Can a person be saved and not inherit the kingdom of God?


1 Corinthians 15:50

ESV - 50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 22 2018 Stringio Robert Stewart

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Paul speaks in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 of various actions that characterize those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. These include sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, thievery, greed, drunkenness, reviling [i.e, slandering], and robbery [swindling].

However, Paul also makes clear that this does not refer to anyone who has ever at any time engaged in those actions, since he immediately follows the list by saying to the Corinthians, "And such WERE [emphasis mine] some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."

Christians remain sinful (even after coming to Christ), and will be so as long as they are in this world. However, the difference is that Christians realize the wrongfulness of those actions. They will struggle against them (with the help and power of the indwelling Holy Spirit), and they will repent and seek God's forgiveness through Christ for those occasions when they fall. As they mature in Christ, sin should be progressively less present and evident in their lives. 

Christians are saved by grace through faith in Christ, and not as a result of their own works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Also, only God knows the true spiritual state of any individual. However, if professed Christians habitually, willfully, and unrepentantly engage in sinful behavior, I think Paul is saying that it gives others (as well as the Christians themselves) reason to question whether their profession of faith is genuine, and whether they will inherit eternal life in God's presence.

May 23 2018 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
What Paul is saying is that it Is not our flesh that is saved. When we trust Jesus as our savior we are given the Holy Spirit who seals us for eternal life. Our flesh, our old nature has to die.

When we receive the free gift of salvation by grace, our sin debt has been paid in full. John 3:18 We can no longer be condemned.

But we still reap what we sow. We have passed from death unto life. John 5:24. We have been born of the Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; (First Corinthians 15:1-4) in whom also after ye believed, ye were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.

So a born again believer will inherit the Kingdom of heaven. We are saved by faith alone. When we first believed we were given eternal life.

All of those sins named were paid in full for the believer, but not for the unbeliever. 

We are all born spiritually dead, until we believe the Gospel. Then we are made spiritually alive. We now have a new nature, but we still have the old one. A believer can still ruin his life on earth and suffer a loss of rewards in heaven, but he can no longer be condemned because it is our soul/spirit that is saved. The flesh has to die. We all die because of sin. 

Our flesh is from our earthly birth, and our new birth is spiritual. If we go at the rapture we will be changed then. This corruptible will put on incorruptible. Flesh and blood can not enter the Kingdom of God. No sin can enter heaven. So we have to be perfect to enter the kingdom, and since none of us are, our flesh has to die or be changed at the resurrection.

Only our soul/spirit is saved as it has been made white as snow. It is that part of us that is sinless. First John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doeth not commit sin; for His seed, (the Holy Spirit) remaineth in Him, and He (the Holy Spirit) can not sin, because He is born of God.

But we are still in the flesh and still sin. First John 1:8 If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 
God. 24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

May 25 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Appelt
Contrary to what commentators say, the answer to this question is yes. It boils down to seeing the difference between “entering the kingdom” and “inheriting the kingdom.” 

Entering the kingdom is by the new birth. The Bible is clear that the natural man cannot be a part of God’s kingdom, I Corinthians 15:50. One must be born anew. One cannot see the kingdom of God unless he is born again, John 3:3. 

Concerning inheriting the kingdom, one reference is I Corinthians 6. Paul was exasperated that Christians were taking Christians to court, I Corinthians 6:1-8. Immediately after this, Paul lists those who will not inherit the kingdom of God, I Corinthians 6:9, 10. These people were already saved, as I Corinthians 6:11 indicates. 

Corinth had such a reputation that a verb was coined by the Greek author Aristophanes over 300 years before Christ: “corinthianize” – to lead a life of the grossest immorality and drunkenness. Although these actions were in their past, it was said the Corinthian believers were living more loosely than the pagans. Paul admonished them who were saved from their lurid past to not live in such a carnal way. 

Galatians 5:19-21 speaks of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. They are marked by the works of the flesh, which is contrasted with the fruit of the Spirit. Ephesians 5:5 also mentions those who will not have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. They were once in darkness but are now to walk as children of light, Ephesians 5:6-10.

It is clear that these were saved, and no threat was expressed that they might lose their salvation which Scriptures affirm they cannot, John 3:16, 6:47, 10:28-29. But it is also clear that such carnal actions will prevent one from inheriting the kingdom. 

Inheriting the kingdom is not the same as entering the kingdom. It is as different as one being a subject of a kingdom and one receiving an inheritance within the kingdom. Some liken the difference to someone being allowed to live in a mansion and then later being willed the mansion. There is a huge difference. So, there is likewise a great difference between being or living in the kingdom, and inheriting the kingdom, or being a “co-ruler” in the kingdom. 

The Judgment Seat of Christ will determine who shall be rewarded and the degree of reward, I Corinthians 3:11-15. Unfortunately, some will be saved and have nothing to show for it and yet are “saved, yet so as through fire.”

Believers should desire a rewarding future, II Peter 1:11, and they can be inheritors if they remain faithful to Christ. A believer does not want to be in the position of the prodigal son, who eventually was welcomed by his father into a right relationship but wasted/lost all his inheritance. 

Every believer is “in” the kingdom but not every believer “inherits” the kingdom. So, a person can be saved and not inherit the kingdom of God.

June 23 2022 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining