Who Is Accursed?

Justin Monts

According to Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, to be accursed is to be “ruined or doomed to utter destruction.” Other lexicons would translate accursed as “damned or condemned.” The importance of having a good understanding of this word is seen in that, within the pages of the Bible, we read of certain persons that are accursed. It is sad that there are some who choose to place themselves in such a predicament before their Creator. Nevertheless, many people, as they give in to the Adversary, choose to become accursed by God. Let us carefully examine who it is that is accursed by God, so that we might be careful to avoid this tragic condition.

1) Those who do not love the Lord are accursed. The Apostle Paul emphatically declared in 1 Corinthians 16:22, “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed.” Therefore, if we do not love the Lord with all our “heart, soul, mind and strength” - that is, with our very being - then we will stand accursed (Mk. 12:30).

But how can we demonstrate that we truly love the Lord of lords and King of kings? Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (Jn. 14:21). Clearly, we can demonstrate that we love the Lord by keeping the commandments that He has delivered. If we do this then He will love and accept us. But if we do not, then he will despise and reject us, and we will ultimately be doomed to utter destruction.

2) Those who preach another gospel are accursed. The same apostle exclaimed, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9). Apparently, the offense of proclaiming another gospel was so severe, that the consequences for doing such needed to be stressed twice. An anathema is placed upon the false teachers who lead people astray. Peter likewise affirms that they are “accursed children” (2 Pet. 2:14ff).

Having said that, let’s not overlook that those who preach the pure gospel of Christ are blessed. In Romans 10:15 we read, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” The very feet of gospel preachers are called "beautiful” for the sake of the message they bear! Therefore, for us to receive the approval and praise of God, we must preach the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

3) Those who violate God’s law are accursed. Remember Achan? Joshua, through the word of the Lord, had instructed Achan and all Israel: “And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it” (Josh. 6:18). All Israel was admonished to abstain and refrain from the things which the Lord considered abhorrent. However, Achan did not do this. Instead, he took of the accursed things, became accursed, and as a result of his transgression, was condemned to death. Certainly, those who disobey God’s law are accursed.

But with that in mind, it should also be noted that those who obey His law are accepted by Him. Consider the reason why God blessed Abraham so abundantly. God blessed Abraham “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” (Gen. 26:5). That’s why great riches were bestowed on the patriach of old. Abraham obeyed! Also, the Lord God told Israel, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine” (Exod. 19:5). Do we want to be the special people of the Lord? Then let’s be careful to observe and obey His every decree. Remember, it is Christ who has become “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9).

4) Those who fellowship the accursed are accursed. There is something else that we can learn from the narrative about Achan. Not only did Achan become accursed by his transgression, but his transgression also caused the entire camp of Israel to become accursed. Notice that the text said, “...so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel” (Josh. 7:1). And, Jehovah proclaimed, “Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them” (Josh. 7:11). Indeed, a little leaven leavens the whole lump (1 Cor. 5:6).

Consequently, if those who have not taken of the accursed things intend to remain in God’s fellowship and favor, they must put away from themselves the evil person. “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17)

Conclusion. Since the vast majority of people in this world do not love the Lord, preach another gospel, violate God’s law, or approve of those who do so, it is really no wonder that Jesus revealed the way of life to be narrow (Mt. 7:13; Lk. 13:24). It is sad when we think of all the many souls around us that will be lost. But, as we entertain that unhappy thought, let us not forget that an “accursed” people can be transformed into an “accepted” people! How so? Through their obedience to the gospel. Paul announced in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes...”

Our awareness of who it is that is accursed should not only help keep us from falling from our own steadfastness, but it should also help to motivate our evangelistic efforts.

“Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men ...” (2 Cor. 5:11).

“Him (Christ) we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” (Col. 1:28-29).

Let’s all do what we can to make those who are living “accursed” before their Creator, “accepted” in Christ Jesus!

e-mail this author at Emonts@aol.com

Return to Watchman Front Page

return to March index