Who Will Inherit the Kingdom?

Something jumped out at me the other day as I was reading Corinthians in a translation that was unfamiliar to me. Isn't it great to do that sometimes? Shades of new meanings give your mind some stretching over familiar verses.

Here's the verse in NIV:

"Do you not know the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, ...nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God."

Now a quick run through that verse is usually all I do....those are some pretty heavy hitting sins. In another translation the word "reviler" is used in place of "slanderer" - but I really didn't have a deep understanding with either word. What is a reviler? However, when looking at this translation I was really taken aback:

"..nor those who are greedy, drunkards, nor those who wound with words."

Yikes! Wound with words? That seems to be to be a pretty far cry from my understanding of slanderer - which seems to carry a purposefully harmful, public use of words. - But when I looked it up in the Greek dictionary I found that the word does mean to be abusive with your words and to taunt, to chide, to upbraid.

In the name of religion men have 'upbraided', have hated, have tortured, and even killed with completely pure consciences toward God. We look back and shake our heads over injustices in the past, amazed that men have gone so far and been so deluded. Oh, but men are men, and we are no different today. We 'wound with words' anyone we feel is not in agreement with *us* and gloss it over as contending for the faith.

I really worry about doctrinal discussions because due to our carnal nature they, and especially e*discussion lists, THRIVE on sinking to the level that God says keeps us out of the Kingdom. Looking at the list in Galatians 5 - we see that contests, quarrels and wranglings will keep us from a share in the kingdom.

Being poor in spirit is the first step on the Beatitude journey toward being a Kingdom member, and the attitude of a slanderer or wounder is certainly not exhibiting that total destitute personal worth that God demands before HE has room to move in to our hearts.

We can proudly say "by the grace of God I am not an idol worshipper, a homosexual nor a swindler"... but can we say we don't wound one another with words? It's a scary thought that an activity used so freely among those in the Kingdom, but according to God, it will keep us out!

Let's encourage one another to LOVE and good works.