I once heard of a cartoon that showed a court room scene in which the judge says to the defendant, “Listen, it’s guilty or not guilty, you can’t plead - I gotta be me.”
Paul’s words in I Corinthians 6:9-11 force the issue. The words are not weak, indecisive or unclear. He seems uninterested in the popular practice of his time, or in any changes in moral behavior that would be forthcoming in the generations to follow. Paul begins with a question, asking, “Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” Usually, when a New Testament writer says, “do you not know” he is saying that this is something that ought to be perfectly clear.
He then warns them saying, “do not be deceived”. Deception is a very real possibility, and is the primary business of Satan. Deception is the reason why the things he is about to mention seem to be okay. It’s the reason we accept we accept them and ridicule those that don’t. What does he say? Listen carefully. God is trying to get our attention. He says, “neither fornicators, not idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Now some will say that they just don’t see it that way. But this is God’s kingdom we are talking about, not man’s. If we build our own kingdom, I guess we can set our own entrance requirements, but if we are interested in entering God’s kingdom then we need to listen to Him.
The wonderful thing about God’s kingdom is that there is always the possibility of repentance and forgiveness. The writer continues to say, “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 Christ, and in the Spirit of our God”. People can and do change. We all need to repent and we all need God’s forgiveness. The problem though, in our society, is that we desire to condone where we are more than we really want to listen to what God says about it.
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