The Teachings of

Zane Hodges, Joseph Dillow, Robert Wilkin
(The Grace Evangelical Society)

and the extreme teachings of J. D. Faust

Who Will Not Inherit the Kingdom?


"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" (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,iIdolatry, 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" (Gal. 5:19-21).

"For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" (Eph. 5:5).

The Teaching of Zane Hodges and Joseph Dillow

The fruitful believer

The partaker or heir

The believing believer

The overcomer

The barren believer

The carnal one (non-heir)

The saved person who stops believing

The non-overcomer

This righteous believer will inherit the kingdom of God and will reign with Christ during the millennium.

This unrighteous believer (even one who persists in adultery, drunkenness, fornication, homosexuality, etc.) will not inherit the kingdom. He will not share in Christ’s millennial reign. He will enter the kingdom and be a citizen of the kingdom and live in the kingdom, but will not inherit the kingdom. According to this view, he will be cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (yet he is saved!).  Faust teaches that this person will be severely tortured in the fires of Hades for 1000 years (though he does believe in degrees of punishment in Hades, that some Christians will be tortured less severely than others, some with "many stripes" and others with "few stripes.")


  Zane Hodges says, “There is no difficulty at all in speaking of people who live in the Kingdom of God but who do not inherit that Kingdom…the heirs of the Kingdom, then, are its owners, not merely its residents or citizens.” [Zane C. Hodges, Grace in Eclipse (Dallas: Redencion Viva, 1985), p. 71. ] Joseph Dillow writes: “All Christians will enter the kingdom, but not all will rule there, i.e., inherit it….They will, having been justified, be in the kingdom; however, they will not inherit it….There is a difference between being a resident of the kingdom and inheriting it.” [Joseph C. Dillow, The Reign of the Servant Kings (Miami Springs, Florida: Schoettle Publishing Co., 1992), pages 62, 64, 78.] Dillow adds, “they will be in the kingdom but not at the wedding feast.” [Ibid., p. 389.]    Faust teaches that these wicked saved people are totally excluded from the kingdom and that they will taste of the second death and then be punished in the fires of Hades for a thousand years.

“What Saith the Scriptures?”


   Hodges and Dillow divide saved people into two distinct categories—-the spiritual and the carnal, the overcomers (Rev. 2-3) and the non-overcomers, the “partakers” (Heb. 3:14) and the non-partakers. However, in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Paul makes it clear that the group of immoral people he is referring to is not the carnal Corinthians. In verse 11 he says, “and such WERE some of you.” In chapter 3, verse 3, Paul said to the Corinthians: “For ye ARE yet CARNAL.” Paul acknowledged that they were carnal and yet he did not include them with the unrighteous ones described in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Such a description only fit them when they were unsaved. That is what they WERE. If the Hodges/Dillow view were correct, then Paul should have said in 1 Corinthians 6:9, “and such ARE some of you.”

     When Paul speaks of the “unrighteous” (unjust) in 1 Corinthians 6:9 he is not speaking of some carnal, unworthy, unpersevering members of the Body and Bride of Christ. No, Paul uses the term “unrighteous” (unjust) as a description of unsaved, unregenerate, lost people. This term “unjust” is clearly defined for us in the context of this chapter. In verse 1 Paul says, “Dare any of you having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?” (1 Cor. 6:1). Paul clearly distinguishes two groups: 1) The unjust (the unsaved) and 2) the saints (the saved). These same two groups are seen in verses 9-11. In verse 9-10 we have the unrighteous (unjust) which are the unsaved. They will not inherit the kingdom. In verse 11 we have those who are justified and sanctified. These are the saints (the saved) who will inherit the kingdom. There is no such thing as a saint or a saved person who will not inherit the kingdom, contrary to the teachings of Hodges and Dillow.

     We need to carefully follow Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. What is it that makes a person RIGHTEOUS and able to inherit the kingdom? Is it because the saved person has persevered in the faith and walked closely with the Lord and thus has earned his share in the kingdom, as Hodges and Dillow suggest? No! In verse 11, Paul says that the reason the Corinthians are righteous and thus fit to inherit the kingdom is because they have been JUSTIFIED! Even carnal Corinthians will inherit the kingdom because they are seen as perfectly righteous IN CHRIST!

