Not everybody can say, “Heaven is my home.” Paul makes this clear.
— 1 Corinthians 6.9-10 – Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites,
Thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.
Notice the emphasis that Paul placed on the message, “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” At both the beginning and end of these verses, Paul stated that certain people would not “inherit the kingdom of God.”
There is no questioning the fact that some categories of people are not part of God’s kingdom – both now and in the judgment.
Paul was fond of using lists in his writings. In this case, the list was an account of people who are wrongly related to God.
Let’s look at the meaning of each word that describes the kind of behavior that excludes humans from God’s kingdom. Below are the words and an expanded translation of their Greek meaning.
— Wrongdoer – The Greek is “unrighteous.” This is someone whose behavior is not in rightly related to God.
Unjust, wicked, treacherous, and heathen are other words to picture this person.
— Fornicators – This is the term for all sexual relations outside of marriage.
The Greek word for fornication is the root word for pornography.
— Idolaters – An idol is any substitute for God. When we worship, serve, or rely on a false god, we are an idolater.
There were more “gods” in the Roman Empire than could be counted. Temples to various gods were prominent in Corinth.
All of the meat for sale in the market had first been sacrificed to a god.
The word “agriculture” stems from the worship of gods that blessed the crops. “Agri Cultus” describes the worship and service of the gods that controlled the fields.
When we define idolatry as substitutes for God, American “gods” are nearly as plentiful as that of Rome in Paul’s day.
The idols of money, nationalism, success, status, possessions and the like are worshiped and served ahead of the living God by the multitudes.
— Adulterers – This is another word that Paul used to describe sexual sin.
— Male prostitutes – Young male slaves served the meals in pagan temples.
Temple meals were reserved for men of status in Corinth. Their wives were not allowed to attend the meals.
An excess of wine and fine food was served by male slaves. An after-dinner speaker entertained the crowd.
Corinthian men had no reservations about sex outside of marriage. Both female and male prostitutes were available at the end of the meal.
The prostitutes were slaves and not sex workers in the modern sense of the word.
— Sodomites – The Greek is translated as “effeminate” or “soft.”
— Thieves – This term refers to all manner of theft.
— Greedy – Excessive or insatiable desire for wealth or gain is the foundation of greed.
— Drunkards – Alcohol addiction.
— Revilers – A reviler is engaged in angry, abusive speech, ill-temper, scolding, and an abusive attack prompted by anger or hatred.
— Robbers – The Greek word refers to extortion or swindling.
Three important qualifications should be made when applying Paul’s remarks.
(1) It is clear from the next verse that sinful behavior does not exclude people from God’s kingdom.
God forgives and restores sinful humans.
The major thrust of the argument has to do with our essential character. If our character is defined by the above words, it demonstrates that we are not part of God’s kingdom.
Citizens of God’s kingdom are expected to reflect the King they serve.
(2) Church people have traditionally emphasized the sins in this list that they don’t commit.
Abusive speech, greed, and idolatry should be examined to ensure we are not finding the “speck” in another’s eye while neglecting the “log” in our own (Matthew 7.1-5).
All should examine themselves when we consider idol worship as being committed to and serving a substitute for God. When nationalism, materialism, hobbies, pleasures, and more are placed above God, we are guilty of this behavior.
(3) The next verse states that salvation involves far more than forgiveness and going to heaven when we die.
Washed, Sanctified, and Justified
Three terms describe God’s saving work in a human’s life.
— 1 Corinthians 6.11 – And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Whereas we used to be characterized by the harmful behavior we practiced, we now are defined by our status as children of God.
— Washed – Paul described the effect of what baptism symbolizes.
— Galatians 2.19b-20 – I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
When Jesus died, we died with him. The risen Lord lives through us by the agency of the Holy Spirit.
By faith, we accept this as the fact of our new existence.
— Sanctified – The act of salvation sets a person apart for service to God.
People who are part of God’s kingdom have a relationship with the King of all kings. As a good King, he cares for his subjects.
As subjects of the King, we are loyal to him. We refuse to be traitors in the kingdom of God because he has won our hearts through love.
We live in an alternative fashion to the standards of the world’s system, thus providing people an optional way of life.
— Justified – Imagine a courtroom where you are a guilty defendant. The judge is just and must pronounce a guilty sentence on you.
As you are leaving the courtroom, the judge comes from behind the bench, takes off his robe, and is punished on your behalf.
We are made right before a righteous God because Jesus suffered the punishment that should fall on all of us.
Instead of squashing us like a bug under his feet, Jesus conquered his enemies by making them his friends. Out of love, we gladly serve him.
Prayer for Ukraine
Please pray for the protection of innocent life in Ukraine.
Ask God to change the hearts of the aggressors, granting peace instead of war.
I got my blog articles out of sequence with the YouTube videos. If you are looking at the videos and reading the blog, just look for the titles.
The videos can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.