Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in order to issue a call to morality. Whenever we read the book of I Corinthians, it becomes readily apparent that the church at Corinth was experiencing a number of problems. One of which was the immoral behavior of many of the members there. Let’s examine the following, from I Corinthians 6:9-11.
First, consider the pollution of sin. Fornicators – a person who indulges in illicit sexual intercourse, idolaters – those who turn from God to the sin of idolatry, particularly as it relates to the sins of the flesh, adulterers – person who has sexual intercourse with another person’s spouse (notice the distinction between fornicator and adulterer; although either sin will keep a person out of heaven, there is a sense in which adultery is the worse sin because it is through adultery that families are broken up and a third party is irretrievably injured; when a man commits adultery he is telling his children their father is a liar and a cheat, his own pleasure means more to him than his children’s welfare, and his own satisfaction means more to him than their mother), effeminate – meaning soft or soft to the touch, used metaphorically in a bad sense to refer to those who make self indulgence the object of their life, abusers of themselves with mankind –homosexuals, thieves, covetous – those persons who are eager to have more, to have what belongs to others, greedy of gain, drunkards – habitually intoxicated, revilers – railer, extortioners – rapacious, given to robbery and extortion. When a place is heavily polluted, it cannot support life. Likewise, those who dwell in the pollution of sin cannot expect to have eternal life.
Second, consider the punishment that awaits those who persist in their sin. The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God (regardless of family background, family ties to the church, membership in local congregation, etc.). Rather these persons will spend eternity in hell, a place of everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:31-46); a lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15); where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12); where there is no hope (Luke 16:26); where the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:47-48); prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).
Third, consider the purifying that is made possible by Jesus’ blood. Notice Paul’s use of the past tense – such were some of you. Ye are washed (Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5; I Peter 1:22). Ye are sanctified (I Corinthians 1:2). Ye are justified (Romans 5:1; Titus 3:7). Friends, the gospel has the power to change people! But we must also notice the danger of returning (II Peter 2:20-22).