Lose Your Inheritance?

April 13, 2008 by: KJVOnly

Question: “In Galatians or 1 Corinthians somewhere, Paul lists several sins, and then says, ‘They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ Is he saying if you’re a Christian and do those things, you’re going to hell? I don’t think so. But if not that, then what? Lose some sort of inheritance involving ruling and reigning with Christ during the Millennium? (That’s how I’ve heard it taught.) In other words, if you’re a backslidden creep who never got victory over your sin habits, you’ll still go to Heaven but you’ll sit around and not rule anything during the Millennium. Is that it?”

The simple answer is two-fold:

  1. When you’re saved, sin is no longer imputed! Your flesh may commit certain actions but they are NOT sins! (Notice the verse asked about never calls them sins.)

    1. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    2. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    3. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    4. Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    5. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    Romans 4:4-8 KJV

  2. For those to be sins, it would have to be CHRIST HIMSELF committing them! We know he cannot sin and cannot deny Himself!

    1. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    2 Timothy 2:13 KJV


First off, let’s see the passage referred to. The specific verse is Galatians 5:21. (Later I will quote the whole passage in context.)

  1. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:21 KJV

On the face of it, it does sound like anyone who is saved today risks losing his salvation if he commits something from that list. However, this is completely and utterly wrong, for several reasons.

Let’s look at the whole passage, starting with verse 16.

  1. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
  2. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
  3. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
  4. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
  5. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
  6. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
  7. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
  8. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
  9. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
  10. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
  11. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 5:16-26 KJV

Where people want to confuse this is that, yes, Paul is admonishing us but he’s doing it by reminding us of how much better we have it because we are Christ’s, led by the Spirit! Paul’s not handing down a list of “Thou-shalt-nots”, he’s saying “Look how dirty and filthy the acts of the flesh are. Why would you want to chase after those when you HAVE love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance?!?”

Let’s break this down a little further. Look just at verse 16.

  1. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Even this verse by itself sounds like it’s something we can choose on a short-term basis to earn our way. It’s where a lot of people go astray, especially Pentecostals when they “feel the Spirit move me” or “I was led by the Spirit to put down that bottle of wine and get sober” or some such. They want to cling to verse 16 and ignore verse 17 (and 18).

  1. >For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things ye would.
  2. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

If someone is truly led OF the Spirit (notice the verse doesn’t say “by the Spirit”), you are no longer under the law! What the Pentecostals and such are preaching amounts to “Ok, I’m under the law for the next few minutes. Ok, now I’m not. Ok, now I am again.”

As all these faiths preach the Bible, it amounts to a great big scorecard in the sky. What kind of God would judge his people for keeping score but not give them a rulebook so they could know for themselves when they’d get a “point” and when they’d lose one? Well, THE God has done just that.

  1. For as many have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
  2. (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
  3. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
  4. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another:)

Romans 2:12-15 KJV

  1. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
  2. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
  3. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
  4. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
  5. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
  6. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Romans 1:16-21 KJV

These two passages clearly show that people have chosen to reject God, not because they didn’t get enough points. (Shouldn’t have taken that seventh-inning stretch.) People try and argue “What about people who never heard about Jesus or never saw a Bible?” Look at Romans 1:20. In whatever form they could understand, God made his eternal power and Godhead known to them, and they rejected it.

Romans 1:21 paints a descriptive picture of what goes on today (but is obviously a universal theme): “*I* don’t need God. I can do it all MYSELF!” That kind of thinking is selfish to start and just gets worse and worse. It becomes a pick-and-choose of who you need and who you don’t. Carried to its logical extreme you wind up alone, thinking you don’t need anyone and every one is happy to return the sentiment. They don’t need you either. I think those people are the unhappiest of all on Earth.

EVERYONE knows, in their heart of hearts, that it’s not true. John Donne famously said “No man is an island.” Does each and every person in this world know all about carpentry, electrical engineering, plumbing, sewage control, painting, farming, just to name a few? If not, then how do you expect to build a house to live in, with wiring, plumbing, a septic tank, etc.? How will you survive if there’s no one else to provide those? How will you get food? Just to fulfill your basic physical needs you need others. So, if the “I can do it MYSELF” statement isn’t true, mightn’t you also be wrong about not needing God?


Ok, let’s talk now about why doing things listed in Galatians 5:20-21 do not cause us to lose our inheritance.

To start, my favorite verse is Galatians 2:20:

  1. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20 KJV

Let’s also read verse 21.

  1. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Galatians 2:21 KJV

Several things stand out here.

  1. I am dead, no longer a part of this world. My soul is already in heavenly places, awaiting the day my body is transformed.

    1. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
    2. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved,
    3. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
    4. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
    5. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    6. Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Ephesians 2:4-9 KJV

  2. The life I now live “in the flesh” is by the faith OF the Son of God! Christ lives in me, giving me his faith so I don’t have to rely on my own. When God looks at me, he doesn’t see me, he sees his Son AND the Holy Spirit!

    1. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
    2. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

    Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV

  3. Look at Galatians 5:13, a few verses above the passage that started this whole study. We are not to serve the flesh any longer. God did not save us so that we could continue doing what we did before, just with a clean conscience. (Even that’s not true, our conscience would still convict us. We just don’t have to beat ourselves up about it.)

    1. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

    Galatians 5:13 KJV

    1. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

    2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

  4. Why would God save us only to plunge us back into fear, uncertainty and doubt again? When He saves a person he pulls them out of the muck and mire! It does not please Him (and serves no purpose) to go running back after that stuff. At the very least, it will burn at the judgement seat. There will be no reward and it will be wasted effort. At worst, you’re painting a very bad example for others, leading them astray or planting seeds that feed their reluctance to come to Christ.

    1. According to the grace of God, which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
    2. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    3. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
    4. Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
    5. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
    6. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    1 Corinthians 3:10-15 KJV

    1. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
    2. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

    Galatians 4:8-9 KJV

    1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

    Galatians 5:1 KJV

    Here are some descriptive verses. Bear in mind these do not apply to us in the sense of losing our salvation. We are SEALED with the Holy Spirit, as an earnest (deposit) of our inheritance. He CANNOT get out, no matter how much he wants to.

    However, doing the things you did before is just like the pictures in the following verses. Please, don’t do these vile things again.

    1. As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

    Proverbs 26:11 KJV

    1. The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.

    Isaiah 19:14 KJV

    1. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

    2 Peter 2:22 KJV


Let me close this study with a wonderful passage of encouragement.

  1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
  2. By whom we also have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
  3. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
  4. And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
  5. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Romans 5:1-5 KJV

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