Table of Contents

Table of Contents II

Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

No Inheritance in The Kingdom of God – Part IV

This article will conclude a series on the nature of the sins listed by the apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 6:9-10, Gal. 5:19-21, and Eph. 5:5-7 which Paul says will deprive a person of any inheritance in the kingdom of God if practiced and not repented of.  In Part 1 the sins of adultery and fornication were covered; Part II covered the sins of homosexuality, sodomy, uncleanness, and lewdness; Part III dealt with the sins of idolatry, covetousness, thievery, extortion, sorcery, hatred, and drunkenness.

In this article, the last article in the series, we will cover every sin listed that remains from the three text passages.  The sins to be covered are revilers, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, and revelries.  Here are texts we have been working from using the New King James Version:

1 Cor. 6:9-10

Gal. 5:19-21

Eph. 5:5-7


“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1Cor.  6:9-10 NKJV)


“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21 NKJV)


“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. Therefore do not be partakers with them.” (Eph. 5:5-7 NKJV)

Who is a “reviler”?  A reviler is one who is “verbally abusive.”  The Christian Standard Bible and the NET Bible translate the Greek term with that very phrase.  It is abusive language directed at another.  It is one who scolds, who angrily finds fault and reproves another with loud and angry or abusive speech.  This is a way of life with the reviler, who he or she is.  We are commanded to rebuke at times (Luke 17:3, 2 Tim. 4:2 for example) but it is how we do it that makes the difference.

What does “outbursts of wrath” refer to?  There are people who become so angry they cannot contain themselves and have what we might call a meltdown.  They become so overwhelmed with anger they cannot contain themselves, seemingly lose all control, and explode with a vitriol of abusive language directed at their target.   One writer had this to say about it, There are persons in which these tempests of wrath take a demoniac form. ‘The face grows livid, the limbs move convulsively, the nervous organ­ism is seized by a storm of frenzy, and until it is passed, the individual is completely beside himself.’” It is a frightful thing to observe.  Such a one must repent and learn to control himself if he or she is to have any inheritance in the kingdom of God.

“Dissensions” is a reference to a lack of concord or harmony between persons. defines dissension as, “strong disagreement; a contention or quarrel; discord.”  Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words says “an insurrection, uproar” and gives Mark 15:7, Luke 23:19, 25, and Acts 19:40,  24:5 as references.  Most of the references listed refer to insurrection but not always.  You can have dissension without outright insurrection.  Under this idea Vine lists Acts 15:2 and Acts 23:7, 10.  To summarize the idea seems to be of a person who sows discord, a person hard to please or satisfy, one who wants to argue and fight.

“Contentions,” another of our sins that keeps one out of an inheritance, as found in the New King James Version is in other versions called strife (CSB, ESV, NAS, NET, NRSV, RV, and YLT).  The NLT uses the word quarreling which according to Strong’s Dictionary is correct.  It says, a quarrel, that is, (by implication) wrangling.”  It seems to refer to a person who wants to quarrel or fight rather than live with others in peace.  Paul says, in speaking to Christians, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Cor. 1:10 NKJV)  Again, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Rom. 12:18 NKJV)  This the contentious person is not doing.  A person has a choice about whether or not to start or engage in a quarrel, to be contentious or not.

“Selfish ambitions” is a work of the flesh Paul lists that he says will deny one an inheritance in the kingdom of God.  What the NKJV calls “selfish ambitions” other translations call rivalries (ESV, YLT), selfish rivalries (NET), strife (KJV), disputes (NAS), and factions (RV).  The Greek word is “eris” and Vine says it “is the expression of enmity.”  It would seem to be then one who is opposed to another to the extent he is determined to get the best of his opponent lacking any charity for him or her, a person who must have his way.

Admittedly, the sins of dissensions, contentions, and selfish ambitions are closely related and a little difficult, on occasion, to distinguish one from the other.  Add to that there may be overlap in that one can be guilty of more than just one of these sins.  There is also the fact that what one translation calls this another translation may call that based on the similarity of the words.  Regardless, I think we all get the general idea of what these terms in the aggregate are teaching.

