In a previous blog (Stone the rebellious child), we referred to the covenant that God had with old Israel. That covenant was replaced by the new one that centres around Jesus Christ. He came to make God’s eternal Kingdom a reality by renewing minds and changing hearts so His children can obey Him out of love and not law.
We failed to make it clear that the God of the Old Testament is not different from the God of the New Testament. Jesus did not abolish the old covenant, so that people can do what they like. In a sense, the inner change of the new covenant is much more serious and intense than the old. For example,
In the Old Testament it was a crime to kill someone. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, it is a crime to hate someone.1
In the Old Testament adultery was forbidden. Jesus says, when a man looks at a woman lustfully he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.2
The Holy Spirit came to help us with the inner transformation God requires in the New Covenant. He is our personal Trainer.
We had a comment on that blog, asking whether the God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorra for their homosexuality in the Old Testament, condones it in the New Testament?
Lately the emphasis is very much that the Church has to accept homosexuals. Our contention is that we should be very careful. Do we really understand the cry of the human heart, do we know enough or are we interested enough to find out who they are, what happened to them, et cetera?
What does the Bible say?
Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says, what business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.3 So we need a different attitude towards people outside and inside the church.
God is the Judge of all the world. Paul writes, Do not be deceived, neither the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.’4 In addition God excludes things that don’t seem that ‘dangerous,’ like ‘hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, …orgies, and the like. I warn you … that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.5
Why does God exclude these people from His eternal kingdom? It has to do with the structure of the Kingdom—a family of peace and happiness, with no rebellion. God regards jealousy, discord and hatred in the same light as murders, lying and practicing magic arts.6 Yet all these people can repent and yield their lives to Christ, as the church in Corinth did.7
Question: In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man (in hell) begged Abraham to send Lazarus from the dead to his five brothers to tell them life after death is real. Abraham’s answer was, If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if somebody rises from the dead.8 Do you think it is valid to believe what the Holy Spirit and the Bible says about who will be in and who will be outside the Kingdom of God?
- Matthew 5:21-22
- Matthew 5:28
- 1 Corinthians 5:12-13
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
- Galatians 5:20-21
- Revelation 21:8
- 1 Corinthians 6:11
- Luke 16:19-31