First Corinthians 6:9

 

In First Corinthians 6:9-11 the Bible says, "Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God."

Paul is on the subject of who will go to heaven and who will not go to heaven. Everyone will die one day and live somewhere else forever, so itís a very important subject: who will be in the Kingdom of God and who will not be in the Kingdom. Jesus thought that it was an important subject. Jesus said, "What shall it profit a man should he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul?" When you think of how long is eternity compared to the shortness of life, then itís a very important question. Who will be in the kingdom of God, and who will not be there? Maybe you can find yourself in this description of who will not be there, but donít be discouraged. After Paul gives the list of all of those who will miss the Kingdom of God, he then tells the good news of how you can still get there. Thereís always hope because of the greatness of Jesus, and the power that He has to forgive sins.

Paul started off by telling us who will not be in the Kingdom of God. Paul lists ten kinds of people that will not enter the Kingdom of God, and ten activities that will keep people out of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is a very holy place. Itís not at all like life on the earth, and one of the principle ways in which it is different: there is no sin in the Kingdom of God. Of all the billions and billions of sins that have been committed by human beings, not one of the sins have ever been committed in the Kingdom of God. They have all been committed on the earth. Thatís the worst of all the pollutions: the pollution of sin. And thatís one of the reasons that the people doing the things mentioned in this list will not enter the Kingdom of God. These activities do not take place there, and therefore, anyone who wants to do them cannot enter the Kingdom.

Letís read the list again and look at the list in some detail of the ten kinds of people who will not enter the Kingdom of God: fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners. Of the ten sins that are listed probably every person is guilty of at least one, especially idolatry. Idolatry is not just the worship of an idol. We commit idolatry whenever we put anything before God. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all the heart and all the mind and all the soul and all the strength. You can be sure of one thing: there will be no one in heaven who does not love God. The idolaters, the ones who continued in idolatry all of their lives, will not be in heaven because they always allowed something or someone to be more important to them than to come to God through Christ. Idolatry still keeps people from heaven. Some of the adulation that takes place in our society of sports figures and Hollywood personalities is really idolatry. Human beings are made so that they must worship something, and if you do not worship God one of the reasons will be because you already worship something or someone else. Idolatry keeps people from Jesus Christ and it keeps them from the Kingdom of God.

Three other things that keep people from heaven are closely associated with each other and these three things have to do with the lust for material things. Those who are thieves, those who are covetous, and those who are extortioners will not enter the kingdom of God because to them material things are more important than anything else. The proper way to acquire material things is to work for them and to trust God to bless your labors. Those who refuse to work often are the ones who become thieves. They do not respect the property of others or the rights of others. They want a shortcut. There is not much worse than a thief. Judas was a thief. Thieves deserve to be punished. They steal more than property: they also steal peace of mind and faith in oneís fellow man.

Someone who is an extortioner is similar to a thief. They also want your property, but they just use a little different method to get it. They may not break into your home, but they will use deception or perhaps some strong-arm tactic to get your possessions and they are never satisfied until what you have becomes theirs. Could you imagine people like this in the Kingdom of God where the streets are paved with gold? They would spend their entire time trying to dig up the pavement and finding a place to hide it.

There are other people who are not thieves or extortioners, but they have the same basic excessive behavior that will keep them out of the Kingdom of God. They may not be thieves or extortioners but they also covet material things. Their great weakness and failure is a constant violation of the commandment that says, "Thou shalt not covet." They will not be in the Kingdom of God because they love material things more than that which is spiritual; and so when the Spirit of God comes to them to bring them to Jesus, they will not come to Him. They are just like Lotís wife, who could not refrain her gaze from returning again to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Those who are covetous of material things cannot take their gaze or their heart long enough from material things in order to find God. Itís no wonder that the Bible says, "The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil." Many of the other sins that people commit are due to their covetousness for material things.

Another sin mentioned in this list is called "revilers." To revile means to speak against someone in an abusive manner. This refers to the sins that can be committed by the tongue and by the speech of a human being. Jesus said that something is wrong when both blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. Every human being was made in the image of God. God loves every human with an infinite love, and Jesus died on the cross for every human in order that they might live in heaven forever. The verbal abuse of another human is a great sin because of how greatly it violates respect for Godís creation. The verbal abuse of human beings is the work of the devil. The devil is called the accuser of the brethren, and the word "devil" means slanderer. When someone dies, at the funeral we often have an eulogy for them. The word eulogy means "to say good things". If we recognize the importance of saying good things about people when they die, then we should be able to understand that itís also important to say good things about them when they are still alive. No one who verbally abuses their fellow man will be in heaven, because in heaven only good things are remembered about people and only good things are said about them.

