Good Morning Saints,
*Topic: Can a Christian miss Heaven Part 4*
By: Isaac Oluwaseun Agbenla
Bible Text :1 Corinthians 5:1
*_It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife._*
We have discussed apostasy and the end of an apostate. I have questions to answer on Christians who refuse to repent from their backsliding before death or those who died in their state of backsliding.
I would love to answer sensitive questions like this with biblical example.
In our text in 1 Cor. 5:1-5, there was a story of a young man who was having sexual relationship with his father’s wife. He was a Christian.
See how the NIV version put it:
*It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife-1 Corinthians 5:1 NIV*
Notice the word “among you” and you know Paul wrote the Book of Corinthians to the Church in Corinth. He said further stated that such act is not even tolerated among the unbelievers as tolerated by the Church.
You see, every Church leader ought to speak against immorality because it hinders the extent to which God can use the vessels in such congregation. Paul didn’t celebrate the evil act. He frowned at such devilish act. Even at that, he never said the boy or those who were tolerating his ugly act have lost their salvation. Paul never used such words throughout his epistles written to concerned individuals in the early Church.
We all know the act is very bad and barbaric yet we can’t deny the fact that it happens among the early Church. Evil deeds didn’t start with our generation, it had been for generations.
Sin is like a cancer because it spreads fast and hinders the move of God but it is not the end of the victim. We must do our best to separate the victim from its sin and lead the victim back to the cross. God loves everyone but hates their sins. There is different between the two. Even for unbelievers, we must understand that God hates sin but he doesn’t hate sinners. John 3:16 says: for God so love the world.He can’t love the world without loving he created inside the world. He loves the entire world even though he hates their sins but if they refuse his offer of forgiveness which is Christ, they are doomed forever.
My main focus in this piece is the judgement meted for the man who was sleeping with his father’s wife.
In 1 Cor. 5 verse 5, the Bible told us what his judgement would be like.
It says :
*you are to hand over this man to Satan for the DESTRUCTION of his BODY, so that his SPIRIT may be SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus-1 CORINTHIANS 5:5 AMP*
Can you see the punishment Paul said he deserves?
Did Paul say he will automatically not make heaven? No. Many of us think God is foolish that he will just push people to hell anyhow without giving them opportunity to retrace their steps back to the first love.
The punishment is that he will suffer in the flesh until he realise his missing point. That’s affliction and oppression. Devil can’t posses a Christian but he can oppressed them in the body through sickness if God allows him.
You see in the verse above, sicknesses, diseases and other afflictions of the body could be as a result of sin committed and refuse to repent and stop but this is not in all cases. Paul said, hand him over to the devil for destruction of his flesh.
Then, we need to understand the main purpose & what Paul meant by *hand him over to the devil*
You see, when Paul told the church to hand him over to the devil, *the purpose is to destroy his flesh so that his spirit will be saved from hell fire.*
How can the flesh be destroyed?
_Through sicknesses, diseases and afflictions_.
How would they accomplish the handing over?
_It will require members to withdraw all fellowship, prayers and spiritual influence he has been enjoying before. Since a man like that won’t pray again to God, the prayer of Saints is what is sustaining him but when they stopped praying for him, devil will have power to buffet him. This teaches us the power of united & intercessory prayer in Church of God_.
Another punishment is written in 1 Cor. 5:11 which was that believers should not even keep company with him.
_When this is done, he will be prone to devil’s attack/afflictions not for death but to bring him into repentance._
Note: _Even with the state of fall, devil doesn’t have the liberty to kill a Christian except God permits_.
_Note that this destruction of his flesh didn’t physically kill the man but it was effective enough to making him realised he has committed sin. This sickness made him realised his mistakes and he was restored after genuine repentance._
By the time get to 2 Cor. 2:6-8, Paul told the Church again to forgive him and accept him back because he has repented.
Brethren, _when repentance follows affliction, restoration is birthed. It’s godly repentance that leads to restoration._
Listen Saints, God is always looking for ways to restore the lost souls but are we supporting the restoration or drowning the drowned. God intentionally use the punishment to get the young man’s attention. Holy Spirit prompted Paul to layout the punishment in other to save the young man from total rebellion. God his faithful to his children and he will ensure that devil did not plug anyone out his hands.
Jesus in John 10:29 says:
*My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand*.
In Hebrews 6:10, God word says
*_For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister._*
Then, you would want to ask, does it mean all backsliders ended up repenting? Many repented at the point of death and died. Many repented
the last minutes and died and some I believe would ended up rejecting Jesus because someone refuse to show them the way out.
Thanks for following
Isaac O. Agbenla
Oracle of God