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Galations 5: 21

Discussion in 'Bible Study Q & A' started by Mustang, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Mustang

    Mustang Well-Known Member

    Something has been on my mind for years actually and I can't seem to find a answer for it. I had a cousin that was killed in a car accident one night, I know that him and the driver were both very drunk that night, they hit a culvert in a ditch and both died.

    Ever since that time I have wondered about what galations 5: 19-21 says, (Envyings, murders, drunkeness, revellings and such like:
    Those which do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Does that mean if they died while drunk they go to hell? Does it mean someone that is a total drunk all thier life will go to hell? I'm confused about this, I hope you understand what I'm trying to say, not sure I do, thanks for any help in this matter. I've prayed for an answer to this and maybe this will help me find my answer. thanks.
  2. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

    Let's look at the verse in question here:

    "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:16-24, NASB, emphasis mine)

    When scripture is speaking of drunkenness, it also lists other things as well: envying, anger, outbursts, etc. All these things define the person that has not turned their life over to the Lord; it is not just picking out one thing in specific. One night of being drunk isn't going to send someone to hell; the basis for going to hell is the rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

    Let's look at this passage in Romans:

    "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification." (Romans 6:15-19, NASB, emphasis mine)

    We all have sins that we struggle with, and drinking one that many struggle with even now. But what the Lord looks at is the heart of a person and where it lies with the Lord. I won't try to whitewash this: if a person has only turned to the Lord for "fire insurance" (so they don't go to hell) and has not truly sought to turn from their sins in grief over offending the Lord, then it doesn't matter what sin it is: all of these listed here are signs of someone with an unrepentant heart. it isn't any one specific one, but these are markers that someone has not turned away from the "flesh."

    :hug :hug my heart goes out to you Mustang; its' very painful to lose those we love suddenly and unexpectedly. I will be praying for you and your family.


  3. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Well-Known Member

    Robert has given a good answer. It is Christ alone who saves us by what He did at Calvary, not anything we do or do not do. Having said that, God Himself in His Word tells us that "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:6-7 NASB) The Greek basically says that those who claim to be living for the Lord yet are conducting their lives in darkness (as opposed to the light of the gospel) are actually lying. Their profession is false. Now this does not mean that if you sin that you are lost. We can sin while still habitually walking —and desiring to walk—in the light. Temporary sin (even recurring bouts of a besetting sin) are not what prove your profession is indeed false. It is sin as a habitual lifestyle. It is living a life in which you freely sin and desire to continue in that way. This is clear from the grammatical construction of this sentence in the Greek. The verb tenses speak of ongoing acts: "we have", "(we) walk", "we lie", and "we do not practice" in verse 6 are all present tenses. In koiné Greek the present tense is the tense usually used of ongoing, continual or habitual action, and is often used to denote a lifestyle. Thus we may render this verse: "If we say that we have (we are habitually or continually having) fellowship with Him and yet (we) walk (are habitually or continually walking) in the darkness, we lie (we are habitually or continually lying) and (we) do not practice (are not habitually or continually practicing) the truth." And later, in 1 John 3:8 that begins "He that commits sin is of the devil", God uses a Present Active Participle for "commits" which also most definitely refers to a habitual action. In like manner can we view 1 John 2:4. It says "He that says (present tense) I know (perfect tense) Him and keeps (present participle) not His commandments is (present tense) a liar and the truth is (present tense) not in him." So we can read that as "He that lives his life saying that 'I have come to know Him' and lives his life not keeping His commandments is at all times a liar and the truth at all times is not in him."

    So you can see that it is not struggling against a sin and falling that separates us from God. As we have discussed at the beginning, we are Christ's and it is His sacrifice at Calvary, on the Cross, that paid the FULL price for us. What separates us from God is not accepting that sacrifice or not accepting it in truth. And the evidence that we have not truly accepting Him and His offer of salvation is that we see no need, and have no desire, for change. I do not know anything about your brother. He may have in truth accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord —(you cannot have one without the other: He has to be both Savior and Lord)— and may have been struggling against drinking. It is a common problem. Or, on the other hand, he may have made a verbal profession of Christ but never truly surrendered to Him, either responding to a preacher's invitation in an emotional moment, or deciding that "fire insurance" (as Robert called it) might be worth having.

    I do not want to discourage you, bro. But at the same time I do not want to alter the meaning of God's Word. I believe that it is clear that we are known by our fruit. If we habitually live no differently from the world, if we habitually live just as we did before "salvation", then we are most likely not saved. I often tell people: "If there is no change, there is no salvation." Now, by this I do not mean necessarily an outward change, in the beginning at least. I mean an inward change, a desire in the heart to please God, to want to live as He would have us live. And that, can only be known by God and the person alone, at first. Fruit takes time to grow and show. You are in a better position than I to know whether there was any visible change in what you observed in your brother's life following what he claimed was his "conversion". But even you cannot know for sure. God alone knows.

    Now I know that likely nothing I have said to this point will resolve you concern over your brother. So, while that may not answer your question about your brother's eternal fate, I can offer you some advice that I pray will help give you some peace in this matter.

    If you love God ... if you believe He is who He says He is and does what He says He does ... then you know Him to be perfect and just, righteous and true, loving and good. You know that His judgments will be eternally without flaw or error. In fact, in Heaven, we will continually praise and worship Him crying "blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever." We will do this because there we will know —not think, believe, surmise, cling to, have faith that it is true, but absolutely and without any doubt KNOW— that He is perfect. We will finally fully understand the depth and the breadth and the height of His love for mankind and to what lengths He went to reach everybody who ever lived. And we will NOT mourn those who were lost, regardless of how dear they may be to us here on this earth, because we will KNOW ALL THINGS ... just as He now knows us. (1 Corinthians 13:12) Beyond that, we have the secure knowledge that in Heaven there will be neither sin ... nor sickness ... NOR SORROW. (Revelation 21:4) Our God and Savior will wipe away all our tears. (Revelation 7:17) So, then, how shall we mourn?

    No, the fear and worry and sadness over a loved one who has gone into eternity without our knowing whether they are saved while natural to us in our imperfect and sensitive earthly emotions is also stoked by Satan. He wants us to be unhappy and mourn inconsolably, to become agitated over it, unable to fully enter into God's rest which He has created for us, and even to begin to question God. He uses our natural human emotions to inset a thin wedge between us and God in the hope that eventually he can push it in further in his attempt to separate each and every one of us from the One who loves us.

    So, my advice is this: if you love God and trust Him, trust Him with your brother. Do not worry again about whether he is saved or not. Jesus committed his own soul to the Father at the point of His death. If Jesus could trust His precious soul to God in the knowledge that His judgment is perfect and His power omnipotent, then you and I can commit the souls of our own loved ones to Him. So whenever your human mind—or Satan (it is usually impossible to know which)—begins to stir up the fears about your brother's fate, just tell God you trust Him with him and know that what ever happens it will be perfect and when you get there with Him you will joy in the bliss of His eternal Presence and there will be no sorrow or regret at all ... one way or the other. Do this, and you will find the torment will lose its fiery hurt. The shield of faith indeed quenches the fiery darts of the Enemy.

    I pray this helps.

  4. livin_in_the_Son

    livin_in_the_Son Well-Known Member

    Thank you Robert, and Mattfivefour...this has helped me too. I need to trust God with my husband.
  5. Mustang

    Mustang Well-Known Member

    Thank you Robert and Mattfivefour for such enlightening scripture, that did help me very much :thumbup

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