The Unrighteous Shall Not Inherit The Kingdom Of God - An Explanation Of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10



If no believer will end up in Hell regardless of what he did or didn’t do after he is born again or saved, why then does the Bible say in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? How do you explain that verse in the light of eternal salvation?
Let me start by saying 1 Corinthians 6 verses 9 and 10 are one of those verse of the scripture every believer in Christ must pay real attention to understand. Else the enemy, the accuser of brethren, taking those verses out of context, will use them to hurt your conscience and take away your peace and joy in the Lord. Having said that, let’s move on to see what apostle Paul is saying in those verses. (Get out your bible and let’s study them together)
1Co 6:9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 
1Co 6:10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
The key to understanding where we just read, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, is to study it in context. By studying it in context here, I mean studying the verses that came before those ones in that same chapter and the verses that followed after.
If you read from verse 1 to 8 of the same 1 Corinthian 6, you will discover Paul the apostle was rebuking the Corinthian church for adopting the worldly method of settling disputes to settle issues among themselves. For every little offence between brothers or sisters in Christ there, they would take one another to court before unbelievers. They would accuse and say so many awful things against each other. Things that these unbelievers whom they made judges over their cases, would use to mock them and the gospel of Christ later.
In his rebuke, Paul gave them options they could have chosen from as fellow believers in Christ. They could have brought the matter to fellow believers in church (people of common faith and identity), they could allow themselves to suffer wrong for the same of the gospel or sort it out between themselves instead of going to expose their failings before unbelievers.
From verse 9 to 10, Paul then reminded them that these unbelievers (whom he called the unrighteous) were not headed the same direction with them (believers) so as to further explain they were unqualified to judge believers. By nature, they are unrighteous (not in anyway in union with Christ) hence they did all kinds of evil (idolatery, fornication, adultery, effeminate etc) without care. They do not have the same nature or identity with believers neither were they headed the same direction (the kingdom of God).
That verse 9 to 10 was Paul’s clear description of the unbeliever’s identity by nature (unrighteous) and also his destiny (not inheriting the kingdom of God). It is not talking about the believers in Jesus, those who are born again or saved. That is why in the next verse Paul quickly pointed out who the believer in Christ now is, his state and identity as a result of his faith.
1Co 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 
Is it beginning to make any sense to you? Now put that verse 11 together with verses 9 and 10 and read, you will get the picture clearer. Let’s read them together now.
1Co 6:9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 
1Co 6:10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
1Co 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 
Such WERE some of you (talking about the believer). Such WERE (in the past) some of you. But now (in the present) you are WASHED, SANCTIFIED and JUSTIFIED. Did you see that in verse 11?
No unrighteous man shall inherit the kingdom of God. Agreed! But the man in Christ is not unrighteous. He has been washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.
In other words before Salvation he was unrighteous and had no part in the kingdom of God, just like the other believers whom the church was going to to have their cases judged. But via Salvation, he is washed, sanctified and justified by the reason of Jesus’ work of redemption. Not his own human performance. Jesus became his righteousness, sanctification i.e holiness, redemption and wisdom.
1Co 1:30  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 
1Co 1:31  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 
As a result of his faith in Jesus, God gave him His life and made him sit in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. An automatic entrance to heaven.
Eph 2:5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 
Eph 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus
So is it true that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Yes it is. But who is the unrighteous? It is anyone who did not believe in Jesus’ work of redemption for himself.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is not talking about the believer in Christ who commits sin. It is rather a description of the unbelieving man. His nature and destiny till he receives the Saviour Jesus.
The one who has believed in Christ is ETERNALLY RIGHTEOUS before God and CAN NEVER MISS Heaven. As a matter of fact, Heaven is his home and he will return there as soon as He leaves the earth.
2Co 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 
God has clothed you with His eternal righteousness in Christ. You are His righteousness beloved. A very righteous man before Him. Your faith in Christ made this possible. Heaven is YOUR home!
I hope this meets you well. Glory to Jesus, our Saviour and King!

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