The Worst Deception

What could be worse than a person with assurance he is headed for heaven, breathing his last only to discover that he has arrived in an eternal hell?

Paul had such great concern about people being deceived in this regard that twice in addressing this issue warned, “Do not be deceived.”

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 kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:5-6)

Scripture also teaches that salvation is by grace through faith and not works. Nonetheless, the same apostle who most aggressively taught that truth also penned the words above. Both of these truths are inspired by God and therefore can be reconciled,

However we achieve that reconciliation in our thinking, it is essential that we do not accomplish that objective by ignoring the verses above.

Some contemporary evangelical teachers contend that because we are saved by grace, our performance (read behavior) does not matter. Such teaching deceives the person whose lifestyle is characterized by the sinful behaviors listed in the passages above. This false message is an easy sell since people practicing a profligate lifestyle want to believe that ultimately they will arrive in heaven.

Those believing this message, contrary to the warnings of these passages, are allowing themselves to be deceived to their own eternal peril.

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