"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 homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdomThe bad news is right up front. "The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God." How clear can it be that these people will not see heaven. Their unrighteousness will exclude them. Then the passage presents a long list of sins whose practice demonstrates an unrighteous heart not headed for heaven. The list could have been more exhaustive. But rather than present every sin, Paul simply gave us a representative sampling. If these sins characterize a person's lifestyle, according to this portion of the Word of God, that person is not going to heaven.
of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." NKJV
The good news is presented at the end. And it is incredibly good news. "And such were some of you," it says. The fact that the verb is in the past tense is the good news. Those Corinthians, who were caught up in the lifestyles described, had been changed. Once, they had been fornicators, idolaters, homosexuals, and the rest. But not any more. No longer do they practice these sins. Being caught in a lifestyle of sin does not have to be permanent. There is freedom! There is an escape! There is a way out!
The way out is through Jesus Christ, Who died to free us from, not only the penalty of sin, but also the power of sin over our lives. Romans 5:8-9 says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." NKJV Hallelujah! We can be saved.
We often hear on the news that another researcher has tried to find a so called "gay gene." They want to convince us that the homosexual was born the way they are, and he is powerless to change. That is sort-of true, although not in the way they think. First, there is both truth and error in their assertion that they were born that way. They have not, nor will they ever, find a "gay gene." But that doesn't mean that the condition isn't inherited. We have all inherited the sin nature from our parents, who have inherited it from their parents, and so on, all the way back to Adam. Romans 5:12 teaches, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned."
Each of us have inherited the propensity to sin. That desire is passed on to us from Adam. And each of us have our special sins we treasure in our hearts and are most susceptible to. We all need to be set free from the power of sin over us. But the ability to do that does not reside within us.
But change we can. Not by gritting our teeth and resolving never to do it again, but change comes through the blood of Christ. It comes about through what Jesus called the new birth in John 3. To Nicodemus, Jesus said, "You must be born again" in John 3:7. Each one of us must be born again. We must receive a new heart and a new start from God, made possible by Jesus on the cross of Calvary where He paid the penalty for our sins and offered to each one of us as the free gift of grace to be received by faith.
With that gift of salvation, God also gives us the gift of His Spirit. The Spirit of God indwells every born again believer empowering him to do what he could never do alone - lick the temptation to sin. Neither heterosexual nor homosexual sin is too great for the Spirit of God to conquer. As proof, we have the Corinthians. They practiced both lifestyles and were heading for hell. But they were changed by Jesus. So can you if you are trapped in any one of those lifestyles. If you have grown frustrated from trying to change on your own, you need to approach Jesus with a repentant heart, seeking His forgiveness and grace. This He freely gives.