     Paul’s argument is as follows:

   1.   The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

   2.   Every believer has been justified or declared righteous (1 Cor. 6: 11).

   3.   The justified believer, therefore, is not unrighteous.

         CONCLUSION: Every believer will inherit the kingdom based solely on his righteous standing in Christ Jesus made possible only by the grace of God! [Paul was championing the free grace position!]

     Comparing Luke 18:18 with Matthew 19:16 (two parallel passages) demonstrates that the expression “inherit eternal life” means the same as “have eternal life.” INHERIT means to possess, to receive, to have. In Matthew 19:29, we read “inherit eternal life” and in the parallel account (see Luke 18:30) we see that the expression means “receive eternal life.” To inherit the kingdom means to possess the kingdom, to have a place and a part in the kingdom (cf. Rev. 20:6 “part”), to participate in its blessings and benefits. Those who do not inherit the kingdom are those who do not possess it, who have no part in it. They are excluded from the kingdom and its benefits.

     In considering the Ephesians 5:5 passage, the very next verse speaks of God’s wrath coming upon THE UNSAVED because of their sins: “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things (see v.5) cometh the wrath of God upon the CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE” (Eph. 5:6). If the Hodges/Dillow view were correct, we might expect Paul to discuss how God’s wrath will come upon saved people, the carnal ones who are persisting in such sins; but instead Paul discusses God’s wrath upon the children of disobedience (the unsaved).

     In the Galatians 5:19-21 passage, we learn that those who persist in the works of the flesh will not inherit the kingdom. Hodges and Dillow teach that fleshly saved people will not inherit the kingdom, though they will enter it. But notice what Paul says in this same context about all saved people: “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24).

     Three passages (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:5 and Galatians 5:19-21) essentially teach the same thing—the wicked (the unrighteous, those in the flesh, etc.) will not inherit the kingdom. In light of these three passages consider also Revelation 21:8—“But to the fearful and unbelieving and those who make themselves abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” It is very obvious that the Apostle John was speaking of unsaved people, not some class of carnal and wicked Christians. Putting all four of these passages together forces us to conclude that those who do not inherit the kingdom will have their part (inheritance, share, portion) in the lake of fire! James Ventilato says it this way:

After all, according to 1 Corinthians 6:9,10, Ephesians 5:5 and Galatians 5:19-21, those who, e.g., are characterized as fornicators, idolaters, impure persons, covetous persons, sorcerers, murderers, etc.–these all shall not inherit the Kingdom of God; and likewise, according to Colossians 3:5 and Revelation 21:8, those who, e.g., are characterized as fornicators, idolaters, impure persons, covetous persons, sorcerers, murderers, etc.–upon these all comes the wrath of God in the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

     In Matthew 25:31-46, the Lord Jesus mentions only two groups, the sheep (saved) and the goats (unsaved). The Hodges/Dillow view supposes three groups: the unsaved, the wicked saved who do not inherit the kingdom, and the righteous saved who do inherit the kingdom. The Lord Jesus taught that the goats (unsaved) will go away into everlasting fire—everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:41-46). He taught that the sheep (saved) will inherit the kingdom: “Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand [the sheep, see verse 33], Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). There is no indication that the Lord was speaking to only some of the sheep, and there is no indication that any of the saved people were excluded from inheriting the kingdom.

     This Matthew 25 passage raises an interesting problem for Hodges and Dillow, who both teach that there is no necessary connection between faith and good works. In the judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-46), those Gentiles who do not perform good works toward the saved Jewish remnant during the tribulation will be eternally punished and will go away into everlasting fire (Matthew 25:41-46). This indicates that there must be a relationship between a person’s faith and his works. Hodges and Dillow teach that a saved person can be devoid of good works. If the Hodges/Dillow view were correct, then why should these Gentiles who lacked good works be sentenced to eternal punishment? The passage makes sense only when we understand that true saving faith is evidenced by one’s works.

     In the New Testament, numerous passages indicate that ALL BELIEVERS are heirs and that all believers participate in the inheritance. Consider the following: Ephesians 1: 14, 18; Colossians 1:12; 1 Peter 1:4 (“an inheritance incorruptible”); Acts 20:32 (an inheritance which is shared by “all” who are sanctified); Romans 8:17 (“heirs of God”); Titus 3:7 (those “justified by His grace” are “heirs”); Hebrews 1: 14; 6:17; 11:7. James 2:5 identifies those who are “heirs of the kingdom” as those who are “rich in faith,” indicating that all believers are heirs of the kingdom. These passages argue against dividing saved people into two classes—those who are heirs and those who are not.

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