I am thankful for this question and thankful for the opportunity to consider these verses in the light of the teaching of the eternal security of the believer. Let’s consider each one individually.

Galatians 5:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” At face value, we might conclude that NONE will inherit the kingdom of God for I dare say we are ALL guilty of one or more of these ‘works of the flesh’. Notice in verse 21 that it points out that those who DO such things are not fit for the kingdom of God. In other translations of the Bible (NASB, NKJV, etc.) this word is translated as ‘those who PRACTICE such things.’ We understand that Paul is not speaking of someone who might fall and commit one or more of these ‘works of the flesh’, but he is speaking of those whose lifestyle includes a continual practice of these behaviors. Let’s compare this to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 where we read, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Here Paul points out that these believers were once guilty of these sins, but that was in the past. He says, “SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU.” Now they were no longer identified by these sins. No, they had been WASHED, SANCTIFIED, and JUSTIFIED…no longer under the heavy guilt of those sins.

1 Corinthians 10:5-6 says, “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” This, of course, speaks of the Israelites the Lord had rescued from slavery in Egypt. Two of those who were overthrown in the wilderness were Moses and Aaron. Numbers 20:12 tells us, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” In fact, only two adults who left Egypt entered Canaan. ALL the other adults perished in the wilderness. We read in Numbers 26:64-65, “But among these there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered, when they numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. For the LORD had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.” It’s important that we realize that Canaan, the promised land, IS NOT a type of Heaven. Stated briefly, it is a type of the promised blessings that God’s people have when delivered from the bondage of sin. However, many believers fail to enter into it, because of lacking the faith to take those promises as their own. How could Canaan represent Heaven? In the ‘Promised Land’, the Israelites had many enemies, battles, and hardships. In Canaan, there were ‘cities of refuge’ where those who had accidently killed someone could flee to for asylum. This can’t possibly represent Heaven!

Hebrews 3:18 is another reference to those who fell in the wilderness. Let me repeat myself that Canaan is not a type of Heaven, so those who fell in the wilderness are not types of people who lost their salvation. Rather, they are types of people who fail to realize all the blessings the Lord has in store for them because of unbelief, or lack of faith to receive them. I hope it is clear that these verses do not touch the truth of the eternal security of the true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. (341.6)