For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 5:5-6
A Couple Things
Do not come away with the false notion that if you have participated or currently struggle in any of these areas, that you will have no part in God’s inheritance. That’s not what is being said. The verse is a warning for those who, by selfish constitution, routinely practice and idolize these activities. In their sorrow-less state, they are the unsaved.
The passage also cautions us against the liars – the professors of foolishness — those who strive to convince us that these and similar activities are not aberrant. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, they’ve bought the lie, adopted an agenda, and intolerantly traffic their wares to an unsuspecting, sympathetic, broad-minded yet blinded audience, oblivious to the certainty they are but pawns in satan’s legion, his chief goal being the destruction of the church.
Be Not Deceived
We happen upon these deceivers in our personal encounters, we’re bombarded by them in the media, and we’re ensnared by their perverse governmental legislation. How bad has it gotten? Well let’s just say that I never thought in my life time our government would move to legalize sodomy and bestiality (sex with animals!) for our United States military, but on December 1, 2011, the United States Senate approved a bill to do just that. I’m not surprised, but I am sickened.
And if this weren’t bad enough, the liars have infiltrated the church.
For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock…there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Acts 20:29 + Galatians 1:7-8
Do you struggle with sin?
This first step in overcoming sin is acknowledging that the activity with which you’re involved is sinful. You likely already know this truth, but may have become diverted in your thinking because someone convincingly lied to you.
Dismiss that liar and bring your sinful-self to the cross of Jesus.
In Christ alone healing and salvation are possible. If you believe — if you have faith in Jesus Christ, you are saved, regardless if you are struggling now or will struggle in the future. Repent, abide in Christ, submit yourself to obedience, and He will be faithful to bring you home.
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand…unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Matthew 4:17 + Luke 13:3b
You might have been taught that the word repent means to turn away from; to move in the opposite direction. That’s accurate. Christian doctrine adds focus, in that we’re not merely turning away from sin, but we’re turning towards Jesus, our provider and healer. It helps us to know that the Greek word for repent is metanoeo and it means to change one’s mind for the better; to heartily amend with abhorrence (hatred and repulsion) for one’s past sins. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary expands the notion and includes that repentance is facilitated because we feel pain, sorrow, or regret, for what we have done or omitted to do.
The reality is that sorrow is one of the critical components in the equation.
“Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
If you have established a particular sin as an idol in your life, you are not saved and you have no inheritance, however, that is not the final word on your fate. You can knock that idol down by rejecting the liars, confessing your sin, and giving Jesus Christ authority and control over your life. As you change your mind, God will be faithful to change the cravings of your heart.
God cannot and does not lie.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
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