When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. – Galatians 5:19-21
Paul’s biggest concern for the Galatian church was that they’d slipped back into worshiping idols or trying to live like Jews under the law of Moses. The problem was that they’d received the good news of Jesus, salvation, and the Holy Spirit through the teachings and work of Paul. He’d poured out his life into these people only to have some Jews come in and try to wreck the work he’d done as led by the Holy Spirit. Jews were trying to convert the Greeks into Judaism and enslave them to the curse of the law. The law Paul taught was useful to show us the sin in our lives but actually empowered sin to have control over us without Jesus as our Savior. Jesus broke the cursed imposed by the law by becoming the curse for us and atoning for our sins. People who live a life of sin intentionally and continually will not inherit the kingdom of heaven according to this teaching from Paul.
The author of the book of Hebrews (in ch. 10 and verse 26) tells us that for those who have come to know Christ personally and then revert back to a life of sin walk on thin ice. Why? They have tasted of the goodness of God’s mercy and grace only to stomp on the blood of Jesus and make it of no effect because of their continual, habitual sinning. People like to say that God’s grace covers all sins. It does! Thank God! However, there is a limit even to the grace and mercy of God despite that his mercy endures forever and is new every morning. The limit on it is set by you not God.
Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. For we know the one who said,
“I will take revenge.
I will pay them back.”
He also said,
“The Lord will judge his own people.”
It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31)
Even Paul in this Galatian epistle wrote, Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. (Galatians 6:7-8) And
And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’”
Father, we thank you that your grace and mercy exist. Every day that we live is a testimony of that grace and mercy, for you have not judged us and thrown us into the lake of fire, which we deserve for our actions. However, Jesus became the curse for us and overcame that lake and death and hell and the grave. He gave us reconciliation back to you and redemption in you that we may be your children and servants. Help me to carry out the mission you’ve placed on me in this life. I want to be found doing what my Master asked when he returns for me. Lord, may your will be done here as it is there, not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.