There are many single passages in the Bible that we can use to teach people the gospel one-on-one or by preaching in the open air. One such passage is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. My usual practice has been to go through the ten commandments when teaching the gospel to someone to show them their sin and their need for the cleansing of Christ, but we don’t have to use only the ten commandments to do this. This passage in 1 Corinthians 6, or other lists of sins within the Bible, such as Galatians 5:19-21 and Revelation 21:8, also do the job very well. All of these are sins that will keep us out of heaven if they are practiced.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate , nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-10).
There are a lot of big words in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that we need to explain to the lost person before we ask if they are guilty of them. You don’t have to go through all of them, but you can if needed.
- Fornicators: Those who have sexual relations outside of a marriage that is approved of by God.
- Idolaters: Those who worship a false god or give things, such as possessions, a higher value than God. This includes bowing down to any earthly thing, such as a man or statue (the pope or a statue of Mary (Ex 20:5).
- Adulterers: Those who have sexual relations with someone other than their spouse. Someone that has sexual relations with someone or remarries after a divorce for reasons other than adultery (Matthew 19:9). Jesus also says if you lust for someone you have already committed adultery with them in your heart (Matthew 5:28).
- Effeminate: having feminine qualities untypical of a man: not manly in appearance or manner. This word has also in history referred to sodomites.
- Homosexuals: those who have sexual relations with someone of the same sex or has a desire for them.
- Thieves: those who take things that do not belong to them, no matter the value of the object.
- Covetous: Having or showing a great desire to possess something, typically something belonging to someone else. If you are guilty of stealing something, you coveted it before hand. The Bible refers to covetousness as idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
- Drunkards: those who get intoxicated/or drunk with a beverage containing alcohol or with a substance that has the same effects.
- Revilers: those who use abusive, contemptuous language or attack others with abusive language
- Swindlers: an extortioner; someone who cheats someone else out of money or other assets through deception, threats, blackmail, etc.
God will not take your sin lightly. He makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 6:10 that those who practice such things will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. Whether you agree with this or not is irrelevant. this is what God says. He will be your judge and will judge you based on what is taught in His word. People who practice these sins will not make it to heaven. Instead they will spend eternity in God’s prison of Hell without any hope of parole.
In spite of your sin, there is only one reason why you can have hope. It is not because of you or any good works you have done. Your good works cannot bribe the Judge into letting you off the hook for your crimes. The only hope for you is through repenting of your sins and submitting your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord.
Paul, after telling the Corinthians about the things that keep sinful men out of God’s presence tells these Christians this:
“ 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).
The Corinthians, who were a sinful and wicked people, had their sins washed away. God made them Holy and made them right with Him. He gave them new life, and He can do the same with you.
Jesus Christ, who is God, 2000 years ago became a human being (God in human flesh). He lived a perfect, sinless life, and offered Himself as a sacrifice for your sins. God says that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins. Christ shed His blood for you so you do not have to go suffer the wrath of God. Then three days later, He defeated sin and death by being raised from His tomb. He defeated sin and death so you and I can be victorious over them!
But what God requires of you is that you repent. Turn away from your sins, submit to Jesus Christ as your Lord. IF you do this, God promises to raise you out of your state of spiritual death and to give you new life (Ephesians 2:1-10, Colossians 2:11-14).
Repent, submit to Christ as Lord, and live! You cannot continue to do these things if you want to be right with God in this life or if you want to be in heaven when you die. Repent, submit to Jesus Christ, and live.