It is vital to be righteous in God’s eyes when your spirit departs from your physical body. Why? Because it is only the righteous who go to eternal life (Mat 25:46). All the non righteous (or unrighteous) do not inherit God’s kingdom and will enter through the wide gate to destruction (1 Cor. 6:9-11 cf. Mt. 7:13,14).
1 Cor. 6:9,10 give a listing of the unrighteous who are such because of certain sins. Eph. 5:5-7, Gal. 5:19-21 and Rev. 21:8 add to the 1 Cor. 6:9,10 listing. An apparent observation from those passages is that certain sins will change a righteous person into an unrighteous person and thereby negate his inheritance of the kingdom (salvation). Hence, sin is still the issue, even now after the cross of Christ and the righteous need warned. That is why we read many Scriptures which indicate that, including Heb. 12:4, In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Since the Christian’s spirit is alive because of righteousness (Rom. 8:10) and initially gets that way because of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:30; etc.), then if that horrible spiritual reversal does occur through backsliding, then the backslider experiences spiritual death and he is worse off in the end then if he never knew the way of righteousness (2 Pet. 2:20-22). If he turns away from his wickedness to serve God, he can become alive again (Lk. 15:24), as the prodigal son and others have become. (Not everyone who backslides returns to salvation again.)
The best way to know who the righteous are is to note the other names, descriptions, etc. which apply to them. The righteous:
- believe in Jesus (Acts 22:19; Jn. 3:16),
- are saints (1 Cor. 14:33),
- followers of Christ (Jn. 10:27),
- pure in heart (Mt. 5:8),
- obedient (Heb. 5:9),
- they put into practice God’s word (Lk. 8:21),
- are not of this world any more than Jesus is of this world (Jn. 17:14),
- have Jesus as their first love (Rev. 2:5),
- love God (1 Cor. 2:9),
- live holy (Heb. 12:14; Rev. 21:27),
- have a faith in Jesus which results in good works (John 5:29; James 2:14-18, 26),
- sow to please the Spirit (Gal. 6:8,9) and
- are persecuted for godly living (Mt. 5:10; 2 Tim. 3:12).
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That is just a partial listing, which presents a much clearer picture of the Christian, the godly or righteous person than just one or two verses (and should describe you now). The following two passages also further clarify this issue:
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Rom 6:16)
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil …. (1 John 3:7,8)
Religious Deceivers and Who Are Righteous
NOTE: John warned us all about religious deceivers who will try to mislead us about who are the righteous. Unfortunately, that exact attempted deception is occurring and has been lethally successful through the damnable heresy of eternal security and their imputed righteousness propaganda! The eternal security teachers cite verses which they misuse to teach that a moment of regenerating saving faith in Jesus is all one needs to forever be righteous in God’s sight, regardless what one does or doesn’t do afterwards. Their grace teaching is a dangerous lie, license for sin and heresy, though it is popular and treasured, as something precious rather than the deadly snare that it is.
If the above details about the righteous don’t depict you now, then you need to radically change. Your soul is in the greatest danger. Do NOT be deceived about who are the righteous. Your eternity beyond the grave hangs in the balance over this issue! You are battling for eternity! You must die as a righteous person to enter God’s kingdom.