by Mike Ratliff
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:26-27 ESV)
My friend Ken Silva told me this evening that the Postmodern paradigm sees, “… affirming gays as liberating them from their oppressors…” This postmodern mindset is deeply engrained in what is known as Emergence Christianity. This is why its leaders nearly all line up and stand with their “gay friends” in support and do not attempt to get them to repent of their sin because they actually believe that a person can be a practicing homosexual and a good Christian at the same time. Well, actually, I do understand what they are saying and I do understand the underlying compassion that leads them to this, but there comes a point as Christians when we cannot cross certain lines. What God calls sin is sin regardless of how we or anyone else “feels” about it. What does God’s word say about those who will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)
ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι βασιλείαν Θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσι; μὴ πλανᾶσθε· οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται οὔτε κλέπται οὔτε πλεονέκται οὔτε μέθυσοι οὐ λοίδοροι οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν Θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσι. καὶ ταῦτά τινες ἦτε· ἀλλὰ ἀπελούσασθε, ἀλλὰ ἡγιάσθητε, ἀλλὰ ἐδικαιώθητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ Κυρίου ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 GNT)
The word translated in v9 as unrighteous, ἄδικοι, refers to those whose behavior is indistinguishable from the unbelieving world and that these people will not be among the saints, those who inherit the kingdom of God, at all. What does it mean to “inherit the Kingdom of God?” This is describing what happens when our Lord’s Kingdom comes into fulfillment and those who are truly His will rule and reign with Him for eternity. Those who do not belong to Him, the ἄδικοι, will only inherit the wrath of God and eternal damnation in Hell. What are the markers of these ἄδικοι? Paul warns us in v9, “Do not be deceived” or μὴ πλανᾶσθε. Where have we seen that? We have been looking at this very thing in our last several posts. When we see this statement or command we must take notice immediately because what we are about to read is a statement that the world and false teachers and preachers have always and will always teach the exact opposite of because to teach the truth here would overload their man-fearing sensibilities. The world hates this message and so when you encounter a preacher who hedges on any part of what I am about to write here then you are dealing with a compromiser and you should run from him or her as fast as you can.
What sort of behavior marks the unrighteous that Paul is referring to here? They are the sexually immoral (πόρνοι), which refers to those who practice any kind of illegitimate sexual intercourse; the idolators (εἰδωλολάτραι), which is describing the placing of anything or anyone before God as the object of allegiance and devotion; the adulterers (μοιχοὶ) , which includes not only the actual act of sexual adultery, but also committing the lust in the heart after one who is not ones spouse; the next one in most modern translations is ‘men who practice homosexuality,’ but in the Greek it is two separate terms, (μαλακοὶ and ἀρσενοκοῖται), which literally translates as “soft ones” and “male bed partners.” In any case, these two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts; the thieves (κλέπται), which is exactly what it says it is. These are people who steal what is not theirs by fraud and in secret; the greedy (πλεονέκται), which refers to those who hold a desire for gain so high that it becomes avarice; the drunkards (μέθυσοι), which is exactly what it says it is; the revilers (λοίδοροι), which describes one who is abusive to others, a blackguard or railer; lastly the swindlers (ἅρπαγες), which describes those who are rapacious or ravening. They raid or plunder others. Think of those who use guile and deceit to swindle and deceive.
What I find interesting is that what I just shared with you is resented by so many, especially that part about homosexuality as if it is a socially protected group with special rights and we cannot call sin what God calls it, which is sin. In any case, those who resent it obviously overlook v11, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” After I was saved I used to read this passage and simply rejoice because I knew that it no longer mattered what sin had enslaved me before God had mercy on me. At my salvation, He washed me, sanctified me and justified me in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by the Spirit of our God! If you are in Christ then so were you.
However, these so-called Christian leaders trying to justify people in their sin for whatever motive are going against what God’s Word clearly says and so are proving that they themselves are not of God either.
Soli Deo Gloria!