Playing on Thin Ice
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
The wrath of God is absolutely certain.
One winter day, when I was about 10 years old, I was playing with my extended family in the woods behind Grandpa’s house. We could have gone anywhere, but we found ourselves at the edge of the pond which Mom specifically said was off limits. At first, we just threw rocks and sticks onto the ice, but soon, we were walking out. Giggling and one-upmanship was suddenly interrupted by my parents’ yell: “Come here, right now!”
I knew that what I was doing was wrong. I didn’t think anyone would see us and I presumed if they did that I could wiggle out of trouble. The dangers of falling in probably never crossed my mind. These are the thoughts of one out-of-touch with reality. Sin usually seems rational in the moment, but it rarely is.
Do not be deceived, the unrighteous will not inherit our Lord’s kingdom. The unrighteous have no hope of avoiding or enduring the trial. God will not let up and he will not change his mind; judgment is as certain as Noah’s flood (Genesis 6-8), the death of Egypt’s firstborn (Exodus 12), the exile of Israel (2 Kings 17) and Judah (2 Kings 24-25), and Jesus’ crucifixion (Mark 15).
For those who know the gospel, we can rejoice because, though we were guilty, our hope is in the cleansing work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. But countless more remain under wrath whether they realize it or not. Will you reach out to someone playing on the fragile ice and show them the way to more solid ground?
- Notice that Paul wrote this verse to the church (not the lost). Are there any personal sins plaguing your life? Write down a few practical steps to avoid temptations.
- Look up the hymn, “Rescue the Perishing.” Meditate on the words and pray for anyone whom the Spirit brings to your mind.
Dearest Lord, I know that you have set a day when your wrath will pour out on the sinfulness of man. Help those who think that this wrath is only for the “really wicked.” Help those who presume you will soften the judgment in the last hour. Your holiness demands justice and the oppressed long for deliverance from evil. Teach our deceitful hearts to find life to the full in the Spirit rather than settle for petty pleasures. Remind me of my journey, and stir me to preach the word so others might hear and follow. Help me to work while it is light. Amen.
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18