No Immoral, Impure or Greedy Person will Inherit the Kingdom of God

Many years ago, when I was in the Navy, I spend time in the orient and witnessed how many lived pagan lives and worshiped pagan religions.   This past year our church had over 7,000 conversions to Christianity.  Unfortunately, not everyone who accepts the Holy Spirit accepts Him without reservations and conditions. Many believers are not willing to stop living as the world lives.  We receive the Holy Spirit but are unwilling to allow Him control over our lives. When the Holy Spirit checks us, too often we ignore Him for what He’s bringing to our attention that needs changing because it interferes with our lifestyle. How do we get these Christians and others to realize that there must be a definite life-style change?

Scriptures tells us in Ephesians 5:1 – 7 “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.”

Converts to Christianity in the early church had no example of how a Christian should live until Paul taught them. In America today, those living in our society may not realize the importance of how a Christian should live. Scripture tells us we are to imitate how Christ lived showing love and forgiveness to others as He has shown to us. In parts of the Orient and during Paul’s time sexual promiscuity was taken for granted.  Many participated and it was an acceptable lifestyle.  Many had mistresses and others didn’t bother getting married.  These practices were considered normal and not immoral.  This is still practiced in many foreign countries today as well as with some in America.

God emphasized the importance of a family.  Satan tries to destroy the family and family values.  I believe he has deceived many by trying to destroy the family concept that Christ promoted.  We have same sex marriages and then allow them to raise adopted children.  This practice and homosexuality has caused many to break up the concept of the
family and it has changed the morality of our society. The family structure is much different from what it was sixty years ago.

Sexual immorality or any kind of impurity or greed is unthinkable for a Christian.  If we want to be an example for Christ and not grieve the Holy Spirit we will refrain from obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking. Our world is continually lowering the standards of morality.  The language of the gutter is creeping into TV, books and casual talk.  What we used to consider pornography is now becoming common and acceptable.

I believe Scripture challenges the notion that a person can be saved and still continually commit the gross and grievous sins the Apostle Paul was forbidding Christians to participate in. A true Christian cannot compromise when tempted to take part in immoral behavior.  Obscenity and coarse joking are so common that many Christians take it for granted.

For many years I have supported our church’s slogan: “It’s o.k. to not be o.k.”  However, we must not stay that way.  I spent many years in a church that if you were not o.k. you couldn’t be a part of us. It was like many in the early church who believed that you had to become a Jew before you could become a Christian.  Some in our previous denomination believed that you had to live as a Christian before you could be accepted.  Their church growth was minimal.

If someone invites a non-believer to church they need to know we accept you as you are, regardless of your background and present lifestyle.  It is then God and the Holy Spirit deals with their soul.  But once converted, it is important that they understand they cannot continue living as they did previously.

However, if they see those who have been Christians for years living as the world lives, it gives them the impression that there is really no need to change how they live.  Could we live in such a way that they and we would not inherit the Kingdom of God according to the above Scripture? I believe that living with Christ in eternity takes more than just accepting Him as Lord and Savior.  At Judgment Day Christ might say: “I never knew you”.  This is why we must imitate the life of Christ not only for ourselves but for others.

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