Friday, January 7, 2011

Are you going to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?...Are you sure?

There is a handful of times in Scripture where the term "do not be deceived" is used.  Logic would dictate that if we are being warned "not to be deceived" that whether by the enemy, this world or both; the issues of this warning will easily lead many astray.  Remember what God said in Genesis 3:1? The serpent (Satan) is more "cunning" than any beast of the field. Do you think we have a chance against that snake without Christ? NO WAY!  So what will the enemy be trying to deceive us about, of which Paul is warning in 1 Corinthians chapter 6.

Paul is warning that some will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  OUCH!  You mean we all don't wind up in Heaven? NO!  Once we know that to be true, I think any right thinking person would ask the question, "ok, who doesn't go to Heaven?"

Let's take a look at the list Paul gives:
-Fornicators (those having or had sex outside of marriage)
-Idolaters (anyone that puts anything or anyone ahead of God: i.e. family, money, fame, addiction, religion, etc)
-Adulterers
-Homosexuals
-Sodomites
-Thieves
-Covetous (those consumed with wanting someone or something that they have no legal right to)
-Drunkards (a person who is habitually or frequently drunk. )
-Revilers (those who speak of abusively. )
-Extortioners (to wrest or wring (money, information, etc.) from a person by violence, intimidation, or abuse of authority; obtain by force, torture, threat, or the like.)

Here it is:

1Corinthians 6:9-10 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 homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

If you are like most, you would look at that list and rightly think, "well that's pretty much everybody" and you'd be exactly right.  But let's read on:
Paul follows this list up with verse 11 which says, "such were some of you".  Notice how Paul is using past tense.  Why?  because when you are born-again, you repent, you turn away from these things and turn to God.  You are redeemed, but you are more than redeemed. Take a look at the rest of verse 11:

All this happens in the Name of The Lord Jesus Christ and by The Spirit of God. Did you catch that?  It is entirely a work of the Spirit...if you are still striving in the flesh to be righteous...quit it!  He wants your surrender and that starts only when we are first broken over seeing ourself in light of a list like Paul gives in this chapter and is summarized above.  Once that happens, He does so much more than wash us from our sin in His Blood:

-He sanctifies us (He sets us apart, we are no longer of the world)
-He justifies us (Our debt has been paid, death no longer holds our deed)

1Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

One thing that is worth putting an exclamation point on is the fact that God knows you are or were named among the people in the list above.  HE KNOWS, and while you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you. HE DIED FOR YOU! Don't read this and say, "maybe for others, but not me, you don't know what I've done." Does God lie? No! Then don't make Him a liar by suggesting you are the exception to His promise. Surrender your life to Him. Repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ. Receive Him as you Lord and Savior and watch what He will do. You will become a new creation, He will give you a new heart with new desires.  You may say, I've done that...Praise God!  But if you can be named among those practicing from the list above, with all gentleness and meekness I have in me I humbly say, "my friend, you are reading this a condemned person and I would plead with you to call out to God while you still can.  Behold, today is the day of salvation, we are not guaranteed tomorrow."

1 Corinthians 6:20  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

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