Does God care if you live with your boyfriend? Does it matter to Him if you have a physical relationship with someone who is not your spouse? According to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 5-10, it matters very much.
Let’s start with these words: “Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-11)
To clarify, “fornication” is sex outside of marriage, whether for payment (prostitution) or simple pleasure. “Adultery” is the breaking of marriage vows with someone who is not your spouse. “Effeminate” is a term used in the Greek culture of the day to refer to homosexuality, unnatural lewdness, and male prostitution. “Homosexuality” is sex with a person of the same gender.
Paul is not writing to unbelievers, but believers. We know that all who do not believe in and receive Jesus Christ as Savior will not go to heaven. They will stand before God and give account for their sins since they refuse to acknowledge what Christ did on the cross. But believers have their sins forgiven, so how can they be denied entrance to the kingdom?
According to Paul, if we are believers who are washed, sanctified and justified, then our behavior and lifestyle is different than the unregenerate. Because the Spirit of God lives in us, we will hate the things He hates, and we will be convicted about them when our flesh causes us to fall into temptation and sin. We will be the most miserable of all people until we have confessed our sin, repented and sought forgiveness and restoration with the Savior who loves us.
A person who claims to be in Christ yet continues to live in sinful ways must question their belief in God. If you can live and act and speak in ways that God has made clear in His word are sinful and offensive to Him, and feel no conviction or desire to change, then I question if you really know Him.
We’ve all given in to temptation. Every believer has a past, a time when we knew God yet denied Him by our actions. But thanks be to God that the Spirit of God convicted us, showed us where we were wrong and drew us back to Him. We recognized that our sin was an offense to the Savior who gave His life for those very sins, and we repented. Now we strive to walk in holiness, in newness, hating the sin that separated us from God.
How about you? Does your sin make you miserable? Has your heart grown cold and you have forgotten what Jesus went through to free you from that sin? Do you dismiss these words as old-fashioned, not relevant to today? Have you accepted the standards of the immoral culture you live in, and discarded the authority of God’s standard?
Oh, my friend, think carefully. Your answer will reveal the condition of your heart, and if you truly belong to Jesus.