Q&A: Salvation vs. the Kingdom of God?

Salvation vs. the Kingdom of God?

Question

In one of your answers, you seemed to imply that a person could be saved without inheriting the Kingdom. I thought that if you were saved you inherited the kingdom.

Answer

I'm sorry my answer was misleading -- I did not mean to imply that one could be saved without inheriting the kingdom of God. Rather, I was using the terms "saved" and "inherit the kingdom of God" synonymously, but I did not make this explicit. I suspect this is the statement that caused the trouble:

"Now, 1 Corinthians 6:9 does say that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God, but it does not mean that homosexual people can't be saved, or even that practicing homosexuals can't be saved."

Perhaps it would have been better to state it this way:

"Now, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 does say that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God, but it does not mean that homosexual people will not inheret the kingdom of God, or even that practicing homosexuals can't inherit the kingdom of God."

Paul's point was that the Corinthians were behaving like unsaved people: they were doing the very things that the unbelievers did, including practicing homosexuality. However, the Corinthians were saved because they were in Christ: "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God" (1 Cor. 6:11). Because of their new identities in Christ, they were no longer counted as homosexuals (or as any other types of sinners) even though they continued to do the same things they did before they were saved. Paul exhorted the Corinthians to cease from sin on the basis that it was both incompatible with their new identities and displeasing to their Lord. Since God is going to condemn people to hell for these sins, Christians ought to take their own sins more seriously. Unbelieving homosexuals are unsaved; believing homosexuals are saved.

That all who are saved inherit the kingdom of God is evident from passages that assume that all believers will inherit the kingdom (e.g. Rom. 14:17-18; 1 Cor. 15:49-53; Gal. 5:13-26). It is also evident from such passages as speak of the "gospel of the kingdom" (e.g. Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; Luke 16:16).

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.