Friday, October 12, 2012

Top 10 ways to get shut out of heaven

Apostle Paul publishes a large catalogue of "sins" which he reckons will shut many out of heaven. This is one of those "all-or-none" laws. It is not he that is guilty of all the sins that shall miss heaven, but he that lives in any of them unrepented of. He breaks all that breaks one (James 2:10). Observe carefully what the apostle says:

"Know ye 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" (1 Corinthians 6:9,10)

First, he introduces the subject: the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. The unrighteous here refers to sinful persons, those who break God's law (cf. Mt 5:45; Ac 24:15; 1Pe 3:18; 2Pe 2:9). He then proceeds to enumerate the "top ten" sins destructive of salvation:

(1). Fornicators in this context refers to whoremongers or male prostitutes (cf. 1Cor 5:9-11; Eph 5:5; 1Ti 1:10; He 12:6; 13:4; Rev 21:8; 22:15).

(2). Idolaters are worshippers of idols or anything that is given pre- eminence above God. For the 21st century Christians it could be a person, a business or employment, wealth, power, social status, sport, hobby, or even one's ministry. Whatever form it takes it involves the worship of demons, and will condemn the participants to hell (1Cor 5:9-11; 10:7, 14:22). Anyone involved in any form of idolatry is communing with demons, which is what Paul is warning Christians against here. While new age Christians would not worship an idol made out of wood or stone, if they give pre-eminence to anything other than God, whether consciously or unconsciously, they are worshipping the demons behind idolatry. Christians must be constantly on guard against making anything other than God central in life because God is totally opposed to idolatry and will not let it go unpunished (1Jn 5:21 with Rev 21:7-8).

(3)Adulterers' refers to married persons who engage in sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite sex other than their marriage partner (Lu 18:11; He 13:4).

(4). Effeminate, are catamites - males who allow themselves to be sodomised or sexually abused by other males against the order of nature.

(5). Abusers of themselves with mankind are sodomites - homosexuals, pederasts and lesbians - males and females who perform sexual acts against the order of nature with their own sex (Lev 18:22; Ro 1:24-27; 1Ti 1:10).

(6). Thieves refer to those who steal from others (Mt 6:19-20; Lu 12:33-39; 1Th 5:2, 4).

(7). Covetous refers to one with an inordinate desire to have more, especially that which belongs to another (1Cor 5:9-11; Eph 5:5).

(8). Drunkards are alcoholics - those addicted to alcohol (Prov 23:20-21; 1Cor 5:9-11).

(9). Revilers are those who use abusive speech toward others (Prov 25:24; 26:21; 27:15-16).

(10). Extortioners are those who take advantage of others' poverty or necessity to secure gain for themselves (Lu 18:11; 1Cor 5:9-11). The word extortioners is depicted as covetousness in 2 Cor 9:5 (2Cor 9:5). Extortioners are also depicted in scripture as ravening wolves who take advantage of unsuspecting believers (Mt 7:15). These extortioners are unbelievers - false prophets - who rob Christians of the truth of God's word by watering down the gospel. They prey on the immature, the unstable, the gullible (Eph 4:14; 2Pe 2:1-3, 9-22).

Here's the practical lesson: be not deceived. "That men are prone to deceive themselves that though they live wickedly, yet they shall die happily, and go to heaven gloriously. They have such unlimited apprehensions of the pardoning grace and mercy of God, that they bound it not on faith, and repentance, and an holy life; never considering whether they are qualified subjects or not for that grace and mercy. God is a merciful God, says the wicked man, therefore I shall not go to hell; God is a merciful God, says the devil, therefore I hope to come out of hell. No, say you, that doth not follow, for God has decreed and declared the contrary. And has he not decreed and determined, has he not said and sworn, that the impenitent sinner shall never enter into his rest? Be not then deceived, oh sinner; whilst thou continuest unreformed, thou canst inherit the kingdom of God." ~ William Burkitt's Expository Notes.

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