Those Who Practice Such Things Will Not Inherit the Kingdom of God
I've been reading your articles and have been really blessed by them. I was wondering if I could get your commentary on Galatians 5:19-21 when it says that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. I've read several different commentaries on it about what it means to inherit the Kingdom of God. The one I agree with is that salvation is a free gift that cannot be earned, but our inheritance is something that can be lost referring to our rewards in heaven. But Ephesians says that the inheritance is something God places in every believer. Another commentary I heard was that the inheritance can refer to things we enjoy here on earth, and that those who practice envy or jealousies here on earth won't enjoy the fruit of joy or peace in those areas, but they're still saved. Do you have any revelation on this subject?
Good evening Dustin,
Thank you so very much for your kind words regarding my blog...
Jesus said "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." ( Luke 17:20-21 ). When you are born again, God sends His Holy Spirit to dwell on the inside of us. He makes us Sons and Heirs to His entire kingdom. In fact, we are co-heirs with Christ ( Romans 8:17 ), which means we have legal right to everything Jesus owns as His joint heir. Our inheritance depends on our position as a son of God. ( Romans 8:14-17, Galatians 4:6-7 ). We cannot lose this sonship or inheritance by what we do because it was a gift in the first place. In fact, the Holy Spirit is given to us as the deposit guaranteeing it. ( Ephesians 1:14 ).
The list of things Paul is talking about in Galatians 5 (Also I Corinthians 6:9-11, in which he says the same thing as Galatians 5:21) are characteristics of the unsaved, which will not inherited the Kingdom of God, because God does not dwell on the inside of them. Obviously these churches and the believers there struggled with these things so Paul simply reminded them that these things were uncharacteristic of who they were in Christ as children of God. The remedy he gives in Galatians 5 is to walk after Spirit of God, who they were fashioned after in the first place ( Ephesians 4:24 ). If the things of the flesh are evident in our lives, then in the same way, the things of the Spirit are evident... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control. These things are part of the kingdom living inside of us and part of our new nature and our inheritance as children of God. They already exist, God's placed them there, we simply have to release them.
When looking up the word for inherit in the Strong's dictionary another definition besides the meaning we are familiar with is 'to become partaker of, to obtain'. In other words, if we live out of the flesh we will not partake or obtain in the Kingdom in the natural realm because the way we are living is contrary to what the Kingdom of God is. This is why Paul tells us in both Romans 8 and Galatians 5 to walk after the Spirit, to live under the influence and direction of the Holy Spirit. Living according to our born again nature fashioned after Jesus in true righteousness and Holiness. ( Ephesians 4:24 ). Not because if we don't we will lose our inheritance as heirs but he tells us this to remind us that this is truly who we are in Christ as sons and heirs.
I hope this helps you on your journey to discover the answer to your question. God Bless you as you seek him!
Have a wonderful night!