Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Will you inherit the kingdom?

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness,revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
Galatians 5:19-21


According to these verses those who manifest these actions and attitudes will not inherit the kingdom of God. How does this line up with what you may have heard regarding salvation? Does this sound like salvation comes only through faith by believing in Christ or are there other factors involved? Perhaps perseverance is indeed necessary to receive the desired goal of our faith? It seems possible since these verses definitely preclude many so called christians who thought they were secure.

How about you; can you honestly say that you are free from each and every one of these sins listed? Let's take a look:

Adultery: Remember that Jesus said if you look at a woman to lust after her in your heart you are just as guilty as if you had committed the very act.

Fornication: many young people today seem to think it's ok to have premarital sex. I wonder what version they have been reading.

Uncleanness: This has much more to do that simply our outward appearance. Rather God looks at our thought life and our heart's attitude. Are your thoughts morally pure at this moment?

Lasciviousness: One who is inclined to lustfulness in thought or action.

Idolatry: We all know this refers not only to idols of stone and wood but those we set up on the altar of our heart. Perhaps you have something that you esteem higher than Christ?

Witchcraft: This one is becoming increasingly common in our land today. There are many facets of witchcraft from fortune telling, divining, to things such as water witching and ouija boards.

Hatred: very self explanatory.

Variance: Do you find yourself constantly arguing with others, quarreling over petty issues or finding disagreement simply for arguments sake?

Emulations: According to the dictionary this would mean a desire to equal or exceed others. Another common name is jealousy.

Wrath: Those with excessive anger tend to overreact in judgement and often appear harsh and overbearing.

Strife: Do your words and comments sound bitter and antagonistic?

Seditions: Do you have an attitude of rebelliousness against your authorities and leaders? Do you talk about your boss, pastor, or people to whom you owe respect honor and loyalty behind their back?

Heresies: Hmmm

Envyings: Do you suffer from feelings of inadequacy? If only we had this or that, or if our (fill in the blanks) was as nice as our neighbor.

Murders: Jesus pointed out that our anger towards a fellow brother can have the same results in our heart.

Drunkenness: "Well I know it's wrong to get drunk, but I only get tipsy once in a while. After all I need to fit in with the crowd." What about your intoxication with the technologies and pleasures of this world? Have they made you drunk?

Revellings: Are you the life of the party? Do you find that you must take everything to the extremes in order to have a good time? Does your pleasure come from the affluence around you or are you finding satisfaction in God. Do you delight in Him above all else?

If we honesty and soberly examine this list it will reveal where we truly stand before God. Don't delude yourself into thinking all is okay simply because you believe a mental fact about God. You may also think that because I have my theology straightened out I will be fine.

Obviously God is more concerned about our conduct than how correct and detailed our theology is.

What does your theology say about the kingdom of God? Will you inherit it based on this above list? Please explain your answer.

12 comments:

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Inheriting the kingdom is not the same as going to heaven.

Abraham dwellt in the land of Canaan, but he never inherited it. He was a pilgrim and a stranger in the land.

If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life, you will go to heaven regardless of whether you perservere or live an immoral life. But unless you perservere, you will not inherit the kingdom of God.

God Bless

Matthew

Andrew said...

I agree with Matthew that inheriting the kingdom is different from entering it. The word "inherit" simply means to "possess" and one who "possesses" a kingdom is de facto, a king within that kingdom. And as Paul explained to Timothy, it is only, "if we endure, we shall also reign with Him."

However, if such a vice list refers to deeds required to "enter" the kingdom, then I can by no means be sure of my arrival in the kingdom. But according to passages such as John 3:3, one can be sure of entering the kingdom if they are born again by faith in Jesus Christ. So I conclude that Paul's phrase "inherit the kingdom" must be referring to something more than simply entering the kingdom.

Jim said...

Thanks for your comments guys! I am wondering if there are others who may not agree with your understanding.

God bless,
Jim

Andrew said...

There are probably more against this view than there are for it! But I think that this view is the most consistent with other passages which speak of justification by faith alone. The other positions are Calvinistic (a person habitually living in such a way proves they never were saved) and Arminian (a person living this way forfeits their salvation) but the the problem I see with each of these positions is that they require works (or a lack of bad works) in order to finally reach heaven. Ultimately this leaves little or no ground for assurance of one's eternal security.

Blessings,
Andrew

Jim said...

Thanks for your comments Andrew, I appreciate them.

When you get a blog please let me know.

God bless,
Jim

Andrew said...

Thanks Jim. My blog is at evangelical.wordpress.com! It isn't listed in my profile page because it's wordpress.

Every blessing in Christ,
Andrew.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Those that are for us are more than they that are against us.

Andrew said...

I'm not quite sure what you mean Matthew.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am not being serious. I was just picking up on Andrew's comment on what most people think.

Andrew said...

lol! that's ok then!

Blessings,
Andrew

donsands said...

The flesh is weak in me, but the spirit is willing.

I struggle with many sins every day, which would the such like.

My pride grips me when my wife asks me to do something I don't really like. I'm short with people in my business. I don't pray as nearly as much as I should. I have lustful thoughts, and am inconsiderate at times.
However, as I my flesh wars with the Spirit, sometimes the Spirit produces fruit in my life.
I love my wife, and so i ask her to forgive me. I take time out to pray with my wife. I then pray for the children who I support at Compassion International.
I do love church, and I love to worship the Lord, and thank Him for the cross. I love to hear his word, and to confess my sins, which were so graciously paid for by my Savior and Friend.

Very good post. We sure need to be convicted these days with so much license in the world and church.

Jim said...

Hi Don, thanks so much for stopping by. I think an attitude of constant humility is a great indicator that we realize how needy we truly are.

God bless,
Jim