Itís important to note that drunkards are listed here in the Bible as not being allowed to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Drunkenness is not a disease. Itís a sin. Why is it that drunkards will not be in the Kingdom of heaven? Because no sins take place there. Sin has caused us all many sorrows in this life, but one of the wonderful things about going to heaven is that no sins will be committed by you or anyone else who is there. One of the problems with those who abuse alcohol is that they do things when they are under the influence that they otherwise would not do. Many of the crimes that are committed in our society are done by people who are under the influence of alcohol or some other drug. Many immoral activities are done by people who are under the influence of alcohol or some other drug. One of the purposes of life is to do what is right, and anything that reduces your ability to do the right thing, is a great evil. It says in the book of Proverbs that "wine is a mocker and strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." The abuse of alcohol is a great evil, and those who have turned themselves into abusers of alcohol will not enter the kingdom of God. Why do people drink? There is a chemical dependency, but there is also an emotional and a spiritual dependency. Many a human has looked for strength at the bottom of a bottle, when they could have found a much greater strength by trusting in God.

We have talked about six of the sins listed by Paul describing some of the people who will not enter the kingdom of God, and now there are still 4 sins to describe. These last 4 sins are related to each other because they all have to do with some kind of sexual perversion. There is nothing wrong with sex. It was designed and created by God for the love and intimacy of the marriage relationship and for the procreation of the species. Adultery and fornication are wrong because they have to do with sex outside of marriage. Any behavior that is condemned in the Bible will have negative consequences for those who practice that behavior. Adultery and fornication harm society because they harm the family unit, they result in unwanted pregnancies, they spread venereal diseases and aids, and they cause emotional and spiritual harm to those involved. There will be no adultery or fornication in heaven because there will be no sins there.

People commit adultery and fornication because they look for love in the wrong places, or because they allow themselves to be off their guard in the place of temptation. The sexual desire that is a part of human nature was meant to have its fulfillment in the marriage bond. The sexual desire is a very strong part of normal human motivation, not unlike the basic need for food and water. There is a right place and a right person with whom to fulfill your God-given sexuality; but to go astray from that will only harm yourself and others. Some of the promiscuity of our age is due to the fact that young people are too often alone together. You would not put a starving man alone in a room full of food and then tell him not to eat. There once was a wise generation who understood the value of chaperoning and not putting young people in vulnerable or tempting situations. Itís a strange concept that most people have accepted in our society whereby they think that once a young person has reached the age of 16 that they are now capable of being alone with the opposite sex. Not only will it sometimes add temptations for these young people, but many adults of all ages should be more wise about avoiding being alone with the opposite sex, unless that person is your spouse.

We have many problems with the misuse of sex in our society, and so did the ancient Greeks to whom Paul was writing. They had the problems of fornication and adultery which are also problems in our society today, and they had other sexual perversions that we have today. Paul said that those who are effeminate shall not enter the Kingdom of God. God is the One who created the difference between the sexes. God created a man to be a man, and a woman to be a woman. If you are a man, then one of the purposes of your life should be for you to find more and more what kind of a man God wants you to be. If God made you a man, then He wants you to be a man and not a woman. Someone who is trying to become something that God did not make them to be is going further away from God, instead of going towards Him. There will be none who are effeminate in heaven, because to go to heaven you must be heading towards heaven through faith in Christ, and not heading away from it by resisting your God-given gender. Your gender is part of your calling.

The Word of God also says that those who abuse themselves with mankind shall not enter the Kingdom of God. The phrase that is translated "those that abuse themselves with mankind," is one word in the Greek language and itís the word homosexual. There will be no one who practices homosexuality in heaven, not according to the Bible. No one is born to be a homosexual. Itís a sexual sin that can be repented of and for which there can be found forgiveness from Jesus just like all the other sins. Homosexuals are not monsters, and they should not be mistreated. They deserve the same respect and honor that all humans deserve. God loves them, and Jesus died for them just like He died for you and me; but homosexuality is a sin and humans that commit the sin of homosexuality need to repent of it.

Paul listed 10 sins for which humans will not be allowed to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Of course there are many other sins that will have the same consequence, but Paul probably listed these sins because they were the most prevalent among the people in Corinth, and thatís why he said to them in First Corinthians 6:11, "and such were some of you." Sins will keep people from the Kingdom of God only if they continue in their sins without repentance. Jesus said, "Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish." You can be washed from your sins no matter how many they were or how horrible, because Jesus shed His blood on a cruel Roman cross.

God loves you, and He has proved His love by providing a way for you to be saved. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." If you turn from your sins and come to Jesus, you will be washed, you will be sanctified, you will be justified; and instead of being kept out of the Kingdom of God because of your sins, you will be given an eternal existence with God because of Jesus, just like every other human who comes to God through Christ.

  

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Copyright; 2000 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved