I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Thoughts for Today:Our passage today provides a source of contention among many Christians, religious leaders, and Bible commentators. Depending upon how one reads Paul's statement, the question might be raised: Is it possible to lose salvation if a Christian falls into sinful activity? After all, Paul states quite clearly, "Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."
The "acts of the flesh" listed by Paul in verses 19-21a are the characteristics of unsaved people. We also know Christians sometimes commit these same acts. So does this mean that any Christian who is guilty of something on Paul's list has lost his or her salvation? Definitely not! The sins of a Christian won't invalidate his or her salvation, any more than the righteous acts of a sinner can make them holy before God. Sin is a very deadly thing which even Christians must avoid at all costs, but it does not determine our standing with the Lord. Those who are "born again" are not "in" the flesh any more, even though they may walk in error after the flesh from time to time.
Paul is speaking to the people who perpetually, habitually, blatantly, stubbornly and arrogantly practice these things. The ones who have no real desire to be set free from the flesh. In my opinion, Paul is addressing those who have developed a mindset of "once saved, always saved -- so I'm doing whatever I want no matter what the Lord says." They are the ones who will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Questions to Ponder:It's a really good thing that we don't lose our salvation any time we fall into some sort of sinful activity. If that were the case, none of us would make it to heaven. However, it is wise for us to take Paul's words at face value -- as a warning. So let us pray together, "Lord, forgive us and help us, we want to be full of Your Spirit, and we certainly don't want to miss out on heaven!"