What will your inheritance be? Will you inherit from multiple people? Do you have a rich aunt or uncle you hope will leave you an inheritance? Do you know you have an inheritance that is much better than any earthly inheritance?
We often joke about hoping there is a long-lost relative that leaves us a large inheritance. But realistically, most us will receive very little inheritance on this earth. Most of our parents are not rich, and if what is left must be divided among multiple children, each share won’t be large.
We all have a wonderful inheritance available to us. Unfortunately, there are many misunderstandings about it. The message has been watered down to the point that many people believe they merely need to repeat a few words, get wet, and they are all set. Out of obligation they darken the door of a church a handful of times per year. It is also unfortunate that we joke about those folks rather than morning over them and praying for a change of heart.
We can look at multiple passages in Scripture in which the apostle Paul warned against living as the world lives and expecting to inherit the kingdom of God. He warned the churches in Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, and Colossae. It’s fair to say his warning is for us as well.
We see in today’s passage a laundry list of behavior, actions, and attitudes Paul warned against. He doesn’t simply say we shouldn’t demonstrate them, but there are serious consequences. An eternal inheritance is at stake.
It’s been decades since we regularly heard the “hell fire and brimstone” sermons in our churches. I don’t believe we need to go back to those days, attempting to scare people into doing what’s right. Yet, we can’t simply preach “God is love” giving the impression God will readily accept us into His kingdom no matter what we do. It is absolutely true that God will forgive us when we repent. It is absolutely true God loves all of us. It is also absolutely true that God is just and will dispense judgment. Because God loves us, He provides His Holy Spirit to guide us into a new way of living.
I pray we all recognize the need to turn from worldly ways of living. I pray we accept guidance from the Holy Spirit to make a change in our lives. I pray each one of us commit to follow Jesus’ example for life. Heed the warning. Accept guidance from the Holy Spirit. Follow Jesus. Trust God.
Galatians 5:19-21 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.