What does it mean to covet and does it cause a person not to go to heaven when they die? This is a very important question and for this reason we will address it with its definition and facts from the Bible. This is because coveting does have to do with our salvation when we die. So let’s get down to defining it. To covet means to desire to possess or have something that another person or even a store has. So if a person has gotten the newest and greatest phone or smart watch, admiring it to the point of purchasing it is covetousness. The same can be said with any earthly possession that we want. Now, coveting can be even worse than this. This is when an individual looks upon another person with lust, while committing adultery with them in their heart. Therefore, they begin to covet men or women for sexual reasons and fornication and affairs begin to take shape. So as this may seem, it is wrong, but does the Bible agree? To answer this, we will read what God said to Moses, 1“thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” (Exodus 20:17) Jesus, our Lord, also said, 2“that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) Knowing this, we should realize how wrong coveting really is.
So the question is now, should believers have any reason to still covet? You may think not, but the answer here might surprise you, because we should. What? How can this be? It is because as believers, our desires do change. No longer are we like non-believers, who covet the things of this world, for we now covet the things of God. But can this be backed up in scripture? Of course it can, my friends. Paul taught, 4“wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:39,40) He also said, 3“but covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:31) So, as believers in Jesus Christ, our desires are turned to Him. We don’t wish to have anything in this world that will take us away from following Him, but only things that will help us draw nearer to Him daily. What we need more of is knowledge that comes from the Bible and guidance from God, through prayer. And how can we know what things we should have in life? It is by way of the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit, we are able make the right choices and also gain different gifts from God, like tongues, prophesy, faith, healing and such. He can also make any one of us a great evangelist or witness for Him. Coveting after these things are what will help us stay on God’s path and not wonder away from Him.
It is important to distinguish the good ways to covet and the bad ways also, in order to not get caught up in things that will lead us away from God, but only towards Him. So the question is, if we are being led away from God because of coveting the wrong things, will that keep us out of heaven and cause us to go to hell? The answer is yes. This is because Paul taught, 5“be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 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.” (Ephesians 5:1-5) There is so much to learn from these passages of scripture, but as you’ll notice, covetousness is mentioned twice here. And breaking this commandment without repenting afterwards, will cause a person to go to hell. Therefore, come unto Jesus and start desiring what He can do for you. Then, will He keep your heart pure before Him and forgive you as you repent. Know that the Lord is here for us. He wants to lead us to safety, but we must give Him our whole hearts. Then, will He pick us up and lead us safely home to him in heaven.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that people will understand the dangers of coveting, before it is too late. May they come to realize that there is danger from seeking after the wrong things, instead of seeking after You, God. Help people know that Your ways are what lead us to life eternal and anything else will not. So lead us out of temptation and from the cares of this world that will never really help us, but distract us from following You. Your ways are what lead us to life eternal, not more treasures in this world that will only lead to rust. We need Your gifts, not more junk in our lives. So fill us up with the Holy Spirit. Lead us into new life. Give our minds over to doing what is right in Your sight. Help protect us from the enemy, that we may be guarded from every evil way and desire to live in Your holiness. Lord, we love You more than the things of this world. You are our God and we wish to have more of You in our life and less of anything else. If we are to covet, we covet the best gifts that can only come from You. You are the one that has provided us a more excellent way to follow. Because You, Jesus, died for our sins, we have forgiveness. There is mercy and grace to everyone, because of the cross. Thank You for giving us another chance and accepting our confessions. Our desire is to be cleansed by Your blood, that we may walk in Your light. I love You Lord and give You all the praise and glory. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
1Exodus 20:7-17 (KJV)
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
2Matthew 5:27-32 (KJV)
27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
31 Corinthians 12:26-31 (KJV)
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
41 Corinthians 14:29-40 (KJV)
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
5Ephesians 5:1-11 (KJV)
1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 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.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.