“For you can be confident of this one thing: that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” Ephesians 5:5
This passage seems pretty harsh. You may be wondering, “What about forgiveness?” Doesn’t God forgive us when we sin. Of course He does. But, He also tells us to repent of our sins. That means to stop doing them. Paul spent two chapters (4 & 5) in his letter to the Ephesians to encourage them to stop sinning. God does forgive us when we sin, but if we keep sinning, we nullify His forgiveness.
Think about this: sin literally means “miss the mark,” or, turning away from God. Think of a bullet that misses it’s target. That bullet didn’t do what it was supposed to do. When we sin, we miss our intended target. Let’s look deeper into these three sins that will keep us from heaven: immoral, impure, greed.
The Greek word here is pornos. And, you guessed it, it’s where we get our word porn. The following is the meaning of the Greek word: 1) a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire 2) a male prostitute 3) a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator. Of course this description can also apply to a woman. In the Bible, someone who prostitutes themselves also means pursuing or subjecting themselves to other gods. Clearly, a person who is chasing other gods doesn’t want to fully dedicate themselves to Jesus. In a physical sense, someone who is engaging in their own lust is perverting God’s design for us.
Impure means unclean. This can be related to the Levitical laws of uncleanness or the uncleanness of our thoughts and actions. Having a dirty mind and performing impure deeds in secret is not godly. Jesus wants us thinking on things which are good and holy, not things which are evil and deceitful.
The interesting thing here is that Paul says greed is idolatry. Idolatry is placing something (an object) before God. That object can be money, material things, or a person. A greedy person wants it all. Historically, idolatry also refers to control. Using objects (or in the modern sense, materialism) to control God. People use money and prosperity to control God. For example, if you are not prospering then God isn’t with you. Or, using prosperity and good health as leverage; if God doesn’t bless me then I will stop following Him. This isn’t biblical at all!
Greed is also coveting—that is, desiring what others have. “Thou shalt not covet.” The 10th Commandment. When you are pursuing after what other people have—keeping up with the Jones’s—then you are not pursuing the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Kingdom of God
You may not understand it, but Jesus wants to see everyone in heaven. This means you and me too. Our job is to spread the gospel not to dwell in sin. Put down all the sinful acts you did in the past. Look forward to the coming Kingdom of God. Keep this in front of you to prevent yourself from diving back into sin. The power of the Holy Spirit with sustain you through it all.