Antonio seems to think so. In response to my outline of Galatians 5:16-26 he says,
As far as any Greek lexicon I have ever viewed, notwithstanding all English dictionaries I have consulted, there stands a great gulf of difference between the ideas of “inherit” and “enter”.
It is clear and plain reasoning to see the difference between merely living in a house and owning it or ruling over a city and being a mere citizen there.
He then cites 1 Cor 6:7-11 and interprets it like this,
Notice the verb “do wrong”. This is the Greek verb for unrighteous activity, unrighteousness. The Corinthian Christians were “doing unrighteousness” and this to their Christian brothers! The next part serves as a warning to the Christian readers in Corinth! After charging them with “doing unrighteousness”, Paul says that “unrighteous” (anarthrous construction) will not inherit the kingdom of God, using the same Greek word in its noun for for “unrighteous”.
If inherit = enter in this passage, the warning to the Corinthian Christians who were “doing unrighteousness” would be of no effect, for they are Christians and guaranteed heaven.
It would seem to be so, but really that is not the case. Antonio’s view seems to come from a false belief that everyone who has ever confessed ‘Jesus is Lord’ is saved. But Christ Himself dispels this view when He says,
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Mat 7:21-23)
Jesus tells the crowds gathered to hear His teachings at the Sermon on the Flat Place on the Mount:-) that not everyone who calls Him Lord enters the Kingdom. In fact, in these verses we find Him rejecting them entrance to the Kingdom. And these are not just liars who come to Jesus after their deaths saying that they regarded Him as Lord in their lives, because these have also prophesied, cast out demons, and done many mighty works, all of which were attributed to Jesus. The difference we find here is that they were confessors-they confessed Jesus as Lord, but they were not possessors-they had not inherited the Kingdom by faith in Christ alone.
Further, in Revelation, the risen Christ tells John,
And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Rev 21:6-8)
And in the next chapter, He tells John again,
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Rev 22:14-15)
Now it is true that as far as words and ideas go, ‘inherit’ and ‘enter’ mean entirely different things.
‘Inherit’ means to come into the possession of some ‘thing’, ‘attribute’, or ‘idea’. As in a person inherits a house, or, a boy inherits his mother’s blue eyes, or as a scientist is said to be heir to the science developed by some other scientist from the past.
‘Enter’ simply means to go in.
But what about in theology? Are ‘enter’ and ‘inherit’ synonyms? Or are they completely unrelated? What if we throw in another term that Jesus uses-‘seeing’?
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (Joh 3:3)
And what if these themes of seeing the Kingdom, entering the Kingdom, and inheriting the Kingdom are all synonomous with other theological terms found in the New Testament? Such as, believing the Gospel, entering into life, gaining eternal life, knowing Christ, etc.
Now I am not suggesting that these different ways of speaking about salvation do not represent different aspects of salvation, but only that they all refer to the same salvation. I am also not suggesting that you can believe the Gospel and not inherit the Kingdom at the same time. You cannot know Christ and not have eternal life, you cannot enter the Kingdom and not inherit it. All those who enter the Kingdom are those who have inherited it by faith in Christ.
Looking at Paul’s use of of inheritance, we can ascertain what it is exactly that he means when he says, “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:21)
In chapter three Paul begins by talking about the blessing of Abraham and the promise of the Spirit. Later, referring back to these he uses the word, ‘inheritance’.
For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. (Gal 3:18)
He then tells us that all those who have faith in Christ are the heirs of Abraham,
…for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (Gal 3:26-29)
Next, Paul says that all who are sons of God by faith, adoption, etc. are also the heirs of God.
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Gal 4:1-7)
Paul then uses an allegory to present this truth that there are two types of people, sons born through promise, and sons according to the flesh. Only those who are born of the Spirit are heirs, while those who are sons of the flesh are cast aside.
But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman. (Gal 4:30-31)
So what does Paul mean when He says in the next chapter,
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal 5:16-21)
I believe he is saying just what he has been saying all along, that receiving the Spirit by faith produces something in us making us heirs, and without faith there is no Spirit to produce it’s fruit and we are left in our natural condition, evidencing the works of the flesh and being destitute of the inheritance promised to all who have faith.