Without a doubt, the relevant warning for Christians found in Eph. 5:5-7 should stir anyone seriously interested in inheriting the kingdom of God and avoiding the lake of fire. Please read this carefully:
A Relevant Warning To Christians To Avoid The Lake Of FireFor of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure orgreedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them (Eph. 5:5-7).What exactly would be included among those types of sins that we must especially guard against, according to this passage? Let’s look at these sins in the order that they appear.
God's Warning To The Immoral
The first word we read of in that passage is immoral. This word in the Greek is pornos and means, according to Strong:pornos, por’-nos; from pernemi (to sell; akin to the base of G4097); a (male) prostitute (as venal), i.e. (by anal.) a debauchee (libertine):—fornicator, whoremonger.
The same Greek word is found elsewhere in the New Testament in the following passages:
This Is How You Can Spiritually Protect YourselfI have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat (1 Cor. 5:9-11). 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. (1 Cor. 6:9,10, NASB) We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine (1 Tim. 1:9,10). See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son (Heb. 12:16). Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral (Heb. 13:4). But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death (Rev. 21:8). Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood (Rev. 22:15).
A Hell Warning Directed To Christians
Hence, not only in Eph. 5 but also elsewhere, it is apparent that sexual immorality will cause one to miss God’s paradise kingdom and end up in the lake of fire. This is the type of warning Paul directed towards those saved by grace—a warning about going to hell! The rampant sin with pornography is included here and shows there are no Christian porn addicts like some think. All such people are unsaved and need to repent for salvation’s sake.
This Is Help For The Sexually Tempted
This word refers to a much more broad way in which a Christian can become spiritually defiled by sin. The actual Greek word is akathartos and means:impure (cer., mor. [lewd] or spec. [doemonic]):—foul, unclean.
[The same Greek word is also used in describing demons (Mt. 10:1; 12:43; etc.).]
These next several passages tell us how to undo such and get purified from sin after getting born again, the point when we are washed perfectly clean from sin by the blood of Jesus:If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matt. 6:14,15).
It is also your personal responsibility to purify yourself from all defilement of body and spirit:Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2 Cor. 7:1).We are, therefore, to be sin conscious and avoid all forms of sinful impurity:... Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure (1 Tim. 5:22).
The Greedy or Idolaters
The world is filled with people who are greedy (1 Cor. 5:10). However, we are further told about someone who calls himself a brother but is guilty of this sin:But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat (1 Cor. 5:11).
The Greek word for greedy is pleonektes and means:holding (desiring) more, i.e. eager for gain (avaricious, hence a defrauder):—covetous.Related to this is the following Scripture:All day long the wicked covet, but the righteous give and do not hold back (Prov. 21:26, NRSV).In that passage contrasting the righteous and wicked the only difference cited between the two there is how the wicked crave for (covet) and the righteous give away. In Luke, we read more about covetousness and that there are various types of greed:Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:13-15).We have a soul that will exist forever. Our soul is our most valuable possession, according to the Lord Jesus:What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36,37)
Strive to be content with what you have. Such is a spiritual safeguard in itself against loving money and its dangers:
Guard Against Loving MoneyKeep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).[God will never leave or forsake us, unless we leave or forsake him (2 Chron. 15:2; Deut. 31:16,17). Don’t be deceived by the false teaching of eternal security.] How serious is the snare of loving money? Sadly, many false teachers have taught doctrines for the sake of the money that will flow to them for doing so (Jude 11; Jer. 6:13-15; 8:10-12; Ezek. 33:31,32). Their distorting of the Scriptures for such is not only spiritually deadly for themselves but also for their followers (2 Pet. 3:16; Mt. 15:14; etc.). Consider also how many crimes, including murder, have occurred over money, but that certainly is not all: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1 Tim. 6:10). Paul taught that he knew of some Christians who wandered from the Christian faith over being eager for money. This is the worst thing that can happen, that is, to lose your salvation. In this case we see a direct link back to what Paul taught in Eph. 5:5-7 about the consequences of a Christian sinning by being immoral, impure or greedy. Elsewhere Jesus taught this about money and it being a deadly snare: No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight” (Luke 16:13-15). Perhaps the following is the best Scripture to know if you love money (and therefore need to immediately repent for salvation’s sake):Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income (Eccl. 5:10).The King James Version reads a little differently:He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase.
Greed = Idolatry
Getting back to greed and the best way to understand this soul-damning sin is to recognize Eph. 5:5-7 (and Col. 3:5) both teach that greed is the same as idolatry. Hence, when one has a sinful attraction for money or material things to the point that it is their purpose to live and they serve or become a slave to such, they are guilty of both idolatry and greed and are not Christians at that point, even though they might have been in the past.In other words, as Christians serve and love God, greedy (unsaved) people serve, love and exalt money to a god—another name for idolatry. Furthermore, money can provide a dangerous false sense of hope and security. We are told dozens of times to trust and rely upon God and never other things, including money. Paul warned Christians about these dangers and we should too. This is very serious. We must guard our own hearts especially from these types of sins. Finally, remember this fact about wealth:Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death (Prov. 11:4).If you are wondering why you might have never heard such vital warnings as found here before, it could be because the vast majority of so-called churches are apostate and the majority of spiritual leaders are both ignorant and unsaved. Here it is again:For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them (Eph. 5:5-7).
This is nothing less than a salvation issue. The darkness of our late hour doesn’t change the seriousness of the aforementioned sins. Please take these Hell warnings directed to Christians to heart, change accordingly and tell others these truths.
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