9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
At first glance, this passage may seem to suggest that inheriting the kingdom of God is all about not doing bad things – that is, we can go to Heaven as long as we are not a “wrongdoer.” Many people go through life motivated by this view – consciously or not, they think that being a Christian and going to Heaven is something you earn based on bad behavior you avoid. For them, the goal is to not be a thief, drunkard, slanderer, swindler, etc. And as such, many of them, if asked, will likely say, “I’m a good person,” because they have successfully avoided those damning labels.
But the gospel message is not about being a good person. Paul, who wrote the letter to the Corinthians, also wrote in Romans 7 about how the purpose of the law is to reveal our sin, allowing us to humbly go to the cross to receive God’s forgiveness through Jesus. Outside of God’s grace through Christ, we are all wrongdoers. You may not be a thief, but sin is still in your heart and may manifest in the form of idolatry, selfish ambition, greed, rage, or simply pride. And those are not “lesser sins.” Indeed, the law shows us that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but through the love of God and the grace enacted through Christ’s death on the cross, we can be reconciled to God and indeed inherit His kingdom.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.