This brings us to two more terms closely related, sins that keep one out of heaven – “jealousies” and “envy.”  With regards to jealousy here is a case where nearly every translation uses that singular word other than the very oldest translations like the KJV which uses the outdated word emulations.  A jealous person is not happy with the position, success, influence, or wealth of another.  It seems to make him miserable.  Perhaps he feels the other person’s success makes him smaller but whatever the case he cannot be happy.  He is unable to “rejoice with those who rejoice” (Rom. 12:15 NKJV) nor does he find it easy to be content even though “godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim. 6:6 NKJV)

In talking about envy versus jealousy Vine makes this distinction, “Envy desires to deprive another of what he has; jealousy desires to have the same or the same sort of thing for itself.” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, page 367, under Envy)  The Daily Study Bible says, “The essence of it is that it does not describe the spirit which desires, nobly or ignobly, to have what someone else has: it describes the spirit which grudges the fact that the other person has these things at all.  It does not so much want the things for itself; it merely wants to take them from the other.  The Stoics defined it as ‘grief at someone else’s good.’  Basil called it ‘grief at your neighbours good fortune.’  It is the quality, not so much of the jealous, but rather of the embittered mind.”

This brings us to “heresies.”  Here we have a word that can mislead one.  The first thought to mind may be that heresy is some kind of unscriptural false doctrine.  While that may be involved that is not really the meaning of the word.  Here is how it is translated in other versions: factions (CSB, NAS, NET, NIV, NRSV), the NLT and ESV have division and divisions respectively, and the Good News Bible simply says, using its dynamic equivalent form of translation where meaning is preferred over literalness, “they separate into parties and groups.”

Paul condemned this in the church at Corinth when he said, “It has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas,’ or ‘I am of Christ.’ Is Christ divided?” (1 Cor. 1:11-13a NKJV)

Factions may be over doctrine as is the case in 2 Peter 2:1 but may just as well be over personal preferences.  We are not to be forming parties among God’s people but rather to be united in one mind (1 Cor. 1:10).  “Be of one mind, live in peace.” (2 Cor. 13:11 NKJV)  All of this is not to say one should not take a stand for the truth.  Paul was not creating another factious party in 1 Corinthians 1 and throughout that book when he set about rebuking that church’s sins.  One must not, however, be raising a fuss over peripheral matters.

“Murderers” shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  This sin is easily enough understood.   We know, however, this sin goes beyond the physical act for John says, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15 NKJV)  Jesus taught that “out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders ….” (Matt. 15:19 NKJV)  “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Prov. 4:23 NLT)

“Revelries” is the last sin to be discussed in this four-part series on Paul’s statements that there would no inheritance in the kingdom of God for those continuing on in these sins.  Many translations use the word “carousing” here instead of the word revelries (see CSB, NAS, NET, and the NRSV).  The ESV, the GNB, and the NIV use the word “orgies.”  The ALT translation says “drunken orgies” and the ERV says “having wild parties.”  We get the idea.  Unfortunately, this is a relatively common sin among many of the younger college-age set.  Once one reaches the age of accountability he can die and go to perdition without living into old age.  We are all accountable for how we live and there is no sowing of your wild oats with God.

Paul adds to his long list of sins in Gal. 5:19-21 this closing, “and such like.”  It is left up to you and me to have enough common sense about us to figure out what else there is.  The list is not finished.  We have in the scriptures enough information about God’s will to take it from here.  We are taught how to live and the nature of things to flee from.  After our initial conversion (the new birth) given a little time on the milk of the word we are to move on to the meat of the word (Heb. 5:12-14).  We are to learn and grow and come to “understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Eph. 5:17 NKJV)

There are other lists of sins in the New Testament.  Any sin engaged in and never repented of will keep one out of heaven.  It was obviously not Paul’s intent to say here is the all-inclusive list that will do that.  May we all continue to read and study and grow in the scriptures and flee from sin.

(I add this closing note.  There are a number of good free web sites online that will allow you to compare translations.  When doubtful on what a word you come across means it is good to take advantage of those sites as they will be a great help to you in discerning and understanding your Bible.  The same goes for difficult passages as well as individual words.)

[To download this article or print it out click here.]

Link to Part I

Link to Part II

Link to Part III

No comments: