You're on a List
by Skip Heitzig | November 13, 2018
The church has historically been good at alienating certain groups of people and not showing much compassion to them. One of these groups is homosexual people.
Homosexuality is the cause of the day in our culture. There is a massive effort to redefine homosexuality no longer as a sin, but as a genetic predisposition, a personal preference—an acceptable and normal lifestyle. The world says the one thing you cannot see it as is sin.
In view of that, let's look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and discover three truths about all people from all walks of life who have come to Christ:
1. Everyone is on a list. "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. And such were some of you" (vv. 9-11).
In this list, Paul tied sexual morality to entering the kingdom of God, as if to say those who practice a homosexual lifestyle are simply giving evidence that there's not a change in their life brought on by repentance. That means this is one issue we cannot disagree on. But here's the larger issue: everyone is on this list or a list of some kind. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
2. Everyone has a past. Notice Paul said, "And such were some of you" (v. 11). In other words, "This is what you used to practice." That's the central thought of this passage: whatever is on this list that you did, it's what you did—it's not what you do. If you claim to be a Christian and you once practiced these things, that's understandable (and that's why you should be merciful to people who are caught in these same sins). But you can't be a Christian and still continue to practice any of these things.
3. Everyone can have the best. "But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (v. 11). Those three terms—washed, sanctified, and justified—tell us what God does to a believer in relation to their sin: He washes them from their sin. He sanctifies them from the stain of their sin. And He justifies them from the consequences of their sin.
In other words, sinful people are redeemable. Historically, many Christians have been sin-sniffers, but God is a sin-fixer. He is in the business of cleaning sinners and turning them into saints. So whatever list you were on, whatever your past is, you can have the best.
That's because God gave His best, His Son, to die for your sins, so you can go from the ash heap of sin and be welcomed into His kingdom. He has better plans for you than you have for yourself. And this is the best plan: to be washed, sanctified, and justified. No matter the sin issue at hand, that's the message the church ought to be known for sharing with a lost world.