From the desk of  ...  Preston H. Hazzard, Sr.  ... My Daily Blog    

Contending for the Faith
What does it mean to not inherit the Kingdom of God?
Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:30am

The first mention of not inheriting the kingdom of God is found in Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth.

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

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.

The Christian’s response to sin is to hate it, repent of it (the sin), and forsake it. We all still struggle with sin, but by the power of the Holy Spirit (the 3rd person of the Holy Trinity) who lives in us, we are able to resist and overcome sin. The hallmark of a true Christian is the decreasing presence of sin in his life. As Christians grow and mature in the faith, sin has less and less of a hold on us. Of course, sinless perfection is impossible in this life, but our hatred for sin becomes greater as we mature. Like Paul, we are distressed that sin still exists in our flesh, causing us at times to do what we don’t want to do and looking to Christ for relief from this “body of death” (Romans 7:18-25).

If a person actively, perpetually, and unrepentantly is an idolater, lives a homosexual lifestyle, the lifestyle of a thief, a greedy lifestyle, a drunken lifestyle, etc., it is not possible for such a person to be a Christian, and such a person will definitely not inherit the kingdom of God.  

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.

God, The Father.

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)  

God, The Son Jesus Chris

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

“But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”  (Acts 5:3-4)

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.”  (1 Corinthians 2:10)

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”... “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."  (John 3:5, 6, 8

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.

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