One of the great deceptions of our time is that serious sin is a remote possibility for most people, and that it is only committed by very wicked people. And too many people assess their moral standing with unhelpful slogans such as “I’m basically a good person,” or “I haven’t murdered anybody.”
We have to be more serious and mature in our discernment than this. Of course God does not leave us in such a fog of uncertainty. His word is actually quite clear to list some of the more serious sins that we ought to be aware of so that we can humbly recognize our tendency to do these very things.
Rather than give lots of commentary, I just want to post five biblical lists of the more serious sins that exclude one from the kingdom of God. Saying that these are sins that “exclude one from the kingdom of heaven” is the biblical way of saying they are mortal sins.
It remains true that some of the sins listed, such as lying, can admit of lighter matter. But as we all know, there are very serious and harmful lies that we can all tell.
And so the Lord, in love wants to urgently warn us of the sins that exclude us from heaven. In all the lists that follow, avoid adopting a legalistic mentality. Take them to heart and allow them to become part of your daily moral reflection. The Lord warns us in love that sin is very serious. Even smaller sins, unattended to, begin to grow like a cancer and can ultimately kill us spiritually.
Be serious about it, do not buy into the deception that makes light of sin. God loves us, and because he loves us, he warns us that unrepentant sin is very serious and can rob our hearts of the desire for God, heaven and the good things waiting for us there.
Here then are five lists. they are not exhaustive and there are other sins mentioned elsewhere (e.g. refusal to forgive, cf Matt 6:15) Please reflect on, and share these lists.
1 Cor 6:9-10 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were.
Gal 5:19-21 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Eph 5:3-6 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No sexually immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
Rev. 22:12-16 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
Matt 25:41-46 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
And finally just a general warning from the Lord:
John 5:28-29 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
Here is Allegri’s Miserere (Psalm 51) Have mercy on me O God According to thy great Kindness.