. This insatiable desire for more, better, and newer stuff is nothing more than covetousness. God doesn’t just want to rain on our buying sprees. He knows we will never be happy indulging our materialistic desires because it is Satan’s trap to keep our focus on ourselves and not on Him.
Many worship at the altar of their own pride and ego. This often takes the form of obsession with careers and jobs. Millions of men, and increasingly more women, spend 60-80 hours a week working. Even on the weekends and during vacations, laptops are humming and minds are whirling with thoughts of how to make a business or vocation more successful, how to get that promotion, how to get the next raise, how to close the next deal. In the meantime, our children are starving for attention and love. We fool ourselves into thinking we are doing it for them, to give them a better life. But the truth is we are doing it for ourselves, to increase our self-esteem by appearing more successful in the eyes of the world. This is folly. All our labors and accomplishments will be of no use to us after we die, nor will the admiration of the world, because these things have no eternal value.
We will never find happiness focusing on ourselves. As created beings, we can never become gods. Paul speaks of our sonship as an "adoption" (Rom. 8:15-23; Gal. 4:5), which of course suggests that we are not "natural" sons of god.
It is imperative to remember whenever you seek to understand doctrinal issues, that it is important to use only the Bible for reference. If God is who He says He is, then He gave us an uncorrupted Bible to study (2 Peter 1:21) just as if He were personally speaking to us (Hebrews 4:12).
“for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:21
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.
The Bible makes it clear that there is only one God.
Yet the Bible also presents God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One God, Three Persons.
“according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.” (1 Peter 1:2)
There are several direct and specific references to Jesus being God:
“… He who has seen Me has seen the Father; …” (John 14:9 )
“I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)
"Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, "before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58 )
“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He wishes.” (John 5:21
God, The Holy Spirit
Finally, our hearts and minds must be centered on God and on others. This is why when asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). When we love the Lord and others with everything that is in us, there will be no room in our hearts for idolatry.
So, pray to God that He would give you a peace regarding basing your beliefs solely on scripture, the doctrine of the Trinity, and specifically, that the Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.
“… but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)
“so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:5)
It’s good to be born again (from above) … and, it’s good to be adopted.
"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13
Call or email me if you have questions.
"Saint Pete", Sr.
Author & Webmaster: Preston
H. Hazzard, Sr.